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Old 11-11-2012, 9:53 PM
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Default Old computer power supply for radio use

I'm working on a project where I'll need a little dedicated power supply. I didn't want to go and purchase one, so I did a quick little mod on an old ATX supply.

Old computer power supplies are also a great resource for ham radio transmitters, CB radios, chargers, or any other item that needs a regulated 12 volt source. Many of these older power supplies do not have an on/off switch on the unit. By tapping the green wire and any of the black wires on that connection plug that goes to the motherboard a standard switch can be wired in.

Another benefit is that these supplies have several wired 12 volt and 5 volt outputs. A custom supply with USB plugs and several cigarette-style receptacles could be constructed. So if someone needs a power supply and is a little tight on cash but has an old computer laying around, this might be a good option.

Anyhow, this is nothing too new. But I always make a little YouTube video of these projects if anyone is interested.

Reuse An Old Computer Power Supply - YouTube

Dan
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:24 AM
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Be aware that a transmitter designed to run on "12VDC" is actually designed to run at 13.5 to 14VDC. They will run on 12V and that is exactly what you will get from a computer supply but many times will not give you full power on transmit or audio to the speaker. If that is not a concern, I too use computer supplies for various tasks. My transmitters though are on a PS designed for the high transient current demands and proper voltages.
Just sayin'

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Old 11-12-2012, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n0nhp View Post
Be aware that a transmitter designed to run on "12VDC" is actually designed to run at 13.5 to 14VDC. They will run on 12V and that is exactly what you will get from a computer supply but many times will not give you full power on transmit or audio to the speaker. If that is not a concern, I too use computer supplies for various tasks. My transmitters though are on a PS designed for the high transient current demands and proper voltages.
Just sayin'

Bruce
You are exactly right. i would never trust these supplies on ham radios. my radios as most other hams radios are expensive and need a good supply designed for them.

just saying.

K3CFC
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:22 AM
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 6_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10A523 Safari/8536.25)

Most computer power supplies are switching supplies and generate considerable RFI.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:31 AM
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On the other hand, if you're Macgyver and you're locked in an office with a bomb about to go off and you need 12v in a pinch to release the electronic door lock, then you should definitely use a computer power supply.
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Old 11-22-2012, 1:16 PM
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Or if you're working on a "project", and need a small supply, know how to build any of the QRP homebrew gear, or use 2 or more in parallel with additional regulating circuitry, the will work. But, if you want to run to the nearest radio supply store, buy a ready built supply, hop on the internet, and order one waiting a few days (or weeks), that's good too. I have an assortment of supplies, as well as radios. I have tube gear (some I built), solid state gear, both manufactured, and home cobbled. The fact there are options some of us like, doesn't make it a bad article. I'm all for learning (even at my age), and experimenting. I don't buy expensive radios, one because I don't always have the funds to justify it, and two, I like the older stuff. Now, enjoy your own preference. If you're worried about someone jumping in, and destroying their $3000.00 dollar new radio, post something suggesting they should've spent the money to buy a $150.00-200.00 supply to go with it...
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