Programmable Micro Pedalboard

Updated March 2018 : Micro pedalboard – four programmable Hotone Xtomps powered by a Palmer Batpack 8000 – now joined by a Hotone VoW wah/volume pedal…

Despite the very long delay between launch and shipping, I was impressed with the quality and range of FX in my first Hotone XTOMP programmable pedal.

So after thorough tests, I decided to build a new micro pedalboard for jamming and pickup gigs using four of them.

Power on my tiny Mooer board was provided by a Pedaltrain Volvo, which was a big disappointment in use. (It claims to be able to deliver 2000mAH of charge, but my experience, backed up by my measurements, was that it barely provided 750. With several digital pedals requiring several hundred mAH of power, this meant it wasn’t giving me much more than an hour’s playing time).

So first I had to find a better power supply. A friend suggested the Palmer, though friends have also given the Warwick good reviews.  Then I sourced three more Stomps and have them all attached to a Pedaltrain Nano+ board, longer and narrower than my previous Nano.

Everything fits well.  Two pedals are powered from each of the Palmer’s two outputs to ensure individual limits are not exceeded and I get over seven hours of playing time (Pedaltrain please note).  This required some snipping and soldering of the power leads supplied.  Palmer also rather negligently supplied the wrong polarity power supply so it wouldn’t take a charge until I’d butchered that too.  Duh!

I’ve ended up working quite closely with the Hotone guys as it seems I’m pushing these pedals further in combination than most people right now.  So far, everything works well in mono but we’re working through some issues in stereo.  Since many of the effects are offered in stereo and I want to use the board with two amps, this is important.

But the result is going to be a great-sounding board which packs into a tiny space, doesn’t need mains power and can be repurposed for different gigs (blues, rock, acoustic, alt.) in seconds, even between sets.  It’s also very photogenic – kind of what an Apple MacBook would look like it it were a pedalboard.

I’d imagined adding a TC Polytune Mini at the front end and a Ditto Looper at the back, but Hotone have already released a looper (ok, it’s only 45 seconds in its first release) and promise a tuner too, so it’s now more likely that I’ll add a fifth Xtomp to complete the board.

And just recently, I added Hotone’s equally coapct VoW combination volume and wah pedal.  the volume is good – it has an active control to reatin tone.  The wah is quite crunchy, you have to roll back the guitar to get a clean funk chukkachukka, but for the price and size it’s another win for Hotone…