Sunday, September 20, 2009

power again

OK, so I modified a PC power supply to power my yard display. Plan was to use it with the parallel port relay controller I'm building (and yes, I really am building it.) So anyway, I modified it & it worked. Then, I decided to use it to show my wife how the LED spotlights would look lighting up a tombstone. Like a dummy, I just twisted the wires together & left them uninsulated. Of course, I was careless and shorted the 12V lead to the case of the power supply & let the magic smoke out of it. I was kinda bummed, but lesson learned.

Anyway, I was perusing the interwebs the other day & came across a pretty neat idea. Why cut up a perfectly good power supply when all the wires you need terminate in the main connector? Why not build a breakout box with a switch and taps for the all the voltages? Tell me, why not? I've lost the link to the page I found the idea on, so I'll show how I built mine.

here's what I started with. A small project box from Radio Shack, 3 red binding posts, 1 black binding post, 4 ring terminals, the switch from my dearly departed hacked power supply, and an ATX power supply extension cable.

I started by drilling 4 holes evenly spaced on the bottom of the project box

Then I cut the male end off the extension cable and drilled a hole in the end of the project box just big enough for the wires to pass through.

Next I put the binding posts in.

I drilled a hole for the switch in the side of the box, making sure to position it so the terminals would clear the binding posts.

Things got a little less simple here. The wire colors on the ATX extension weren't the same as the standard colors on the power supply (couldn't find one online that was), so I plugged it into a power supply so I could match up the colors.

Then, it was just a matter of connecting the switch lead & a ground to the switch, and the ground, 3.3V, 5v, and 12V leads to the binding posts. I ran the extra leads into the box just to keep things neat.

It works!

This should be handy. I'll use it for bench power as well as power for my yard display.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009