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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » PASO ProCast50 -- battery modification info (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

sethb
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The Jersey Shore
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After putting my thinking cap on, and with the help of Café’ member Michael Messing, I’ve devised a way to inexpensively double or triple the operating time of the cordless PASO PA unit.

After Michael saw my posts about connecting the PASO to an external battery source, he PM’d me about an internal secondary battery arrangement that had been devised for his Carvin StageMate. He also directed me to the Carvin online manual, which contained information about the supplementary hookup, and was nice enough to provide additional detailed information that was not obvious from the printed materials.

Based upon that information, I began to devise a similar setup for the PASO. It does not have a dedicated secondary battery compartment, but does have some extra internal space for an optional CD player and MP3 player. I decided to try and use that extra space for a second internal battery. I found a rechargeable 12-volt 5amp-hour sealed lead-acid battery (part #23-289) at Radio Shack for $30. That’s twice the capacity of the 2.7 amp-hour battery that comes packed with the PASO.

For the installation, I cut a piece of scrap 1/4” plywood to roughly 7” x 3-1/2” and then trimmed it to fit inside the PASO, so it would rest on the lower side rails ordinarily meant for the CD player. Next, I took about 3 feet of 18 gauge stranded wire (black) and ran it through the access hole in the original battery compartment, up into the upper area of the PASO. I repeated this with a similar length of red wire. Then I added standard push-on crimper connections to the upper ends of the black and red wires (these would attach to the terminals of the new secondary battery).

Next, I snipped off the existing crimper connections for the original battery connection and stripped those ends about 1/2”. At the lower end of the new wires that exited the original battery compartment, I also stripped those ends and then wrapped them around the stripped original wires, matching black to black and red to red. Each “double” connection then went into a new push-on crimper connection, which got reconnected to the original battery.

After the “surgery” was done, the original battery was reconnected to the PA, and the new battery was connected to the old battery, using the new “Y” connection. Just make sure you connect red to red and black to black! To keep the new battery from getting bumped around, I put a thin urethane pad underneath it (actually a small piece of an old close-up pad) and then secured it to the new shelf with a shoelace that I tied around it twice (not real high-tech, but it's stronger than string and non-metallic, and it should be sufficient).

I tested the connections by unplugging the old battery completely, and seeing if the new battery would still power the unit by itself, which it did. I believe I have managed to wire the two batteries in parallel, so that even if one battery goes bad, the other one will continue to power the unit.

The PASO now weighs an extra 6 pounds, for a total of 18 pounds. Total cost of the modification was $46 ($30 battery, $7 crimping/stripping tool, $2 for a package of 10 push-on connectors, and $7 for a package of 18 gauge wire in two different colors. If you already have a crimper tool and some wire, you could cut the cost by about a third. Total time spent was about 2-1/2 hours, including getting all the stuff, cutting the plywood and rewiring the system. But now I’ve tripled my operating time from 4 hours to roughly 10-12 hours, and I still only have one unit to carry around, with no extra inverters, converters, wires, plugs, etc.

For those PASO owners with the optional CD and/or MP3 players installed, you may want to consider removing them to make room for the secondary battery, and using an external MP3 player instead. This can be connected via the AUX input, using a stereo-to-mono patch cord with a mini-plug on one end and a 1/4" phono jack on the other end (also available at Radio Shack for about $6).

This description is long and the arrangement may sound complicated, but I assure you that it was actually quite easy to do, once all the little details got worked out, thanks to Michael. Although my electronic expertise is mostly limited to setting the time on my VCR, this was not that hard to do, I just took my time and a few deep breaths.

Special thanks to Michael Messing and everyone else on the Café’ who directly or indirectly helped to direct me to the above solution. I hope it may be of interest and helpful to other PASO owners who have the same problem. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
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Seth,
I don't own a PASO but I'm sure I must have helped you indirectly.
So you owe me at least this...

How the #%^*^ do I set the time on my VCR?

Thanks in advance,

Frank
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
sethb
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The Jersey Shore
2700 Posts

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Frank -- I'd love to help you set the time on your VCR, but that would require an even longer post than the one about the PASO battery! <grin> SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
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