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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Paso Procast problems (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jonathanmc
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Las Vegas, NV
209 Posts

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I have had the Paso Procast WPCS50 for a little over a year now. It has had limited use due to the fact that I seem to have problems everytime I use it.
Tonight I was doing a family show at a children's museum in town and the thing just stopped working on me. In fact it just made a pop and turned off. I thought maybe it was the fuse. I tried to move it around and turned it back on it would stay on for a few seconds and then go back off. I had this happen both on just battery power and plugged in. When I got home the whole thing seemed to be working just fine.

Please ask more questions to clarify, but please help.

I hate seeing magic shows where the performer is tooling with his equipment. Now I understand why it happens.
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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This is the third time I've heard this. One from Todd who said the battery went down during a show. (Internal battery)

The second was when I borrowed one from a friend, and two minutes into using it it went down, again the battery. (Plugged in it worked well)

Now I don't know for sure what kind of battery is inside of it but I do know batteries, even rechargeable ones do not last for ever.

I have made balloon pumps and used gel batteries about half the weight of the PASO and after a year, they do not hold the charge as long as when it was new. In two years, they really need replacing if used on a regular basis.

Batteries also die more quickly if overcharged; hence I use only recharges that shut down when the battery is fully charged. Theses charges cost as much as the battery ($35)

Having said that, can I infer, the battery inside the PASO has going bad and creating problems?

Now overheating will cause a pop, and turn a relay off or a capacitor that has going bad will create a pop (current releasing when it is not supposed to). The circuit might have a safety circuit to prevent burn-out of the circuit.

In any case, it requires repair.

Because Battery operated sound systems, cannot sustain, high power out put, then ten to be low wattage system. 50 watts is a lot of power for a battery. The New Fender Passport 150 does not have battery power like it previous model.

I suspect there is a lot more going on related to battery power PA systems than I know. This is why I only use AC systems. (They are not like the Balloon Pumps which consume very little power.)

You have discovered one reason why some people choose not to use or buy the PASO system. I have spent a lot of time studying sound systems and because of this I will never be a proponent of internal battery operated PA systems. Batteries do short out!

Since you have spent a lot of money for this system, I would return it to have it repaired. I'm sure they know of this problem and you aren't the first with it.
Dennis Michael
AndyComic
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The Paso does indeed have an auto cut off and I have been trying to bypass this system as its a real pain. The cut off is at 10v but I have never heard of it happening with AC. Its such a stressful unit to use I hate to say. They also the put the 'low batt' led at the rear so unless your checking the rear of the unit during a show, you'd have no idea at all.
Jonathanmc
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Las Vegas, NV
209 Posts

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I think the problem may be mine. I may well have the unit to close to me. I am a trained vocalist and also may be speaking to loud when using the unit.

I am going to work on using lower tone of voice and putting the unit a ways away from me.

As I was working with it today I noticed that if I spoke to loudly or was too close to the unit it would make that pop and turn itself off.
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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I am interested in what the battery is inside this unit, if it can be replaced easily, and the size of it. (Small, Medium, Large, lithium, gel,etc.)
Dennis Michael
sethb
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The Jersey Shore
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Dennis -- The Paso uses a relatively small 2.7 amp-hour sealed lead-acid battery that provides about 4-5 hours of use when fully charged. Unless you're working a Svengali Pitch, trade show or doing back-to-back full evening shows, that should be more than sufficient for most users. When the battery gets low, the unit has an automatic turnoff feature that protects the battery from being completely discharged (apparently not a good thing for a lead-acid battery). I have only had the unit for about a year and have not had to replace the battery, so I have no experience in that area. But it seems to be a pretty common size/type, so I would guess that a visit to Radio Shack would solve the replacement problem.

If you don't use any of the optional components (CD player or MP3 player), there is room inside the PASO unit to add a second supplementary battery. I added a slightly larger 5 amp-hour Radio Shack sealed lead-acid battery and have had good results from it, click HERE for more info. You can always add an external CD or MP3 player using a $6 Radio Shack patch cord and the PASO's AUX input, with far greater capacity and at far less cost that the factory-installed CD or MP3 players.

I have never had the cutoff problem that Andy and Jonathan describe when running the PASO unit on battery or AC power, but then I have never had to turn the volume up past the 50% mark, and usually run the system at about 30 - 40% power. There probably is some sort of internal cutoff to protect the speaker or the amp, and that may be what is cutting in here. If more power is needed, then you probably need to move up to a bigger unit.

Although the PASO unit is described as a 50-watt system, a close look at the specs reveals that it is actually rated at 30 watts RMS, which is sort of the electronic "max crusing speed" and a more realistic rating of the unit. This kind of electronic bragging is unfortunate, but also not uncommon for stereos and PA systems, in my experience. The PASO system does come in a true 50-watt configuration, but of course it's also about 50% more expensive. I have not seen or used the more powerful PASO system and so can't offer any information or suggestions about it.

I do think the PASO is fine for what it is intended for, and a good value at the price. Unlike more powerful systems, it is lightweight and very portable at 12 pounds, and it's easy to set up and use, with a minimum of fancy bells and whistles. In my opinion, as with any rechargeable internal battery feature, you do pay a premium for that, but if you need it, hey, you need it! And if you need more electronic horsepower, you will probably need to look elsewhere and also bring more money. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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Thank You! A very good post Seth, as well as the link.
Dennis Michael
sethb
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Inner circle
The Jersey Shore
2702 Posts

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Dennis, just by way of comparison, it looks to me like the next step up from the PASO unit would possibly be something like the Anchor Audio "Explorer" system, click HERE for more info.

This is a slightly larger and heavier unit (23 lbs.) offering 60 watts on AC operation and 30 watts on DC (there's a puzzle -- maybe someone can explain that difference?) It has true separate AC/DC power supplies and an internal rechargeable battery (but no battery specs are supplied). Like the PASO, it has 16 selectable wireless UHF channels. This is advertised as a made-in-America system, which means it may be of better (or worse) quality than the imported PASO.

The other big difference is cost. The PASO is about $400 for the basic unit and $175 for the transmitter & mic. A speaker stand ($80) and carry case ($40) will add another $120 to that, for a total of $695, not including shipping and any sales tax. The Anchor unit is $1460, including the transmitter, lapel mic and a speaker stand. The carry case is another $40, for a grand total of $1500, not including shipping and tax, about double what the PASO would cost.

Another interesting comparision for those who would never need a rechargeable battery would be the 30-watt Anchor wireless system, click HERE to view. At $578 for the system, transmitter and mic, plus $92 for a speaker stand and $40 for a carry case, you are in business for $710, about the same price as the PASO but probably with higher-quality components.

But you usually get what you pay for, so the power and sound quality of the Anchor systems is likely worth the extra money if you need better sound and more horsepower. I have never seen or used an Anchor product, but my understanding is that they are of good quality and are durable. So there are plenty of options out there, you just need to look around and figure out what your needs are, and what products best meet those needs.

The PASO unit works well for me, for now, and has definitely earned its keep over the past pitch season. When I start attracting crowds the size of Don Driver's, then I'll have to look into a more powerful unit, plus probably an assistant to help collect the money from the sale of my Svengali Decks. Smile SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
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