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Are ATX power supplies based bench power supplies "good"?

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I'm considering building one mostly for use for experimenting and testing. I doubt I need a high end bench power supply but I wonder if a ATX based power supply is good enough?

So question is should I build a variable ATX based power supply or should I shop around for a "real" bench power supply?

They work fine (considering they need to power your motherboard), but you probably want to add an current limit to it. The amount of current they can put out in a short circuit is pretty ridiculous and will easily fuse whatever shorted them out.

I'm using an ATX for my tests. I must say that its outputs are noisy, not clean enough. I have to build a second power supply in my tests in order to clean the atx supply.

I also added a 15A fuse just in case of accidents.

They have the distinct advantage of a powerful 12V rail so if you need lots of power cheaply they are great, also makes a decent foundation to build on to step down the 12V to others. However they are switchers so yeah noisy.


--- Quote from: migsantiago on November 28, 2010, 03:12:02 am ---I'm using an ATX for my tests. I must say that its outputs are noisy, not clean enough.

--- End quote ---

There is a difference between "MagicWonder 400 W ATX PSU" and a proper name brand PSU*. When I was a screwdriver monkey I had lots of fun fixing intermittent faults caused by crappy low end noisy PSU's. As a repair tech though generic PSU's are your greatest friend, they tend to die to the mildest power surge. Bad PSU's and viruses from porn sights used to be most of my work.

*My current PSU has kept my computer going through brown outs that turn the lights off. Generic PSU's will power cycle when there is a brown out in the next state.


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