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T-Rex Fuel Tank Chameleon

Guitar Pedal Power Supply By Dave Lockwood
Published December 2010

As anyone who's ever tried to put together a pedalboard incorporating a few vintage pieces, a digital/modelling pedal and a modern boutique item or two will know, the days of the one‑size‑fits‑all power supply are long over. Even the comparatively modest pedalboard that I use throws up a requirement for 9VDC, 9VAC, 12VAC and 18VDC at the same time. Manufacturers of dedicated pedalboard power supplies have clearly noticed this trend, and T‑Rex have been adding ever more options to their multi‑output supplies. The Danish pedal makers' Fuel Tank Classic model, their five‑way, isolated Fuel Tank Jr and their high‑current Juicy Lucy models are now joined by the highly versatile Fuel Tank Chameleon.

T-Rex Fuel Tank ChameleonThe Chameleon model offers five isolated, centre‑negative 2.1mm outputs: three are switchable between 9VDC and 12VDC; another is switchable between 9VDC and 18VDC; and the final option uses either output 5 or 6 (they can't be used simultaneously), which offer 9VDC, 12VDC or 12VAC, with voltage options set by a miniature DIP switch. Switchable (230/115V) AC voltage is a welcome inclusion, with mains power input via detachable IEC. Total supply capacity is 1.5A, with a nominal 300mA limit on each output. As all the outputs are isolated, capacity is not transferable — so you can't use 600mA on one output just because you aren't using one of the others, but you could use a paralleled, 'current‑doubling' cable (not supplied in the otherwise exemplary cable set) across two identical outputs. Isolation also confers greater immunity to hum and other noise problems, and prevents a fault on one circuit from pulling down the others.

In action, the Fuel Tank Chameleon does exactly what you'd want it to do. Assembling all my 'awkward stuff' to run outputs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 simultaneously, with a daisy chain on output 1, produced nothing but clean power, with no power‑supply‑related noise issues at all. The device runs hot, but not excessively so, and is a safe weight to mount via Velcro. A second 18VDC output would be great for Fulltone fans like me, as would a 24V output for users of some Electro-Harmonix pedals, but the designers had to draw the line somewhere, and the choices made are perfectly logical for the target market. This one certainly gets the SOS stamp of approval. Dave Lockwood

£155 including VAT.