Why are there so many DC barrel connectors?

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Why are there so many DC barrel connectors?

Post by MarkOne »

Why? World? Why?

And how are you supposed to figure out which one to get when you can’t get the vernier gauge inside the bloomin’ hole or on the pin of the socket?

Grrrr!
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Re: Why are there so many DC barrel connectors?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

They are all 'standard'...

:think::crazy::lol:
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Re: Why are there so many DC barrel connectors?

Post by Folderol »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 5:54 pm They are all 'standard'...

:think::crazy::lol:

... just not the same standard.
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Re: Why are there so many DC barrel connectors?

Post by N i g e l »

"the great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from"

:thumbup: +1 for hating the connectors when they need replaced or trying to find a replacement PSU with the correct connector on it.

I use a vernier & a plastic template with various sized holes and things to poke into the center, that can then be measured.

The only thing worse than measuring barrel plugs is barrel sockets - trying to measure the pin in the middle.
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Re: Why are there so many DC barrel connectors?

Post by blinddrew »

N i g e l wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 9:31 pm The only thing worse than measuring barrel plugs is barrel sockets - trying to measure the pin in the middle.

This ^^^ :(
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Re: Why are there so many DC barrel connectors?

Post by The Elf »

Fabulous things these external PSUs. Glad so many people feel they're the better option... :headbang:
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Re: Why are there so many DC barrel connectors?

Post by blinddrew »

Ha! How long have you been waiting for that? :D
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Re: Why are there so many DC barrel connectors?

Post by ef37a »

This is why I never throw rats away and even if they are faulty I cut the power plug off them, leaving about 300mm and chuck it in a draw. Never know when you will need to splice one onto an existing PSU to get you out of a hole.

But, to answer the question, as with phones, every manufacturer wanted you to buy his supply in the event the original failed and a great deal of gear came with (and still does in many cases) dire warnings that on no account should ANY other supply be used!
In truth of course, so long as a supply meets the voltage and current requirements and is the correct polarity, brand matters diddly.

I would love to know when the co-ax power connector came on the scene? Early portable kit, cassette recorders, calculators e.g. used a 3.5mm jack. I have an old compressor pedal so equipped.

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Re: Why are there so many DC barrel connectors?

Post by MarkOne »

I have an Alesis mixer that gets used sometimes for smaller live gigs and that has a 4 pin screw collar aircraft style connector. Brilliant, it's very easily identified, and the screw collar makes it secure from the potential of being yanked out during the gig.

I know these connectors are probably a bit more expensive but we are talking PRO audio gear here (The unit that made me raise this question is a Roland synth), not some 20 quid problem solver from Amazon, so if we have to have external PSUs on pro gear, (and I understand the arguments for that) at least make the connectors a bit professional too.
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Re: Why are there so many DC barrel connectors?

Post by jjlonbass »

Barrel connectors have been around a long time, most likely since the '60s. I had an ITT radio that was first released in 1972 that had a barrel socket to connect to a "battery eliminator".

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Re: Why are there so many DC barrel connectors?

Post by The Elf »

MarkOne wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 9:23 am I have an Alesis mixer that gets used sometimes for smaller live gigs and that has a 4 pin screw collar aircraft style connector. Brilliant, it's very easily identified, and the screw collar makes it secure from the potential of being yanked out during the gig.

But I hope you carry a spare. Finding one of those at a gig is going to be a tough one.

I don't mind a power connector being capable of being yanked out - at the extreme it's better that than the whole thing crashing crashing stage-ward, or something snapping.
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Re: Why are there so many DC barrel connectors?

Post by adamburgess »

I have a box full of the jack ends of the cables. I say, 'luckily', but the breaks always luckily seem to be at the heavy transformer end - so I just keep the LV ends.

Recently, I've started powering the few bits of 12V stuff I have with inline CCTV 12V 5A adapters from Amazon with an IEC in. I just lop the end off and solder on an appropriate sized jack if it doesn't fit, or has reversed polarity. Maybe not the best quality, but then, neither are the ones that come with the gear. But, these 5A ones definitely seem beefier and more roadworthy. And lots of space to write a label if they're reversed, or have a stupid sized connector on, or what it's actually for…

And, Korg (example only!) has 'about' three 'standard' jack sizes just in front of me. Grrrr! Sennheiser seem to use a couple of slightly different sizes, too.

Going back to the OP, why!?!?! Haha
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