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Pedal Boards, and the noise they make.


Soda Jerk
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I'd never had a problem with my board until I fired it up this morning.

 

Have you ever plugged in all your gear (guitar > pedal board > amp) only to find that somehow, something in your chain is picking up FM Radio?!

 

I plugged my guitar into my board this morning, hooked it up to my amp, and switched it on. Immediately, I could hear a faint sound. I kicked on a distortion pedal, which loudened the sound. It was radio signal. It was bleedin' football news from the radio. I don't even own a radio. There's no radio in the house.

 

It happened when I kicked on any OD/Dirt pedal, though was just about audible without any pedals switched on. Guitar and amp were fine when used with no pedals, so I assume that rules them out.

 

Has this happened to anyone else? If so, was it a pedal, or was it something else? (Patch cable, power supply, daisy chain etc)

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My board does this sometimes, particularly at Downstairs. Rebuilt my board a few times and couldn't find a problem....so I bought a noise suppressor and that makes it manageable.

With custom pedals it's quite easy to get problems with components touching the cases and creating weird situations, you can go nearly mad trying to isolate every sound. In Callahan we're pretty loud most of the time so no one really notices.

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It could possibly be a radio in the flat above, but certainly no radios in my flat. I thought maybe my phone could be interfering. I switched it off and put it in another room, but it didn't help. I tried plugging the board into a couple of different plug sockets, but the problem persisted.

 

I'll give the board a once-over at the weekend. It needs a bit of a shuffle anyway, as I've got a couple of things I want to put on it.

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It won't be picking up a radio nearby, it's acting as a radio.  Used to have a CryBaby that did it, once so bad I had to completely disconnect it at a gig.  Also used to get it a lot when practicing at The Foyer. Even had an amp once that regularly used to spit out foreign radio stations.

 

Lots of reasons for it happening, usually related to shielding but the problem may not even be in your board. Could be a poor quality electrical socket.

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Took my board apart today, went through every pedal and cable, one by one, and couldn't get it to pick up radio signal again.

 

Until I realised that I have 3 different power adaptors, and I was trying each pedal with just one of my adaptors. The remaining two power adaptors are exactly the same make/model. They are the offenders. Both of those turn my distortion pedals into radios.

 

Which is weird, because I've been using them on my board for months with no issues. It's odd they've only just started acting out.

 

So, I need a couple of 9V power adaptors. Any recommendations?

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Took my board apart today, went through every pedal and cable, one by one, and couldn't get it to pick up radio signal again.

 

Until I realised that I have 3 different power adaptors, and I was trying each pedal with just one of my adaptors. The remaining two power adaptors are exactly the same make/model. They are the offenders. Both of those turn my distortion pedals into radios.

 

Which is weird, because I've been using them on my board for months with no issues. It's odd they've only just started acting out.

 

So, I need a couple of 9V power adaptors. Any recommendations?

 

http://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_powerplant_junior.htm

 

xx

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Is a powerbank like that better than using a 9v power adaptor and a daisy chain?

 

I'd never had a problem using 3 power packs and a couple of daisy chains until two of the power packs decided to turn into radio transmitters. A couple of adaptors would probably be much cheaper than a powerbank that powers 12 pedals.

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