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External PSU voltage for Alcora, Level6, Diabolo


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I own several Zero88 desks which use the 4-pin DIN PSU connector: Level 6 DMX (grey one, if that matters), Alcora Mk1 & Mk2, and Diabolo. Each desk has the PSU pinout marked next to the connector and they all show Pin 1 as +9V DC. (I'm not worried about Pin 3 as none of my desks have analogue output.)

However, the instruction manuals for the four desks (as currently on zero88.com) specify different voltages for Pin 1: 
Level 6 & Alcora Mk 1: 9V
Alcora Mk2: 10V
Diabolo: 12V

A support post by Zero88 states the same PSU "0010211" is suitable for all these desks (the post seems to have been deleted but you can find a cached copy in Google):
http://support.zero88.com/Legacy-products/Legacy-Consoles/Jester-12-24-24-48/975068111/Replacement-External-PSUs-Power-Supply-Units.htm

The actual PSUs that were supplied with these desks seem to be a mixture of "10V" unregulated (these also have the 20V on Pin 3 for analogue) & 12V 2A regulated SMPS (no 20V on these).

So, my question is: can I use the Zero88-supplied PSUs interchangeably with the above desks? If I need to replace a PSU, is a 9V or 12V regulated power supply more appropriate?


 

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Hi Doug,

Welcome to the Zero 88 Forum.

I can confirm all of these products use PSU 0010211, so PSUs can be interchanged with the products below, as stated in the spare parts list in the product web pages...

https://zero88.com/control/level

https://zero88.com/control/alcora

https://zero88.com/control/diablo

 

PSUs for consoles with analogue outputs are no longer available.

1 hour ago, dougd said:

A support post by Zero88 states the same PSU "0010211" is suitable for all these desks (the post seems to have been deleted but you can find a cached copy in Google):

The article you found on Google has been deleted recently, and spare parts information has been added to the relevant product pages.

If you have any questions let us know.

Edward

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There's a voltage regulator inside the desks anyway to drop the voltage to what the electronics need but you don't want that to do much "work" hence trying to keep near to 9v (it's a 5v reg from memory).

If the input voltage is more than 9v then the regulator will do its job but the excess voltage gets "dumped" as heat which can shorten the life of the regulator. Any decent smoothed DC 9v PSU will do the job :)

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Thanks for the responses, Ian and Edward. Yes there's a 5V regulator but there are also ICs powered directly from the unregulated input voltage so it would need to be high enough for them to operate as intended. Given that Zero88 now ship a 12V PSU as "0010211", that seems the safe bet for a "non-OEM" replacement. The original Zero88 "10 V" unregulated  PSU actually outputs 11.7V with an Alcora connected so not too far off 12V anyway.

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2 hours ago, dougd said:

Thanks for the responses, Ian and Edward. Yes there's a 5V regulator but there are also ICs powered directly from the unregulated input voltage so it would need to be high enough for them to operate as intended. Given that Zero88 now ship a 12V PSU as "0010211", that seems the safe bet for a "non-OEM" replacement. The original Zero88 "10 V" unregulated  PSU actually outputs 11.7V with an Alcora connected so not too far off 12V anyway.

I've just had a quick look through the circuit diagrams for the Level, Alcora/Elara & Diablo (which used the same processor as the Mark 2 Alcora) and everything seems to be running from a 5v reg rail (it would leave a lot to chance for a reliable 12v rail that could also potentially surge).

The Alcora/Elara's could have an optional Analogue output card fitted and that did need a 15v rail but there were issues sourcing a reliable supply of PSU's that had the twin voltage rails but by the time the Mark 2's were in common use nearly all sites were using DMX so the analogue option was discontinued. The only other feature that might have needed a higher voltage appears to be on the Diablo for what looks like an CAN Bus option (though I never saw one) - it might have been part of a plan to use the processor for another product.

The option to offer a 12v PSU spare was a choice so that it rationalised the supply chain and kept the spares pricelist easier I suspect.

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