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Author Topic: How to build your own power supply?  (Read 13366 times)
SlaveInDebt
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June 11, 2011, 07:47:48 AM
 #41

even 30amps 12v dc wont kill you that's all I wanted to say.

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June 11, 2011, 08:31:17 AM
 #42

This is what I don't understand.  The guy simply asked the viability of making his own PSU's to supply power to the 6-pin PCI-E video card slots only.  (not entire systems which require all the chips / circuitry / logic)
It was a simple question of "would this be something I could do?", and that response of yours is acting like he said "fuck all you imma do it anyway"

Actually what he asked had to do with ganging up small PSUs in order to make, effectively, one big one.  That's incredibly simple - you need nothing more than a bunch of diodes (albeit, big ones) and a bunch of soldering.  But then what if current-hogging ensues because you didn't know to include components to equalize the voltage between the various PSUs and they start dying right and left?  If the OP doesn't know what a P/N junction is, how a diode works, what forward/reverse bias is, etc., then how would he know how to fix the inevitable problem that pops up when there is one?  How would he know how to fix the design flaw in my aforementioned example, or other unknowns?  As for "fuck all you imma do it anyway", that's what it seemed like.  The question was essentially phrased like.. "I wanna do this, tell me how!"
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June 11, 2011, 09:12:04 AM
 #43

Yea you could.

But I think it's a lot easier to just bunch a few smaller PSU on a few Systems. It'd be a much easier system to set up, Safer, lesser point of failure. It'd have less of all the problems that were mentioned and more of the benefits that was perceived.

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June 11, 2011, 09:50:29 AM
 #44

I really don't think that you should even be considering undertaking a project that forces you to ask "Uhh, just how much of this can kill me? What are my chances of survival?"

Honestly, just buy the PSU's. I've never EVER heard of someone building their own.
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June 11, 2011, 10:28:24 AM
 #45

even 30amps 12v dc wont kill you that's all I wanted to say.

Actually, it's impossibile to make 30 amps of current flow thru you with only 12V. That's what I'm trying to tell you all: there's this thing called "resistance".

but yes, If you could, It would kill you.

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June 13, 2011, 11:45:05 AM
 #46

Well yea I built my own power supply for equipments that are use in industrial areas a while back (when my uncle began to cut cost -.-), he paid me close to nothing for the electrical/electronics degree I own. So I know with good planning, precaution and safety into the design, this is definitely possible (even w/o). But I just think it's not recommended.

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June 13, 2011, 12:36:55 PM
 #47

even 30amps 12v dc wont kill you that's all I wanted to say.

Actually, it's impossibile to make 30 amps of current flow thru you with only 12V. That's what I'm trying to tell you all: there's this thing called "resistance".

but yes, If you could, It would kill you.
Can you stop arguing about the amps and the health concerns? You don't wear your home-made PSU on your head do you? Just don't touch the case and use a good grounding, no danger, end of story.

Now, resuming. Does anyone know if you can integrate a solar array with an UPS and PSU to have the highest efficiency between the components?
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June 13, 2011, 12:44:13 PM
 #48

Quote
How to build your own power supply?

The best method I know:

1. Order a "fully modular" PSU.
2. Once it arrives plug in all the proper cables in proper holes on the sides of the PSU
3. Profit!


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June 13, 2011, 05:26:07 PM
 #49

Quote
How to build your own power supply?

The best method I know:

1. Order a "fully modular" PSU.
2. Once it arrives plug in all the proper cables in proper holes on the sides of the PSU
3. Profit!


this

it would take some serious effort to build a psu (from scratch) maybe if you found a schematic of a unit that someone had already built and tested.

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June 20, 2011, 07:49:41 AM
 #50

I'm glad we heard back from you - I thought you tried this and roasted yourself.

Lol thanks for the kind words Wink
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June 20, 2011, 07:03:35 PM
 #51

I built a power supply for some specialized equipment I built while working on my Physics PhD.  You can easily find the relevant info on how to build a good power supply.

But it is terrible waste of time and money.  You will never do it cheaper than the box you buy from commercial supplier.

