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Reliable, high-current power supply and distribution?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Reliable, high-current power supply and distribution?
yeatsvisitslincoln
I know there are lots of opinions out there on the standardization of eurorack and I know that none of them are perfect, but what's the best solution? Money is not as issue. I spend enough on modules that the power should be top notch. My guitar pedals shouldn't have better power options than euro.

When I say "best," I'm looking for low noise, 2-3 amps on the +12 rail for a 6Ux104 hp system, and reliable. I don't want any sort of power brick that's cheap and made in China and can be had for $5. I figure ribbon cables are still unavoidable, but I'd like to exclude flying bus cables from the start.

So where does that leave us with what is currently available? DIY is acceptable, but not ideal.
mritenburg
I've always used Doepfer cases and supplies and have always been happy. They are a little pricey, but worth it to me.

I hear synth tech is coming out with a high quality supply. I'm not sure when it will be available.
atte
For my next case I'm looking at m15, seems very capable...
x2mirko
I'm another happy Doepfer customer. But I think there's still a lot of room for higher quality than that regarding power supply.

Hinton seems to know very well what he's talking about regarding power and he is selling power supply solutions, so that would be where I'd turn if I wanted highest quality right now.
Mungo
yeatsvisitslincoln wrote:
I know there are lots of opinions out there on the standardization of eurorack and I know that none of them are perfect, but what's the best solution? Money is not as issue. I spend enough on modules that the power should be top notch. My guitar pedals shouldn't have better power options than euro.

When I say "best," I'm looking for low noise, 2-3 amps on the +12 rail for a 6Ux104 hp system, and reliable. I don't want any sort of power brick that's cheap and made in China and can be had for $5. I figure ribbon cables are still unavoidable, but I'd like to exclude flying bus cables from the start.

So where does that leave us with what is currently available? DIY is acceptable, but not ideal.
There are 3 front runners in the power supply systems that all offer different characteristics.

Mr Hinton has a unique complete system of power supply and power distribution which uses low resistance rails to keep voltages the same across the rack(s) http://hinton-instruments.co.uk/paprod/psu/

Malekko has a great design for 6U cases that is very well designed and built https://malekkoheavyindustry.com/product/malekko-power/

Mungo offer a system that does it differently by distributing the power around the case(s) with each bus board isolated from the others http://mungo.com.au/euroPower.html

They all offer different features and characteristics which may suit your particular purpose, for instance is this for a single touring/gigging case or a case in a studio?

x2mirko wrote:
I'm another happy Doepfer customer. But I think there's still a lot of room for higher quality than that regarding power supply.

Hinton seems to know very well what he's talking about regarding power and he is selling power supply solutions, so that would be where I'd turn if I wanted highest quality right now.
Both good options and many happy customers.

atte wrote:
For my next case I'm looking at m15, seems very capable...
They're the lowest cost option but have serious design issues that prevent them scaling up to larger systems (which they sell anyway) the daisy chain connections between the boards will have substantial voltage drops across the system as you load up that style of power system. They're great for a small 3U or 6U case on the cheap but not a high end power solution.
yeatsvisitslincoln
Mungo wrote:
Mr Hinton has a unique complete system of power supply and power distribution which uses low resistance rails to keep voltages the same across the rack(s) http://hinton-instruments.co.uk/paprod/psu/

Malekko has a great design for 6U cases that is very well designed and built https://malekkoheavyindustry.com/product/malekko-power/

Mungo offer a system that does it differently by distributing the power around the case(s) with each bus board isolated from the others http://mungo.com.au/euroPower.html

They all offer different features and characteristics which may suit your particular purpose, for instance is this for a single touring/gigging case or a case in a studio?

Hinton seems to know very well what he's talking about regarding power and he is selling power supply solutions, so that would be where I'd turn if I wanted highest quality right now.


I'm honestly looking for both portable and for a bigger at home system. The Hinton power solution looks fantastic, but is very clearly for a stationary system. My hang up on the portable systems is the power brick. I really like the look of the Malekko board, but then they use a Meanwell supply, and I've heard of ripple issues with those. I honestly don't have any idea how bad the issue really is, but obviously I don't want to take chances. I guess the next step would be to ask them if it can take another brick like the Volgen brick that I think the Make Noise power board uses (but doesn't supply enough power for the number of digital modules I have and am planning on getting.

