How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

In my sophomore 12 months of faculty on the College of Minnesota, I began into my important electronics lessons, and wanted a great energy provide for engaged on the lab initiatives at house in my room. My roommate Adam informed me about any person on-line who had transformed a spare ATX laptop energy provide right into a lab bench energy provide, so I made a decision to try to do the identical factor. I scrapped the facility provide from the PJRC MP3 Participant, and began the conversion.

After I opened up the facility provide, I discovered the next wires inside:

  • +3.3V
  • +5V
  • +12V
  • -12V
  • +5V Standby (All the time On)
  • Power_On
  • Power_Ok
  • Floor

I linked the +5, +12, -12 voltage rails by way of particular person 1 Amp fuses to the entrance binding posts. I linked the bottom connection on to the entrance binding put up. I linked the change between the Power_On sign and Floor. When the Power_On sign is linked to Floor, the facility provide will activate. I linked the +5V Standby by way of a resistor and LED to floor, which is helpful as a “plugged in” indicator LED. The Power_Ok sign goes excessive (+5V) when the facility provide has settled down after startup, and all voltages are of their correct ranges. It’s linked to the opposite LED by way of a resistor. There may be additionally a 10 Ohm, 10 Watt energy resistor between +5V and Floor. It’s used to supply a small load to maintain the facility provide within the On mode.

Word: Whereas the diagrams present fuses on all voltage rails and no fuse on the bottom line, after I truly constructed my energy provide, I used to be younger and silly and solely put a fuse on the bottom wire. It is a lot safer and a greater thought to place fuses on all sign traces and never the bottom line. Because of many emails and messages on Instructables about this oversight.

I’ve included a handful of images right here with descriptions, however all the images can be found in my Lab Bench Energy Provide group on Flickr

This venture can be documented on the Instructables web site.

That is the unique drawing I made to plan out the conversion.
That is the circuit diagram to point out learn how to join all the things.
Right here you possibly can see my drawings on the aspect of the case. I had eliminated the insides so I might safely drill the holes. On this image, the opening for the primary binding put up has been drilled, and I’ve marked out the places of the fuse holder and energy change.
Completed drilling all 4 binding posts, in addition to the pilot gap for the facility change. Sure, I’m working in a rubbish can, so the metallic shavings do not get within the carpeting.
Take a look at becoming all 4 binding posts, the fuse holder, and energy change.
I added two LED indicators to the entrance. Right here you possibly can see the back-side of the LED holders. They are going to be used to point “Standby (Plugged In)” and “Energy On (Change On)”.
Right here, I began to attach the binding posts to their correct wires. I’ve linked the +5V and GND on this image. It’s also possible to see the LED’s on the precise aspect of the image.
On this image, you possibly can see two inexperienced LED’s within the holders. I finally switched to pink LED’s as a result of I’ve many extra pink ones than inexperienced ones. Right now I had already completed connecting all 4 binding posts.
Right here, I’ve linked all of the binding posts, the indicator LED’s, and the facility change.
You’ll be able to see the 10 Ohm, 10 Watt, energy resistor linked to the again wall of the facility provide. It connects 5V and GND, which offers a load to maintain the facility provide working when I haven’t got something linked to it.
I used common breadboard wire to connect the facility resistor to the again wall of the case.
The completed product, with the lid off.
One other view of the completed energy provide.

Introduction: Convert an ATX Energy Provide Right into a Common DC Energy Provide!

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

By Sitnalta Comply with

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

A DC energy provide might be arduous to seek out and costly. With options which are roughly hit and miss for what you want.

On this Instructable, I’ll present you learn how to convert a pc energy provide into a daily DC energy provide with 12, 5 and three.Three volt outputs. For about $10!

Why use a pc (ATX) energy provide? Properly, they’re out there in every single place, and so they can output super quantities of energy in a small type issue. They’ve overload safety constructed proper in, and even a 500W mannequin might be moderately priced with excessive effectivity. The voltage rails are extremely steady. Giving good, clear DC present even at excessive hundreds.

