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Best Eurorack Power Supply (PSU) for your buck?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author Best Eurorack Power Supply (PSU) for your buck?
5c4r7
Hi there,

I am building my own Eurorack. I have 2 x 3U subframes, now I need a few things. A power supply, and some eurorack mounting screws.

What is the best Eurorack power supply for the dollar value? I am not exactly sure how many modules I will have in each. So far I have a modded Monotron and a Blue Lantern MG1 filter clone. My goal is to keep this system as low cost as possible. I contemplated converting an ATX PSU but, it seems like a bit of work and with only 500mA's on the -12V rail, I have been warned that it might not be enough power. I don't mind any DIY projects so long as it is relatively straight forward. Also, I'd like to keep it under $100 is possible. If anyone has any clear instructions on how to build one and what components to purchase or, if anyone can advise a 3rd party PSU for that cost and with decent specs, or know where I can acquire eurorack ounting screws for cheap I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you,

-s*
The Disquiet
Best Eurorack PSU is Hinton.

http://hinton-instruments.co.uk/paprod/psu/
Nuuj
Also, not a low cost solution, but I like the looks of this Elby solution:

http://www.elby-designs.com/contents/en-us/p823_ED111.html
AudioFetish
If you don't need to travel or are not concerned about weight I would strongly recommend the Doepfer PSU2. A solid linear PSU that will deliver 1200ma on the + and 1200ma on the - rails.

No 5v though so I would add the Mutable Instruments +5v, but still a low cost reliable solution. I would probably not recommend the Doepfer low cost 5v unless you have a very low 5v demand as it will only deliver about 80ma comfortably I have burned out 2 or 3 of these over the years before better alternative ls became available

I run two 9U cases on 2 PSU2's no problem so one PSU2 for tour 6U will be no issue.

It is worth noting that in order to DIY this you will have to wire up so mains supply so only attempt this if your 100% comfortable with what you're doing. There are clear instructions on the Doepfer site iirc.
Blootaka
For mounting screws, see if you have a local fastener store. Out here, I was able to pick up a screw and washer for 0.19 for the pair at Fastener Force.
waveglider
And if you want to go the DIY route, do a search here and on ebay for the HCC15-3-A power supply by Condor or Power One. It's a nice linear power supply that you can build into an enclosure and have 3 amps output +12/-12 or +15/-15v.
3M-10
Bar none, the best value is the HCC15-3A series units either by PowerOne or Condor - +/- 12V @ 3.4 amps. I bought 3 of them for $15 each on eBay; currently they run approx. $50 each but you can find them for less.

see this thread: https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=89913&start=0

You have to know how to wire them up, make sure they're properly fused, and should probably have buy an OVP12V overvoltage protection unit for it http://www.power-one.com/sites/power-one.com/files/documents/power/dat asheet/lin.pdf

Note: If you wire them up incorrectly you can fry your expensive Eurorack modules. If you're not conversant with DIY electronics I strongly suggest going the commercial route (Doepfer, Hines, etc etc.
jc3music
+1 for Doepfer.

I am literally afraid to use anything else.
jnlkrt
don't save on power. have been there, no fun. linear power supplies are the way to go, hinton or doepfer.
dtonthept
Doepfer + 1
HeWhoWantsJeans
waveglider wrote:
And if you want to go the DIY route, do a search here and on ebay for the HCC15-3-A power supply by Condor or Power One. It's a nice linear power supply that you can build into an enclosure and have 3 amps output +12/-12 or +15/-15v.

They're heavy, but I do love my Power One and Condor power supply. I'm just about to enclose another one and wire up for a new case - massive amount of reliable power for pretty damn cheap.
daverj
A good clean power supply is the most important part of a modular system. All of those modules that you buy are incomplete devices. They all (well, 99% of them) require a power supply in order to work.

I don't understand the attitude that a person is willing to spend hundreds of dollars per module, but thinks that it's OK to pay next to nothing for the power supply that makes dozens of those modules work. Just because the power supply doesn't have knobs and jacks, and doesn't make sounds.

When people buy a keyboard synth, or a TV set, or DVD player they only think about the function of the device. They don't think about the fact that a big chunk of what makes that device do what it does is the power supply in it.

Power supplies are not sexy. But they are a critical part of anything electronic.
jnlkrt
daverj wrote:
[...] All of those modules that you buy are incomplete devices. They all (well, 99% of them) require a power supply in order to work. [...] When people buy a keyboard synth, or a TV set, or DVD player they only think about the function of the device. They don't think about the fact that a big chunk of what makes that device do what it does is the power supply in it.


exactly. if you buy a good piece of studio equipment, you always buy a good power supply, too. you are forced to buy it with the device.

in eurorack, you are not forced to buy a good power supply for your system. even worse, it's actually not the easiest thing in the world to get one.

i think most people would be completely blown away by the difference a proper linear power supply and good distribution makes in regards to the stability and sound quality of their systems.
HeWhoWantsJeans
daverj wrote:
A good clean power supply is the most important part of a modular system. All of those modules that you buy are incomplete devices. They all (well, 99% of them) require a power supply in order to work.

