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Power for first Eurorack
Old 2nd December 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Power for first Eurorack

This is my first post in this section, and I’m looking for some advice on power etc for building my own first rack system, consisting of a Behringer Neutron and a Doepfer A199 spring reverb. I’d like to use a power supply with an external transformer, as I'm not knowledgeable enough about electronics to construct one myself, don’t want to disturb the springs, or excessive heat.

As the Neutron appears to need +12v: 1000mA and the Doepfer A199 +12v: 80mA / -12v: -10mA, I have been looking at the below:

Tiptop Audio Zeus Studio Bus (Max Output Current +12V: 1.3A). Consisting of:
Tiptop Audio uZeus (Max Output Current +12V: 2.0A / -12V: 500mA / +5V: 170mA) http://tiptopaudio.com/uzeus/ - consisting of:
  • The flying bus boards .. and also buying a separate ‘power supply’
    Tiptop Audio 1000ma ‘adapter’
  • .. or
  • The more powerful Tiptop Audio 3000ma uZeus-Boost adapter (which I think is needed to bring the power up to +12V: 2.0A)

Happy Ending Kit
  • I think this may be too narrow (ie won’t fit the Neutron and the A199 on)

Types of rails
  • Just wide enough to fit Neutron, reverb, and power access panel (plus maybe bit more)

I have a few questions below that I would very much appreciate some clarification upon.
  • Is the above go for the same with the uZeus power supply also? Tiptop state that the uZeus “mixes linear and switching power technology” which raised concern (for reverb spring and general noise / interference)
  • It sounds as though the Zeus Studio Bus external transformer is of a ‘switching type’. I’ve heard this can interfere with the spring reverb. Is that only if it’s an internal type of transformer?
  • It seems like if power interference with the uZeus power supply isn’t an issue, this may be best for power as it can supply up to +12V: 2.0A (dealing with the Neutron, Reverb, and a few other bits quite comfortably)?
  • The uZeus specs say “Designed to power systems ranging from 3U to 6U of 84HP”. Would the flying bus board cables work for a wider HP? As I’ll need more than 84HP width
  • Will the above solutions be safe around the back of the modules if I use an external transformer (which sounds like would be 12VDC)?
Old 2nd December 2019
  #2
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void23's Avatar
Stop over analyzing and just get a uZeus and a Happy Ending kit ... Also, it makes no real sense to rack a Neutron in your situation.
Old 2nd December 2019
  #3
Gear Addict
 
pekbro's Avatar
 

Maybe a small 4ms or intellijel type case with built in power might be worth
considering as well. Then you can just get a few modules to use with the Neutron
without much else to worry about.

They will be switching power supplies, much like most everything else on the market today.
Even the new Doepfer PSU3 is now a switching psu rather than linear. No doubt the one
for the Neutron is as well...
Old 2nd December 2019
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Derp's Avatar
The HEK won't be big enough to hold the Neutron and the Spring Reverb. It'll be barely big enough to hold the Neutron and the power modular. My suggestion? Keep the Neutron in its own case for now. Get an HEK and see how you get along with it so you can better plan how you want your modular to grow.
Old 2nd December 2019
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the responses.

To be honest, I'm looking to get a power supply big enough to power everything, if I later decide to put the neutron back in the case, I can always do that.

But yes, I think I'm starting to realise why people advise against it, it's a wide beast, needs a lot of power, and why not use it in the same case. For me, one of the attractions to a euro rack system is having a machine all together in one package, hence my motivation to get it racked.
Old 3rd December 2019
  #6
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void23's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by blockout View Post
Thanks for the responses.

To be honest, I'm looking to get a power supply big enough to power everything, if I later decide to put the neutron back in the case, I can always do that.

But yes, I think I'm starting to realise why people advise against it, it's a wide beast, needs a lot of power, and why not use it in the same case. For me, one of the attractions to a euro rack system is having a machine all together in one package, hence my motivation to get it racked.
HP == $$$. If you really need to rack it, how about putting it into a Mantis? The adapter that comes with the Mantis is 3A so you'd have a good amount of headroom.
Old 3rd December 2019
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by void23 View Post
HP == $$$. If you really need to rack it, how about putting it into a Mantis? The adapter that comes with the Mantis is 3A so you'd have a good amount of headroom.
Yh, that would be a nice option, but seems a little like overkill at the moment, but would deal with power, the ability to easily cover it, and a nice attractive solution. But also would double the cost in what I was going to spend.

