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Helix HX - Power Supply Woes

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So I'm hoping there is a way to power an HX Effects unit with a common isolated power supply, like a Pedal Power Plus, Truetone CS12, or something similar, as the wall wort supplied is simply not going to work for 95% of pedalboard users. They market this as a hub to your pedalboard, yet it can only be powered with a wall wort the size of a small pedal. The actual power prong is too large. I brought my HX home. Studied for two hours online, looking for a solution, then promptly returned it for refund. This is a hug oversight on Line 6's part. If no solution is found, this effects unit is doomed.

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A bit over-dramatic, imo... I mean, the power supply that comes with the HXFX isn't that much bigger than a typical wall wart. It's longer than, say, the one that comes with the Strymon pedals, but it's also not as deep. It could actually easily fit under most pedalboards.

 

Anyway, yes, it is possible to power the HXFX off of a high current power brick. Per the FAQ thread: http://line6.com/support/topic/31555-hx-effects-faq/

 

Can I power HX Effects from my DC pedalboard supply?

Line 6 only officially supports operation with the included DC-3G. However, we have tried HX Effects with a number of third-party pedalboard power supplies and it can work, with the caveats mentioned below:

IMPORTANT NOTE #1: HX Effects has a lot of stuff going on under the hood and its six scribble strips and initial boot process pull more than your average pedal. Hence, we used a DC IN jack with a larger center pin to sort of disincentivize people from throwing whatever at it. The stock DC cables that come with the power supplies listed below will NOT fit. Note that Eventide does the exact same thing with their H9.

IMPORTANT NOTE #2: YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. Feel free to use this FAQ as a starting point, but Line 6 is not responsible for any damage incurred when using HX Effects with any third-party power supplies. That is, if someone writes "B-b-but Line 6 said I could use [power supply X!]," someone will hopefully refer them to this post where I make it perfectly clear that we only *officially* support our DC-3G.

 

That said, here's the far-from-comprehensive list and their tested noise specs:

  • Strymon Zuma R300—Appears to work fine when doubling up TWO 9V outputs (-140dBr)
  • Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 4x4—Appears to work fine when doubling up TWO 9V outputs (-124dBr)
  • Godlyke Power-All PA-9D—Appears to work fine, but there is a bit of additional noise (-116dBr)
  • Truetone 1 SPOT (NW1CP2-US)—Appears to work fine, but there is additional noise (-103dBr)

 

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I brought my HX home. Studied for two hours online, looking for a solution, then promptly returned it for refund.

Well as long as you didn't give up immediately...😉

 

Personally, I won't spend more than 17 minutes on problem solving of any kind, and 2 hours is out of the question. This product is clearly doomed! 😤😂

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A bit over-dramatic, imo... I mean, the power supply that comes with the HXFX isn't that much bigger than a typical wall wart. It's longer than, say, the one that comes with the Strymon pedals, but it's also not as deep. It could actually easily fit under most pedalboards.

 

 

Its the same power supply as the HD500X, right? the Problem is, it sticks out over a power strip/outlet too far if the plug is oriented one way, or it covers 2-3 other outlets the oriented the other way, and its just wide enough that you can't really plug anything in next to it even if it doesn't actually completely cover the outlets neighboring it. It was a bad design for the HD, and it a bad design now. Should have went in-line, then you can tuck that actual power supply wherever.

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Actually, I could not get the HX to power up with my Truetone CS12 on any output, and I'm not being "over-dramatic". It's pretty ridiculous that I am unable to use the courtesy outlet on a Pedal Power II plus due to the obnoxious size of the plug itself. If you look at the common pedalboards on the market, they have holes cut out for the use of a courtesy outlet. Yours needs it's own extension cord. Clearly not well thought out. I play in pubs where outlets can be at a premium, not to mention floor space. Also, what other company would build a product that isn't user friendly with other gear ? Don't you think it would have been smart business to make this thing power-able with ANY power supply so players don't have to purchase specific ones ? Believe me, this issue will detour many players. Also, to brush me off as over-dramatic is an oversight on YOUR part, as I am a gear hound, and there are many companies out there who are thinking about these REAL issues for real players. No reply required "expert". I'm done here.

