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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #118855  by mgbills
 Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:40 am
That could be my new job! Awesome!

I'll travel around the country in a Solar-Power Beer hat, and charge peoples buffers before shows! I'll send my resume, but I'm sure you'll all agree I'm qualified.

Ohhh...and I'll need to be on The Guest List for all your shows. Would want to inspect my work at the set break.

I'm certain to make it to the cover of Rolling Stone for this stunt. Wonder if my wife will buy in?
 #118857  by Pete B.
 Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:59 am
Please, it's half-past 2012... people have been to the moon... can we eliminate the need for a battery yet?
:wink:
 #118860  by Rusty the Scoob
 Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:47 am
mgbills wrote:That sounds cool. I like the idea of a rechargeable system. I bet there is a small complete unit available...maybe even with an indicator. Run it down & plug it into a wall-wart. Like it. Especially if its light.
There's a very popular bass preamp currently available with this exact type of rechargeable battery on board http://www.bestbassgear.com/p-retro-preamp.htm

It's made to fit inside the tiny electronics cavity of a stock Fender P-bass, which typically doesn't even have room for a single 9V unless you delete one of the two pots. It charges right through the regular 1/4" output jack.

* Rechargeable internal Li-Pol Battery, giving up to 40 hours use per charge.
* Battery charging is acheived using an AC/DC Adaptor, which plugs into the jack.
* Auto passive bypass if the system runs low on power.
* Easy to fit using screw terminals, with no solder connections to the P-Retro.
* Instrument can to returned to stock condition since there are no physical
modifications to the guitar.
* P-Retro Active cicuit board approximate dimensions: L50.0 x W27.0 x D15.0 mm
(2.0" x 1.07" x 0.6")
* P-Retro Volume/Tone & Li-Pol battery approximate dimensions: L50.0 x H29.0 x
D19.0 mm (1.6" x 1.15" x 0.75")
 #118869  by cmc64
 Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:21 pm
Rusty the Scoob wrote:
mijknahs wrote:I wish someone would come up with a 9V feed up the guitar cable from a plugged in power source. Maybe the same source that is powering all your effects? I'd love to get rid of the battery. Mabye use a stereo cable and use the extra wire to power the buffer.

Or have a switch that bypasses the buffer altogether so that you can still play if your battery dies during a gig.
I was keeping this project under wraps... but I have already gathered almost everything I need to start doing tests on this exact setup. Going to be a single stereo cable with 18V+ running to the "ring" part of the TRS, powering EMG pickups which really suck the life out of batteries in a hurry.
I have EMG Active Pickups and I have been using 9V Lithium batteries - they test at about 9.65 out of the pack - and by the time they hit the 9.1, 9.05 range I can really start to hear the difference. Maybe 30/40 hours tops and there is significant tone loss - so I swap them out pretty frequently.
 #118873  by mijknahs
 Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:31 am
cmc64 wrote:
I have EMG Active Pickups and I have been using 9V Lithium batteries - they test at about 9.65 out of the pack - and by the time they hit the 9.1, 9.05 range I can really start to hear the difference. Maybe 30/40 hours tops and there is significant tone loss - so I swap them out pretty frequently.
What do you do with the old ones (that are in the 9.1, 9.0 range)?
 #118876  by Rusty the Scoob
 Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:21 am
That sounds about like my results as well. I'd really like to avoid all that tone loss and hassle though, even if it means adding a 2nd 1/4" jack to my basses.

For me, my half-spent batteries go in my tuner or metronome.
 #118878  by hogan
 Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:05 am
As mentioned before, just build an outboard power supply like Alembic did w/ their series one basses. They used a 5 pin xlr. Jerry types could use a 7 pin xlr for an all in one cable. If designed right there would be no ground loop issues.
 #118879  by myoung6923
 Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:57 am
I find that I need to change the battery about every 3 gigs or so.

I have a Waldo buffer in my main guitar and a Jangletone in my backup.

It might actually last a couple of gigs more than that - but there's nothing worse than having issues DURING a gig. So I just change it out more often that I probably need.
 #118905  by cmc64
 Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:50 pm
mijknahs wrote:
cmc64 wrote:
I have EMG Active Pickups and I have been using 9V Lithium batteries - they test at about 9.65 out of the pack - and by the time they hit the 9.1, 9.05 range I can really start to hear the difference. Maybe 30/40 hours tops and there is significant tone loss - so I swap them out pretty frequently.
What do you do with the old ones (that are in the 9.1, 9.0 range)?
Recycle them. I work at a battery store.
 #118906  by mijknahs
 Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:53 am
cmc64 wrote:
mijknahs wrote:
cmc64 wrote:
I have EMG Active Pickups and I have been using 9V Lithium batteries - they test at about 9.65 out of the pack - and by the time they hit the 9.1, 9.05 range I can really start to hear the difference. Maybe 30/40 hours tops and there is significant tone loss - so I swap them out pretty frequently.
What do you do with the old ones (that are in the 9.1, 9.0 range)?
Recycle them. I work at a battery store.
I can use my battery until they get down in the 7.5V range so I was thinking maybe I could buy them off you or something.
 #118908  by mkaufman
 Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:00 am
Fyi...Ibanez had an external unit that supplied power to the onboad EQ/Pre-amp in the Artist 2622 (Steve Miller) guitar. It obviated the need for a 9v battery. Maybe I can dig up the specs. It was rather bulky, but that was back in 1977.

mk
 #118909  by zambiland
 Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:05 am
mgbills wrote:I spoke with Waldo at some length about a similar issue. I would like to use a 7 pin TRS jack (or some such thing), and incorporate the OBEL cables in a bundle with the Guitar Output. That would leave an extra wire or 2 for potentially powering the guitar with a lead off the Pedal Power. 1 chord instead of 2.

Waldo's caution - Ground loops. Apparently Mr. Healy & the others have tried some mods along these lines. I haven't moved forward for 2 reasons. I haven't found a cable that has the right combinations of shields & mains. Also, I couldn't convince myself that the OBEL loop would become an RF antenna.

My intention is to move forward when time permits, but I just thought I should keep you folks in the loop.
I'd love to hear the outcome.
Peace
I use standard Canare and Mogami quad mic cable for Alembic 5 conductor cables all the time. + and - 26-30v on two of the wires and then each pickup + on the other two wires and then the shield is the common ground. No noise problems at all. the other option is to use tube microphone cable, which is easily available from Redco. It might be a little better but it's overkill for our needs. Tube mics require much higher voltages and a lot more current.
 #118913  by mgbills
 Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:17 am
I like where this is going. I'll try to prototype the single Tiger cable w/ 9v power in October. I've got to replace a toggle in Pete B's Tiger/Strat. Maybe he'll let me use him as a guinea pig. He hates the battery anyway.

Anybody know of an off-the-shelf XLR type cable that would take all these leads? The ultimate configuration would be to encompass the output/OBEL/9V, and be able to score a spare cable at a local music shop if you forget/lose/misplace the main cable.
 #118931  by cmc64
 Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:44 pm
mijknahs wrote:
I can use my battery until they get down in the 7.5V range so I was thinking maybe I could buy them off you or something.
If you don't mind paying for shipping you can have them. :smile: