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Mod Britannia
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I decided to do a bit of modifying on my FCB1010 at the weekend. In an effort to cut down on stage clutter, did a phantom power mod to it with the addition of the option to run from batteries as well. After some research I discovered that the unit actually operates on 5v DC, even though its own internal power supply is 10v AC. This goes into a bridge rectifier that converts it to DC and then there's a 5v regulator on the main board that reduces this down to a steady 5v operating voltage.

The revelation that the unit uses 5v was my eureka moment, up to then I'd been scratching my head about the best way to cobble together a battery delivering 9v DC with a decent enough capacity to give a long operating time between charges. Once I knew I could use a 5V supply, I decided to use a portable USB charger block as the power source. Obviously a smaller unit could be found that could be built into the FCB itself (with an external USB port for charging), but as this was intended to be a quick & dirty prototype I elected to use a flying lead and make the battery connection external. This also gives me the option to power it from any USB source, and a later mod will probably include an external USB socket and a USB/midi interface installed into the unit for easier programming (killing two birds with one stone etc.).

With that in mind, I found an ancient Sony Ericsson USB cable and cut a decent length of it off:



Next I located a suitable position for the mains/phantom power switch (DPDT on-on) that would be close enough to the existing power input to the board that I could reuse the existing wires, but out of the way of everything. I found a point on the back below the screen, positioned the hole to miss the main circuit board and got the drill out:







The I turned my attention to the insides of the FCB. The yellow wires running to the lower right of the main board are the power wires from the internal power supply. You can see the switch I installed at the top centre and the voltage regulator is on the top right of the main board, bolted to the chassis as this doubles as a heatsink for the regulator:



I cut through the original power wires running from the power supply at a point that would allow both of the cut ends to reach my new switch:



I then stripped the end of the USB cable, removing everything bar the red & black power wires:



Seeing as I had a considerable length of the USB cable left over (and I was feeling lazy) I stripped that down and reused the surplus red & black wires to provide the phantom power connection to the midi out connection:



I removed the midi port board from the FCB, flipped it over and soldered the wires to the underside. If you're using a 5 pin connection like this, pins 1 & 3 are the two you need to use for phantom power:



Next, I soldered everything up to the switch, Not my finest work, but it does the job and it was a confined space (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it). If you aren't adding a switch and just want to make your FCB permanently phantom powered you can just connect the wires added to the midi board directly to the power wires to the main board. Polarity doesn't matter due to the AC nature of the original supply, the bridge rectifier on the board will sort out the polarity. However, if you're adding a switch you want to connect the wires from the board to the centre terminals of your switch. The wires from the onboard power supply go to the OPPOSITE contacts to the side you want the switch to point when you are on mains power and the phantom power wires go to the remaining set of contacts:



This second picture should hopefully make the wiring a little clearer:



The eagle eyed will spot that I'd soldered the USB lead to the centre contacts as well (as the was a proof of concept I wasn't adding a switch to the USB power at this point). I'd done this as I was being lazy and didn't want to remove the main board to solder directly to the regulator legs. This proved to be a mistake as voltage losses between the power input and the regulator meant the unit didn't work.

As my laziness had bitten me in the arse, I removed the USB cable from the switch and did what I should have done in the first place removed the main board. I then soldered the USB lead to the regulator contacts, trying to use the minimum amount of heat possible so as not to destroy the regulator. As you can see from the next picture, the black lead goes to the middle contact and the red to the one closest to the outside of the board:



A quick test proved that I'd been successful, I now have an FCB that can run from a USB power source (and you get to see my layout for triggering my sample pad):



Finally, I put the bottom back on the FCB and added some labels to the switch. Yes, the USB lead is just sandwiched in there for now, but as I said this was a quick test of concept:



So, I'm now left with an FCB that can run from a mains supply, phantom power over midi or USB power. That's quite handy as my sample pad is also USB powered, so I can use one source to power them both. If you were planning to phantom power your own FCB, you'll need a suitable adaptor for the other end of the midi cable to provide the power. As for mine, this is the first stage of an ongoing project. Future plans for this unit include:

Installing an external USB socket
Installing an on/off switch for the USB power
Installing a USB/midi interface within the unit for ease of programming
 

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This space for rent
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that's awesome!

Love seeing a solid bit of good kit being made even better.

You've got me tempted to do the same now...
 

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I had to register just to say THANK YOU!!!!

I have been wracking my brains trying to duplicate the physical convenience of the iPad / irig Blueboard setup, but use it with a much more flexible and powerful windows setup, and couldn't really find a decent wireless/battery powered solution for windows to replace the blueboard.

I love the convenience, but the difficulty in setting up basic signal paths and especially the lack of flexibility in MIDI control were killing me. I have worked with most of these developers for decades, and know just how much more effective and cost effective a minute of VST development is compared to an hour of iOS development, and didn't want to waste anyone's time, since the VST ways are already done, elegant and extremely powerful. But the lack of a suitable pedalboard was really raining on my parade.

I would like to do this mod with just a battery if possible, but I suppose one of these USB power bricks would be ok as well. Do you have any advice on doing it this way? I was just about to pull the plug on a tech 21 MIDI mongoose and stick a Panda MIDI beam to it, but the 1010 has way more of what I want. Could you give some advice on a commercially available USB power source? Would one of these type of chargers work? https://www.target.com/p/7800mah-portable-power-recharge-black/-/A-50968512#lnk=sametab

I'm trying to get as close as I can to this setup, but with a windows convertible or tablet, running REAPER using SWS's extensions to load snapshots from the pedal

Again, thank you so much!!!