I don't understand the attitude that a person is willing to spend hundreds of dollars per module, but thinks that it's OK to pay next to nothing for the power supply that makes dozens of those modules work. Just because the power supply doesn't have knobs and jacks, and doesn't make sounds.

When people buy a keyboard synth, or a TV set, or DVD player they only think about the function of the device. They don't think about the fact that a big chunk of what makes that device do what it does is the power supply in it.

Power supplies are not sexy. But they are a critical part of anything electronic.

Oh, I agree. I used to power everything off the ModularWorld supplies but when I got a chance to wire up a linear supply and really provide my growing setup with a decent (if heavy and large) supply - I jumped at it.

Sure - there are lighter options out there, but I know my supply is clean as a whistle and steady as a rock.
A Dingleberry Monstrosity
waveglider wrote:
And if you want to go the DIY route, do a search here and on ebay for the HCC15-3-A power supply by Condor or Power One. It's a nice linear power supply that you can build into an enclosure and have 3 amps output +12/-12 or +15/-15v.


yep! You can get almost 2 amps for $70

for anyone that goes this route absolutely get the over voltage protection add-on board dealy. Costs like $15 or something. I learned the hard way sad banana
kao:be.
is the doepfer DIY PSU also a good choice, or is it the PSU2 what you guys are suggesting?
is the DIY PSU also linear?
drip.feed
kao:be. wrote:
is the doepfer DIY PSU also a good choice, or is it the PSU2 what you guys are suggesting?

Both those Doepfer power supplies output 1200mA on each rail. The only difference is the DIY PSU uses an external transformer whereas the PSU2 has an onboard transformer. I don't think you can buy the DIY PSU on its own; it may only come with the full DIY kit itself.

kao:be. wrote:
is the DIY PSU also linear?

Yes, both those power supplies are linear.
kao:be.
kul, thanks drip.feed thumbs up
conscious
can i power 2 Doepfer DIY PSU with one wall wart?
jnlkrt
drip.feed wrote:
kao:be. wrote:
is the doepfer DIY PSU also a good choice, or is it the PSU2 what you guys are suggesting?

Both those Doepfer power supplies output 1200mA on each rail. The only difference is the DIY PSU uses an external transformer whereas the PSU2 has an onboard transformer. I don't think you can buy the DIY PSU on its own; it may only come with the full DIY kit itself.

kao:be. wrote:
is the DIY PSU also linear?

Yes, both those power supplies are linear.


Are you referring to the DIY Kit #1? It's using a switching transformer, isn't it? AFAIK only the PSU2 is linear?
chvad
I have 4 Doepfer PSU2's and they've been great.
Rigo
The old Doepfer kit came with 2 wall warts, but the current one comes with a quite heavy ac-ac brick. And on the Doepfer website you can see the prices for the individual parts as well. Best entry point for a DIY case ...
My initial case is made with a DIY kit (but extended to 9U), my current main case uses a PowerOne HCC15, and for some more space I bought another 2 DIY kits (or at least the important parts of it) on the BST forum. I even wanted to buy 2 new kits and get rid of the rails until I found those on the BST.

Edited for typos and some more explanations
echoplex
AudioFetish wrote:
If you don't need to travel or are not concerned about weight I would strongly recommend the Doepfer PSU2.


and what do you recommend if I travel with it a lot?
burkaygur
Synthrotek PSU for SURE! Gives a total of 5 Amperes (total of -12 +12 +5).

And you do NOT need a 5V adapter.

I got the DIY kit with two deluxe flying bus cables. Super easy to solder. Came to less than 150$ I think.

You can probably power 9U, maybe even 12U depending on your modules. Great PSU for expansion.

Let me know if you need any help.
Randy
I'm currently testing these:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/121203576748?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2649&var= 420192574391&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

They are a clone of the Meanwell T-60B, seem to work fine so far. I have two mounted in my case, you can check it out in the DIY Cases thread.

Randy
spunkytoofers
synthrotek is as easy as it gets for for assembly. the longest process is enclosure/mounting situation. it is pretty cheap if purchasing a pcb and parts through mouser. the only thing to watch out for is the switching power supply itself if you are looking on the cheap. you'd have to take measurements so it matches what it says on the label. synthrotek make a point that they can only guarantee the power supply they sell if you get the one they have sourced. with everything involved including power brick sourced on the cheap comes out to about

i'd feel comfortable with running 9u-10u of normal juice modules and then add a few at a time and checking back on any strain.

wellurban
jnlkrt wrote:
in eurorack, you are not forced to buy a good power supply for your system. even worse, it's actually not the easiest thing in the world to get one.


