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  • Powering 1010 tabletops with USB charger station

    With the addition of the Lemondrop, I now have six devices that are powered by a USB supply. Since I believe wall warts are the work of Satan, I bought a high wattage Anker USB charging station to power all the devices. For whatever reason if I power the Lemondrop or my Blackbox from the charger, it introduces a horrible ground loop, and I'm not talking an annoying hum, I'm talking hum running through a limiter at full blast running into a bit crusher. None of my other usb devices, including my Bluebox suffer from this anomaly. Any ideas?

    I'm adding this to the Blackbox forum as well.

  • #2
    I'm sorry to say it is not practical to use a power bank with USB gear, including ours and from other manufacturers. It introduces a hum as you describe. Here is my current solution for my portable rig.

    Comment


    • Borgbilly
      Borgbilly commented
      Editing a comment
      In your photo you have two Anker dual port chargers. Am I to assume from your statement that you can only connect one device to each of those? If that is the case, why have a multi port charger at all?

    • Aaron
      Aaron commented
      Editing a comment
      It depends on the device. I have a Retrokits RK-006 MIDI hub, which can share because it doesn't do audio. You could also charge your phone with an open port.

  • #3
    It's totally fine to use USB power hubs with controllers and sequencers, and you can generally have one - and only one - device that passes audio powered from the same hub. But as soon as you have two audio devices powered from the same USB hub, it'll be bad.

    I use on of these for my controllers and Lemondrop: https://www.target.com/p/philips-4-p...e/-/A-53241528

    Comment


    • Borgbilly
      Borgbilly commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, fruitsnake. That sheds some light on the matter.

  • #4
    Originally posted by Aaron View Post
    I'm sorry to say it is not practical to use a power bank with USB gear, including ours and from other manufacturers. It introduces a hum as you describe. Here is my current solution for my portable rig.
    Hi Aaron, so you find as long as you only 1 unit plugged into 1 plug adapter, even if all plugs are on the same power bar, you avoid the ground loop issue?

    Comment


    • Aaron
      Aaron commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, single USB power adapters will work--even if they are plugged into the same power strip.

  • #5
    Slightly different, but had same issue with using my power bank with multiple outlets and simply gave the blackbox and lemon drop their own power bank and then used a double mini usb cord from power banks to wall when not needing portability.

    Comment


    • #6
      USB power can be problematic with audio devices. I have an Anker dual USB adapter that will power my bluebox and blackbox with no issues. This outputs 5V 2.4A per port. This is the ONLY adapter that has performed like this (you may also notice a few smaller versions in Aarons' photo, above). I have a lemondrop, fireball, torso t-1, RK-006, and a small USB task light (power-hungry) connected to one 5-port supply and have zero issues with noise. Connect anything else.... that's a different story!


      I bought this at LAX last year. Totally worth the $$. ANKER360

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      Comment


      • #7
        So I've learned alot from this thread. I was hoping to consolidate MIDI ports down to the USB port and discovered that the blackbox indeed is noisy from hub power.

        If I wanted to connect the blackbox to a mioXL MIDI hub via the USB-MIDI connection, should I buy a splitter for the USB input or is the implication here that I'll *still* create a ground loop?

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        I'm trying to consolidate MIDI, since the blackbox uses MIDI over USB, I'm hoping to get the best of both worlds... somehow

        Comment


        • Steve
          Steve commented
          Editing a comment
          The blackbox offers a MIDI Device port. The USB-B is only for power. There is no benefit to connecting like your drawing.

          On a related topic - how do you like that interface? I have a smaller version but have looked at the mioXL

      • #8
        The mioXL is amazing. I have some minor gripes with the UI, namely that panel lists ports like “DIN 5” but if you rename “DIN 5” in the software there’s nothing to tell you which HW port “Access Virus” is physically connected to. So you have to pick names like “DIN 5 Virus B” because there’s only 16 or so chars available.

        usb midi is wonderful. It recognizes device ids so you can create permanent mappings and then never worry about what physical port you’re connected to.

        I had my studio wired in 30min which shocked me.

        I haven’t messed with RTP midi to do wireless devices yet but that’s coming.

        Comment


        • #9
          If you want to run your rig 'mains free', then sort out all your power and audio on one board / box / unit / whatever. Use single USB adapters for each USB powered device and something like a Strymon Zuma for anything else. Then you can plug into a leisure battery. This is how my rig works, and I can take it anywhere!

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