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Another Power Supply Choice -- Strymon

Discussion in 'Pedal/Effects Owners Clubs' started by GearGeek01, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 TDPRI Member

    19
    Jan 26, 2007
    Detroit
    I had the pleasure of updating a friend's store's web site with the Strymon power supply info recently, and it was a thrill to learn all about them (for me anyways)... with that info, I thought I would share what I learned about the Strymon power supplies here... this started as a discussion about a Voodoo Lab PedalPower unit, which in my humble opinion (IMHO) supringly may be out-dated technology. Especially with Strymon's "expansion kit" concept... here goes...

    -----------------------------------------

    Another Choice, Strymon...

    What you might do is look into Strymon's line of power supplies. Once you buy one, one can upgrade to more outputs by buying one of their expansion kits. Depending on which one you buy as the first power supply in your chain will determine just how many extra outputs you can get later.

    It works like this...

    You plug the power supply into your wall outlet >> with the typical cords provided you plug each pedal into an outlet on the power supply... voila, you got power to your pedals.

    OK... so later you need more outlets? No problem... you don't have to sell your stuff and buy a bigger power supply. Just buy one of the Strymon expansion kits... then it works like this...

    1st power supply unit plugs into the wall outlet >> the 2nd unit (the expansion kit) plugs into the 1st units via a special 24v cable >> this gives you more outlets as your board grows.

    Here's there top of the line model, the Strymon Zuma:
    https://motorcityguitar.com/products/strymon-zuma-high-current-dc-power-supply?variant=45058149134

    Its more expensive than other power supplies, but you have to measure in the ability to expand later if you want to spend this much. The Zuma has 9 outlets that ALL supply 500mA. For one, that is a potential daisy-chain from heaven waiting to happen. It also gives your 300-500+mA pedals a home to suck power from. (FWIW, according to the Voodoo Lab specs on their web site, the PedalPower 2 only puts out 100mA per outlet... http://www.voodoolab.com/pedalpower_2.htm )

    The 2 far right outlets on the Zuma are switchable to 9v/12v/18v... nice feature...

    If you notice on the right side of the picture of the unit there is a 24v output. That is where you connect the cable for the future expansion unit.

    The Zuma is also low enough to the ground to fit under a Pedaltrain Classic 2 as well (a popular board and the one I choose to use)... And, BTW, please don't waste your money buying any of those brackets that screw into the bottom of your Pedaltrain (etc) boards to mount a power supply. Just do what I did... slap some Velcro on the power supply, slap the opposite on the rails underneath the Pedaltrain board... voila... it will take Superman and the Hulk to get it off of there... it NOT going anywhere...

    If the Zuma doesn't fit your budget, then there is the 5-outlet Strymon Ojai (pronounced "oh-high, I think)
    https://motorcityguitar.com/products/strymon-ojai-high-current-dc-power-supply?variant=45058142094

    This one has 5 x 500mA outlets (and could be daisy-chained for more...)... Plus, on the back of the unit is the 24v cable outlet so you can expand this unit later with other Strymon expansion kits.

    For $20 more (than the Ojai) you can get the Strymon Ojai R30, which the only difference is... 2 of its 5 outputs are selectable for 9v/12v/18v... it also has a 24v plug for later expansion...
    https://motorcityguitar.com/product...h-current-dc-power-supply?variant=45587947086

    So, what is an "expansion pack?"... OK...

    Basically their "Expansion Kit" is another one of their power heads, priced just a few dollars less. It comes with all the necessary cables to make all the new connections to pedals, plus the 24v cable to link to your previous Strymon power supply)(BTW, the ONLY way to get the 24v cable is to buy the expansion kit... or I imagine Strymon would be happy to sell you one, but this cable does not come standard with their regular power supply units). Also, the Ojai expansion units are fairly small, so their would be plenty of room under a Pedaltrain Classic 2 to mount a Zuma and an Ojai expansion kit. (Which is what I am gravitating toward... Zuma + Ojai Expansion Kit)

    Ojai Expansion kit:
    https://motorcityguitar.com/products/strymon-ojai-power-supply-expansion-kit?variant=7512702943298

    Ojai R30 Exapnsion Kit (has 2 of the outputs able to do 9v/12v/18v switchable:
    https://motorcityguitar.com/product...er-supply-expansion-kit?variant=7512703107138

    Strymon also has a Zuma R300, which (I am thinking) will allow for the most expansion kits to be plugged into it... its not an expansion pack, but it is intended to be used with multiple expansion packs at the same time (later as you grow, etc)
    https://motorcityguitar.com/product...profile-dc-power-supply?variant=7503981412418