 

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Mod Britannia
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Discussion Starter #6
I had to register just to say THANK YOU!!!!
happy to help

I would like to do this mod with just a battery if possible, but I suppose one of these USB power bricks would be ok as well. Do you have any advice on doing it this way? I was just about to pull the plug on a tech 21 MIDI mongoose and stick a Panda MIDI beam to it, but the 1010 has way more of what I want. Could you give some advice on a commercially available USB power source? Would one of these type of chargers work? https://www.target.com/p/7800mah-portable-power-recharge-black/-/A-50968512#lnk=sametab
Well, the mod as I've done it would work off of any USB power source. So a portable cellphone charger with a USB socket like the one your linked would work. As I caveated in my guide, I've just taken a rough & ready approach for a proof of concept. There's nothing to stop you installing a battery internally, you'd just want to think about an accessible charging port and a way of monitoring the battery voltage from outside of the FCB. Otherwise, you can just install a power jack of some kind onto the FCB chassis.

Just be aware that any voltage over 5v at the regulator pins I connected the USB lead to will risk damage to the unit. If you want to use a higher voltage battery I'd connect it to the original power inputs to the main board and let the regulator take care of it.
 

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Mod Britannia
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Discussion Starter #7
You're a genious!!!
Nah, I'm far from the first to convert an FCB to phantom power (this isn't even the first I've done), nor am I the first use USB power to the regulator in, though everyone I've seen do that before has been using it as a USB controller and combining the power with an internal USB to MIDI interface. All I've done is combine the two with the option to battery power it.
 

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Just be aware that any voltage over 5v at the regulator pins I connected the USB lead to will risk damage to the unit. If you want to use a higher voltage battery I'd connect it to the original power inputs to the main board and let the regulator take care of it.
I'm happy to use that cellphone charger battery style thing to power it, I figured I could drill a hole then run the USB cable out the end like you did and then velcro it to the back.

How trustworthy are those cellphone charger battery units to be 5 volts though? Is there a safer place to hook the charger to than the regulator pins? Where you have them soldered to, its bypassing the regulator right? If I go upstream from the regulator would 5 volts be enough?

I'm super appreciative of any further help you could give me

And do you have a better idea for what would be a good battery than the one I linked?
 

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Mod Britannia
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Discussion Starter #9
I didn't run it through the housing, I've just sandwiched the cable between the chassis and the bottom lid for now as this is a work in progress.

No idea on the trustworthyness of a cellphone charger, but I'd imagine they'd need to be within a reasonable tolerence to avoid lawsuits for expensive blown up devices that were charged from them. If you want to be sure about supplying 5v to the unit, swap the pin the red lead is connected to for the other outer pin. Ground (black wire) stays on the centre pin.

As for what battery is a good buy, I'm in the UK, so my market options are a bit different to yours I'm afraid.
 

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So on this one the guy seems to have placed the red lead where you say to make it go through the regulator? https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xl4jlijNP9zBBV-5L8btycFVb7GMsrE6/view

Will the 5 volts be enough power then do you think? Do you think the regulator would cut down much on battery life?

I have a little tube shaped cellphone battery charger thing where the charging port for it could easily be made to stick to a drilled hole, that might be super convenient AND out of the way.
 

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Reading the thread on that one, he was saying the power fluctuated too much on the 5 volts for the expression pedals to work right so he went to 9 volts. Have you run into that issue at all?
 

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And sorry to be a pest, but one more, while I have an FCB1010 expert on :)

Is it possible to program this board so that the bottom row just send CC's and the top row sends PC's without an Uno or Eureka chip?
 

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Mod Britannia
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Discussion Starter #13
So on this one the guy seems to have placed the red lead where you say to make it go through the regulator? https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xl4jlijNP9zBBV-5L8btycFVb7GMsrE6/view

Will the 5 volts be enough power then do you think? Do you think the regulator would cut down much on battery life?

I have a little tube shaped cellphone battery charger thing where the charging port for it could easily be made to stick to a drilled hole, that might be super convenient AND out of the way.
Reading the thread on that one, he was saying the power fluctuated too much on the 5 volts for the expression pedals to work right so he went to 9 volts. Have you run into that issue at all?
I've not run into that issue yet, but I've not been using the expression pedals. The unit needs to see a 5v supply at the pin of the regulator closest to the edge of the board (where I've soldered my red power wire), as long as it gets that, all should be fine. You could always check the true value of your battery's output with a multimeter.

And sorry to be a pest, but one more, while I have an FCB1010 expert on :)

Is it possible to program this board so that the bottom row just send CC's and the top row sends PC's without an Uno or Eureka chip?
I've never tried that myself, but it appears to be possible. I use this editor http://host.mtnsys.com:81/faq-fcb/PCEditorBeta.htm and just tick/untick the boxes for each button. It looks like you can program to only send a CC from any footswitch, but I can't say for defintie as I've always used PC's with mine.
 

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Ok, I got my 1010 ordered today, can't wait to see what color smoke comes out when i try this!

Weird, almost everyone was out of them, the store I ordered from allegedly had one more, we shall see

Also ordered a Yamaha Bluetooth MIDI thing so we'll see just how wireless we can get these!
 

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I just ordered one of these: JOYO Technology

I know its a bit more than some of the other power packs, but JOYO has been making all sorts of affordable solutions, so I'd sure like to encourage them to keep at it

Fingers crossed
 

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Mod Britannia
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Sorry, had some log in issues for a few days.

hate to break it to you, but the Yamaha bluetooth thing only works with their specific apps. Been there/done that/failed miserably.
 

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Sorry, had some log in issues for a few days.

hate to break it to you, but the Yamaha bluetooth thing only works with their specific apps. Been there/done that/failed miserably.
Ahh that sucks, if that happens and I can't intercept the messages and rewrite them, I saw a few other, not as convenient things to try
 

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Tarantula Lobbyist
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from someone who can barely tie his shoes, that is awesome James :)
 
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