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A new pedalboard-centric twist on "magnets, how do they work?"

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  • A new pedalboard-centric twist on "magnets, how do they work?"

    For pedalboards that is... I wonder how well magnets work to secure and power your pedals?

    Okay, a rechargeable battery does the actual powering on the Earthboard pedalboard, but magnets hold the power supply and pedals in place on the board. It looks like you'd have left / right pedal placement freedom and adjustability, but not on the up / down axis. Apparently you have to use their bottom magnetic attachments too... I'm not sure if that means you're out of luck if you have an odd-sized pedal you want to mount. From the looks of the layout, I'd say that's probably the case.

    Still, it looks rather interesting to me... what do you think of it?

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  • #2
    Interesting, using "third rail" technology as the power distribution. It works dandy for subway cars.

    Magnet mounting? That's going to add weight, so I don't see this being practical for anything more than about 5 or 6 pedals.

    Rare Earth Music claims the Earthboard is capable of delivering isolated, noise-free power.
    THAT is an absolute falsehood. A LIE. Obviously the pedals share common (literal) power rails. The fact that it's battery powered should go a long way to reducing noise, but isolated it's NOT. You'd never be able to use a positive-ground pedal with such a setup, unless it was your only pedal.
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    • #3
      Simply add tone arguments. I am curious though, how does the power stay isolated from pedal to pedal?
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      • Mr.Grumpy
        Mr.Grumpy commented
        Editing a comment
        That's the thing, it doesn't. The two bare metal rails are connected to the battery...the "pedal shoes" have contacts that connect to the little plug lead. It's not frickin' isolated! It's a daisy chain, all the power feeds are connected in parallel. The only way for this to be truly "isolated" would be to have AC current on the rails, and have a the rectifying and filtering circuit built into each pedal "shoe".

    • #4
      Isolation doesn't occur with most bricks or daisy chain adaptors either. Don't see it being a huge problem here unless you have a non standard pedal which causes problems for others connected in parallel.

      There were a few things I saw there which gave me a "Meh" moment.

      First having been on stage half my life I know what its like trekking around on a dark stage. First thing I see happening here is getting my guitar cord caught on a pedal and when I walk away from the mic it pulls the pedal off the board and I lose all my sound when that pedal goes dead.
      Of course this could happen with pedals plugged in too, but Velcro is tough to dislodge and even if you do you'd need to pull the power jack out too.

      Second item, its seems manufacturers don't take into account the dirt and crud shoes pick up playing out. Your shoes are going to dump all that dirt on those power rails and then you'll be dealing with power losses or erratic contacts if you don't clean the rails after each gig. That pots more wear and tear on the connectors and defeats the entire purpose of a pedal board which is to have something secure, reliable and functional.

      Third, those rails take up more space they you'd save and they really don't look all that great either.

      The rest of it about rechargeable batteries or whatever is just BS. If I wanted pedals I could recharge I'd by rechargeable 9V batteries then rewire the adaptor plugs to charge the interior battery instead of disconnecting it when I connect a wall wart.

      Thing is I don't want to deal with batteries, rechargeable or otherwise. They are a major ripoff these days and rechargeable batteries are wallet busters. I have to power the amp, run a cord from the pedals to the amp. It doesn't take any additional effort for me to simply run a power cable to the pedal board.

      Lastly as others mentioned, that pedal board is only good a small range of enclosure types. Even a wah/volume pedal isn't going to fit. If you run some pedals too large or small you're right back to running those pedals on their own supplies or doing a rube goldberg to power them, so you're right back to asking why run that system if it only powers half your pedals.


      • #5
        Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
        Isolation doesn't occur with most bricks or daisy chain adaptors either. Don't see it being a huge problem here unless you have a non standard pedal which causes problems for others connected in parallel.
        You're right, most users don't absolutely require a true isolated ground power supply. But it's like being sold a truck that's claimed to have a V8 engine, and then when you find out it's only a four-banger, the salesmen says "Well most people don't really need a V8 anyway!"

        The point is, they're charging $350 (and up!) for a pedalboard and power supply, and making FALSE claims about "isolation". You cannot run a positive ground pedal with this setup, it's not isolated. The grounds and power rail are electrically tied together. I'm sure 'earthboards' thinking is that by being powered by a battery, that there's no connection to mains power, it's "isolated"

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        • #6
          Boy, talk about a complicated system and expensive. I also have doubts that the pedals would stay fixed to the board during transport or rough use. I get the concept. Being able to switch pedals around easily. Problem is, the pedals are still connected together by cables. Until pedals are wireless or bluetooth connected, this is pointless.
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          • #7
            Cool pedal board.

            I don't see any reason if you already have a pedal board like an aluminum frame Pedal Train, you couldn't take 2 neodymium magnets and put a little double-sided tape on one. Stick that on to the effect, then take the second magnet and place it under the rail of the frame.

            They even have magnets with holes in them, but I'm not sure how the field is arranged. You might not need to double-sided tape.


            I dig the ground lighting around the bottom.

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