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Battery or solar powered eurorack? Backpack case?
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Author Battery or solar powered eurorack? Backpack case?
jbucks
OK, I write this without a whole lot of knowledge of what's involved, but if I wanted to take say a 6U modular and a pair of smallish speakers outside, is there a way to power it with either a small solar panel and/or batteries? I know it depends on the modules, but roughly speaking.

And I wonder if a 6U backpack case exists...

Use case: Spring is coming, I'll be spending more time in the garden - I'm thinking a slowly evolving self-generating patch running while I work outside. Just to see what happens.
tehyar
Charge up a big fat ups, turn off the beep, take it outside?
BugBrand
You could look in to DCDC converters -> for example, one 12V (sealed Lead Acid) battery feeds a DCDC converter which generates +/-12V.

Plus these: http://www.minirigs.co.uk/
(need to get a pair myself)
ndkent
Smells like a big solar array, though a thought that might put you in the right direction. Zeus uses whats basically a laptop supply being regulated. I don't see why you couldn't run a laptop battery into Zeus. You'd need a separate charger or laptop to charge it, but it seems feasible.

That info might help one figure out the feasibility of solar. in other words if someone can solar power a regular laptop chances are that tech might run a small modular?

The chimera bc16 is battery powered from the get go fwiw ( remember there is a long thread about Never delivered orders)

I've read about a synthi aks battery option, never heard of it seriously being used though or how heavy.
rezzn8r
One of those car booster packs might work, too, if you get one with an AC plug.
something like this maybe;
http://www.amazon.com/Clore-Automotive-JNC660-12-Volt-Starter/dp/B000J FJLP6/ref=pd_sim_auto_1/192-7626000-2934017
John Noble
I've thought about this and it ought to be completely feasible.

Solar fluctuates too much to be reliable, but I think batteries would work quite nicely with a hybrid or switching power supply like a Zeus/uZeus: they require a single input voltage and should be able to handle a reasonable range of input voltages.

There are a ton of suitable batteries. I'd look for something in the 10Ah range--say 12 or 13 D size NiMH (~14.4-15.6V) or a 15V lithium ion pack. Lead acid batteries wouldn't work with the uZeus AFAIK because the positive supply regulator would drop out of regulation. The Zeus might work OK since both rails have switching supplies. Other DC-DC switchers (are there any?) should work fine. A small UPS would also work, though it would probably have a shorter runtime and be a LOT heavier. Lead acid gel cells used in those things have a short life, too.

Don't forget to fuse the battery pack if you do this! You will also want some kind of battery monitor to avoid damage from over-discharging.
Kalerne
BugBrand wrote:
Plus these: http://www.minirigs.co.uk/
(need to get a pair myself)


wow, these look very nice ! do you ever heard them ?
i'm often in need of small but good quality portable loudspeakers...
jbucks
Wow, thanks for the many and quick responses! Looks like I have some research to do.

One further (dumb) question: can one do damage to a modular through too little power? Like if the charge on such a battery starts to run out?
ersatzplanet
What you do is run it from two 12v car batteries or 12v motorcycle batteries. Set the two batteries next to each other and connect ONE + terminal to ONE - terminal. This will be your GND. The unconnected + terminal will be your +12V and the unconnected - terminal will be your -12V. Find a boom-box or other stereo (a car one would work) that runs off of 12V and strap them all to a hand cart to dolly and connect them to the bus board of your rig. CHECK ALL VOLTAGES before connecting it up.
When the batteries start to run out there may be problems. I would put a meter on them and monitor it. The meter will draw hardly any power. A converter is much more safer in that it will just shut off if the battery gets low. Depending on the charge on the batteries (both batteries should be equally charged) and the draw of your rig, you should get a decent time out of them.
Other solution to synth in the garden - 100ft extension cords are fairly cheap.
tehyar
ersatzplanet wrote:
Other solution to synth in the garden - 100ft extension cords are fairly cheap.


Genious! I love it when the most obvious solution isn't the most obvious. hihi

I'm now envisioning a permanent table/seating place outside, with a buried pipe+wiring to a permanent outdoor outlet at said table.

Gizmo Gazebo, anyone?
goiks
for the garden application an extension cord does seem to be the obvious solution.

i've thought about this for more extended journeys as i do from time to time (semi-annual desert hot spring trips 2 hours of dirt road and one stop sign away from my house).

according to gur, a tiptop zeus system should be fine with a 12v battery (i have 32 amp-hour). to charge my battery i use a charge controller and small portable flexible solar panel @30 watts iirc (i've used these for years to have led lights in my camps, i've even packed them 10 miles into the wilderness when i lived back there for a couple of weeks.) the only missing ingredient for me is something to cut off current when the voltage gets too low, if anyone has any ideas/products for that i'd appreciate it. my inverters have this function built in.

another solution: get a hybrid car, start it, and put it in park. plug the tiptop zeus system into the cigarette lighter.
John Noble
goiks wrote:
for the garden application an extension cord does seem to be the obvious solution.

i've thought about this for more extended journeys as i do from time to time (semi-annual desert hot spring trips 2 hours of dirt road and one stop sign away from my house).

according to gur, a tiptop zeus system should be fine with a 12v battery (i have 32 amp-hour). to charge my battery i use a charge controller and small portable flexible solar panel @30 watts iirc (i've used these for years to have led lights in my camps, i've even packed them 10 miles into the wilderness when i lived back there for a couple of weeks.) the only missing ingredient for me is something to cut off current when the voltage gets too low, if anyone has any ideas/products for that i'd appreciate it. my inverters have this function built in.