My latest thinking is along the lines of couple of 104HP rails, uzeus power, and the tiptop table ears. Then I would have the ability to expand as and when I want to, and make some custom casing at some point. For the a199 reverb module, I'll first just try it next to the power access panel, if there's any issues with that switch out the RCA cable for a shielded type, failing that wrap the tank in foil, and then if that was a problem mount the uzeus panel at the opposite end and possibly upside down or some other kind of solution. None perfect, but what is...

Last edited by blockout; 3rd December 2019 at 12:53 PM..
Old 3rd December 2019
  #8
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pekbro's Avatar
 

Just to say it, be careful with the uzeus, they make more than enough power to put someone on
the wrong side of the daisies.
Old 3rd December 2019
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pekbro View Post
Just to say it, be careful with the uzeus, they make more than enough power to put someone on
the wrong side of the daisies.
What do you mean by this?
Old 3rd December 2019
  #10
Gear Addict
 
pekbro's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blockout View Post
What do you mean by this?
Not to try and scare you, Just be careful about diverging from the recommended mounting situation.
It generates quite a lot of heat when it's under load and relies on airflow for heat dissipation.
E.g. you have to be careful how you mount it and what you put it next to.
Not only for the heat, you could easily create conductivity related issues if you're not careful.

Honestly, the best thing is to bolt it to the far right of your rails just as they
recommend. Of course, you can do otherwise if you need to accommodate
some situation. Just make sure you have considered everything well, so you
don't start a fire or worse.


-Cheers
Old 3rd December 2019
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pekbro View Post
Not to try and scare you, Just be careful about diverging from the recommended mounting situation.
It generates quite a lot of heat when it's under load and relies on airflow for heat dissipation.
E.g. you have to be careful how you mount it and what you put it next to.
Not only for the heat, you could easily create conductivity related issues if you're not careful.

Honestly, the best thing is to bolt it to the far right of your rails just as they
recommend. Of course, you can do otherwise if you need to accommodate
some situation. Just make sure you have considered everything well, so you
don't start a fire or worse.
Well, that does sound quite scary!

I'd be starting with a completely open frame so heat dissipation should be handled well.

Noted about what it goes next to. Looking at my plan on modular grid gives a nice bit of space on the right, actually, so might be good from the off:

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/1066439

Apart from a fire, which sounds fairly intense, my primary concern is electrical shock, especially with the larger power supply (supplying +12v: 2.0A etc). My primary domain is not electronics and electrical circuits, but can anyone clarify if this high amperage is dangerous at +12v / -12v / +5v?

http://tiptopaudio.com/3000ma-adapter/
Old 3rd December 2019
  #12
Gear Addict
 
pekbro's Avatar
 

^ The uzeus is not a big deal, but it's not a toy either. Heat should't be a problem for other modules.
But things like cables, wood, plastics etc, are susceptible to the amount of heat they can generate.
As for airflow, only the front faceplate really needs to be clear.

Shock is not something you should need to worry about so long as you follow the instructions and
use it as it's intended.

Anyway, I only mentioned it, because some of your statements about it made me a little nervous for you.
Just be smart and it will go fine.
Old 3rd December 2019
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pekbro View Post
^ The uzeus is not a big deal, but it's not a toy either. Heat should't be a problem for other modules.
But things like cables, wood, plastics etc, are susceptible to the amount of heat they can generate.
As for airflow, only the front faceplate really needs to be clear.

Shock is not something you should need to worry about so long as you follow the instructions and
use it as it's intended.

Anyway, I only mentioned it, because some of your statements about it made me a little nervous for you.
Just be smart and it will go fine.
Thank you for your advice - it's appreciated.

I was looking online prior to seeing your response and learnt some interesting stuff

After reading a number opinions, it seems that you would need a (very) high voltage in order to push 2 to 3A, and upwards, into / through your body / skin to cause serious harm. I found this last series of statements that I read helpful https://www.quora.com/Does-10-amps-o...r-high-current

Quote: "To get 10 amps through you will need a voltage across your body that causes 10 amps to flow. And as you body might be around 10,000 ohms then according to Ohms law:

V=I ( amps) x R ( resistance) which is 10 amps x 10,000 ohm = 100, 000 volts or 10kV.
"
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blockout View Post
https://www.quora.com/Does-10-amps-o...r-high-current

Quote: "To get 10 amps through you will need a voltage across your body that causes 10 amps to flow. And as you body might be around 10,000 ohms then according to Ohms law:

V=I ( amps) x R ( resistance) which is 10 amps x 10,000 ohm = 100, 000 volts or 10kV.
"
Nice, I was just about to close this tab when I saw that they'd got their conversion slightly wrong. Anyway, it sounds like I'd need a lot higher voltage than I'm dealing with to cause any problems. If I deal with any 'naked' power supplies in the future, I'll revisit.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by blockout View Post
Thank you for your advice - it's appreciated.

