Benchtop Powersupply Kit

With the prize I gained from Proto-Pic, I purchased a Sparkfun Benchtop Powersupply kit. This allows you to hook up an ATX power supply and provides some terminal posts so you can use it on the bench for testing your projects.

KitParts

I had also looked at the Seeed Studio ATX board which does the same job. The key differences are that the Seeed Studio board uses polyfuses vs old school fuses on the Sparkfun board. The Sparkfun board has multiple GND pins so can potentially provide a bit more power. The Seeed Studio board comes ready made and has an LED per channel where as the Sparkfun board comes as a kit or just PCB. Both have a on-off switch. At the end of the day there was a small price difference and I fancied a kit rather than a built board.

The instructions for the kit are on the Sparkfun website. You need to provide your own hookup wire to connect the terminal posts to the PCB. The instructions are straight forward even a novice should be able to build the kit. I would recommend inspecting the screw plugs as mine needed the small nuts tightening up before assembly. Also if you have heavy wire you might be better off getting some solder on tags rather than simply wrapping the wire around the end of the plugs.

Assembled

The ATX connector appeared to have some extra holes but there was only one possible place that the 20 pin plug would slot into the 24pin socket. Also I think I’d likely use the board the other way around with the ATC connector on the back and the plugs on the front, so for me the silk screen is the wrong way around.

Testing

The PSU I have to use for this came out of an old cluster machine that was never finished. I stripped off the drive connectors but my first attempts to get the screws undone work unsuccessful but I used a T-bar and also found some extra screws under the information label. I snipped the cables short and then heat-shrank the ends as this was easier that getting the PCB out and desoldering the wires.

I’ll also need to attach the PSU kit to a base or box as I feel the standoffs won’t take the harsh environment of my workshop.

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