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Its the same power supply as the HD500X, right? the Problem is, it sticks out over a power strip/outlet too far if the plug is oriented one way, or it covers 2-3 other outlets the oriented the other way, and its just wide enough that you can't really plug anything in next to it even if it doesn't actually completely cover the outlets neighboring it. It was a bad design for the HD, and it a bad design now. Should have went in-line, then you can tuck that actual power supply wherever.

 

Yes, it is the same as the HD series. What I did when I used it under a Pedaltrain board was to use one of these, or if you don't want to split it, just one of these. I wouldn't plug it directly into power strip. You just have to be a little creative when it comes to using splitters and adapters. It's really not a big deal.

 

I mean, it's not that I think the wall wart is great. I think they all basically suck, and I try to avoid using them if at all possible. But it's not the end of the world tucking one under a board and rigging something up with zip ties and stuff.

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Actually, I could not get the HX to power up with my Truetone CS12 on any output, and I'm not being "over-dramatic". It's pretty ridiculous that I am unable to use the courtesy outlet on a Pedal Power II plus due to the obnoxious size of the plug itself. If you look at the common pedalboards on the market, they have holes cut out for the use of a courtesy outlet. Yours needs it's own extension cord. Clearly not well thought out. I play in pubs where outlets can be at a premium, not to mention floor space. Also, what other company would build a product that isn't user friendly with other gear ? Don't you think it would have been smart business to make this thing power-able with ANY power supply so players don't have to purchase specific ones ? Believe me, this issue will detour many players. Also, to brush me off as over-dramatic is an oversight on YOUR part, as I am a gear hound, and there are many companies out there who are thinking about these REAL issues for real players. No reply required "expert". I'm done here.

 

Well, I'm not a Line 6 employee, so it's not "my design" in any sense of the word.

 

The CS12 should actually work to power the HXFX... Check out this thread: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?posts/25838555/

 

The only issue is that you need to be under the total current draw of the brick, which is 2200mA. So if you have other high current pedals, you could be over that. This is why I like the Strymon power supplies, btw. I have two of the Ojais under my board and could add a third if I needed. The fact you can daisy-chain the bricks together is very useful.

 

The HX is trickier than a typical pedal since it has such a high current draw. The chipset just uses more power than even a typical multi-effect.

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Thanks for all your answers. Although there are some great answers here, the bottom line is, you shouldn't have to work that hard to incorporate a pedal into a system in this day and age. It's not rocket science to built a better connector. In fact, it's very poor engineering, and makes me really think about where they are going. If it can't play nice with others, do I want it ?

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Its the same power supply as the HD500X, right? the Problem is, it sticks out over a power strip/outlet too far if the plug is oriented one way, or it covers 2-3 other outlets the oriented the other way, and its just wide enough that you can't really plug anything in next to it even if it doesn't actually completely cover the outlets neighboring it. It was a bad design for the HD, and it a bad design now. Should have went in-line, then you can tuck that actual power supply wherever.

That’s exactly what I did with my dc-3g. Popped it apart and modded it to be an in-line brick. Now it’s much easier to deal with. I’m not sure why L6 doesn’t have them built this way, like they do with their other ac adapters.

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Thanks for all your answers. Although there are some great answers here, the bottom line is, you shouldn't have to work that hard to incorporate a pedal into a system in this day and age. It's not rocket science to built a better connector. In fact, it's very poor engineering, and makes me really think about where they are going. If it can't play nice with others, do I want it ?

 

Speaking as an electrical engineer, I'd say it's only very poor engineering when stuff starts catching fire...  :) Seriously, though, I think the reason Line 6 decided to use the DC-3g was that they didn't have to go through the trouble of getting another power supply tested and listed.

 

As someone who's been building pedalboards for 20 years, I'd say people forget how easy they have it now. It's only recently that was have a large variety of power bricks to choose from, and getting the right adapters for the HXFX may be a slight PITA, but it's doable. When you look at all the benefits the HXFX actually provides for a rig, those far outweigh the inconvenience of finding a way to get power to it. I suspect in the few years, you're going to be seeing freakin' tons of these things on pedalboards.