You need one of these, or something similar with "LVD" (low voltage disconnect):

http://www.solar-electric.com/ss-6l.html

I endorse the seller, having bought a number of items from them for my motor home's solar array.

If you want to get fancy, get the system I have in my motor home:

http://www.solar-electric.com/modubachco25.html

The display is really helpful if you care about such things. It's probably overkill for this application, but it has blinkenlights and costs about the same as a good VCA so ...

When figuring your power budget with lead acid batteries, do keep in mind that even a "deep cycle" (as opposed to AGM) battery shouldn't be discharged more than about 50%--your 32Ah battery would probably be good for around 12-16 hours for an average 9U-ish modular by that guideline.

I have plans for doing regular "wiggle in the wild" outings starting this spring, so this has been on my mind. I'll probably just use my little Honda EU1000i generator since I'm gonna run PA. Band
VortexRanger
Watching this thread! I've kind of always dreamed of taking 6u or so out into a park or something.
ersatzplanet
goiks wrote:

according to gur, a tiptop zeus system should be fine with a 12v battery (i have 32 amp-hour).


I hadn't thought of the systems using a wall wart 12V DC like the Zeus. That is perfect for battery usage - a very simple solution. The big DC supply for the studio and the Car battery for the road.
tehyar
http://www.windstreampower.com/Bike_Power_Generator.php

Take your kid/spouse with you and put them to work. lol
jonah
May I suggest using guitar pedals, y-cables and a battery powered and or passive mixer? Super cheap, easy and if a sudden rain storm comes up you don't have to worry about Never maintain cash savings again smile Boss DSD pedals and tremolos an be used for generative sequencing duties. Most expression in jacks will work with CV. They even make photosensitive pedals. 8_)

I do something like this with a zoom h4n recorder using the line in to get the direct signal and the mics to capture ambient sounds and natural reverb. It all fits in a small plastic storage bin.

Oh, P.S. a lot of pedals, and the monotron now that I think of it, sound great when the battery starts to go.
jbucks
Those Minirig speakers look great!

Extension cords won't work, the garden is a 40 min bike ride away from where I live. So I was looking for as portable a solution as possible (hence the idea for backpack case =), or one that fits into a backpack).

Thanks again for the ideas!
RubberCityNoise
I have been using a 12V DC to 120 AC converter with my band Doom Christ to power my 6U modular, a 10" guitar amp, a 15" bass amp, and an effects processor from a single car battery. We have gotten several hours on it. To hold and move the gear, we put it on shopping carts. I know this is not as portable for your needs, but you can play live shows with enough power to run a really loud set up.
http://www.amazon.com/Cobra-CPI-880-Inverter-output

Doom Christ live Black Friday
elemental
Nice thread.

I am in the early stages of designing an off grid mobile studio so there's some helpful info here!
jbucks
Hm, is there any reason why something like this wouldn't work?
http://www.rain.org/~philfear/how2solar.html

Of course, I'd have to find a supplier similar to green batteries in Europe...

Basic question - I'm not sure I understand why Zeus power would be any more appropriate than uZeus?
NS4W
RubberCityNoise wrote:

Doom Christ live Black Friday

hihi hihi hihi hihi
what did the security/police guys say?
reppiks
I'm using a Monorocket 3U case which takes its power from a 15V DC walwart.

Any reason why something like this wouldn't work for an outdoors/on-the-go battery solution?
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=267 28

Of course I'd get the right charger for it, and I can make an adaptor cable easily enough to connect it to my case. Anything else I should think of or be aware of safety-wise?
jimmyambulance
tehyar wrote:
http://www.windstreampower.com/Bike_Power_Generator.php

Take your kid/spouse with you and put them to work. lol


very cool! have you used one of these? i'm very curious!
Soy Sos
I did a DJ gig last week where this company:
http://www.zerofossil.com/
powered the whole event with solar charged batteries.
They provided me with one of their Integrators.
I ran 2x 550 watt powered monitors plus laptop, APC-40 and Rane mixer
for 5 hours. At the end of the event the guy told me I had used 8%
of the unit's available power. I loved it, but to be fair the thing
weighed 350 pounds.
julian
as ersatzplanet said earlier, it can be pretty simply done -

i used to use a couple of Sealed lead acid batteries, like you get in UPS units, or alarm systems, and simply connect them up to the bus boards.

i put an XLR power jack on the back of my custom racks, and so i could swap between battery power when out, or a linear supply at home (i housed a power-one unit in an old ex-mod ammo can)

the synth itself was mounted into one of those 12u SKB pop-up mixer cases, meaning that i could take 12u of eurorack out and power it whereever i was.
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