It is more than just a transformer (though that is most of the weight).  It is also a diode and a filter.  High current versions of these components are expensive.  Also you will spend a lot on all the little extras, the box, the heat sinks, the switches, the connectors and the cables.  The cables and connectors have to be well made, a lot of failures happen because of bad cables.  Each card requires 6 separate power feeds each with it's own ground, that's twelve wires per card.  If you buy a power supply it comes with the cables!

For building my rigs I went with the best power supplies I could find.  I've built four rigs and spent about $850 for the four supplies.  My first two were 1200 Watt supplies (Antec, on sale $217 each) and I realized based on experience that that was more reserve than needed so my last two supplies were 850 Watts (Corsair $189, Thermaltake, $229) and that seems to be enough to power 4 5850 cards.

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June 27, 2011, 11:51:15 AM
 #52

I don't know much about electricity yet... but it sounds like a pretty simply job.
That's the last phrase of someone gunning for the Darwin award.

Seriously, playing with electricity that contains enough amps to kill you outright is NOT something that is recommended, unless that is your job and you've got education to back it up.

Not at all, ampere don't kill you. Even heard about someone being electrocuted by a car battery? I guess not. And you can easly get hundreds of Amperes out of them

Electricity starts to be harmful at about 50 Volts.

BTW, PSU are not transformer, they are AC/DC switching units (note the plural). You can't just connect some of them together, you'll just end up frying all your hardware.

PSU is both a transformer and AC/DC switching unit. First you need the transformer to get to proper voltage, then you put in a transistor bridge, few diodes etc. and you got yourself DC. I also would recommend a regulator and few small capacitors and low Ohm resistors, and a heatsink for the regulator(s). The combination of regs, capacitors and resistors should filter everything out Smiley

Working with high amperage low voltage is safer than high voltage low amperage IMHO, because the electricity does not "jump" as easily. High voltage is needed for being able to go through highly resistive materials (see Tesla coils for example. That's also why engine spark wiring insulation is such an important factor). My hobby used to be RC cars, and i had 7.2V 400A peak battery packs... I was more worried about getting them pierced while driving (and resulting explosion & fire) than getting a shock.

Here is how you can build it:
http://engknowledge.com/power_supply_design.aspx

I would design it to be quite parallel, meaning multiple transformers, multiple bridges, multiple capacitors etc etc.
So that any single component has smaller impact if it fails on operation, or is otherwise flaky. I would design regulators, capacitors etc. well beyond required spec to reduce risk of failure.

Also, doing it from this low level you could add some basic electronics to handle backup power, see for example: http://www.dreamgreenhouse.com/designs/12v/index.php (links to their UPS project),  http://tech.icrontic.com/articles/super_ups , http://1wt.eu/articles/alix-ups/

Last one is the most intresting one infact Smiley

Google is your friend, but i wouldn't suggest trying this with no past experience on the required scale....


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June 27, 2011, 10:01:30 PM
 #53

I don't know much about electricity yet... but it sounds like a pretty simply job.
Not at all, ampere don't kill you. Even heard about someone being electrocuted by a car battery? I guess not. And you can easly get hundreds of Amperes out of them
{/quote}

This is not quite accurate. Amperes DO KILL... 0.1amps crossing the heart is enough to cause it to fibrillate. 1amp is enough to shut the cardiovascular system down. Voltage does not kill...it is the amps that the voltage is pushing that kills. Voltage is only a potential difference - the flow of electron is what causes current (amps).
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June 27, 2011, 11:58:58 PM
 #54

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June 28, 2011, 12:03:45 AM
 #55

I don't know much about electricity yet... but it sounds like a pretty simply job.
That's the last phrase of someone gunning for the Darwin award.

Seriously, playing with electricity that contains enough amps to kill you outright is NOT something that is recommended, unless that is your job and you've got education to back it up.

Not at all, ampere don't kill you. Even heard about someone being electrocuted by a car battery? I guess not. And you can easly get hundreds of Amperes out of them

Electricity starts to be harmful at about 50 Volts.

BTW, PSU are not transformer, they are AC/DC switching units (note the plural). You can't just connect some of them together, you'll just end up frying all your hardware.

