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Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:05 am

blinddrew wrote:Of course they can, but at what cost?
And the 'if Behringer can do it' argument doesn't really hold water, they have massive manufacturing facilities and can afford all the additional stresses of dealing with high voltages and the other challenges above. Some small boutique manufacturer may not have that luxury.
No excuse for Roland though... ;)
I agree with Dave though, it would be nice to see some standards.

Ta. One big beef is the captive DC cable? I bet 90% of PSUs get chucked because of a cracked conductor where it leaves the blob. Some PSUs (Christmas lights!) come with a detachable cable which of course can be replaced.

Laptops for instance often use a specific DC socket that excludes all other plug types for no other reason than to do just that! The warning that "Only a bona fide Ripsuoff power supply must be used or damage could result" is b****s. It is easy-peasy in this day and age to make gear that can accept a wide range of voltages, many sort the polarity and a few don't care if it is AC or DC!

Jusfort. When a mnfctr tells you that any but their own PSU could cause damage to the gear you should OF COURSE heed that advice. My point was it should not be the case.

In many cases it is not true but unless you have the means to test out the situation, play safe.

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:35 am

blinddrew wrote:Of course they can, but at what cost?
This has been put to the lie too. KT76 - 150 quid with an internal PSU? Moog One at 8 grand with an external PSU?

The bottom line is that external PSUs save money for manufacturers, and they like it that way. Every time one of us makes their excuses for them they get away with it. One more line lump with a cotton-thin cable to get lost, get forgotten and get tripped over and snapped at the next gig.

And let's be clear - this is a keyboard forum - I'm not including guitar effects pedals here.
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:26 am

I will concede Elf that for things the size of keyboards it is hard to justify the line lump.

There is a "breakpoint" however? A keyboard controller such as my Evo Ekeys49 is powered from USB and has an optional 9v input. It would be quite ridiculous to incorporate a mains supply in such a device even though there would be adequate space.

I also have an old Yamaha (PSS sommat) "Portasound" that needs batteries or a few watts from a rat. Where does the line get drawn as to the economical point at which to include mains power?

I have thought of a "half way house" solution? The unit is lump powered but said lump clips into a recess in the keyboard exposing an IEC connector. Thus the device can go through production powered from LT and then the appropriate PSU clipped in for the destination country? All that adds cost of course but it would just be a one-off case re-design and we should all be looking to make stuff last longer and be repairable.

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby Folderol » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:41 am

These days I rather agree with Elf.

Universal SMPSUs are now cheap as chips.

Noise effectively ceased to be an argument once switching frequency exceeded 100kHz. It's usually about 150kHz these days.

It is relatively simple to keep the mains voltage area (and indeed the entire PSU) very small and enclosed - including the socket (which ideally should be the internationally recognised IEC one), on the back of the equipment itself . The only thing that needs to be region sensitive is the mains lead itself.

Any synth with a processor in it (i.e. all of them!) will be generating a lot of noise itself, and will almost certainly need local voltage regulators - which may themselves be switch mode. It is quite likely that the entire kit would still need EMC certification for this reason alone.
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:59 am

Folderol wrote:These days I rather agree with Elf.

Universal SMPSUs are now cheap as chips.

Noise effectively ceased to be an argument once switching frequency exceeded 100kHz. It's usually about 150kHz these days.

It is relatively simple to keep the mains voltage area (and indeed the entire PSU) very small and enclosed - including the socket (which ideally should be the internationally recognised IEC one), on the back of the equipment itself . The only thing that needs to be region sensitive is the mains lead itself.

Any synth with a processor in it (i.e. all of them!) will be generating a lot of noise itself, and will almost certainly need local voltage regulators - which may themselves be switch mode. It is quite likely that the entire kit would still need EMC certification for this reason alone.

That is all generally so Will but the batch of about ten 9V 1A supplies I load* and noise tested about 5 years ago were a very varied bunch!

Re EMC, yes my Ekeys has processor in it but the whole thing cannot pull more than 2.5 watts. A bigger synth needing 10W or more is a more difficult thing to keep quiet!
There is always 400V+ in an SMPSU no matter how wee and so the production line objection is still valid IMO.

I would like to see the end of captive DC leads.

*The hash frequency was load dependant which makes filtering a leeetle more tricky plus it is modulated by 100Hz ripple so harmonics are everywhere!

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby DGL. » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:28 am

and to add to the laptop argument, a lot of modern laptop will have a data line from the PSU so it knows what is connected to the power input jack, i would guess this is to allow different wattages of PSU to be supplied depending on the power requirements of the machine but use the same DC barrel jack.

For example the adaptor from my sisters HP laptop will physically fit into my DELL but it won't allow the adaptor to charge the laptop only power it as "computer says no" yet the specs are the same.

