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Quest to Find the Perfect Power Source for my Raspberry PI3

69.54.140.210

Posted on February 11, 2017 at 08:19:31
jaydacus
Audiophile

Posts: 509
Joined: October 15, 2009
Using a Raspberry Pi3 with a HiFiBerry clone and Volumio with FLAC files over an NAS.

I've been using a standard 5V 2.4A "wall wart" power supply. Sound quality seemed reasonable.

Tried an external battery. Sound is cleaner, but seems a little flat andc harsh compared to the power supply

Purchased a iFi Audio iPower 5V power adapter for around $50. Sound quality is better in every way imaginable. Listened to system for several days and there was no denying the difference. I had no idea how much the power supply noise was adversely affecting the sound quality until it was gone.

Tried to watch a movie using Kodi. The movie sound was also better. I could even hear dialogue more clearly. Shortly after starting the movie I started getting a lighting bolt (low power). Unplugged the external USB hard drive and watched something over the network. Working fine. The next day I tried to watch something over the network again and got the lightening bolt right away. What the !?#@%? Switched back to $6 power supply. No lightening bolt. Even able to plug an the external hard drive just like I always have before. Lightening bolt with the IFI power supply. Even tried a different Raspberry PI. Power supply being returned.

Ordered a 5V 2.1A linear power supply from China for around $70. Will post results.

Are there any other power sources that I should consider that don't cost hundreds of dollars?

 

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RE: Quest to Find the Perfect Power Source for my Raspberry PI3, posted on February 12, 2017 at 02:38:49
motberg
Audiophile

Posts: 49
Joined: May 19, 2013
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
I do not know much about the Raspberry, but I have had success using an iFi DC iPurifier to improve the output of various China made LPS units...

 

Zerozone Linear Power Supply, posted on February 12, 2017 at 13:34:31
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12327
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002

This particular Zerozone linear power supply with toroidal transformer found on eBay is outstanding, with true audiophile performance. I use two of them: a 5V version and a 12V version, and in both applications the particular Zerozone PSU sounds excellent from top to bottom, with no sonic downside, and very good build quality especially for a low-cost $62 PSU.

Tell the seller which version of the six different output voltage/current rating options that you require:

1. 5V/3A
2. 9V/3A
3. 12V/3A
4. 15V/2.7A
5. 18V/2.5A
6. 24V/2A

I experienced no shipping issues when purchased from this eBay seller:

See link:

 

Swagman Labs................, posted on February 12, 2017 at 16:49:06
Cut-Throat
Audiophile

Posts: 11275
Location: Minneapolis - St.Paul Area
Joined: September 2, 2000
Super build quality and Great Customer Service. Will Make a cable for your unit custom Length....

Standard Units and I also own one of their "Signature Units" for my Raspberry Pi.....

Cut-Throat




 

My iffy IFi... but Lightning bolts?, posted on February 13, 2017 at 12:08:34
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 27836
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002

What lightning bolts?

My first iFi iPower was iffy and had to be returned to the retailer. It had something lose inside that was rattling around which could cause a short, maybe even lightning bolts!

Not something I expected to experience in a premium $50 wall wart worth maybe $10 tops. Heck, with Active Noise Cancellation+® drawn from military radar technology(!) I was expecting better. Arr arr, LoL wink wink.

My $8 wall wart from Amazon by way of China worked just fine thank you very much!

Ooh, ahh



 

RE: Quest to Find the Perfect Power Source for my Raspberry PI3, posted on February 13, 2017 at 14:26:24
Dynobot
Audiophile

Posts: 158
Joined: December 10, 2016
Use this...it measures 5.00v with ZERO fluctuation. I have used many, many power sources iFi, various from eBay and Teradak etc. This $10.95 wallwart provides Linear Regulated power thats as good as anything.

http://www.jameco.com/z/DDU050100H4660-AC-to-DC-Power-Supply-Wall-Adapter-Transformer-Single-Output-5-Volt-1-Amp-5-Watt_168605.html

However keep in mind that fancy power supplies mean nothing if your RPI still sees switching regulated power. FYI, if you use the miniUSB jack for power you will be using the RPI's internal switching regulator. Therefore no need to get a fancy power supply unless you plan on powering your RPI directly from GPIO.

 

Thanks for the tip -nt, posted on February 13, 2017 at 14:53:36
E-Stat
Audiophile

Posts: 23963
Joined: May 12, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
.

 

Sorry OT, but..., posted on February 13, 2017 at 15:10:14
E-Stat
Audiophile

Posts: 23963
Joined: May 12, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
that pic reminds me of a time I was oohed and ahhed years ago during a trip to Scotland along Loch Duich while overlooking the thirteenth century castle Eilean Donan. I was videotaping and heard a roar approaching...

It wasn't a loch monster, but a Tornado flying just over the deck behind it!

 

Very cool, posted on February 13, 2017 at 22:21:10
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 27836
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002
I've seen F-16 fighters fly overhead now and then and even saw a Harrier, but never caught them on video.



 

RE: Quest to Find the Perfect Power Source for my Raspberry PI3, posted on February 15, 2017 at 04:13:25
zacster
Audiophile

Posts: 1097
Location: NYC
Joined: November 22, 2003
Try International Power Supplies. They have a website internationalpower.com and are available at Mouser. These are not plug and play wallwarts, need to be wired in, and are in open frames. What they are though are linear power supplies made with discrete components.