Plus, it is probably that lots of you merely have an additional one mendacity round doing nothing. May as nicely get probably the most worth on your funding.

Step 1: Getting Began

The primary order of enterprise is that of security. Whereas I am moderately certain that there is not sufficient residual power to cease your coronary heart, these capacitors can nonetheless chunk, and that may trigger important ache and perhaps even burns. So be paranoid when getting near the interior circuitry. It will most likely be a good suggestion to placed on some insulating gloves. Additionally (clearly) make certain the factor is unplugged. You might be accountable for your individual security!

Listed below are the instruments/elements wanted:

Needle-nose pliers
Soldering iron
Three x “Banana Jack” Insulated Binding Put up units
1 x bag of “#6” Ring Tongue Terminals (16-14 gauge)
Rubber ft
Small bit of warmth shrink.
Wire strippers

Okay, let’s get to voiding some warranties!

Step 2: Opening Up

Open the PSU and make an evaluation of the area you must work with. Be sure that there will not be any clearance points for the binding posts or wires.

After you have determined how your PSU can be configured, mark with pencil the place you wish to drill the holes afterward. This can show you how to in reducing the wires to the suitable size.

Step 3: Wires, Wires All over the place

You can be met with the daunting activity of sorting by way of 100 wires of various colours. The one colours we care about are Black, Purple, Orange, Yellow and Inexperienced. Every other colours are superfluous and you may minimize them on the circuit board.

The inexperienced wire is what tells the facility provide to activate from stand-by mode, we wish to simply solder it to a floor (black) wire. Put some warmth shrink on this so it will not quick out on anything. This can inform the PSU to be continuously on with out a pc.

Reduce all the different wires right down to a few foot, and take away any zip-ties or cable organizers. It is best to have a forest of wires with no connectors.

The colours symbolize:

YELLOW = 12 Volts
RED = 5 Volts
ORANGE = 3.Three Volts
BLACK = Frequent Floor.

Now, theoretically, you can be executed. Simply hook the wires to Four massive alligator clips (one for every coloration set) or another terminals. This is perhaps helpful in case you’re simply going to be powering one factor, resembling a ham radio, electrical motor or lights.

Step 4: Grouping Wires

Group the Four wire colours collectively and minimize them to size to the place you marked the place the posts would go. Use the wire strippers to take off the insulation and stick about 3-Four wires into one tongue terminal. Then crimp them. The precise variety of wires per voltage rail depends upon the wattage of the PSU. Mine was a 400W and there are about 9 wires per rail. You want all these wires in an effort to get all the present rated for that rail.

Step 5: Holes

Now we come to the drilling. With most energy provide models, you will not be capable of fully take away the circuit board from the chassis. However it is best to be capable of take away it partially and wrap it in plastic in order that it does not get contaminated by metallic shavings.

Onces you may have the holes drilled, file away any tough spots and wipe down the chassis with a humid material.

This is perhaps a great time to determine one thing for that gap the outdated wiring harness used to undergo. I used a washer and the pinnacle of a bolt to make a cap, and epoxied it in there. However that is purely beauty and unimportant.

Step 6: Placing It Collectively

Now comes the enjoyable bit. Set up the binding posts whereas utilizing a small screwdriver to verify they’re all oriented proper if you’re tightening them down.

Set up the tongue terminals onto the again of the binding posts and tighten them down good and comfortable with the pliers. This is perhaps difficult you probably have a high-wattage PSU as you should have extra wires. Probably the most the posts proven in these footage can take is Four tongue terminals.

After that is executed, shut up the facility provide.

I had some clearance points with mine- the 90mm fan simply would not match. I figured because it is not going to be performing because the exhaust fan for a pc anymore, it would not be wanted anyway. So I eliminated it.

Step 7: Make It Fairly

You want a way of clearly marking which put up is which voltage. You can go tremendous polished and make a color-coded decal in Illustrator and print it at your native print store, however I am lazy. and low cost. So I used some everlasting markers.

You can additionally take some plastic or vinyl paint and coloration every put up. No matter places a bee in your bonnet.

