BomeBox and MIDI "inline"(?) Power

Apologies that my Q is probably more batsh*t than usual.
All hopped up on cold meds and painkillers.

Using a MIDI Solutions Merger downstream from a BomeBox, which uses the inline power over a MIDI DIN connection. I'm using the 'multi-voltage' version, which switches to the modern 3.3v standard.

Should I avoid?
Are there issues using this power and/or are there safeguards I should concern over?

Currently using aliases and a laptop in place of the Box, but I want to make sure I have all the cables, routing, and my aliases noted properly. My preferred configuration is:

[BomeBox*]->[USBHub*]->[Roland UM-ONE USB to MIDI Interface#]->[Merger#]->Synth


where *=Powered via transformer/wallwart/powerstrip/etc and #=inline

Note: I"m fairly sure I used to use a UM-ONE going into a MIDI Solutions Thru box for a long time with no issues (enough that I didn't pay attention to it at all and didn't run into any possibly applicable issues that I can remember), but brain is oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon on a good day.


Else, should I go:

(The latter might seem to be preferred but my brain has the system 'mapped' the other way because: division of tasks vis a vis outputs/inputs/aliases)

Hi, you will need to talk to MIDI Solutions whether the BomeBox DIN will work for you. They have a long list of MIDI DIN devices that don\'t. For this reason, I\'ve avoided purchasing their product but I know of users that have had some luck but no reports on whether BomeBox DIN works or not.


I don\'t think it will break anything but just simply will not work. I believe they are designed to \"steal\" power from the MIDI through the data pins. I don\'t think they have any extra \"power\" pins.


Steve Caldwell
Bome Q and A Moderator and
Independent Bome Consultant/Specialist

Thanks for the response, Steve!
Apologies for my reading/answering (again) through the cold med haze.

Yes, the MIDI Solutions stuff \'steals\' power from the MIDI pins. I apologise if this info I\'m relating is in error, it is tragically imprecise, but I think gets to the gist of things: when the MIDI spec went from 5v to 3.3v it caused issues with the MIDI Solutions devices. They have since been reintroducting their gear as \'multi-voltage\' which is to address this and be able to work off the lower voltage.

However, and here\'s where we get into the namby-pamby \"I completely don\'t know what the heck I\'m talking about\" portion of the show: Someone had an issue with a sequencer and the belief or info or determination was that the MIDI Solutions device downstream was drawing too much power and somehow damaged the sequencer.

That doesn\'t make sense to me, but more things don\'t make sense to me these days.
(Age has been less kind to my brain than yours, remember. I think i saw the Grateful Dead a few more times than you.) ;)

So yeah: I was just trying to make sure it wouldn\'t \'break\' anything. Or if there was something different about the BomeBox and the MIDI power pins, or something. heh
I use their devices because they\'re a Canadian company and I like to buy local as often as possible, but: eek!

Thanks again for the info!


Oh, I guess also: does the BomeBox follow the part that the power pin is connected supplying the 3.3v or 5v to the MIDI DIN connection?

I believe that BomeBox follows the original 5v specification. Really the output is not designed to provide power, yet to provide a small current to the opto-isolator on the receiving end which is used to take that current to light an LED within the opto-isolator that then senses the light and then uses the circuitry of the receiving device to detect the MIDI signal. As far as I can tell, the MIDI solution products actually use the current that is supposed to only go to the opto-isolator, to power their devices. To me this is a squirrley design which is why I have been avoiding their products. Since their products are now not really opto-isolated, then it is cheating the MIDI spec.

I guess for many products they can get away with it.

I’ve heard of people that have modified their MIDI DIN output with pins 3 and 4 to provide power but I don’t recommend it although I doubt that BomeBox has any connections to those PINS and although many MIDI cables have all 5 pins connected, most manufactures avoid using those pins since is not a part of the SPEC and maybe someone uses them differently (which could cause big problems).

Thanks again for your valuable insight, experience, and knowledge, Steve!


heh heh..."squirrley"
Their explanation makes sense in that to avoid ground loops and including the opto isolators (something something) would increase the cost, I guess. Except Kenton makes a competitive device - it's just overkill because I only have the two streams to merge.

If I weren't worrying about cost, tho - I'd use a second BomeBox.

Hi Jim,

I confirmed with another user that he has a view Midi Solutions product and to-date have not had any issues connecting BomeBox DIN out to the products that he has. He didn't specify which product or whether he daisy channed them or just used one at a time.

If you drop me an email, I'll send the you the MIDI solutions guy email address. I'm told he is very helpful.


Steve Caldwell
Bome Q and A Moderator and
Independent Bome Consultant/Specialist