What type of brick do you recommend in the US for your (Mungo) boards?
Mungo
yeatsvisitslincoln wrote:
My hang up on the portable systems is the power brick. I really like the look of the Malekko board, but then they use a Meanwell supply, and I've heard of ripple issues with those. I honestly don't have any idea how bad the issue really is, but obviously I don't want to take chances. I guess the next step would be to ask them if it can take another brick like the Volgen brick that I think the Make Noise power board uses (but doesn't supply enough power for the number of digital modules I have and am planning on getting.

What type of brick do you recommend in the US for your (Mungo) boards?
The isolated power design is much less sensitive to the DC brick used than other systems, but I've evaluated a large range of power bricks and the best (lowest noise, lowest resistance, etc) were large TDK-Lamda units. They're more expensive than the other options but were a step up in quality and performance. Other brands with high quality products included CUI and Artesyn but again models varied and the brand alone is not enough to go on. They're all international voltage supplies with plug in cords so no problems using them anywhere.
SunRa
Mungo wrote:

They all offer different features and characteristics which may suit your particular purpose, for instance is this for a single touring/gigging case or a case in a studio?


What would be the best for studio production?
Mungo
SunRa wrote:
Mungo wrote:
They all offer different features and characteristics which may suit your particular purpose, for instance is this for a single touring/gigging case or a case in a studio?
What would be the best for studio production?
I don't think there are any simplistic best answers to such a broad question. Power supplies need to be matched to the modules, case, system design etc. But only the Hinton rail distribution or Mungo scaleable power solutions are designed to work for huge wall sized systems.

But the thing is you see plenty of good and bad examples in the DIY cases thread, and there are huge systems with very poor power distribution. Many users are quite happy with a far from ideal setup and just get on with making music.
racooniac
also noob here, my plan: first fill 2xLC9 and then build a custom 4-5x168HP case and let hinton plan a top psu for it, then sell 2x LC9 and fill the last row(s) wink
slumberjack
the ADDAC909 PSUs maybe are also to consider if you want to spend some cash.

and if money really isn't a thing and you want to diy you can get industry standart rackmount psu from schroff: http://schroff.co.uk/internet/html_e/product/forms/electronic/psu.html
yeatsvisitslincoln
Mungo wrote:
SunRa wrote:
Mungo wrote:
They all offer different features and characteristics which may suit your particular purpose, for instance is this for a single touring/gigging case or a case in a studio?
What would be the best for studio production?
I don't think there are any simplistic best answers to such a broad question. Power supplies need to be matched to the modules, case, system design etc. But only the Hinton rail distribution or Mungo scaleable power solutions are designed to work for huge wall sized systems.

But the thing is you see plenty of good and bad examples in the DIY cases thread, and there are huge systems with very poor power distribution. Many users are quite happy with a far from ideal setup and just get on with making music.


Do you sell your power boards in the US?

Also, for power bricks, what would you say a reasonable value for ripple noise is? As in, what value should I be looking for on a data sheet? Or were you also suggesting that even with brand names, what's presented on the data sheet might not be accurate?? (Sadly, I'd totally believe this.)
DMR
Mungo wrote:
yeatsvisitslincoln wrote:
I know there are lots of opinions out there on the standardization of eurorack and I know that none of them are perfect, but what's the best solution? Money is not as issue. I spend enough on modules that the power should be top notch. My guitar pedals shouldn't have better power options than euro.

When I say "best," I'm looking for low noise, 2-3 amps on the +12 rail for a 6Ux104 hp system, and reliable. I don't want any sort of power brick that's cheap and made in China and can be had for $5. I figure ribbon cables are still unavoidable, but I'd like to exclude flying bus cables from the start.

So where does that leave us with what is currently available? DIY is acceptable, but not ideal.
There are 3 front runners in the power supply systems that all offer different characteristics.