Lastly, stick on the rubber ft on what you wish to be the underside.

Step 8: Conclusion

My 400 Watt energy provide can ship 23 Amps by way of the 12V rail, and 40 Amps by way of the 5V. That is excellent for one thing that, other than the preliminary price of the PSU, price about $10.

Step 9: Updates


This venture shouldn’t be essentially unique and has been executed by many individuals.

There are a mess of different initiatives, however I really feel mine and his are the very best I’ve seen up to now.

Concern of the Resistor

Energy provides want a sure minimal load to work correctly. The min. load for mine is round 0.Eight amps. Thus in case you plan on powering LED’s or different such low-power machine solely, you will want a resistor to supply a load. In any other case you’ll injury the PSU.

A meaty 10-Ohm, 10 watt resistor from Radio Shack is an effective alternative. Wire it throughout 12 volt and floor.

-12V and -5V traces

It has been delivered to my consideration that the -12V and -5 traces are fairly helpful for diversifying the voltages this factor can produce. These are the white and blue wires I informed you to chop earlier.

In fact, including them is easy, it is only a matter of getting two additional binding posts and connecting the wires to them. It is only a query of “Do I want these?”

I did not, all I actually wanted was the 12V line. However as I stated, in case you want them, they’re straightforward to put in.

Easy methods to convert an ATX energy provide to a lab bench energy provide

I wished an influence provide to make use of on my desk with a breadboard for electronics- based mostly initiatives. Lab bench energy provides are very cost-prohibitive, however fortunately energy provides for desktop computer systems can simply present 30A for below $20.

Inside the facility provide, you’ll find plenty of totally different colours of wires. These all have totally different meanings:

  • Black: GND
  • Orange: +3.3V
  • Purple: +5V
  • White: -5V (older PSUs)
  • Yellow: +12V
  • Blue: -12V
  • Inexperienced: Energy On
  • Purple: +5V Standby
  • Grey: Energy Good
  • Brown: +3.3V Sense

The brown sense wire is connected to one of many orange +3.3V wires. When the facility provide sees “Energy On” (inexperienced) get grounded it checks to verify the three.3V sense is inside acceptable vary after which activates the remainder of the outputs whereas sending +5V over the “Energy Good” wire to inform the motherboard it could actually start executing directions on the CPU.

Some energy provides additionally verify to see if there’s a load current earlier than activating, so we might want to add a 10W resistor or 2x 5W resistors in parallel. Most energy provides must be proud of about 10 Ohms of load on the +5V rail, however this may increasingly range throughout totally different PSUs.

We are able to both add a change to the “Energy On” wire or simply floor it completely and use the AC change on the again of the PSU. We are able to additionally optionally add an LED to the “Energy Good” wire so we all know when the PSU is supplying DC energy. Each of those choices are proven within the diagram beneath:

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

Listed below are pictures from my construct:

I like to start out off by separating the wires by coloration so it’s simpler to seek out those I have to work with. You’ll be able to snip a few of the wires off on the board, and epoxy over them to make it simpler to attach your outputs to banana plugs.

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

Right here is the LED that I wired into the “Energy Good” wire, and easily linked to floor:

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

Beneath is the entire thing assembled in keeping with the schematic. You’ll be able to see the 10W, 10 Ohm resistor on the underside proper, which was warmth shrinked between a +5V and GND wire. The LED was soldered to breadboard between Energy Good and GND after which electrical taped to stop shorts.

All DC wires have been remoted from the AC wires within the foreground, and soldered onto banana plugs with warmth shrink to stop shorts. Lastly, a push button change was added between Energy On and GND.

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

And right here is the ultimate consequence! It will possibly obtain 24VDC by utilizing +12V and grounding to -12V.

It’s essential to notice that these energy provides are able to offering many amps, so that you should be very cautious when utilizing ICs or different delicate parts.

It will be smart to make use of a fuse between the PSU and your circuit. This could possibly be in-built earlier than the banana plugs, however I might quite use one externally.

