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USB C, Power, Sound Devices MixPre 6
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

USB C, Power, Sound Devices MixPre 6

Hi all -

I hope I'm posting to the right place - I'm new to the forum.

I recently acquired a MixPre-6 II and I'm looking into different options for powering the thing, since some of the proprietary methods seem overpriced and unclear.

One thing I was wondering was - given that the AC adaptor provides a 5v/3amp power supply to the USB-C input of the device, is there any reason to not use consumer-grade cellphone battery packs? The price difference seems to be in the realm of hundreds of dollars.

Similarly, how hard would it actually be to simply build one's own USB-C compliant battery pack with rechargeable batteries? Has anyone here done it?

Finally, I've noticed a variety of double-USB-A->USB-C cables, so as to plug the device into older model computer interfaces.. but generally, reviewers seem to have differing experiences here. Any idea what the difference is?

Thanks,
Prudence
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
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DirkP's Avatar
I only own a MixPre III with USB-C and I'm very satisfied with the Anker PowerCore Speed 20100 I bought for the MixPre. It powers a Macbook or an iPhone11 and was only 54,- Euros. Many Camera enthusiasts like Anker. I have seen much more expensive powerbanks in electronic stores for far more money that offer less. To charge the PowerCore you need an additional USB-C pd power adapter, but this is only 15,-.

https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B07...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B07...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

If you own a MacBook and or an iPhone or another power hungry smartphone it has additonal benefits.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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jnorman's Avatar
I have the anker unit mentioned above, and also the L-mount battery sled with two np-f550s. Both solutions work fine, though I prefer the sled because it avoids having to use an additional cable which could inadvertently be disconnected. Both will provide around 5-6 hours of continuous recording with 4 mics using phantom power.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Thanks, both, for your suggestions.

It seems like the Anker is a good solution - though, I suppose I am still rather curious about why.

What is it that this device offers? Is it a matter of spec'ing for a certain mAh?
The Anker battery requires an additional charging unit? Why can't it be charged with a basic USB-C?

It seems like at it's core, if I can use rechargeable batteries in the sled, I should be able to make some other kind of rechargeable battery solution that puts out sufficient USB-C power - but I'm unclear on exactly what that entails. I just wonder why this seems so complicated and I haven't been able to find a clear answer.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

I’ve run my MixPre 6 with 2 mics and phantom power @ 24/192 using a Monoprice 15,000mAH USB-C powerbank ($42.00 CAD) for 12 hours. Not sure what the benefit would be in building one.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
ronmac's Avatar
There are hundreds of pages of discussion on various fora on finding a power solution for the MixPre series. I will condense it all below...

1. The SD recommended Anker battery works very well. It can be charged with the SD USB C power supply (included with series ii devices).

2. Any of the SD branded power sleds, and those of other respected brands, work well.

3. There may be other solutions (some cheaper) that will work, but why experiment to save a few bucks on a mission critical component?

Pick option 1 or 2, depending on your workflow requirements. I picked option 1 (I like the security of having the supplied AA sled on as a backup) and don't ever have to think about this again.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
Congratulations on the II!

I own an old MixPre 6 and [I think] every last power sled/configuration they made available. My favorite by far is to use the Hi-Q MEON 14.4 Li-ion batteries via the MX-Powersled and an Audioroot eSmart cable. I've never any concern with it. Very often I use it to power the MixPre and a couple Audio Limited A10 digital receivers. It is always either the receivers or the MixPre is also feeding phantom powered mics [most commonly: Schopes CCM 5/41/MiniCMIT, AEA A440, or AKG C414 XL II).


Best wishes,

Ray H.

EDIT: BTW, In addition to the professional stability this power solution offers, I can slip everything - recorder, battery, and receivers - into a pocket of my cargo pants or some small bag and be highly mobile for hours on end.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Thank you for the recommendations - but I feel like my actual questions are not being answered. I'm not asking about what gear to buy. I'm asking for help understanding the technical process. That's why I posted in the All Things Technical forum. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what Gearslutz is for. Maybe you can point me in the direction of a forum where there is a sober discussion of how USB-C power works with field recording devices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
3. There may be other solutions (some cheaper) that will work, but why experiment to save a few bucks on a mission critical component?
)
Because I want to understand the USB-C protocol. It's not a mission critical component for me. Everything I do is an "experiment." I understand I can buy something for $40-$50 - but it would be more useful for me to know how to use the piles of **** that have accumulated in my workshop.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by prudprend View Post
[. . .] since some of the proprietary methods seem overpriced and unclear.