Even worse is AC PSU's but very few companies use them now luckily.
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:45 am

ef37a wrote:There is a "breakpoint" however? A keyboard controller such as my Evo Ekeys49 is powered from USB and has an optional 9v input. It would be quite ridiculous to incorporate a mains supply in such a device even though there would be adequate space.
If a unit can be bus powered that's fine, but if a power connection is going to be included it should be a mains IEC - not a tiny, pin-sized hole for an external PSU. Many won't agree, but that's my stance. I've been there when PSU cables have been trodden on and snapped the power connector on the keyboard. Cue hunt for a quick replacement - and the times I've been the one to help out (and I'm talking some 'names' here!)

ef37a wrote:I also have an old Yamaha (PSS sommat) "Portasound" that needs batteries or a few watts from a rat. Where does the line get drawn as to the economical point at which to include mains power?
Again, my stance is put an IEC connector on there - no exceptions. If you choose to use batteries, that's fine, but if you can connect to mains it should have a mains connector - not a cop-out PSU connection.

ef37a wrote:I have thought of a "half way house" solution? The unit is lump powered but said lump clips into a recess in the keyboard exposing an IEC connector.
An interesting suggestion - and one I could warm to. But isn't this essentially what I'm asking for? Whether it clips on or not, it's an IEC connector. Personally I'd prefer the PSU to be hidden away and fixed solidly inside the case, but... if it's solid enough in its housing it's practically the same thing.

I like your thinking, though, mate! :clap:
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:53 am

Elf, the "clip in" PSU gets over the possible objections* to the built in PSU and avoids the redundant "plastic case in a plastic" case argument.

The answer to the old Yammy is in the name! PORTA-Sound! Battery powered but with a money saving rat option. (C cells were/are bloody expensive!)

I can actually see a drawback to a clip in supply? The bloody makers will make the fitting UNIQUE to that unit! Forcing you to buy THEIR supply. Mind you, if the synth is, as we are all pressing for, not fussy about V&I, any adequately rated lump will serve, just won't clip in. Still, since the supply would effectively be part of the kbd, not likely the cable will be borked?

Now! DO we want a 3 pole IEC or an earth free fig 8? Ideal would be 3 pole plus earth lift and/or transformer fed line outs (at neg ten and +4!) 'S all about money! Always is!

*If the PSU is "under the hood" it probably has to conform to certain safety standards. Where we came in?

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:58 am

The Elf wrote:
blinddrew wrote:Of course they can, but at what cost?
This has been put to the lie too. KT76 - 150 quid with an internal PSU? Moog One at 8 grand with an external PSU?
But KT are part of Music Group. It's not the unit manufacturing cost, it's the production line cost.
I like Dave's hybrid suggestion though. 3 or 4 different power units that all comply to a set of standards and come in standard size boxes. Bolt on the back / bottom as final stage of manufacturing.
Most users never see anything other than the IEC, unless something goes wrong - when you replace or repair the whole unit.

Get the laptop, TV and game console manufacturers on board and you'd be looking at a phenomenal reduction in waste and redundancy.

Sadly it would take something like an EU mandate for it to happen.
And Apple would still do something different...
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:10 am

Just remembered Drew, I had a printer that was a sort of half way house on the idea.

The PSU was a plastic lump about the size of a good spud and had a fig8 connector. It failed the final test because it slid into the back of the printer and made contact via two metal strips. Sill, at least there was a good chance that if that PSU fried the user could just slot in a new one.

This whole area of rampant wastage of metal and plastic JUST because one company has the cosmic ego to think everyone will go with THEIR idea has got to stop!

We only need ONE fekking power supply type for ALL the smart phones in the world and ONE PSU type could power almost all the interfaces around except the very biggest that need mains input. (and even there, who is it that gives mains AND 12 V options?)

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:36 am

We're getting there with USB wall warts powering most tablets and smartphones. I still need 4 different cables mind you (Lightning, 30 pin, mini USB and micro USB). Roll on USB C becoming truly universal.
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:26 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:We're getting there with USB wall warts powering most tablets and smartphones. I still need 4 different cables mind you (Lightning, 30 pin, mini USB and micro USB). Roll on USB C becoming truly universal.
I'm sure it will - right up until USB D comes out...
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:50 pm

The Elf wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:We're getting there with USB wall warts powering most tablets and smartphones. I still need 4 different cables mind you (Lightning, 30 pin, mini USB and micro USB). Roll on USB C becoming truly universal.
I'm sure it will - right up until USB D comes out...

Since getting my first ever smart phone I have found you can pay £10.00 for a 1mtr USB A to C cable (more if you like!) or £1.00 at Pound Land and AFAICT there is no difference in performance. Might be at 3mtrs.

USB "D"? Bit cynical? A and B and 3.0 were with us a long time and the upgrade to C was I believe driven by the need for speed? How much faster can a cable connection of useful length get? Pete?

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:57 pm

Cynical?

I have 4 different USB connectors for synths and other audio gear, not to mention 30-pin and lightning apple connections. It’s pitiful!!
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:58 pm

Oh, and three different laptops with three completely different power supplies - with three completely different connectors...

And some have plugs and others have clover-leafs and another has fig8...

I have multiple spare power supplies for all my gear - and an accountant somewhere is laughing and rubbing his hands.
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