Small tutorial on Pc ATX Energy Provides. Easy methods to use them, learn how to join them in sequence, in parallel. What’s 12V rails? Is it attainable to attach 12V rails collectively? ATX connector wiring defined. What’s distinction between outdated laptop energy provides and new ones? And at last learn how to make Lab Bench Energy Provide from Pc ATX Energy Provide.

mvs sarma

Properly-Identified Member
  • Dec 16, 2011
  • #2


  • Dec 17, 2011
  • #3

This was an important video, however I do have one massive situation with it: His drilling "approach":

1) It is best to -never- use an influence drill whereas holding the half being drilled by hand. If the drill ought to catch or slip on the fabric, issues might get nasty (I’ve discovered that lesson the arduous far more occasions than I can depend – I suppose I’m a sluggish learner!)

2) When modifying a case, it is best to take away all electronics from the case first, then reassemble after modification (I do not know the way not one of the chips/swarf from drilling out these holes did not quick out the facility provide, however by disassembly, you can also make certain the availability is clear of this particles earlier than re-assembly)

I did like that small heat-gun (or SMT resoldering station? Could not inform) he was utilizing – I want I had one for my bench.


Properly-Identified Member
  • Dec 18, 2011
  • #4

Couple of little bit falls. He talked about inserting a minimal load dummy resistor on both the 5v or 12v rails. It’s because the first suggestions for voltage regulation is achieved on these rails (5v outdated, 12v new provides). With out them the facility provide will probably be unstable.

He didn’t point out the opposite rails’ voltage is solely based mostly on the transformer turns ratio of every winding of the secondary. There is no such thing as a particular person regulation management on these different traces. The first management voltage regulation is barely on the 12v provide for brand spanking new energy provides. This make the voltage regulation on the opposite voltage provide outputs quite poor as their loading varies.

The outputs are quite noisey because of the direct switching regulator output. I might not use them immediately for any analog circuitry the place energy provide noise degree is essential. The audio circuitry on a pc motherboard has energy provide filters and on board linear regulators to create a clear provide.

Easy methods to modify an AT / ATX laptop energy provide to a 3-15V bench energy provide
Halfbridge topology energy provide mod:

Everybody typically wants an adjustable energy provide. Bench energy provides are costly and subsequently we normally use what’s out there. Probably the most well-known energy provides of a excessive present low voltage are AT or ATX provides from computer systems. Their drawback is a poorly regulated output voltage and sometimes a have to load each of the 2 important outputs (5 and 12V) on the similar time. Due to this fact, I current a easy modification of an AT or ATX PC energy provide to an adjustable bench energy provide of three – 15V with a correct regulation and an output present akin to the unique 12V output. The voltage suggestions is linked to pin 1 of TL494 management chip (or its equal KA7500, KIA494, DBL494 . ). The reference voltage is 2.5 V (i.e. the circuit regulates the output voltage in order that the voltage of the resistive divider is 2.5 V). Initially the suggestions is linked to each 5 and 12V outputs and it really works nicely solely when each outputs are loaded. After this modification, the suggestions is barely linked to the 12V output. A potentiometer regulates the voltage from Three to 15 V. The potentiometer might be changed by a set resistor to set a relentless voltage if wanted. The ATX provide fan might be linked to the 5VSB in order that it isn’t affected by the voltage adjustment. Through the modification you’ll find helpful the AT and ATX laptop energy provides schematics.

AT or ATX PC energy provide outputs:
Yellow . 12V
Purple . 5V
Black . 0V (GND or COM)
Inexperienced . Standby energy. That is solely current in ATX. Join it to black (0V) to show the availability on.

There is a harmful deadly mains voltage inside the facility provide. Capacitors can stay charged dangerously even after disconnected from mains. Inappropriately modified energy provide might be harmful. You do all the things by yourself danger.

