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Sharing the power between modules

The Powerhouse comes with a 1600 milliamp power supply that connects via a 5-pin locking XLR. This not only provides power to the modules via the +16V / -16V rails, it also has a separate 48 volt feed to supply phantom power to mic preamps.

The 1600 milliamp power supply is presented in the form of a shared pool whereby you simply add up the power requirement of each module to make sure you do not exceed the available current on hand. So for instance, if you wanted to create two channel strips, you would probably encounter a setup like this:

Card-slot #1 Mic preamp = 130mA
Card-slot #2 Equalizer = 40mA
Card-slot #3 Compressor = 65mA
Card-slot #4 Mic preamp = 130mA
Card-slot #5 Equalizer = 40mA
Card-slot #6 Compressor = 65mA

  Total = 470mA

Total current required: 470mA – Leaving you with a healthy 1130mA of current to spare. It's unlikely you will ever run out even with double-wide tube modules.


Powering up and swapping modules

Once you have mounted and secured your modules in place and made the appropriate connections you are set to power on. Hot swapping of modules is not recommended.

Hot swapping modules or plugging modules in and out while power is on can cause damage to the card-edge connector. Keep in mind that when you plug in a module, you are making a +/- 16 volt and 48 volt connection at the same time. This can cause the contacts to spark which can shorten the lifespan of the card-edge contacts or the connector. Before swapping modules, simply disconnect the power supply and allow a moment for the internal capacitors to discharge. Then swap at will. Safely plugging in equipment will yield years of trouble free use.

Powerhouse™ Using & Applications

The Powerhouse is a power rack designed to accommodate up to ten 500 series modules. For the most part, the experienced 500 series user will find the Powerhouse to be plug-and-play easy to use. The following is a quick overview on how to use the Powerhouse. For more information we invite you to download the complete user guide by clicking the icon at left. You can also find plenty of other useful resources by downloading the Workhorse open-source document (Whos-Doc) – both of which can be found on our web site.

Using modules in series

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Feeding one module into the next can be done two ways: You can plug one module into the other using either an XLR or ¼" TRS cable or you can simply push the FEED switch into the up position. This sends the signal from one module into the adjacent module to the right – when viewed from the front. This would typically be used when combining a mic preamp with an EQ and a compressor to create a channel strip. Moving the feed in the down position stops the signal from going any further.


Using modules in parallel

Click to enlarge.

You can also use the rear connectors at the same time to feed a recorder or do some parallel processing. One simply takes the output from one module and then jumps the signal across to another to create fun effects. A good example could be combining the clean sound of a mic preamp with guitar effects by plugging into the Radial EXTC module. You can then mix the output from each module at your mixer to create the desired sound.


Stereo link


Some modules such a compressors are often equipped with a stereo link function. This enables you to use the controls on one compressor and have the second one follow for certain types of stereo effects. On older racks, combining two modules in stereo was done by soldering a circuit together. The Powerhouse eliminates the soldering process by incorporating a simple LINK switch. One merely pushes the link to the up position and you are set.


Using the Omniport™


The Omniport is a ¼" TRS connection that uses free pins on the 15 pin card edge. Radial 'invented' this function to give each module a separate port for added functionality. The circuit designer simply decides what function may be best suited and the Omniport will change automatically when the module connected inside the Powerhouse.

For instance on the PowerPre preamp, the Omniport serves as a guitar input. On the Komit compressor, it serves as a key input for the side-chain. Simply check with the manufacturer to see if the module is equipped with the feature and you are set to go.