External battery for aleph?

  • While continuing my thought process into whether I should get an aleph, I was wondering if something like this would work with the aleph to allow me to use it on the 3 hours of train riding I do every day.

    http://www.ianker.com/product/79AN7906-BA

    It says it can output 9v 2A which are the specs on the aleph page. Any idea of how long 20000 mAh might last me with a grid attached?

    My mind tells me to use the money to upgrade my 7 year old laptop but my heart is screaming to get the aleph!

  • woah that thing looks crazy and kind of really interesting?!
    i really have no idea if it would work with the aleph but i like doing math, so...

    we'll assume 20000mAh (or 20Ah) is at 5V. it's strange to list a capacity in a voltage-dependent measurment — hence why your power bill comes in watts as it's voltage independent.

    anyway - it's probably just better marketing!

    so 20Ah @ 5V = 11Ah @ 9V.

    in testing the aleph would draw a little over 1A with a 256 mostly on. i would say a safe 'general usage' draw would be around 800mA to be conservative...

    hence, almost 14hours! now this seems entirely ridiculous to me and i'm not quite sure how that could be so let's just wait for someone to correct me...

  • If that works, i'd certainly be interested in getting one to power my hopefully soon to arrive aleph!

  • I like the way you think MegaMaeng

  • Battery capacity is usually listed in mAh, no? I'm not sure why you assume the capacity is for 5V since the page states its 20Ah for 9V. It's the 12V output that you probably need to derate for. So I think that if the aleph+grid draws 800mAh then 20000mAh lasts 20000/800 = 25 hours. Completely reasonable. It's a HUGE battery after all!

  • Ah, I take that back about 20000mAh @ 9V. It seems typically lithium ion batteries come provide 3.7V so @galapagoose is right you have to derate the capacity to get to 9V. It seems that the Anker is using a switcher to step up the voltages with 80% efficiency. So the calculation becomes 0.8*20000/800 = 20 hours.

  • Wow, here I was hoping it would last my commute :)

    The size seems perfect as well for the aleph to sit on top of.

  • It'll almost work for my Ibiza set.

  • @c1t1zen
    maybe switch to a 64 for the last few hours?

  • looking into a solar solution for day hours. ;)

  • totally - battery power is listed in mAh, but it's usually known what voltage the actual battery cell delivers! i couldn't find any explicit info regarding that fact.

    if @kotdotnot is right about 3.7V then you need to convert to 9V, then subtract 20% for efficiency loss. plus the manual said something about the high voltage outputs not working below 30% battery? maybe i'm misreading that. anyway - that would get you to...

    20000/800*3.7/9*0.8 = 8.2hours, potentially less another 30% (i'm guessing because the voltage droops so the switcher stops working) which gets to 5.7 hours. still seems like a super long time to me!!

  • I think i'm going to try one of those. Can anyone tell me the tip size of the power receptacle on the Aleph. Hopefully one of the many that the Anker comes with would fit?

  • Thanks! I think it's some kind of standard connector, 3.2mm maybe. I'll check it against other power supplies i have and then google it, or maybe it's on the aleph main page?

  • Yep, it was on the Aleph page 2.1 mm center positive.

  • please oh please somebody post once they test one of these out...

  • I took the plunge and bought it

    http://www.amazon.com/20000mAh-Aluminum-Portable-Multi-Voltage-Technology/dp/B005NGLTZQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395695155&sr=8-1&keywords=astro+pro

    Works great. Its small too, fits right under the ALEPH just about the same footprint. Only negative is the 2.5mm connector is a touch wiggly. A universal dc adapter to 2.1mm would allow for a better fit but as long as I'm not bouncing around while fiddling with knobs its all good. I haven't had it on long enough to judge battery life but I'm guessing from how much percent its dropped in 10 minutes (none) that it power it for many hours.

  • i wasnt initially interested but then i saw the pricepoint

    when you have time please share a few pics...i might be getting one of these things

  • Couple pictures. Love how its ~ same footprint of Aleph.

    320 x 240 - 28K
    320 x 240 - 24K
  • that looks fantastic


  • I'm about ready to spring for one, but i'm a little confused that the 2.5mm plug fits at all.
    I guess it's no biggy to solder up a 2.1 plug.

    I guess i'm not getting how a 2.5 mm plug fits loosely? I'm guessing the plug coming out of the battery is 2.5?

  • How hot does it get? I'm wondering if i could unscrew the little feet on the aleph and velcro them together...

  • Where are you guys going with your Alephs?