    Here's maybe a "catch" to the smaller Ojai unit being used as the first unit... its needs an external power source (which would also need to be Velcro-ed under your board, etc...), and the expansion pack doesn't come with that external power source, it relies on the 24v cable that it comes with to plug into an existing Strymon unit. A Strymon R30 and an expansion kit would look like this plugged together (then you can plug even more additional expansion packs into the 2nd unit, etc,...)
    https://www.strymon.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/ojai_r30_example3.jpg

    Howbeit the bigger unit, the "Zuma" has an internal power supply of its own, so you just plug your IEC (computer-type) power cable into the Zuma, then just plug the expansion kits in via the 24v cord... like this... Here is a Zuma plugged into a Ojai expansion kit...
    https://www.strymon.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/zuma_example3.jpg

    Here's the idea of how it might work (this is from the Strymon site, not someone's personal setup)...
    https://www.strymon.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/zuma_features_expandablesystem-1024x683.jpg

    So, how many Ojai or Ojai R30 expansion kits can you plug into one Zuma?

    6 total... giving you all the outputs of your original Zuma (9) plus 5 more with each additional Ojai/Ojai R30 expansion kit (30) for a total of 39 500mA outputs... The Ojai units can take 2-3 additional expansion kits. So... the Zuma can let your add 6 expansion kits, the Ojai/Ojai R30 can let you add 2-3 more expansion kits (info from the Strymon web site)

    I would think if some one needs that much power, their VISA card might need an extra bit of credit limit, as that many dang nice pedals, times that many power supplies is some kind of ridiculously huge pedalboard... definitely wouldn't fit all that on a Classic 2... not sure all those pedals would fit on top of a Pedaltrain Terra (14.5" x 42") haha... or maybe folks have rack systems with drawers, or who knows what... its expandable anyways...

    I think realistically (for me) just the Zuma and one expansion kit could do everything I could ever dream of power-wise. Considering that each output puts out 500mA, so between all those outputs and a couple of three daisy chain cables, I could power the Space Shuttle with that set up... hahahaha

    Happy powering.....
     
    Shuster likes this.
  2. Shuster

    Shuster Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    400
    Oct 31, 2018
    South Texas
    Write books much:confused:
     
  3. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks for the break down. For me, there is nothing obsolete about the VL PP2, 100mA is fine for many, many pedals. I only need one or two 250+ mA outputs. I expanded mine with an ISO 5. Once you buy more than one ‘deep’ power sucking units like a DIG, Big Sky or H9, then the less I want individual pedals and think more about a Helix or Boss GT. But all this is too much gear/effects for me, I’m not looking for all that kind of processing...
     
  4. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 TDPRI Member

    19
    Jan 26, 2007
    Detroit
    As a matter of fact... I am a published author, thanks for the compliment.
     
  5. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 TDPRI Member

    19
    Jan 26, 2007
    Detroit
    I think the Zuma by itself will be enough for me for a long while. With 500mA per output, and one or more parallel daisy chain cable(s) (like one or more of these: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PCS20A--boss-parallel-dc-cord-for-tu3-ns2 ), There are a lot of pedals that could be run off of the 9 outputs on the Zuma. Plus it has 2 outputs that are 9v/12v/18v switchable... I do my best to avoid any and all pedals that are anything BUT 9v, but there might come a day when I find one I just gotta have, LOL.

    As far as compactness and using possibly one or two of the OneSpot (like this combo pack that comes with the power supply, the daisy-chain cable, and several pedal connectors... https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/1SpotComboPk--truetone-1-spot-combo-pack ). I found (at WalMart) an extension cord with just 3 outlets on the end (smaller/lighter,etc) that, with a piece of Velcro on my board somewhere, I could use up to 3 of the OneSpot power supplies, howbeit it starts to be kinda cumbersome, maybe... (its an idea I haven't tried yet)

    They also have these same extension cords in black, I just didn't see the black ones online when I was looking just now. I got the black one just like this in the store to try out on my mini-board:
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/GE-Pro-D...-38433/116956321?wl13=5037&selectedSellerId=0

    The back side of the plug end is nice and flat so its happily compatible with some Velcro.

    I have a home-made board I made out of a single piece of 1/8" plywood that is only about 10-1/2" wide and about 8" front to back. I covered it all with Velcro, and I do small setups with this little board. It fits nicely into a 12" tool bag like this one: (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-12-in-Tool-Bag-82004N11/203224030 )

    These 12" bags are only $4.88 at Home Depot, and very tough in construction. They also make a 15", 18", and 24" versions. They are super tough and work great for cord bags for microphone cables, guitar cables, and all kinds of guitar and music related stuff. IMHO, way better built and less money than some of the stuff you see at the music stores. Plus even the 12" version has pockets around the outside for stashing pliers, screwdrivers and all kinds of stuff.