 

RE: "Are there any other power sources that I should consider" ..., posted on February 16, 2017 at 18:37:31
andyr
Manufacturer

Posts: 11419
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
YES! But it will cost you several hundred dollars! But so what if it improves the sound so much! :-))

I'm talking Sbooster (www.sbooster.com) - I use a 12v one to power my miniDSP unit. It gave a substantial increase in SQ.

Andy

 

Bad Battery??, posted on February 18, 2017 at 15:37:16
bare
Audiophile

Posts: 524
Joined: April 14, 2009
Try a Nicad battery
http://store.batteriesamerica.com/search.aspx?find=sanyo+nicads
Output power when tested for audio purposes..was found to be Clean beyond the capabilities of the Lab Test equipment to measure.
A sub C sized Sanyo Nicad, can happily output 30 amps or more.
That enough headroom for the Pi ?

 

RE: Quest to Find the Perfect Power Source for my Raspberry PI3, posted on February 22, 2017 at 00:50:35
soundchekk
Audiophile

Posts: 1863
Joined: July 11, 2007
Hi.

IMO quite some nonsense is spread in this thread.

E.g

1. Dynabots comments.


Just to clarify:


The PI doesn't regulate 5V. It takes it as is.

The external 5V (at whatever quality) will be forwarded to

1. interntal buckconverters <=3.3V
2. USB power rails
3. GPIO
4. HDMI

By feeding 5V into GPIO you'll loose protection.


Or

2. Abe Collins rather cynic response.
One of those audiophiles who'd never consider a PI as source.
He'd better stick with a crappy $8 wallwart.

3. Non of the linear supplies mentioned lists any measurements
iPower are <1uV in audioband and <30uV incl. switching noise
and mains noise

4. Buying a linear and filtering that with a DC iPurifier
that's IMO nonsense and waste of money.

***********************

I own several linears incl. Sbooster supplies.
No way I'd swap out my iPower.
I even prefer my iPower over a DIY LiFePO4-TPS7A4700 combo.

Beside that the iPower can supply 2.5A. You don't want to replace that with a 1A supply.


Obviously your application matters.
If you use the GPIO or USB power rails to feed your DAC
the main supply can make a huge difference.

The iPower can slightly fall short - depending on application - when it comes current/time. That's a factor that can make the difference some associate to linear supplies.

To squeeze most of the iPower I therefore added a fast cap buffer at the
end of cable.

I also shortened the cable by 2/3.
Such a long cable for 5V DC as supplied by iFi IMO is a bad idea.

I forwarded these proposals to iFi (Thorsten Loesch) btw.

To me the 1. question is not what's better linear or switching.
The first question would be: What are the relevant differences.

To me this "linear PS is better" subject, must be considered old
school audiophile thinking.
These supplies burn more power, are more expensive and many of them
are not any better then well made switching supplies.

For best performance I power RPI and (HAT-) DAC separately.

Good luck on your journey.

Enjoy.









 

RE: Quest to Find the Perfect Power Source for my Raspberry PI3, posted on February 22, 2017 at 16:08:38
jaydacus
Audiophile

Posts: 509
Joined: October 15, 2009
Bumpy journey it has been....

Got my "Jay's audio" 2.1A, marked max 2.5A on the front and I'm getting low power right away with nothing plugged in. Guessing these older cheap China linear power supplies are left over from the RP1 era.

My options now:

-Try a 5V 3A Linear from China $60-$80
-Try a 5V 3A Linear fron not China $150 and up
-Give the IPower another try. $55. Sounded great and supplied enough power for the first 2 days

"One of those audiophiles who'd never consider a PI as source.
He'd better stick with a crappy $8 wallwart."

One of those audiophiles who would make a comment like that obviously has never heard a PI/DAC combo. Clean power helps!

 

RE: Quest to Find the Perfect Power Source for my Raspberry PI3, posted on February 22, 2017 at 23:31:30
soundchekk
Audiophile

Posts: 1863
Joined: July 11, 2007
"Clean power helps!"

Quality power is everything!

BUT.

You can't fix from the outside what's already messed up on the inside.
A simple swap of capacitor or swapping out a regulator in your DAC
might have ten times more impact than any audiophile external supply would ever have.


Good luck on your journey.

 

RE: Zerozone Linear Power Supply, posted on March 19, 2017 at 08:09:04
jaydacus
Audiophile

Posts: 509
Joined: October 15, 2009
Just got mine. Insane build quality and clean power. The seller was great too. Answered all of my questions and even express shipped the power supply.

 

RE: Zerozone Linear Power Supply, posted on March 20, 2017 at 13:21:49
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12327
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
Glad to know about your finding, jaydacus. While I don't care for this cliché descriptor, "it punches way above its price point" is applicable to this Zerozone linear power supply. For not much more cash outlay, it sounds so much better than another inexpensive PSU found on eBay featuring an inferior lower-power rated encapsulated toroidal transformer. While the inferior PSU sounded substantially better than a regulated linear wall-wart PSU, the Zerozone linear power supply has no sonic downside, IME.

 

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