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Thanks for all your answers. Although there are some great answers here, the bottom line is, you shouldn't have to work that hard to incorporate a pedal into a system in this day and age. It's not rocket science to built a better connector. In fact, it's very poor engineering, and makes me really think about where they are going. If it can't play nice with others, do I want it ?

 

Seems like you already made that decision...If the power connector is a show stopper, then you should move on if that is how you feel.

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phil_m with the reasonable middle ground. Thank you once again for linking a good solution!

 

Yes, that wart is bad, but no, it won't doom the pedal. Yes, it's annoying, but no, it's not an insurmountable issue. Yes, I hate the wart, but no, I'm not returning mine because of it.

 

On the flip side, keep in mind that just because there's a customer work-around, that doesn't mean it isn't a real issue. It really is a terrible power supply for a pedal that is designed and marketed as something for a pedal board. The "sky is falling this pedal is doomed" attitude isn't helpful, but neither is being completely dismissive of people who raise a valid concern.

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Personally, I won't spend more than 17 minutes on problem solving of any kind, and 2 hours is out of the question. 

 

 

I read this and laughed for 8.4932 seconds...  :lol:

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Hey phil_m,

 

Does the HX FX work off the strymon Ojai with the current doubler cable or do I need to go with the zuma r300?

If so what doubling cable(s) do I need to get?

 

I got the HX FX to control my PT JR board and with the wall wart there is no way I can fit power on my board (especially under, where I want it) It is literally exactly too big (1/8") to fit anywhere. Honestly this is by far the worst part about this product and while I would never return it as I love the Helix products. I can see it being a huge turn off to people trying to integrate it with their boards.

 

Also I saw you were talking about total power draw of the power supply would the Ojai be fine to power?

 

-Chase Bliss Tonal Recall

-Chase Bliss Brothers

-Eventide H9

-HX FX

 

many thanks in advanced

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Hey phil_m,

 

Does the HX FX work off the strymon Ojai with the current doubler cable or do I need to go with the zuma r300?

If so what doubling cable(s) do I need to get?

 

I got the HX FX to control my PT JR board and with the wall wart there is no way I can fit power on my board (especially under, where I want it) It is literally exactly too big (1/8") to fit anywhere. Honestly this is by far the worst part about this product and while I would never return it as I love the Helix products. I can see it being a huge turn off to people trying to integrate it with their boards.

 

Also I saw you were talking about total power draw of the power supply would the Ojai be fine to power?

 

-Chase Bliss Tonal Recall

-Chase Bliss Brothers

-Eventide H9

-HX FX

 

many thanks in advanced

 

So do you have the original PT Jr? The one with the solid panel at back? There isn't much clearance under that, for sure. Pedaltrain actually revised that design for the Jr Classic, and made it an inch higher. I don't know that the Ojai will fit under the original Jr...

 

Anyway, yes, I have seen reports of people using the Ojai successfully with the HXFX. As far as being able to power all of that, it will be close, but I think you'll be OK. The Chase Bliss pedals are pretty low current draw (I think the Tonal Recall is 150mA and the Brothers is 20mA). The H9 is 400mA at 9V, so you'll be right around the listed capacity of 2500mA... You'd want to double up two of the 500mA outputs to connect the HXFX.

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phil_m with the reasonable middle ground. Thank you once again for linking a good solution!

 

Yes, that wart is bad, but no, it won't doom the pedal. Yes, it's annoying, but no, it's not an insurmountable issue. Yes, I hate the wart, but no, I'm not returning mine because of it.

 

On the flip side, keep in mind that just because there's a customer work-around, that doesn't mean it isn't a real issue. It really is a terrible power supply for a pedal that is designed and marketed as something for a pedal board. The "sky is falling this pedal is doomed" attitude isn't helpful, but neither is being completely dismissive of people who raise a valid concern.

