I’ve been a fan of the innovative products coming out of Mission Engineering for years. Their latest product that American Songwriter got to test drive is the new 529i Rechargeable Isolated Power Supply.
The original 529 power distribution hub is still available and very popular with Mission customers, but it doesn’t provide an internal power source. Why do you need isolated power for your effects pedals you may ask? Because many buildings or sometimes even areas of a city, especially ones with older inefficient wiring, may provide inconsistent power to your music gear. This causes unwanted noise in your signal chain, in your amp, and in your pedals. It can also damage this music gear. Isolating the power to your favorite pedals and effects protects them and doesn’t allow power bleed to happen.
To prove this point I was once playing a gig at a local venue downtown and a truckers CB conversation came through my amplifier in the middle of the gig, because my old analog pedals didn’t have isolated power. The 529i Rechargeable Isolated Power Supply is small enough to place on top of your pedalboard or Velcro it underneath and bring the pedal power cables from the bottom of the board for a cleaner aesthetic look. The built-in rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery will power your pedals, looper, or vocal harmonizer for a total of four hours after being fully charged. It features eight individual isolated 9volt power outputs (cables & 12V charger included) with 2 x 500mA and 6 x 300mA.
Another really smart feature on the 529i is a 5V USB output so that you can recharge a tablet or smartphone on stage. Ideal if your lyrics or setlists are also on this electronic device. Some boutique pedals and harmonizers require more robust 18V power and Mission has provided a two-output cable for those.
The 529i case is built out of heavy-duty aluminum for years of service. Each power output has its own light to visually show you the power it is using and the power-up switch is right on top and not hidden from view. Do not charge the 529i while it is being used and be sure to power it down while charging it. Having used the 529 hub in the past, I prefer the updated 529i Rechargeable Isolated Power Supply because I like having everything in one simple unit, and sometimes it is difficult to find power on a stage. Charge up the 529i the night before your show and you’ll be set for an entire gig of powering and playing your favorite pedals.
Mission Engineering also states that the 529i will power analog and digital pedals and that a full charge will last longer than 4 hours on low draw analog effects. Street price for the 529i Rechargeable Isolated Power Supply is just $175, which is the cost of one top-quality guitar effects pedal. This is a bargain for a device that keeps unwanted noise out of your pedal change and can be charged so you don’t need to use wall outlet power to drive your pedals that could also add noise to the chain, especially if you are playing in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.