    $12.97 for the 15" (they show it stuffed full of tools, LOL) - https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-15-in-Tool-Bag-82035N12/203601161
    $21.97 for the 18" - https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-18-in-Tool-Bag-82003N11/203224309
    $29.97 for the 24" - https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-24-in-Tool-Bag-82167N17/302612152

    I also use one of the 12" bags to store/carry all my fasteners, cord wraps, cable ties, extra Velcro, etc, etc I use when building a new pedal board. When I did some work for a praise and worship team at a Mega church a couple years ago, they had us learning 3-4 new songs every week, which meant (they wanted everything "just like the CD") so that meant my pedal board was different every week. So I got into the habit of having lots of cable ties around as well as these....

    Need a way to tidy up your pedal board from underneath?
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00008VFBE/?tag=tdpri-20

    (There are four of them in that picture side by side). This is a bag of 100 of these self-adhesive cable mounts (you can shop around and get them cheaper elsewhere). They have sticky-back stuff on the flat back side of them, and four holes around the edges to string up cord ties. They can be stuck every few inches underneath your Pedaltrain (or similar) pedal board to tie off your patch cables. What they were designed for was to stick inside of your computer case, then use cable ties (like these or something similar: https://www.microcenter.com/product/354259/nylon-cable-ties-8-uv-black-100-pack ) to tie the cables nice and neat inside your computer case. I used to live in Dallas sort of kind of near to one of the Microcenter computer stores (like a K-mart for computer stuff, LOL)... and I got 400 of these for $2,00 during one of their sales. So... I went back about bought 3 more, so I have like 1,600 cables ties.... You really only need maybe a 100-pack of the self-adhesive cable mounting doo-dads. Once they stick, they're stucck pretty dang good and don't usually come loose.

    The self-adhesive cable mounts work just fine and dandy by sticking them underneath your Pedaltrain (or similar) pedal board, then tying off any loose cables from underneath. Later, if you want to swap stuff in and out, all it takes is a pair of diagonal cutters, and you can snip the cable ties off, move your pedals and cables to different locations, then re-fasten them with more of the cable ties. I am about to get a new Pedaltrain board, and the first thing I will do is to get out maybe a couple dozen of these adhesive cable mounts and stick them every few inches underneath my board. I stick them on most of the surfaces under the board, the vertical surfaces as well as the horizontal surfaces. I also put a few around the outside edges in case I have a cable that goes over that way that needs tying off. They apply very handily to the flat surface of a Pedaltrain. They also stick really well and don't usually come off. That way, all of my cables are nice and neat on the underside of my pedal board.

    With the self adhesive cable mounts every few inches, when I had to change my setup every week for the mega church, it came in very handy. Clip the cable ties off with some diagonal cutters, take off all the pedals, figure out what effects I needed for the next week, Velcro the pedals down, then tighten up the patch cables by tying them down with cable ties and these adhesive doo-dads from underneath. Made for a cheap way to tighten up all those sloppy cables hanging down under my board.

    Looking forward to getting the new Pedaltrain board soon in the mail. I bought this one with the "tour case" because its gonna be in and out of vehicles a lot and I figured I'd go the extra mile this time to protect my stuff. I also have other boards, including some home-made, and a Pedaltrain JR which has just the soft case. I think the soft case does just what it's supposed to do and transport the unit from Point A to Point B... I had my eye on the Pedaltrain Classic Pro with a hard case, until somebody pointed out that it was a grad to "drag" a 3-foot pedal boar around, haha. I'd rather go with a smaller board, and a bagful of cable mounts and cable ties to change up to different setups, then try to mount everything on a huge board that takes a mule and some block and tackle gear to move around, haha


    -<|: -)~

    (turn head to left...)("Tom Terrific" smiley)

    Maybe later I'll post my review of 40 (or so) of the current reverb pedals on the market. I have an extensive spreadsheet that list them all by price, features, mA of draw, etc, etc... with a single top-down JPEG of everybody... or maybe it'll be my digital delay, looper pedal... or... review I have already done... usually all that has room for in the magazines or wen articles is like the "Top Ten"... but what about the other 50 or so that are out there? Maybe later.....
     
  6. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    71
    896
    Jan 18, 2010
    Reston, Virginia
    Mine...pre board.... 20181125_190754.jpg

    RJ
     
  7. Jimmy Dean

    Jimmy Dean Tele-Afflicted

    I have 3 Pedaltrain Nano+ boards and 3 Ojai R30 supplies. I traded all my VDL power supplies in on the Ojai's. More compact and more versatile.
     
  8. aerhed

    aerhed Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Dec 24, 2016
    Boulder, WY
    Okay, but I just use a battery box built into my board. Flop and go. No noise never.
     
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