It's really just a matter of perspective...anyone setting their minor aggravation threshold this low is voluntarily signing up for a difficult life.

 

If I returned every product that came with an obtrusive wall-wart, I might as well go live in a cave. The mere fact that the term "wall-wart" exists is all the proof one needs to realize that this is clearly a frequent occurrence. But ultimately, it's a minor annoyance, easily circumvented with a few minutes of thought and a $7 adapter. Nothing's perfect...

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phil_m,

 

I do believe that I have the newer "classic" Jr. I know that I could fit a Pedal Power 2+ under there with no issue.

 

Do you know what cables I would need to make this work?

 

I'm assuming just this:

https://www.amazon.com/Voodoo-Lab-Current-Doubler-Adapter/dp/B00FNY74V6

 

but I read on the HXFX Faq page that the power supply input jack is larger than a normal power supply cable. Anyone know what cable I would need for that?

 

Also does anyone know if the sound quality of the effects change when using a power supply?

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phil_m,

 

I do believe that I have the newer "classic" Jr. I know that I could fit a Pedal Power 2+ under there with no issue.

 

Do you know what cables I would need to make this work?

 

I'm assuming just this:

https://www.amazon.com/Voodoo-Lab-Current-Doubler-Adapter/dp/B00FNY74V6

 

but I read on the HXFX Faq page that the power supply input jack is larger than a normal power supply cable. Anyone know what cable I would need for that?

 

Also does anyone know if the sound quality of the effects change when using a power supply?

 

Yes, the current doubler adapter is what you would need to use two outputs from the power brick. As far as the adapter to go to the HXFX, you'd need something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-Creative-Lighting-Solutions-LLC/dp/B01NAC0OLC/ref=pd_bxgy_147_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01NAC0OLC&pd_rd_r=VMJ0WBX4JVBTKKEVAPNV&pd_rd_w=q29iu&pd_rd_wg=yVNSf&psc=1&refRID=VMJ0WBX4JVBTKKEVAPNV

 

Note that Voodoo Lab and TrueTone both sell Line 6 adapters to go from the 2.1mm barrel to the 2.5mm barrel, but those actually reverse the polarity... Those were originally made for the 4-button stomps (I don't know why they reversed the polarity since it actually didn't matter for those pedals...). So if you wanted to use one of those adapters, you'd need another adapter to reverse the polarity again. It's much easier to just use the little adapter I linked to above.

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So other random question.

 

If the HX effects is supposed to run at 3A would it be a bad idea to just get the Zuma and use 3 Current doublers and 4 500mA spots  to be able to run it at 2A?

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So other random question.

 

If the HX effects is supposed to run at 3A would it be a bad idea to just get the Zuma and use 3 Current doublers and 4 500mA spots  to be able to run it at 2A?

 

You should be fine with just using two outputs. The outputs on the Strymon bricks are capable of providing much more than their ratings. Amperage isn't like voltage... The current draw is what the pedal needs to run, and the power supply can either provide it or it can't. And the actual max current draw of the HXFX is something close to 2000mA.

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On 2/24/2018 at 3:58 PM, phil_m said:

 

You should be fine with just using two outputs. The outputs on the Strymon bricks are capable of providing much more than their ratings. Amperage isn't like voltage... The current draw is what the pedal needs to run, and the power supply can either provide it or it can't. And the actual max current draw of the HXFX is something close to 2000mA.

Does this mean you cannot use a current doubler with the Pedal Power 2 Plus to power the HX? I’m guessing it cannot power it since the L6 ports are 250mA each...so doubling that isn’t even close to 2,000mA

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46 minutes ago, Berry_B said:

Does this mean you cannot use a current doubler with the Pedal Power 2 Plus to power the HX? I’m guessing it cannot power it since the L6 ports are 250mA each...so doubling that isn’t even close to 2,000mA

 

Yeah, I don't even think that the PP2+ has enough capacity with all its 9V jack combined to power the HX Effects. It is a somewhat dated power supply now given the fact that its highest output jacks are rated at 250mA. It was designed at a time when the vast majority of pedal needed less than 100mA. Now with the prevalence of higher-powered digital pedals, it seems 500mA jack are becoming the new standard.