  • @c1t1zen i'm not travelling with mine so this isnt a priority

    [but in the future, it would be nice not to worry about power cables + extensions if i play a show ]]

  • Its 5.5 mm on the outside ring 2.5mm inner hole but the inner pin of the Aleph is 2.1mm. However I think it tapers so it seems to have an ok connection when its fully plugged in. If I pick it up and move it around though the connection is intermittent. I ordered a 5.5mm x2.5mm to 5.5mm x2.1mm adapter for 2 bucks but its not here yet.

    http://www.amazon.com/Generic-Straight-Universal-Connector-Notebook/dp/B00DC1PCJ8/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1395716651&sr=8-13&keywords=universal+dc+adapter+plug+2.1mm

    I haven't noticed it get hot.

  • if you go down the velcro path, you can totally take the rubber feet out (they're not structural at all). kind of crazy that this thing actually works?!

  • thanks so much @rayce! i'd much rather carry around this battery than another power brick + cord!!! also it saves on plug adapters for international travel, etc… i absolutely love to have batteries whenever possible.

  • @ galapagoose, thanks! I'm about to order a battery now.

  • @citizen, just various locations around the house and maybe outside and to the studio. I can see processing field recording stuff through the aleph.

    I also would like to inflict some damage on some folk sessions i'm currently working on...

  • Very cool ideas.

  • Tanks!
    On a sideways note, i have a really cool swedish quad mic (12 capsules) that i envision hooking up to the aleph for digitally treated field stuff, it needs phanthom power though, so i have to work on that first...

  • wait... 20 THOUSAND MAH? shit my imac battery is like 6500 i think. that's 50 shades of cray right there.

    good find.

  • So when i ordered the anker battery amazon said it might arrive in may sometime. I think it might have been two days and it's here. Seems to work well. Now i'm mobile with my aleph!

  • The connection to the aleph with the cable that comes with the anker is so loose/janky that i gave up on it for a while. I'm going to tape it down until the correct adaptor arrives.

    The battery itself seems great. I recently realized it would power my UAD satelite as well, which is very cool as now i can mix wherever with the plugins i've grown so dependent on...

  • I dunno, my battery may have caused probs with aleph. Not sure, but i definitely have issues.

  • feel like i want to say in this thread, that while it sounds awesome to have mobile power for aleph or whatever (tour van patching, train rides, i would love this)... i would be really careful and do some basic sanity checks. bad things could happen if DSP is starved for current or something like that.

    1) most basic: i am confused about the description of the product linked abve:

    "powered by PowerIQ™ technology, intelligently identify each connected device and speak its language - guaranteeing the fastest charge time for EVERY device. Additional 9V or 12V port (Max speed of 4.5 Amps among 4 ports)."

    i really don't know what that implies about how much current the thing actually delivers on each port. i'd worry that it's arbitrarily throttling it based on some opaque algorithm designed for charging laptops.

    @rayce or @blungo2 i think it's a *very* good idea to use a meter and get some numbers on how much the device is drawing from battery vs wall wart under similar applications. if indeed they are different. or if it is fluctuating.

    2) even better would be to open the aleph enclosure and check that the supply and reference pins are sitting at sane levels for the avr32, bf533, ad1939, RAM, etc. the aleph hardware documentation is now online for reference ( https://github.com/tehn/aleph-hardware ) ; this includes schematics and board layout files. datasheets for the respective parts list specified operating ranges.

    i don't want to be a spoilsport, and i don't know that it's really an issue, but it would suck to see malfunctioning or dead parts/devices because we didn't do the appropriate research on this.

  • oh, i see that @rayce it's been working well for you? then @blungo2's problems could be unrelated. but i worry, and testing is good.

  • digging through the Anker Pro's manual i see that it is rated for 1.5 amps per port (which should be fine) but makes no claims about the consistency of this level (and it doesn't really have to be consistent if it's main purpose is to charge other batteries.)

  • I have had no problems with it. That being said I was concerned enough by the difference in the size of the connectors to order an adapter (referenced in a previous post) and now it has a solid connection. The battery switches voltage between 9 and 12v based on long depressing the power button. I'd worry about accidentally setting it at 12v and connecting it.

  • 12V shouldn't hurt the aleph, though it will probably be less efficient and drain the battery faster.

  • Hello everybody, I just went for the Anker Astro Pro battery as well and changed the plug to the Aleph today. So far it seems to work perfectly, will report about how long it can be used - but I must say it is a huuuge relief to me to think I can be mobile now!

  • ok so I have been using it for a few days now and highly recommend it. I haven't really counted but it seems to me one charge can probably last about 20 hours, probably more. Plus no problem occured that I hadn't already had with the power supply. It is just fine. Only thing is I found out I could also use it to power up some hungry USB devices that the Aleph can't seem to cope with (my Edirol PCR-1M for instance, which can then send MIDI to the Aleph), but unfortunately if I stop using it for 3 minutes the Anker thinks it is "charged" and stops sending power to it. Still that's just an extra feature.