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply
Schematic of the modification of AT or ATX PC energy provide to a 3-15V bench energy provide

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

Pin 1 of xx494

Ahead converter provide (single MOSFET) mod

There are some ATX energy provides, which use so-called single change ahead topology with a single MOSFET (that tends to be rated 800-900V). In these provides there is not any TL494 chip. There’s normally UC3843 and is on the first aspect. Suggestions is launched by way of optocouplers. Voltage is sensed by TL431 (GL431, AZ431 – letters could range). This circuit additionally has a 2.5V reference, so the precept is analogous. From the reference pin (R) resistors go once more to the bottom, +5V and +12V. Furthermore, there’s an RC community between the reference enter and cathode, it’s mandatory to depart it as it’s. An adjustable resistor divider is seen within the schematic beneath. If the TL431 has the anode resistor (within the image it’s 22R), quick it. Moreover, it’s essential to allow the primary energy provide and remove the safety in opposition to undervoltage and overvoltage on the output. That is executed by shorting the emitter and collector of one of many optocouplers (there are a complete of 3-4). That is the optocoupler, which offers the standby operate. Connecting the inexperienced wire (PS ON) to the bottom is not mandatory. After this modification the availability not shuts down when briefly circuit – it enters right into a present limiting mode. Quick-circuit present might be too excessive, subsequently it is best to set the present restrict a bit decrease. It’s executed by changing the present sensing resistor (shunt) by a better worth. This resistor is linked between the Supply of the primary MOSFET and the adverse of the first aspect. I suppose no one could have downside to seek out this resistor. In my case there was 0R15 resistor rated 2W, it must be changed with round 0R27 to 0R51. This resistance also can set the output present in case you modify the availability right into a battery charger (for 12V automobile battery the voltage is ready to about 14-15V and the present is ready akin to the battery). The fan is linked to the auxiliary 5VSB output (so it isn’t affected by the voltage adjustment).

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

Schematic of modification of the one MOSFET ahead converter ATX PC-supply into an adjustable stabilised energy provide of 3-15V

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

Optocoupler, which activates the availability from a standby mode. Quick the emitter and collector collectively (they’re on the first aspect).

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

TL431 built-in circuit (in a TO92 bundle).

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

The board below TL431. Eliminated resistor to 5V, wire linked to the regulation.

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

Modified provide

If you happen to open the suggestions, the output voltage can attain 30V and even 60V. The electrolytes are rated 16V, so they’ll explode. The modification to greater than 15V can be rather more difficult, you’ll have to rewind the transformer and exchange electrolytes, and so forth.

Small tutorial on Pc ATX Energy Provides. Easy methods to use them, learn how to join them in sequence, in parallel. What’s 12V rails? Is it attainable to attach 12V rails collectively? ATX connector wiring defined. What’s distinction between outdated laptop energy provides and new ones?

And at last learn how to make Lab Bench Energy Provide from Pc ATX Energy Provide.

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How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

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How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supplyRight here’s one other nice learn how to on changing an ATX energy provide to a lab energy provide, Abizar writes “Pc energy provides are US$15 however lab energy provides are US$100+. By changing a budget (free) ATX energy provides that may be present in any discarded laptop you will get an outstanding lab energy provide with large present outputs, quick circuit safety, and really tight voltage regulation.” Hyperlink. See earlier.

10 ideas on “ HOW TO – Convert a pc ATX energy provide to a lab energy provide… ”

What’s the rationale for connecting the 10ohm energy resistor between +5 and Floor?

It is not going to activate in any other case (nicely some atx powers suplies received’t), Alot of switching energy provides want some load on that rail to activate. We constructed just a few of those earlier than, however we by no means actually wanted the masses on that 5 rail to show them on. Its not a nasty thought in any case, because the cheapo circuitry could burnout premeturely if its not loaded appropriately… however have enjoyable together with your $20 powersupply!

good to see this model reveals/tells learn how to combine and match the +- 5V and +-12V (and a few do it with the +- 3V) for attention-grabbing (helpful) voltages like 7V and 24V, and 10V.

Why is the facility resistor > 10 W ? If ten ohms are put throughout 5 volts, the facility (V^2/R) is 2.5 Watts.

I’m wondering if I put a everlasting load on the standby +5V of an ATX energy provide (purple wire), do I want the 10ohm load resistor? The load is an digital circuit that I suppose is not going to draw greater than 50-100 mA.

