Power supply current

SlingoSlingo Frets: 0
Is it safe to run a pedal with a current draw of 128mA from a 100mA outlet on a pedal board power supply or will it cause problems or damage?

Thanks
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Comments

  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1221
    Generally, no. But, it depends on the power supply.

    For example, this would do it fine, but others may not be able to.

    R.
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  • MattBansheeMattBanshee Frets: 217
    It shouldn't cause damage to the pedal, but it probably won't work (or will intermittently power off). I assume that a pedal with a >100ma current requirement is a digital one, so instead of sounding weird (a la flat battery in a fuzz), it just probably won't power on.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 23710
    Is the 128mA measured, or manufacturer's claimed? Quite often they're exaggerated.

    If it is genuinely over 100mA, don't do it - although power supplies have a bit of safety margin too, there's a risk of damaging it… not necessarily immediately, but over time.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 2103
    For a lot of pedals you can google and find the actual current draw.  Stinkfoot.se has a lot of information as well.

    I had a Line 6 M5 that was recommended to have a 500mA supply, but the actual current draw is a lot less.  I ran it very happily off a 400mA supply, and I think it will run off of less than that.

    Also, a lot of digital pedals draw a lot more at startup and then settle down to a lower continuous draw.  The figure given might be the start up current.  If it's just for a few seconds then a lot of power supplies will cope with going over the official rating where you wouldn't want to do it continuously.  It's worth finding out the continuous draw if you can

    For some pedals it depends on how you use them as well.  For instance, I think I remember reading that some of the big Strymons draw a bit more current when you are using MIDI to control them than when you just use the footswitches on the pedal.

    Ultimately, getting a decent power supply is a worthwhile investment anyway.  Sometimes pedals can get noisy if the power supply is struggling.
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  • clarkefanclarkefan Frets: 99
    All I've ever heard on the subject is you should always assume like 50% higher for safety. Why take a chance if (like me) you don't understand the consequences for certain?

    (he says, running a 200ma Boss DD-20 off 2 120ma taps on his Harley Benton Power Plant Jr, cough)
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 2103
    edited January 12
    clarkefan said:
    All I've ever heard on the subject is you should always assume like 50% higher for safety. Why take a chance if (like me) you don't understand the consequences for certain?

    (he says, running a 200ma Boss DD-20 off 2 120ma taps on his Harley Benton Power Plant Jr, cough)
    Except that the DD20 only draws 172mA according to Stinkfoot.

    http://stinkfoot.se/archives/867

    Manufacturers always err on the high side.

    On the other hand.  Most good quality power supplies are probably rated conservatively, so are probably capable of a bit more than they say officially.

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  • vasselmeyervasselmeyer Frets: 1706
    For digital pedals it's definitely the startup surge that is the biggest draw. I have a Zoom G3 which is supposed to need 450ma but I can power it from two 150ma outlets of a HB Powerplant Jnr with a current doubler giving me 300ma. I have to let the rest of the pedalboard start first and then switch the Zoom on as the draw of all the pedals is too much for the supply all at once.
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