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A Fool Mounts A Power Supply

Cables Don't Really Matter—well, not all that much but what do I know?


Bounty Hunter -
Show Dates and Times

2016 Savannah St. Patrick's Celebration

March 17th, Thursday -- 2:30PM - 5:30PM
March 19th, Saturday -- 1:30PM - 3:30PM

Location:
Downtown City Market, Savannah, Georgia.

Event Stage:
The Yuengling Stage on Jefferson Street.

Savannah St. Patrick's Celebration Control Zone Map


Redbreast Tournament

May 21st
Stoke's Bluff
Clio, South Carolina

Bounty Hunter to perform 8PM - 11PM
Outdoor Stage



Info on Bounty Hunter's band web site.

Hope to see you there. Always a blast!

—Jimmy



About the Background Image.

This background image is a photo montage of my boring pile of guitar gear that I've gigged with over the years and/or am using it for recording and future integration into my stage guitar rig.

In the digital imagery, I messed with perspectives a bit and then layer-blended a vivid red over it to make it pop.


I shoot everything in Camera Raw and then work down in resolution from that.

All the photos on this web site (except for movie stills and manufacturer instruction sheets) are my creative work, as are all illustrations, wording, and the web code itself.

Still working on the web code thing.






Part 2 – Mounting Plates & Brackets


Zippy Tie Yay.


It's a good idea to keep our wires on our pedalboards free of potential snags. Pedaltrain boards come come with plenty of Velcro and a small bundle of zip ties. These are a nice and necessary additions.

But what about zip ties wrapped around the top rails of our pedalboard like ropes for seatbelts on Jed Clampett's truck?

Not exactly Beverly Hills stylin' & profilin' but could qualify for a reality show.

We may as well finish up, break out the grinder, and relic the darned contraption for camouflage. Fulltone and Strymon bits everywhere.

Fear not. Zip Tie Mounting Plates are available to save us. However; buyer beware!

Visual image time: have you ever seen one of these pedalboards with a mess of loose wires underneath and little white squares zippy-tied to the surprisingly loose wires flailing about like an unruly string of Christmas lights?

I have. But I forgot that I did until I purchased a bag of 100 White Zip Tie Mounting Plates for $5 (the electrical supply web store didn't have black ones). When they arrived, I took one look at them.

Then the penny dropped.

These little white square zip tie mounting plates are made for interior home office installations. This is a real shame because these mounting plates are the perfect size. The ugly white color should have told me something up front.

Lowe's has the black mounting plates that are roughly twice the size, have better glue for stronger Duty Rating, and are made for Exterior Use according to the package description.

 

Comparison of Zip Tie Mounting Plates. (A) Interior Duty Embarrassment on the Left. (B) Exterior Duty Sexiness on the Right.

The larger foot is a little too big for a tidy pedalboard installation. They are plastic. The excess part is a wing which can be trimmed off so that it fits better.

A pair of diagonal cutters works well. If you have a razor saw, that will do a very nice job of cutting them perfectly; it may be a pain without a clamp or some kind of jig.

I'm sticking with the diagonal cutters; a pair of ChannelLock #336 diagonal cutters is large enough to trim it down in only four cuts. That's all it needs. The first two cuts are straight down the gussets close to the edge where we'll be trimming off the excess we don't need.

These will act as guide cuts for when we cut the flat part off with the final two cuts for a nice tight trim job. Cut right up to the loop flange as squarely as possible on one end and the mounting plate will be the perfect size.

Fitted with the trimmed edge against the rail bottom for tighter wire clearance and a neater appearance. If we want to be super-picky or if we're doing this as a for-hire installation, we can blacken the white edges lf the adhesive pad with a black sharpie mrker. A couple of coats covers nicely. While we have the sharpie out, we can blacken the white center hole, too.

Note to self: Blacken the hole first so you don't get as much black ink all over your fingers.

Buy 5 Packs and get a Contractor Discount: instead of spending $3 on just one pack of 10, spend $11 on five packs for a total of 50 Mounting Plates. We can run our wiring exactly like we want with no compromises. Definitely worth it when wiring two pedalboards. That way our wiring job won't look like it's been through a zombie apocalypse with little square band-aids hanging loose all over the place.

Waiting on the final pieces to arrive so that I can begin wiring. While waiting, I can trim more plates and practice my guitar parts. I've already started color-coding snake pigtails.



A Fool Installs a Pedaltrain Voodoo Lab Mounting Kit Model PT-VDL-MK


Piece of Cake. And I'm a diabetic.

The box of mounting hardware is tiny. Inside are two brackets and a small pack of (6) screws.

It's good that it has two extra screws because you just might need them to finish the installation. The instructions are a .png file found on the Pedaltrain web site. A copy for your convenience will be included at the bottom of this page until I get into trouble.

The instructions say to use the (4) screws that came with the Voodoo Lab power supply. The only screws that come with the Voodoo Lab power supply are the ones that hold the unit together. It just so happens that this is where the holes match up on the mounting brackets.