Tell me about it. I'm finding it hard enough just to get a power brick to feed the HEK I've just got. Apparently a 15V 1A+ power adaptor is much more of a niche product than I'd originally thought!
perplx
burkaygur wrote:
Synthrotek PSU for SURE! Gives a total of 5 Amperes (total of -12 +12 +5).

And you do NOT need a 5V adapter.

I got the DIY kit with two deluxe flying bus cables. Super easy to solder. Came to less than 150$ I think.


I'm very curious about these, they're switching but they're incredibly well-specced and a two-busboard package costs much less than a Tiptop Studio Bus set-up - but I've heard zero complaints about noise. Has anybody compared those to a nice linear supply?
JohnLRice
spunkytoofers wrote:

Nice DIY build! thumbs up

For peeps that don't know, the Synthrotek PSU comes as either a kit or already built. With the already built one the only thing you have to really DIY is connecting a few pieces of wire between the from panel and the power supply PCB and attaching the power PCB to the inside of your case with some screws etc. Not as convienient as the TipTop uZeus that is all one piece but the Synthrotek can supply more current and at least in my experience is more reliable.

Like spunkytoofers, I built mine into a small box:





lm13700
+1 For synthrotek power solution. Biggest bang for your buck for ready to go and no deadly transformer. From the 5A it needs to be shared for both rails, so it is more like 2A per rails. The negative rail is what is being generated from the DC converter. So if you plug in a 15v DC adapter you will get 15v, -12v. 18v adapter will make 18v, -12v, and so forth.

If you still got to go cheaper then that and want a DIY experience go read musicfromouterspace. Ray Wilson also offers a power supply that you have to solder yourself. His power supply will only power about a row of Euro with no problems.
felixer
chvad wrote:
I have 4 Doepfer PSU2's and they've been great.

+1 thumbs up zero problems ...
meatbeatz
lm13700 wrote:
+1 For synthrotek power solution. Biggest bang for your buck for ready to go and no deadly transformer. From the 5A it needs to be shared for both rails, so it is more like 2A per rails. The negative rail is what is being generated from the DC converter. So if you plug in a 15v DC adapter you will get 15v, -12v. 18v adapter will make 18v, -12v, and so forth.


..and it's only 5A (total) if you use a 5A power brick, ie the power brick supplied with the kit is 5A not the unit itself. More importantly in this case, the voltage ripple (and regulation) of the +12V rail equals that of the power brick so if a stable/clean supply is what you are after you might want to check the datasheet of both the brick and SMPS module.
Etan
I have 2x Doepfer PSU2 (using it for more than seven years now) and Doepfer DIY kit#1. Zero problems with any of them.
memes_33
i've been getting a lot of noise on my synthrotek PSU. i'll probably have to switch it out to something less noisy, but i'm not 100% confident in my DIY skills in this area.
mt3
The Synthrotek Deluxe and Intellijel's TPS80W average out to be roughly the same

Ampere per

Go with the Intellijel if you already require quite a bit of bang.
bobbcorr
The Intellijel board has 20 jacks...and it seems that if you want more than 20 you need a new board. The Synthrotek Deluxe bus board has 17 jacks, and can be chained to additional bus boards with Molex interconnects. If you have >20 modules and you can keep your total power below the +12 @ 2.0A / -12 @ 1.5A / +5 @ 1.5A, the Synthrotec Deluxe seems like a better deal.

But what do I know, I'm not getting into fights about power.
magicfish
I like the look of the 4ms psu because it has the jumper cables. Therefore you only need touse one wall plug. What are you views towards it?
khyber
I'll throw a vote out for the Synthrotek PSU as well. I've had zero issues using mine with the Synthrotek 7U case. I think they've recently changed the design of their busboards to use a Molex connection to run power from the PSU which is a nice improvement. There's a new PSU design as well, everything fitting onto a single 4HP module (with a 5v USB port to boot.

Soon I will be putting this power setup to the test running a 13U system. The power stats on Modulargrid seem to work out. we'll see if it holds up!
bobbcorr
khyber wrote:
I'll throw a vote out for the Synthrotek PSU as well. I've had zero issues using mine with the Synthrotek 7U case. I think they've recently changed the design of their busboards to use a Molex connection to run power from the PSU which is a nice improvement. There's a new PSU design as well, everything fitting onto a single 4HP module (with a 5v USB port to boot.

Soon I will be putting this power setup to the test running a 13U system. The power stats on Modulargrid seem to work out. we'll see if it holds up!