Mr Hinton has a unique complete system of power supply and power distribution which uses low resistance rails to keep voltages the same across the rack(s) http://hinton-instruments.co.uk/paprod/psu/

Malekko has a great design for 6U cases that is very well designed and built https://malekkoheavyindustry.com/product/malekko-power/

Mungo offer a system that does it differently by distributing the power around the case(s) with each bus board isolated from the others http://mungo.com.au/euroPower.html

They all offer different features and characteristics which may suit your particular purpose, for instance is this for a single touring/gigging case or a case in a studio?

x2mirko wrote:
I'm another happy Doepfer customer. But I think there's still a lot of room for higher quality than that regarding power supply.

Hinton seems to know very well what he's talking about regarding power and he is selling power supply solutions, so that would be where I'd turn if I wanted highest quality right now.
Both good options and many happy customers.

atte wrote:
For my next case I'm looking at m15, seems very capable...
They're the lowest cost option but have serious design issues that prevent them scaling up to larger systems (which they sell anyway) the daisy chain connections between the boards will have substantial voltage drops across the system as you load up that style of power system. They're great for a small 3U or 6U case on the cheap but not a high end power solution.


What are your thoughts on the Intellijel powered boards? They seem similar to the Malekko board to me, I'm curious why you didn't include them.
yeatsvisitslincoln
DMR wrote:
What are your thoughts on the Intellijel powered boards? They seem similar to the Malekko board to me, I'm curious why you didn't include them.


I'm going to guess the reason is that the Malekko board has 4 isolated sections. So there you could isolate any modules that are noisy and not have them interfere with other modules. It doesn't look like there's any isolation on the Intellijel boards.
Mungo
DMR wrote:
What are your thoughts on the Intellijel powered boards? They seem similar to the Malekko board to me, I'm curious why you didn't include them.
The big point about them is their star grounding, along with advertising this its visible on the images they provide. I'm not convinced this is a good solution for power supply distribution, controlling ground currents with star routing can be used for high gain amplifiers such as mic preamps but its probably making the power distribution more noisy than simply using a solid plane or bus. The power rails are then routed from connector to connector with a thin trace rather than matching the star ground layout which is a really bad design and the opposite of the promoted star wiring. Finally I'm not sure they're achieving the specifications claimed on their website but that might just have been a copy/paste issue when they introduced the new models.

yeatsvisitslincoln wrote:
DMR wrote:
What are your thoughts on the Intellijel powered boards? They seem similar to the Malekko board to me, I'm curious why you didn't include them.


I'm going to guess the reason is that the Malekko board has 4 isolated sections.
That is one of their special features (there are some other supplies with similar isolated sections) but they also use a well designed layout which minimises resistance with large planes. The Malekko power boards are an all round well designed product that addresses most peoples needs.

yeatsvisitslincoln wrote:
Do you sell your power boards in the US?

Also, for power bricks, what would you say a reasonable value for ripple noise is? As in, what value should I be looking for on a data sheet? Or were you also suggesting that even with brand names, what's presented on the data sheet might not be accurate?? (Sadly, I'd totally believe this.)
I sell direct worldwide. As you say the data sheet values aren't the entire specification, two products with the same worst case specifications can be very different at typical operating conditions. I'll suggest Artesyn DP40-M and DPS50-M as excellent value supplies for most cases.
soon_come
Just replaced an aging PGH Rev2 PSU / bud board with the new v1.3 Malekko Power and all of my issues are gone. I was underpowering my modules for sure (as
measured by voltage sag on the +12V rail). Upgrading to something else as a drop-in replacement by PGH was apparently not an option; I also didn’t really get the impression that they were eager to help me figure out the best way forward. The Malekko Power connected easily to the existing switch once I disconnected the spade terminals, and is amazingly quiet in comparison. I just used some spacers with adhesive backing to “mount” it to the wood inside the Move 104 case. Great lil setup now, and all the modules are happily juiced.
huffnPuff
slumberjack wrote:
the ADDAC909 PSUs maybe are also to consider if you want to spend some cash.

and if money really isn't a thing and you want to diy you can get industry standart rackmount psu from schroff: http://schroff.co.uk/internet/html_e/product/forms/electronic/psu.html


I have experience with the 42hp powered case from ADDAC, it’s the worst eurorack product I’ve bought by far.