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That said, here's the far-from-comprehensive list and their tested noise specs:

  • Strymon Zuma R300—Appears to work fine when doubling up TWO 9V outputs (-140dBr)
  • Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 4x4—Appears to work fine when doubling up TWO 9V outputs (-124dBr)
  • Godlyke Power-All PA-9D—Appears to work fine, but there is a bit of additional noise (-116dBr)

 

So, does anyone know where to get a cable that will allow me to connect/convert two of my Zuma 9V outputs into one ?

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16 minutes ago, pugstarpro said:

That said, here's the far-from-comprehensive list and their tested noise specs:

  • Strymon Zuma R300—Appears to work fine when doubling up TWO 9V outputs (-140dBr)
  • Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 4x4—Appears to work fine when doubling up TWO 9V outputs (-124dBr)
  • Godlyke Power-All PA-9D—Appears to work fine, but there is a bit of additional noise (-116dBr)

 

So, does anyone know where to get a cable that will allow me to connect/convert two of my Zuma 9V outputs into one ?

 

I use the Voodoo Lab current double cable along with their reverse polarity cable, and then plug that into TrueTone L6 adapter. You need to the reverse polarity cable in this setup because the L6 adapter reverses the polarity as well as converting to the 2.5mm barrel size.

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I’m having the same question. I’m actually on a break on my first gig with my new HXFX. I’m powering it from its own wall wart via a power strip under my board but when I got all my power supplies from The GigRig they gave me a custom power diagram and said their Generator could power the HXFX. I trust those guys but was still a bit scared so I sent them an e-mail to verify before I use their supply. 

 

I’ll let ya’ll know what they say and how it turns out. If any Line 6 folks read this, please comment if you “bless” the GigRig power Generator.  

 

Thanks!

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On 8/27/2018 at 12:29 PM, pugstarpro said:

That said, here's the far-from-comprehensive list and their tested noise specs:

  • Strymon Zuma R300—Appears to work fine when doubling up TWO 9V outputs (-140dBr)
  • Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 4x4—Appears to work fine when doubling up TWO 9V outputs (-124dBr)
  • Godlyke Power-All PA-9D—Appears to work fine, but there is a bit of additional noise (-116dBr)

 

So, does anyone know where to get a cable that will allow me to connect/convert two of my Zuma 9V outputs into one ?

 

Here's what I'm using with my HX and a  Zuma, works great-

 

current doubler-

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FNY74V6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

plug converter for 2.1-2.5 barrel-

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016BJGZ2U/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

using the strymon current doubler for the HX stomp on my fly rig, should work for either, but the strymon barrel converters swap the center pin polarity, so you'll want the converter I linked from amazon

https://store.strymon.net/voltage-doubler-cable-straight/

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13 hours ago, pmtrub said:

 

Let's be very clear about this for anyone reading (im sure its just a typo) This is a current doubler eg. wired in parallel to keep the voltage the same at 9V! A voltage doubler would be wired in series and thus results in 18V from the two 9V outputs of the PSU. Sorry to be a stickler but its pretty important the difference is understood so we dont let magic smoke out of our shiney new pedals :) 

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9 hours ago, neilius said:

 

Let's be very clear about this for anyone reading (im sure its just a typo) This is a current doubler eg. wired in parallel to keep the voltage the same at 9V! A voltage doubler would be wired in series and thus results in 18V from the two 9V outputs of the PSU. Sorry to be a stickler but its pretty important the difference is understood so we dont let magic smoke out of our shiney new pedals :) 

 

Good catch on the typo. Fixed it. Don't want anyone smoking their pedals.

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Everyone can quit acting like the HD/HX/Stomp PSU isn't a terrible design for real-world use. It's long, and its just wide enough that it takes up at least two outlets on a power strip. The cord is too short, and I'd guess the only reason its in use is because its cheap, available, and properly approved. It's a terrible, terrible design for pedalboard use. 

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Use the correct specified supplies in the correct and problem way.

Shortcuts do nothing except create problems, especially with power supplies.