Looking forward to your report! Also how do you like the Meta sequencer?
burkaygur
I recommend contacting Synthrotek support about the noise issue. They are very very helpful!
Collinrudolph
daverj wrote:
A good clean power supply is the most important part of a modular system. All of those modules that you buy are incomplete devices. They all (well, 99% of them) require a power supply in order to work.

I don't understand the attitude that a person is willing to spend hundreds of dollars per module, but thinks that it's OK to pay next to nothing for the power supply that makes dozens of those modules work. Just because the power supply doesn't have knobs and jacks, and doesn't make sounds.

When people buy a keyboard synth, or a TV set, or DVD player they only think about the function of the device. They don't think about the fact that a big chunk of what makes that device do what it does is the power supply in it.

Power supplies are not sexy. But they are a critical part of anything electronic.




With that said, do you have any suggestions?
jayhurst
+1 for Synthrotek Deluxe Power, and two buss boards.

No complaints, and no noise.
olan
magicfish wrote:
I like the look of the 4ms psu because it has the jumper cables. Therefore you only need touse one wall plug. What are you views towards it?


+1

what's your opinion about the 4ms psu?
Bamboombaps
I've found on of these , could it be suitable? Picture file
JohnLRice
Bamboombaps wrote:
I've found on of these , could it be suitable? Picture file
It doesn't look like it is bipolar so probably not?
DayZ
can i use a power supply like this for example ?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AC110-220V-TO-DC-48V-24V-12V-5V-Switch-Power-S upply-Driver-Adapter-For-LED-Strip-/371514993202?var=&hash=item568004e a32:m:m-Tt3_1c6P79IZt8SZqzWPw
JohnLRice
zyadmardini@gmail.com wrote:
can i use a power supply like this for example ?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AC110-220V-TO-DC-48V-24V-12V-5V-Switch-Power-S upply-Driver-Adapter-For-LED-Strip-/371514993202?var=&hash=item568004e a32:m:m-Tt3_1c6P79IZt8SZqzWPw
I wouldn't waste time or money with those. Besides it being unclear if they offer a bipolar supply, (some pictures seem to show a bipolar supply but none are indicated in their list of available models), they are advertised as supplies for LED lighting so i would expect their output to be very noisy and not well regulated?
DayZ
JohnLRice wrote:
zyadmardini@gmail.com wrote:
can i use a power supply like this for example ?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AC110-220V-TO-DC-48V-24V-12V-5V-Switch-Power-S upply-Driver-Adapter-For-LED-Strip-/371514993202?var=&hash=item568004e a32:m:m-Tt3_1c6P79IZt8SZqzWPw
I wouldn't waste time or money with those. Besides it being unclear if they offer a bipolar supply, (some pictures seem to show a bipolar supply but none are indicated in their list of available models), they are advertised as supplies for LED lighting so i would expect their output to be very noisy and not well regulated?


thanks you for your help , its only because i found a similar piece that supplied +/- 12 v and 5 V and was advertised for eurorack , i since i might not need the 5v rail since all modules were built without a need for the 5v rail ,
like this one https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/494026540/eurorack-meanwell-power-supp ly-eurorack?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gal lery&ga_search_query=eurorack%20power%20supply&ref=sr_gallery_1
JohnLRice
zyadmardini@gmail.com wrote:
JohnLRice wrote:
zyadmardini@gmail.com wrote:
can i use a power supply like this for example ?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AC110-220V-TO-DC-48V-24V-12V-5V-Switch-Power-S upply-Driver-Adapter-For-LED-Strip-/371514993202?var=&hash=item568004e a32:m:m-Tt3_1c6P79IZt8SZqzWPw
I wouldn't waste time or money with those. Besides it being unclear if they offer a bipolar supply, (some pictures seem to show a bipolar supply but none are indicated in their list of available models), they are advertised as supplies for LED lighting so i would expect their output to be very noisy and not well regulated?


thanks you for your help , its only because i found a similar piece that supplied +/- 12 v and 5 V and was advertised for eurorack , i since i might not need the 5v rail since all modules were built without a need for the 5v rail ,
like this one https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/494026540/eurorack-meanwell-power-supp ly-eurorack?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gal lery&ga_search_query=eurorack%20power%20supply&ref=sr_gallery_1
I'd definitely try the Esty one over the eBay one you posted earlier. thumbs up

That said, £30.53 is very little to pay for a power supply that you will potentially be running hundreds to thousands of dollars/pounds on. I know it's hard to do, especially when starting out but in the long run buying an inexpensive supply first can cost more than buying a really clean, strong and stable one first because you may find you'll need to replace the inexpensive one with an expensive one anyways and worst case there is more chance of a poor power supply damaging your modules if there is a catastrophic failure! MY ASS IS BLEEDING
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