Changing a Pc (ATX) Energy Provide right into a Energy Provide You Can Use in Lab

Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 05:06PM

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supplyMany PC desktop computer systems use an influence provide generally known as ATX . These laptop energy provides are surprisingly nicely made, practically bulletproof, since laptop parts are infamous for being simply broken by getting voltages over or below what they’re anticipating. Producers go to nice lengths to make them sturdy and near specs.

And the specs are sometimes unbelievable. Most can provide 3.Three V as much as 10 A, 5 V as much as 20 A, and 12 V as much as 10 A. Most have a number of output wires, so you can have a number of college students use the identical provide so long as they collectively stayed below the present limits. Better of all, most will routinely flip themselves off in case your circuit tries to attract an excessive amount of present. Unplug the facility provide, wait 30 seconds or so, and plug it again in, and the availability can be nearly as good as new. No extra changing fuses!

Since energy provides hardly ever go dangerous in house computer systems and they’re straightforward to extract, you possibly can have a prepared supply of energy provides for roughly free. Surplus homes typically promote them for only some bucks every, in case you’d wish to go for brand spanking new.

Their solely actual draw back is that they don’t provide variable present, solely mounted ranges, but when 3.Three V, 5 V, and 12 V be just right for you, then they’re nice.

  • ATX energy provide
  • IEC energy wire
  • scissors
  • soldering iron
  • solder
  • electrical tape or shrink wrap
  • wire stripper
  • two incandescent vacation lights
  • 4 alligator clips with vinyl jackets

    How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supplyReduce off the connectors from the ends of the facility provide utilizing a pair of scissors. Go away the wires lengthy, although. You’ll be able to tie them right into a knot to maintain them out of the way in which.

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

On this overview and tutorial, I’ll present you learn how to convert an outdated laptop energy provide to a benchtop energy provide utilizing an ATX breakout board. This can be a low cost and simple DIY lab bench energy provide with -12V, +12V, 5V or 3.3V DC outputs that you need to use for any digital machine. No have to open the facility provide enclosure and no soldering required. All you must do is plug it! See additionally learn how to construct a small case for this breakout board and exchange the fuses.

ATX breakout board for simple energy provide conversion to lab bench energy provide

The breakout board works with 24 or 20 pin connectors like this one. You merely have to attach it and activate the board. Watch out when working with electrical energy as a result of a 225 Watts energy provide like this one can ship as much as 15 amps at 12V. My breakout board got here with 5 Amps fuses, however you possibly can exchange them with any commonplace glass fuses measuring 0,78 inch by 0,2 inch.

Easy methods to use your ATX breakout board

You now have a lab bench energy provide that may ship 12, 5 or 3.3V direct present. If you could provide another voltage you possibly can create a variable energy provide utilizing a LM317 module. Test my put up concerning the LM317 voltage regulator or my LM317 video if you wish to study extra about adjustable DC output.

I additionally constructed a small case for a safer use. The inside is 5.75 inches lengthy, 2.5 inches massive and 1.5 inches tall. You should utilize any field you may have that’s about this dimension. As you possibly can see, I used a meals container and packed the underside with layers of froth for a greater match.

The ATX breakout board might be helpful for any DIY digital initiatives. You’ll need these things to construct this do-it-yourself benchtop energy provide and ATX energy provide hack :

-Banana plug to alligator clip connectors (Amazon) (AliExpress) (eBay)

-ATX energy provide (You may get one from an outdated laptop or purchase a brand new one. They price about 30$ US on eBay)

It’s also possible to see this ATX breakout board venture on instructables and my DIY Electronics youtube account.

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

How to convert a computer atx power supply to a lab power supply

Warning and disclaimer:

ATX PSU can ship sufficient present to trigger severe accidents or dying. I’m not accountable for any accidents or damages. Be at liberty to make use of the affiliated hyperlinks introduced on this web page. The costs are the identical, it’s nameless, and this fashion you possibly can help the making of those movies.