I was looking online prior to seeing your response and learnt some interesting stuff

After reading a number opinions, it seems that you would need a (very) high voltage in order to push 2 to 3A, and upwards, into / through your body / skin to cause serious harm. I found this last series of statements that I read helpful https://www.quora.com/Does-10-amps-o...r-high-current

Quote: "To get 10 amps through you will need a voltage across your body that causes 10 amps to flow. And as you body might be around 10,000 ohms then according to Ohms law:

V=I ( amps) x R ( resistance) which is 10 amps x 10,000 ohm = 100, 000 volts or 10kV.
"
Yeah, this is why its safe to lick the power outlets in your house as its only 100V or 115V or 240V.



Some very important caveat or circumstance not being included here, even with headroom for "slightly wrong conversions". If it weren't so outright absurd, I'd call this dangerous information to leave laying about and be bothered to take a a crack at figuring out what the actual issue is, but I believe the Darwin Award committee are imminently going to be doing that task for me.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by butter View Post
Yeah, this is why its safe to lick the power outlets in your house as its only 100V or 115V or 240V.



Some very important caveat or circumstance not being included here, even with headroom for "slightly wrong conversions". If it weren't so outright absurd, I'd call this dangerous information to leave laying about and be bothered to take a a crack at figuring out what the actual issue is, but I believe the Darwin Award committee are imminently going to be doing that task for me.
Thank you for your input.

My last comment about safety was in regard to handling modules being supplied with up to 3 amps and 12 volts of DC power, after an external power supply.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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gruvsyco's Avatar
Summary of following tale: The HEK/uZeus is a great starting point.

If you want to know if your system is sending enough power, buy an O_c. I noticed no power problems until I bought one. Something to do with the teensy or whatever the little brain is.

I started with an HEK. I would recommend that to anyone that just wants to dabble. I filled it, bought another and ran them both off of one uZeus. When the 2nd filled, I replaced the rails with 104hp rails still using the one uZeus. At this point I made some little end caps and mounted the rails to that with a 3rd set of rails. It was at this point I started using the uZeus from the 2nd HEK mostly because I was out of connection on the flying bus board.

I had played around a bit with running all 3 rows off of the uZues mostly with success until I bought the O_c. I put it in the lower half of my case and it wouldn't boot. Talking with the builder he suggested I didn't have enough current getting to it on power up with all the other modules going at the same time. I put it on it's own power and it booted no problem. I ran it for a while this way.

I started investigating new power options and came across a company called Genus Modu. I think I discovered them on a post on Muffs. I started reading their site and all the information on power. Paul Schreiber (Synthesis Technology and MOTM) was saying good stuff about them and I believe was involved in the design. The thing that most impressed me was one of the white papers they had on their site used the uZeus in the testing showing a dramatic improvement in noise.

I had already been working on a design for a sheet metal enclosure for the Zeus rails. I put the Genus Modu LIBB hole pattern in my CAD for the enclosure, did a few more tweaks and sent them off for manufacture. I ordered the TipTop boost adapter, the Genus Modu LIBB and EHA and some bus bars and heavy gauge wire from mouser. When it all came in I pput it together and was surprised the whole thing powered up off one uZeus.

Here's a link to my system as it sits now and a photo below. I probably have as much money into my actual case as it would have cost to just buy a case outright but, I got to build my system up over time and I think my case is probably as good as anything off the shelf with a switching supply. A future expansion might include one of the official LIBB recommended switching or linear PSUs but I'm pretty content with the setup to the point I've contemplated building a 2nd one (I already had some of the parts).

Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
I run all of my eurorack (~12U x 114hp) via one uZeus and a $25 generic power supply from Amazon, with partially open cabinets. No issues. I have @ Derp to thank for the Amazon PS tip.

Sometimes I even power two separate cases (partially full, but 2ft apart) with it by extending wires to a separate Bus Board in case #2 .

Further, my uZeus isn't even racked on the rails, it's stuffed and mounted *inside* my case and stays on always. I unplug it to turn it off (adding an external switch later).

I think I have $160 total in my eurorack power setup, including MDLR Bus Boards I bought because I don't like the messy flying cables.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Addict
 
pekbro's Avatar
 

Of course it's wrong to tell people to follow manufacturer instructions when dealing with electrical equipment.
I wont do it again, no worries...
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