PSU is both a transformer and AC/DC switching unit. First you need the transformer to get to proper voltage, then you put in a transistor bridge, few diodes etc. and you got yourself DC. I also would recommend a regulator and few small capacitors and low Ohm resistors, and a heatsink for the regulator(s). The combination of regs, capacitors and resistors should filter everything out Smiley

Working with high amperage low voltage is safer than high voltage low amperage IMHO, because the electricity does not "jump" as easily. High voltage is needed for being able to go through highly resistive materials (see Tesla coils for example. That's also why engine spark wiring insulation is such an important factor). My hobby used to be RC cars, and i had 7.2V 400A peak battery packs... I was more worried about getting them pierced while driving (and resulting explosion & fire) than getting a shock.

Here is how you can build it:
http://engknowledge.com/power_supply_design.aspx

I would design it to be quite parallel, meaning multiple transformers, multiple bridges, multiple capacitors etc etc.
So that any single component has smaller impact if it fails on operation, or is otherwise flaky. I would design regulators, capacitors etc. well beyond required spec to reduce risk of failure.

Also, doing it from this low level you could add some basic electronics to handle backup power, see for example: http://www.dreamgreenhouse.com/designs/12v/index.php (links to their UPS project),  http://tech.icrontic.com/articles/super_ups , http://1wt.eu/articles/alix-ups/

Last one is the most intresting one infact Smiley

Google is your friend, but i wouldn't suggest trying this with no past experience on the required scale....



I accidentally shorted out a li-po.... Fortunately, it iddn't explode, because the wire got so hot that it failed! Into salt-water it went... Sad

A waste of ~2BTC!
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June 28, 2011, 12:35:15 AM
 #56

My man, don't forget a good surge protector/suppressor, or a backup power unit to go with your PSU.  You gonna think your system as a whole, not just the power supply unit. 
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June 28, 2011, 06:12:12 AM
 #57

I accidentally shorted out a li-po.... Fortunately, it iddn't explode, because the wire got so hot that it failed! Into salt-water it went... Sad

A waste of ~2BTC!

Salt water is not good for draining a lipo. A lot of times the the salt water will corrode the tabs, breaking the connection. This makes the pack seem like it has 0 volts when in fact it does not. Best method to dispose of a lipo is to hook it up to a small light bulb and let it drain to zero volts. Then twist the positive and negative leads together and toss in the trash. Of course let it discharge in a fire proof area.

Or the more fun route is to drive a nail through the pack and watch the sparks fly!
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June 28, 2011, 06:14:20 AM
 #58

BTW, while not actually building a PS, I'm thinking the following server power supply would be a good candidate to power a couple video cards on the cheap:

http://sites.google.com/site/tjinguytech/my-projects/HP47A
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June 28, 2011, 08:46:14 AM
 #59

I don't know much about electricity yet... but it sounds like a pretty simply job.
That's the last phrase of someone gunning for the Darwin award.

Seriously, playing with electricity that contains enough amps to kill you outright is NOT something that is recommended, unless that is your job and you've got education to back it up.

Not at all, ampere don't kill you. Even heard about someone being electrocuted by a car battery? I guess not. And you can easly get hundreds of Amperes out of them

Electricity starts to be harmful at about 50 Volts.

BTW, PSU are not transformer, they are AC/DC switching units (note the plural). You can't just connect some of them together, you'll just end up frying all your hardware.

what about "volts jolt, amps kill"?

Like my post: 1DvQzs6zaE4HR2gjRRDd6dfu6mJJaCQv7Z
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June 28, 2011, 12:25:07 PM
 #60

As someone who has been in the middle of developing motor controls (also DC switchers -- lotsa MOSFETs for the 200A@28VDC we were dealing with as our largest design), I say just buy a friggin' power supply.

There's a reason the higher efficiency ones cost more.  Everything with good efficiency probably has PF correction, and there are some sexy little chips that can basically take care of it for you (adding more switching, of course -- yeah!).  Basically, it's easy to design a power supply.  It's even easy to design one with pretty solid outputs.  Will it be cheaper?  Maybe, but probably not, and it's unlikely that you'll end up with a design that's efficient and if you want to you're going to put in a lot of effort to do what others have already done at pretty low prices.

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