Getting a good Korg Volca{Beats,Keys,Bass} AC Power Adapter

I’m sure I’m not the only person who got their new Korg Volca thing home only to discover that the power jack doesn’t fit any of the AC adapters you have laying around. This is annoying. I for one have a box with about 30 different power adapters to check through. But I have found a good, cheap solution.

First off, what you need is this:

  • DC 9V
  • Center Positive
  • 1.7mm connector

According to this guy, Matthew Zipkin A Volca device never consums more than 80mA, so pretty much any 9V AC adapter has enough juice to power multiple Volcas.

The problem is the plug is an uncommon size, 1.7mm. If you want to try splicing something together look for the yellow-tipped plugs. If I recall correctly, old Sony CD Walkmans used the 1.7mm plug. But another solution is this: Adafruit sells 2.1mm to 1.7mm DC jack adapters for $2.50. They also sell a 9VDC Center-positive 1000MA supply for 6.95.

The Adafruit solution is actually cheaper than the AC adapters I just bought on Amazon.com, with higher power output.

You can also power multiple Volcas from a single supply with guitar effect daisy chain cable, if you buy enough 2.1mm to 1.7mm adapters.

adapter

28 thoughts on “Getting a good Korg Volca{Beats,Keys,Bass} AC Power Adapter”

  1. Such a pain in the butt for such a simple thing. Here in Australia a few adapters for the Volcas are being sold for $60! Crazy. I even found it a bit tricky to find the dimensions of the DC plug. I found the info here first. Thank! =)

  2. Are the outer dimensions of the plug at the 1,7mm side 4.0 or 4.8mm? Since I find both type of adapters online.. Thanks!

    1. No idea, actually. By international standards, if you get the yellow tip plug, you’re good.

        1. Hey Rob, let me guess: inner diameter was too small?

          I got the feeling (!), it could be 5,0 x 2,1 mm…. most usual effect power adapters have 5,5 x 2,1 and those don’t fit as the outer diameter is too big…

          Did you have any luck yet?

  3. I also have a “bag’o’wallwarts” with a wide assortment of voltages, currents, and plug sizes. I found a 4.5vdc 300ma Sony power supply with the correct tip and polarity that seems to power the Volca Beats just fine.

    If you think about it, an 80ma draw at 9vdc is .72 watts. A power supply rated 4.5vdc at 300ma can supply 1.35 watts, which is way more than the Volca beats needs, which is why it works ok.

    Also, another way to put it is that the 4.5vdc power supply is equal to a set of half run down batteries, which would still work.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it

    1. hey,
      I’m in the same boat; just found and all Sony 9VDC adaptor with the correct polarity and plug…
      How has it been working for you? Still using it? Is your Volca still alive?
      I’m kind of afraid of using it :)

      1. If it has the correct polarity and any voltage >= 5 volts it will work. It won’t hurt to try as long as you are sure about the polarity.

    1. It’s specified to use 9 volts; 5 volts might work, but I wouldn’t count on it. The actual current draw of the Volcas is really low; you could power 3 or more off the same stock 600MA supply.

      1. 5 volts will probably work, most devices are designed for ~0.8V per battery cutoff. 6*0.8=4.8, so a 5 volt supply should work, but is cutting it close. On the other hand, if it’s not a switching power supply it’s going to put out more than 5V on such low loads anyway..

  4. Look for replacement dc power supply outlet adapters on ebay/amazon. If you buy a few sets of these, depending on how many volcas you have, then you will end with the correct outlet plugs which, combined with the correct power supply and some wire, you can then solder together in a chain to make your power lead.
    To make mine I checked the polarity of the wiring from the power supply I was going to use and cut off the defunct plug so I could attach this wire to the first replacement plug.
    After first checking the polarity of the contacts on the replacement plug I soldered the wires from the power supply on, plus about 30cm of spare power supply wire for the daisy chain to the 2nd replacement plug, then shrink wrapped them. I then soldered the 2nd set of wires onto the 2nd replacement plug and shrink wrapped them.

  5. Thanks to everyone here. And thanks to Liv M. bought one of this Australia spec plug from ebay:
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/221399190388
    Fits and works perfectly fine. (so far) :) The only difference here is that this is 2A (apparently ka350 is 1.7A) it doesn’t really affect the volcas. so bought a couple more for the whole volca set. can’t believe i can buy 3 of these and still cheaper than one ka-350!!!

    1. The actual current draw of a Volca is pretty low — you can power 3 or 4 of them off one 1.5a supply if you build a daisy chain cable.

  6. Another option is a custom-built daisy chain cable for Volcas. I designed one and have them produced in a factory. They’re for sale on my site http://www.kvgear.com. They’re guaranteed to work and have worked great for tons of people over the past couple of years. No need for piles of batteries or multiple obnoxious wall wart power supplies.

  7. Thanks for this. I have a T-REX power brick and was so frustrated that I could not run my three Volca’s from it. Just ordered one on ebay in the UK and if it works I will order another coupole! Excellent article thanks.

      1. We just sell it on Amazon.com and our own website right now. Get in touch with me, chaircrusher, and we can talk!

  8. another option is to use a multi guitar effects power cable such as a”1-spot” from ebay. It will be 2.1mm center negative but should come with 2 x 2.1mm come with reverse polarity adapters. You will need these as the volcas are center pin positive.
    All you need then is a 2.1mm to 1.mm dc adapter for $1.50 each from ebay . extra 2.1mm reverse polarity cables cable also be found in the usual places to power up more than two volcas.

    cost about $30- $36 au to power 2 – 5 volcas

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/18cm-4-0-x-1-7-mm-Male-Plug-to-5-5-x-2-1mm-female-socket-DC-Power-Adapter-cable-/130762061921?hash=item1e7206b861:m:mDdPmnooQq8BR0_jTmSxbMw

  9. Caroline again! Just letting you know that we ship our 5-way splitter worldwide, and you can buy with a UK, US, EU power adaptor – or a USB option that works worldwide – power 5 Volcas off one USB port!

  10. I’ve been hunting for an acceptable Volca power solution for a while, and this one works. I found some way cheap Chinese sellers on ebay and their adapters worked first time. It might also be good for guitar pedals, with polarity reverse adapter if needed. I haven’t tested for hum/leakage/stability yet, but the light came on on a Mooer (Boss type) pedal.

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