Portable power for 4U Palette

Hi all, apologies if this question has already been asked. I tried reaching out to Intellijel on twitter but didn’t get a reply so thought I would try here.

I want to power my newly acquired 4U Palette with a battery pack. Today, I do that for my 4ms Pod48X using a RAVPower 26800mAh with Power Delivery support over USB-C battery (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LRQDAEI) and an associated Cablecc USB 3.1 USB-C to DC 20V 5.5x2.5mm trigger (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PBG4GY6) - and it works great.

I noticed, however, that the palette wants 15V rather than 20V, but I’m wondering what the actual rating is. I did actually try and power the case with my 20V trigger and it works, but I’m worried it might be hard on the case, and perhaps even overclocking (?) the modules.

I guess what I’m asking is:

  1. What’s the input power rating for the case power supply, i.e. is 20V acceptable? (the actual one inside the case, not the power adapter that comes with the palette)
  2. alternatively, does anybody know how to get a 15V trigger instead? for the life of me I can’t find one, even though they should be supported by the Power Delivery standard.

In advance, thanks!

According to this video I watched there are PD trigger boards available (link in description) that let you set the voltage to 15V (and if done properly they will remember it for the next startup). Haven’t tried them myself; just sharing something I’ve heard of.

The step-down converter used in the case power supply claims to be able to work with up to a 25V input. But we have not tested this extensively, and we can’t guarantee it will work without problem with anything but the power bricks we ship the cases with.
Running at a higher input voltage won’t result in a higher output voltage so there should be no harm to your modules, but the power supply will be less efficient since it has to step down from 20V to 12V instead of from 15V to 12V. There will be more heat generated.

I would try to find a 15V power delivery, unless you’re interested in stress testing our power supply :slight_smile:

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Thanks for sharing! I’ve seen those custom triggers too, but honestly with the price of my eurorack I’m a little concerned about using bare PCBs produced by random companies. Might look into making my own trigger specifically for 15V.

That’s super helpful - thanks for letting me know!

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Hi Kena,

There’s a few other portable power threads on this forum that you might find useful. Also, I wrote an article on powering my 7U case that might help too: https://ask.audio/articles/on-the-road-portable-power-options-for-synthesizers-electronic-instruments

The technology in this realm is moving really quickly, so new products are popping up and dropping off the radar all the time.

  1. The input power rating for the Palette Power Board is 15 - 18 V. It’s written on the board, but it’s impossible to see once it’s installed in the case.
  2. There are some units out there that have selectable DC power options. Wes got one from Aceyoon that I haven’t been able to find today, but searching for it turned up this guy: https://www.amazon.ca/Krisdonia-25000mAh-Portable-External-Macbooks/dp/B076GYGR6M/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Aceyoon+power+pack&qid=1581355622&s=electronics&sr=1-3
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Just in case someone comes by this post in the future, I ended up going for the Krisdonia 25000mAh battery with a manual DC out option. It’s <100watt, so at least at time of writing, you’re allowed to travel with it (in your carry-on!).

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would love to hear your though after a few weeks of use.

I’m seriously thinking getting one but intrigue how long I would be able to run it (with Power Consumption: 589 mA +12V | 230 mA -12V | 0 mA 5V).

Does the device have some kind of warning before it runs out of power? If so, how long before it does?

Thanks in advance.

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Scott, that’s a great article! Thanks for writing it up. This will be a good start for my own portable power exploration, albeit in Europe.

Your whole list of articles is very interesting! It‘ll be my reading list for the next days.

Fun fact: annannie is not a she. :wink:

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Yeah unfortunately I figured that out after I wrote the article. I asked Ask.Audio to correct it but they haven’t done it yet.

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I’m sure Eli has gotten used to this.
When I met him I was surprised for a second as I had expected woman.

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I haven’t done any rigorous testing yet, but with my palette consuming 737 mA (I suspect it’s slightly higher than that, since the top row is listed as not drawing any current), It seems like I get around 10 hours from one charge, as it drops ~10%/hr. I’m a little surprised it’s that not higher, but perhaps it’s because the Krisdonia is outputting 16V. Even at 10hr/charge I’m happy since it’s just to liberating to be portable.

As for the warning, I’m not sure there’s a warning as such, but there’s a battery indicator on the battery that is constantly visible (0-100%).

My palette: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/1112987

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Wow! 10 hours! Thanks so much for the highly informative report.

I’m totally getting one.

Cool palette set up pal! Here’s my current iteration. https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/984980

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Hi maybe I’ve missed it but what powerbank are you using here? @kena

https://www.amazon.ca/Krisdonia-25000mAh-Portable-External-Macbooks/dp/B076GYGR6M/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Aceyoon+power+pack&qid=1581355622&s=electronics&sr=1-3

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