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Hardtail
post Jan 29 2011, 05:38 AM
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I run a straight and simple setup:

Guitar > Boss TU-2 Tuner > Keeley Blues Driver > Keeley Distortion DS-1 > Boss Delay DD-5 w/ footswitch > Sansamp GT2 > Amp

I run a 200mA DC converter to the TU-2 then run a PCS daisy chain from the TU-2 to power the BD-2, DS-1, and DD-5. The sansamp I power separately.

3 issues (I think they are related)

1. When one of the unused plugs on the PCS Daisy Chain touches the metal on a nearby pedal it creates a line-level "hum".

2. Pedals randomly turn off and on (rarely but it happens).

3. The output volume will drop to near-zero level after a while. Getting mad and smashing all the pedals seems to get the volume back up for a bit.

I'm not sure if my DC converter is dying or if I have a ground issue. Why would the PCS plugs cause "hum" when you are only touching the outside of them (the positive side) to a pedal... unless something is trying to ground itself in the pedals?

I'll keep toying around with different configurations but any advice would be great!

Hardtail


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jan 29 2011, 11:22 AM
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Hmmm I'm not sure what is the issue. Maybe the DC converter is having a hard time. On my boss pedalboard I have small rubber caps for the unused daisy chain plugs that prevent making contact with the metal. You could just duck tape the tips. That could very well be the cause of the problem. Also, check out how much power pedals need. 200mA can be insufficient and that can explain turning on and off of the pedals.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 29 2011, 01:57 PM
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Have you checked if the pedals work well separately? Check each pedal on it's own with that adapter. 200mA is not enough for all of them, at least that is how it seems. If they work on their own, then you need more powerful adapter.


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Hardtail
post Jan 29 2011, 02:59 PM
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I did some risky experimenting last night.

I used only the TU-2, the daisy chain, and individual pedals.

When I touch an unused daisy chain plug to the frame of SOME pedals it actually causes a spark between the plug and pedal... when that happens the pedals will turn on/off and the sound will crackle. Some pedals... like the TU-2 and BD-2 cause no arcing between the plug and pedal. The Delay DD-5 and its FS-5U footswitch seems to be the worst (it will arc anywhere on the pedals).

When I touch an unused daisy chain plug to the metal sleeves of the actual 1/4" plugs for the audio cables the same thing as above happens but with ALL pedals.

My theory is that the way the DD-5 sends active power to the footswitch it seems to naturally ground to the pedal case... which wouldn't normally be a problem unless you touch it with a hot plug! Doh!

It occurs to me that I used to have plastic caps for the unused plugs... I have lost them all over the years I guess and just forgot about them. I'm going to go out and buy some heat-shrink rubber sleeves and install them on the unused plugs to insulate them from this problem... I figure if i ever add a pedal I can always cut the heat-shrink sleeve off no problem.

I'm hoping this solves all my problems. I know it was the cause of problem #1 and #2... but at practice the other night when my volume dropped I noticed the plugs were touching pedals. After separating them (and thinking I had solved the problem) the volume continued to randomly drop. However, that was the first time I was powering the Sansamp GT2 on the same chain as the rest of the pedals and the Sansamp alone eats 100mA... so 1 of 2 possible theories remains.

Theory 1: The Sansamp and other pedals were drawing too much from the power supply causing the volume to drop.

Theory 2: Their is still some sort of ground problem with the DD-5 and it alone is drawing way more current than it should OR it is drawing max current from the power supply thus causing the power supply to eventually overheat and reduce it's output, thus causing the volume to drop.

What do you guys think of my solution and new theories?

Hardtail


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Feb 2 2011, 03:01 AM
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Have you tried to test each pedal individually?


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Todd Simpson
post Feb 2 2011, 03:25 AM
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Try skipping the power supply and going with batts just to confirm the pedals are ok and add one at a time. If you add one and start seeing problems, that pedal could be the issue. If you don't have any issues, it's probably your plug in power adapter.


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Hardtail
post Feb 2 2011, 06:05 AM
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My home-made heat shrink caps fixed my problem and look good too. Thanks for all the help guys!

Hardtail


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Beginner's Amp & Guitar Gear Guide
My Keeley Blues Driver BD-2 Review
My Line6 Flextone II Review

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Amps: Fender Blues Junior Special Edition & Fender Studio 85 (Simultaneous... yummy)
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MickeM
post Feb 2 2011, 09:41 AM
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Sound like a bit sketchy a fix to my ears since to my understanding the source problem lies elsewhere. Sparks you said? I’d be on constant watch. ohmy.gif
Minding these problem together with the other problem you had in another thread - Is there insufficient power quality in your house/town. A grounding problem in your house?


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