To start with it requires two power bricks (yes... one for the +12v and the other for the -12v rail).
To make matters worse they made a mistake with the wiring and I measured +12v ON BOTH RAILS (0v instead of 24v from rail to rail). No one has ever bothered to test the power supply before it left the workshop. I had a local technician flip two wires and it fixed that (he had a hard time believing what they did).
If this wasn’t enough the power was unstable and I had to repair two modules I have installed in this case. I kept the case and put a Dopfer PSU inside - problem solved, except it cost me in damages more than the cost of the actual product.

I wouldn’t buy anything ADDAC let alone a PSU.
Nino
I also would recommend Hinton. He is very helpful and maybe you can find a good solution for your personal needs.

btw fyi, a great list documenting Euro PSUs: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17qu-PkyJnjZf9YzhNYy7X7-d-lmZqh ahyUW0YM1b2N0/edit#gid=0
NightGoat
https://trogotronic.com/product/m15_power/

works well with Metasonix and is scalable.
Foghorn
I bought a Bel HCC15-3-A linear power supply from Newark electronics (mouser has these also).
This was an obvious DIY solution at $143.
However this supply is +-12 volts at 3.4 amps and has pretty clean power.
I see less than 1 mv peak ripple on it.
This PSU was big enough for a 7U X 168HP case with a lot of power to spare.
It could power a case twice this big, probably.

You still need to supply some way of hooking your modules to the PSU (like a bussboard or metal buss rails).
It is also rather large at 238mm X 124mm X 84mm.
And it weighs 5 pounds and is open to the air on 2 sides.
I bolted it to the inside of a birch plywood case with 4 long wood screws to cover the open sides.
.
If you have been convinced to not use a switchmode PSU and to go linear, the Bel (aka Powerone) brand of PSU is the obvious choice.

Foghorn
soon_come
huffnPuff wrote:

I have experience with the 42hp powered case from ADDAC, it’s the worst eurorack product I’ve bought by far.

I wouldn’t buy anything ADDAC let alone a PSU.


Thanks for sharing this experience - I was actually about to order a few modules from them. Did they do anything to help you fix it or compensate you? The shipping from EU to the states alone had me on the fence, but this also makes me want to second-guess. Sorry to hear about your troubles.
slumberjack
soon_come wrote:
huffnPuff wrote:

I have experience with the 42hp powered case from ADDAC, it’s the worst eurorack product I’ve bought by far.

I wouldn’t buy anything ADDAC let alone a PSU.


Thanks for sharing this experience - I was actually about to order a few modules from them. Did they do anything to help you fix it or compensate you? The shipping from EU to the states alone had me on the fence, but this also makes me want to second-guess. Sorry to hear about your troubles.


i'm a long time customer and very happy with the communication and the modules themself. they even fixed a really old module i bought secondhand for free.

idk what happened there but addac is one of the few higher class manufactorers in the game.

sorry for being OT. i'm out...
huffnPuff
slumberjack wrote:
soon_come wrote:
huffnPuff wrote:

I have experience with the 42hp powered case from ADDAC, it’s the worst eurorack product I’ve bought by far.

I wouldn’t buy anything ADDAC let alone a PSU.


Thanks for sharing this experience - I was actually about to order a few modules from them. Did they do anything to help you fix it or compensate you? The shipping from EU to the states alone had me on the fence, but this also makes me want to second-guess. Sorry to hear about your troubles.


i'm a long time customer and very happy with the communication and the modules themself. they even fixed a really old module i bought secondhand for free.

idk what happened there but addac is one of the few higher class manufactorers in the game.

sorry for being OT. i'm out...


My experience may not reflect the general state of affairs there, I really don’t know. I didn’t ask for assistance and compensation, ADDAC and I are oceans and customs offices appart and it just didn’t make practical sense.

What I can say with confidence is that if you’re looking for a 42hp powered case then you’re better off with the Doepfer one.
Shledge
Never had a problem with Doepfer PSUs. Have a 10 year old PSU2 that's still running perfectly, and a PSU3.

I also can't fault tiptop - not a fan of their uZeus, but their mantis PSU (which I believe is based on the Zeus PSU) is really good.
slumberjack
huffnPuff wrote:

for a 42hp powered case then you’re better off with the Doepfer one.


i second that.
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