Easy Benchtop Power Supply

Converting an ATX power supply is a great way to get juice to your electronics projects. With the ATX breakout board from Dangerous Prototypes you can do it while waiting for your toast to pop up, and it looks pretty good too.

A couple of years ago I followed instructions that I had found on the internet to convert an ATX power supply for benchtop use. I spent an afternoon sorting bundles of wires, attaching crimp eyes, drilling holes for screw terminals, and installing a toggle switch. It was ugly as a robber's dog, but worked rather well until it committed suicide by inhalation of HCl fumes when I abused it for an electrolysis application. (Sad monkey face.)

Fortunately today, this very day, I was in luck. A neighbour had decided that this fine machine was fit only for landfill. I wombled it from the side of the road, and sure enough it had a perfectly serviceable power supply inside.

This time the build was going to be so much easier. I had the great fortune to win an ATX breakout board from Dangerous Prototypes in the 7400 logic competition. Once I had liberated the power supply from the PC tower, the work of 4 minutes 59 seconds, I simply plugged the large connector into the back of the PCB. Bada bing. It literally took me longer to find the "ON" switch.

The PCB looked great housed in a spiffy acrylic case from from Seeedstudio. I was sure it wouldn't attract any fingerprints, at all.

So now I had a replacement benchtop power supply. Easy as 2cos-1(0) and better looking than Mark I. Let's hope that I can give it an easier life.


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