One thing I was wondering was - given that the AC adaptor provides a 5v/3amp power supply to the USB-C input of the device, is there any reason to not use consumer-grade cellphone battery packs? The price difference seems to be in the realm of hundreds of dollars. [. . .]
The Hi-Q MEON series I pointed you to is definitely not overpriced nor is it's value unclear - for professional use. You are correct about the cost delta. But as suggested, it is often necessary to supply power to microphones and/or receivers when doing location work. And consumer solutions to which I've been exposed simply are not sufficient and trustworthy. The Audio Limited A10 receivers I mentioned will burn your leg. High-end professional mics can make transient demands on power that do not justify the savings from marginal solutions [in my opinion].

Quote:
Originally Posted by prudprend View Post
[. . .] Similarly, how hard would it actually be to simply build one's own USB-C compliant battery pack with rechargeable batteries? Has anyone here done it? [. . .]
If I, for some reason, 'had to do it', the prospect wouldn't 'scare me'. But at some point, time is more valuable than the cost of the effort. Sorry. Someone else may be of more assistance here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prudprend View Post
[. . .] Finally, I've noticed a variety of double-USB-A->USB-C cables, so as to plug the device into older model computer interfaces.. but generally, reviewers seem to have differing experiences here. Any idea what the difference is? [. . .]
Sound Devices has spoken explicitly to this question. I think I recall such a discussion during a Curtis Judd YouTube interview. If you can't find it, bump me again and I can likely chase it down for you.

It is likely in the following interview with Paul Isaacs, which you should watch if you haven't already.




Maybe also talk with your retailer. I bought mine from Gotham in NY. They definitely have a few knowledgeable guys around. And it is possible the dual usb cable statement I'm thinking of was on a Gotham YouTube video.


Best regards,

Ray H.

EDIT: Yea, see https://youtu.be/oZ-j-8bnhX0?t=1960 for the start of their power options discussion in the interview above.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by prudprend View Post
Maybe you can point me in the direction of a forum where there is a sober discussion of how USB-C power works with field recording devices.

Because I want to understand the USB-C protocol.
I personally don't believe the USB-C connections are robust enough for "field work". A connector sticking out of the side of the MixPre will wobble loose, or break given the right circumstances.
You did say field work.
I went with an L- mount sled adapter, and a few Sony L mounts.
Power for the whole day with now worries.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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DirkP's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
I personally don't believe the USB-C connections are robust enough for "field work". A connector sticking out of the side of the MixPre will wobble loose, or break given the right circumstances.
You did say field work.
I went with an L- mount sled adapter, and a few Sony L mounts.
Power for the whole day with now worries.
On the other hand: if my usb-c power connection fails, I still have fully loaded batteries inside the MixPre, if your L-mount should fail, the recordings stops...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkP View Post
On the other hand: if my usb-c power connection fails, I still have fully loaded batteries inside the MixPre, if your L-mount should fail, the recordings stops...
Have you confirmed this is the way it works in practice...by pulling the usb-c power during a test recording and having non-glitched transfer to the batteries-power onboard ? A simple sine wave test tone would show this best !
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkP View Post
On the other hand: if my usb-c power connection fails, I still have fully loaded batteries inside the MixPre, if your L-mount should fail, the recordings stops...
L-mounts are time tested technology.
Through a dedicated charging path.
I get a full day with 2 550s
My backup is an Anker USB pack.

I’ll stop here, you will have a response for anything suggested.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Have you confirmed this is the way it works in practice...by pulling the usb-c power during a test recording and having non-glitched transfer to the batteries-power onboard ? A simple sine wave test tone would show this best !
Yes! It does indeed work this way, I've tested (and actual'd- saved a concert for me!)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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DirkP's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
L-mounts are time tested technology.
Through a dedicated charging path.
I get a full day with 2 550s
My backup is an Anker USB pack.

I’ll stop here, you will have a response for anything suggested.
I don't argue with you, I'm only an amateur and have no experience with L-mounts. Just use the combination of the Anker - bought it cause it is used a lot by film pros - and batteries when recordings are important for me and it works. But I'm sure paid professionals have even higher standards.
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