 

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There is mine on a current doubler from the Styrmon Ojai R30. All powered off one cord and working flawlessly :)

 

20181203_232912.thumb.jpg.f9416782a536c20845b449a6fa3455fe.jpg

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Hi there!

 

Just got my HX Stomp, and want to connect the power from my Voodoo lab 4 x 4. If i got it right, these two products will do the job done!?: 

https://tgt11.com/product.html?product_id=1414&category_id=48

https://tgt11.com/product.html/voodoo-lab-power-cable-25mm-rev-21mm-angled-to-25mm-angled-46cm 

 

If support can certify this publicly, it would be great!

 

I know, sorry for my bad grammar. Hope you get it!

 

Thanks!

//D

 

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3 hours ago, Supabass said:

Hi there!

 

Just got my HX Stomp, and want to connect the power from my Voodoo lab 4 x 4. If i got it right, these two products will do the job done!?: 

https://tgt11.com/product.html?product_id=1414&category_id=48

https://tgt11.com/product.html/voodoo-lab-power-cable-25mm-rev-21mm-angled-to-25mm-angled-46cm 

 

If support can certify this publicly, it would be great!

 

I know, sorry for my bad grammar. Hope you get it!

 

Thanks!

//D

 

That 2.1-2.5 adapter won't work because it reverses the center pin to positive. Get this instead: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016BJGZ2U/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Check the Line 6 Knowledge Base on the subject of use of any Voodoo Labs products

with our Line 6 products.

 

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5 hours ago, pmtrub said:

That 2.1-2.5 adapter won't work because it reverses the center pin to positive. Get this instead: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016BJGZ2U/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Ops! You're right, I didn't read it all. Thanks, I´ll check Amazon about that! 

5 hours ago, psarkissian said:

Check the Line 6 Knowledge Base on the subject of use of any Voodoo Labs products

with our Line 6 products.

 

Ok will do! Thanks.

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FWIW I used this cheap power supply (AKA Harley Benton PowerPlant ISO-2 Pro) :

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/VITOOS-ISO8-Compact-Size-Guitar-Effects-Power-Supply-Power-Pack-Station-8-Isolated-DC-Outputs-for/32944104933.html

with this adapter :
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-1mm-DC-Socket-to-DC-Plug-Adpapter-End-for-CCTV-Cable/200559204465?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

and a current doubler cable I already had, plugged into both DC 500 outputs.
It works very well.
 

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On 2/24/2018 at 11:19 PM, k-grimm403 said:

So other random question.

 

If the HX effects is supposed to run at 3A would it be a bad idea to just get the Zuma and use 3 Current doublers and 4 500mA spots  to be able to run it at 2A?

I do realize this has been asked a year ago, but many HX FX owners will hit this page and have the same question...

When you want to combine more than 2 outputs from the power supply, it gets a bit complicated with chaining several current doubler adapters, and you are adding extra connections that can fail. You might be also paying for something you can get cheaper: a current doubler cable is actually just a 3 jack daisy chain.

If you want to combine e.g. 4 x 300 mA to get 1200 mA, use a 5 jack daisy chain cable: connect 4 of the cable jacks to the sockets of the power supply, and 1 to the HX FX. It's a better solution as you have less connectors than in a current doubler doubling 2 current doublers, and usually it costs way less than 3 x current doubling cable.

Using a daisy chain cable for multiplying current works equally well for all power supplies that are fully isolated (separate grounds) or just regulated (common ground).

If you have too many jacks in the daisy chain, you can cut the excess off and carefully isolate both + and - with electric tape and wrap it up with e.g. heat shrink to avoid short circuit. The cut off cable is still a daisy chain (or current doubler/multiplier), if it has at least 3 jacks left, but take care of the cut ends not shorting on that cable, too. (The easiest mistake is to cut the excess cable off right at the jack, and you end up with stumps too short to protect.)

NOTE: You should be aware that some daisy chains don't have ground connected to all jacks, to prevent ground loops. This feature will prevent the daisy chain from working as a current multiplier in most situations, too.

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