ATX Bench Power Supply – Convert a Computer Power Supply



A computer ATX power supply can be easily converted into a versatile and powerful power supply for your workbench. In this video, I’ll show you how easy it is to make that conversion.

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A power supply is an essential piece of equipment for any electronics experimenter. While you can get by with USB adapters and “wall warts” having a capable high-current source of 3.3, 5 and 12 volt DC power will take your experimenting to another level.

Commercial power supplies with these sorts of current capabilities can be very expensive, however, there is a much cheaper alternative. With some simple wiring, you can convert an ATX power supply form a desktop computer into a reliable and capable workbench power supply.

Even if you need to purchase a new ATX power supply this method is still a lot cheaper than buying a commercial workbench power supply. And chances are that you won’t need to spend any money at all on the ATX power supply, I salvaged mine from an old Windows XP computer and it works just great.

There are two types of ATX power supplies commonly in use, I will show you the differences between them. Either model can be used in this project.

Here is the Table of Contents for the video:

Parts used in Project – 4:36
ATX Supply pinouts – 10:06
ATX Supply Inside – 13:46
Testing ATX Supply – 16:17
Hookup Diagram – 19:14
Building the Power Supply – 22:48
Testing the Power Supply – 30:17
Adding a Power Meter – 31:59

One note – there are many ways to do this and I outline a few of them in the video. Several methods (including the one I used) involve opening up the ATX power supply. If you do that BE VERY CAREFUL as some of the components in the supply can retain a high-voltage charge for hours or even days after the supply has been unplugged.

If you are unsure about opening up a power supply (or if you have a new one still under warranty) don’t do it, you can still build this project another way. I go over that at the conclusion of the video.

As always there is an article on the DroneBot Workshop website that accompanies this video, you can read it at https://dbot.ws/atxpwr.

BTW, I needed this power supply as I’m going to use it during the development of a really big project that I’m just getting started on. If you want to learn more about this project and perhaps have some input on its design please subscribe to my newsletter, as I’m sharing the details with my newsletter subscribers. You can sign up at https://dbot.ws/dbnews

Hope you find this video useful and if you haven’t already please subscribe to the YouTube channel. Thanks!

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