Once we figure out that the bracket will mount the power supply either frontward or backward but not upside down, we can breathe a sigh of relief that we can't screw that up too badly due to the design unless we start bending stuff.

The marketing hype says to bend stuff if you want because "there are no rules." Don't listen to them. I found that there wasn't any use to live that dangerously because it's pretty darned idiot-proof for even a fellow like me. The one thing we gotta watch out for is Murphy's Law of screws, threads & nuts: at least one will strip or be a real sonofabitch… or fall and go rolling into a void never to be seen again… until you step on it with your bare feet or scratch your hardwood floor real bad with it.

As usual, one of the screw threads in the Voodoo Lab brick was just on the verge of being stripped when I got it. My screwdriver touched it and the screw just fell out. It was hanging by a portion of a thread.

Save these errant screws. You'll need them to attach the brackets and put the unit back together in one fell swoop. Save the stripped screw so that you can get some replacements just in case. Bear in mind that all is not lost. They musta had a bunch of fellers like me doing the test assemblies.

(Something told me to pick up a selection of short panhead screws at a body shop before attempting this. Lowe's probably had some. But of course, I did not have the presence of mind to do a complete mock-up with screw inventory before going there to get a new drill bit.)

By the way: 1/8" drilled holes work very well with the supplied screws according to the instructions. (If you can't pick up your grandfather's sledgehammer, you might want to get someone else to man the screwdriver.)

Mount the brackets to the brick. I found that sliding the brackets as far toward the back of the brick (the side with the 117VAC plugs) works well. Don't over-tighten the screws by the least little bit.

Now we can blue-tape the board where we're going to make our marks for the holes. Put the brick in place with the board balanced on your legs so that you can align everything. Just don't get in a hurry. Measure thrice. I measured the center of the board and the power supply, put some blue tape on pedalboard rail and the power brick, and made center marks with a new sharpie.

Place the brick where you want it. Making sure that none of the 117VAC or 9VDC sockets will be impeded by the metal rails in any way whatsoever might be a very good thing to keep in mind.

I made my marks for the holes. I placed a straight-edge parallel to the rail to see how far I was off when I made the holes. 1/8" on the left side. I fixed that with a new sharpie mark and cross-hairs pointing at the correct mark. I want this thing mounted squarely so that there's no undue torque stress on any of the delicate screw threads whatsoever.

I looked at my work. The power supply brick's 9VDC sockets were facing toward the front of the board. That means I'll have to turn the board on it's end to plug / unplug the 117VAC power cord at gigs. Um. That's not good. Just asking for trouble. Also, the thought occurred to me that it might be best to mount the brick with the 117VAC electric sockets facing outward. We also won't have a bunch of 9VDC wires wrapped around the front top outer rail of the pedalboard. Otherwise, that would defeat the purpose of having our wiring job made so that it's undisturbed during transit / use unless we like surprises during a gig, such as an electrical short from rubbed wiring insulation.

The brackets will reverse. Whew. Ah, so far so go... then I dropped the brick and one of the mounted brackets (and its two screws) shot across the floor. We are now up to one (1) missing screw in the Lost Screw Count. Glad we crossed that threshold.

Remember the two (2) extra screws that came with the mounting bracket kit? These are a little larger and will stick out a bit of we don't force them in. Don't force them in. But they will work; ugly but they work better than the original brick screws. Anyway, do not over-tighten the original screws that we were able to find, and then use the ugly screws that came with bracket to fill in for the missing screw.

Do not be tempted to use a longer screw than the ones that came in the power supply. You have been warned.

The ugly screw is longer than the teensie one that teleported away. Screw it in until it resists, then stop. It will stick out a bit—as shown in the center photo above—but that really won't matter because the side of the bracket and it's little bottom ledge holds the brick in place quite well.

Anyone who is small enough to crawl underneath your pedalboard deserves to find an imperfection.

On the other hand, some boo-boos can ruin a good thing.

Have you ever seen one of these boards with a loose brick hanging out the bottom of it at a gig? I have. That one-of-two awful visions haunted me throughout this entire installation. (I expected Murphy's Law of Threaded Fasteners to make an appearance.) As I looked at the design of the bracket, I realized that pair of mounting bracket screws—the ones that thread into your drilled holes—had to have to been missing from that poor guy's otherwise nice pedalboard rig. It looked really scary in a bad way. I'll keep in mind to fix that promptly if it ever happens. But I'm thinking that it won't.

Besides; these boards look a hell lot better with stuff hidden underneath like they're supposed to. It sure frees up a lot of pedalboard real-estate. I'm digging it already.

Maybe, like, I should have tested it first.

Our MONDO super brick is now in place and facing the proper direction. If I can do it, almost anyone can.

Man! These boards are much, much lighter in weight and stiffer than my old SKB PS-45 powered board. Love it!


One Last Thing for Now

Y'all do realize that I'm going all Japanese on this build for several reasons:


The Official Instructions


I don't own this nor am I affiliated with the company. This is provided as a courtesy only.



Coming Soon: All Wired Up and Somewhere To Go.