How to Build a 24V Power Supply From 2 ATX PSU





Introduction: How to Build a 24V Power Supply From 2 ATX PSU

Two ATX PSU = One juiced DIY 24 Volt DC Power Supply

Before we get going, i have to make it clear that this is by no means the safest solution, and that might even be and under estimation. I am no expert, and copying my steps is at your own cost. If you are in doubt don't try it.


This is my first instrucable since i couldn't find this project anywhere i thought i might aswell document it with pictures.
Also English is my 2nd language so bear with me.

Well, what you get when done is a 24 Direct Current (DC) Power Supply (PSU).

Parts list:

2* XXXX W ATX power supply.


A good length of mains cable.

Scrap wood or what you think is suitable.

Common tools (screw driver/hammer, saw, nails/screws and so forth)

Soldering iron with accessories or alot of male/female connectors.

Nice to have list:

A clue gun.

Multimeter. I nice to test things out before frying electronics.

Common sens.

Everything was sourced for free except for tools. This made this a perfect fit for my needs.


If i missed something please point it out, but if you have the above tools i have no doubt in my mind that you can make it.

Look all syncronyms and words up on wikipedia before asking.

Step 1: Theory / Build

Since there more and more computers laying around the junkyard theres more and more ATX PSU to get for free.

The higher the wattage  described on the PSU the more amperes it can pull when done.
Small PSU will be suitable for testbeds where bigger could be used to weld or power a CNC (as I'm doing).

Before going any further if you scavanged your PSU like I you should test them out before spending more time with them.

Short PIN 14 (on standard ATX PSU) to any ground wire. It will make the PSU turn on, test with a multimeter. For any iregular PSU search around for howto-short-a-PSU. For pictures (i forgot to document that step) just take alook around instrucables and you'll be able to see how to do that step. Theres different way of doing this, but they all do the same job.

There also alot of chatter about how you keep the woltage steady without spikes. Again see other instrucables since most PSU are different an all have different build in features.

I went with a KISS solution.

The two PSU is now called PSU A and PSU B

Since theres some capacitors, inside the cabinet, which can still have a charge in them, wait a while before working with the PSU if they have been powered recently.

Now tear apart both of them. You do this to clear any ground connection there might be, remember to remove the ground (GND) from the mains line you are powering the units with, then you are sure that part of the project don't go FUBAR on you. I would not reuse the metal cabinets, period. Theres way the much risk in them making a contact with any loose wires. Which could result in frying you/electronics.

We can then procced to connect the +12 V wire from PSU A to PSU B GND wire, that will give PSU B GND a +12 V DC as GND then you add the additional +12 V DC it produces on it's own when powered on. To utillize the +24V DC you've created between the PSU you need to use PSU A GND wire  and PSU B +12V DC wire in operation and between those to wire to be more excact theres +24V DC @ the amperes that one would have given.

I also slashed all wires i wouldn't use for this project to inhance airflow in the small cabinet i build. Again think twice cut once.

Step 2: Leach the Beast

Create a box and make it just as safe as you treassure your own life.

Hint: I'm refering to the danger of electrocution.

When you are working with tree, in my case MDF, make sure you dismantle the PSU from the mockup board. Before cutting and clean all pieces very good. Just to minimise the risk of a fire turned on by any sparks.

Since all PSU are different i had to make seperate on/off switches to PWR them on. First i PWR PSU A then PSU B. Before i put switches in it only sporadickly PWR both on and only gave +12V DC out because PSU A didn't function properly.

Step 3: Enjoy the New Tool.



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Please be positive and constructive.




Hi Zilver. All very excellent! But you do too much!
You can leave PSU A complete in its own case. Only open PSU B to disconnect the case ground from the circuit board. This leaves the mains ground still working on the metal case. The two metal cases then still have a safety earth ground and can touch each other - or even be bolted together.
PSU A only needs a link between green and black to start it. PSU B needs an on-off switch. Now take about 8 black wires from PSU A to be your negative output for CNC
and about 8 yellow wires to the positive output for 24V CNC.
Then join 8 yellow wires from PSU A to 8 black wires on PSU B as you have done.
Some say that the thin red and thin orange "sense" wires should connect to their thicker red and orange supply wires. Some people also put 12V car bulbs on the 5V rail because some very old ATX need a load on 5V to regulate properly.
To be honest most newer ATX don't need anything.
My 24V ATX is wired all inside the 2 metal cases which are bolted together and all the external computer wiring loom is gone. I have one mains socket with on-off, one start button for PSU B and two 24V output terminals on 4mm banana sockets.
Yours is an excellent Indestructible - my only worry was to leave as many safety grounds on as possible and just "float" the black OV wiring of PSU B.
Considering that English is not your first language you make really good use of many English idioms ......

If the power cord for ps1 was coupled with another and the ground was cut out on the second cord, you can power both units using the modified cord without having to open either of them up as long as they are isolated from each other and chassis don't touch you're good to go


It was interesting reading your comment on 2 atx for 24v dc. I am trying to make one. Will yo be kind to provide me detailed wiring in form of a sketch diagram. I dot want to go wrong and make mistake. Your help will be useful

Hi John! I would like to ask you about putting a start wire switch in PSU B. I have wired up the PSU's with both start wires connected permanently to their relative earths, and as long as there is no significant load, PSU B almost always starts, but if there is any significant load (eg a stepper motor driver board) sometimes PSU B doesn't start. Would putting a switch in the start lead for PSU B fix this?

How are you switching the mains side? If you wire the mains to one switch so both supplies get power at the same time should help. Are the ATX boxes identical? If not try reversing boxes A and B. Finally you could get a double pole switch so the green - black link is switched for both boxes at once. DON'T MIX your blacks, the one from A is a real zero volts, but the black from B is at +12V from the A supply yellow. A double poe switch has two isolated electrical switches under one mechanical button.


Hi John! In the end I put a switch into the soft start of PSU(B) and bingo! No more problems.

Excellent! Now you can add supply number 3 and go for the whole 36volts .... or not. You should continue to collect a spare ATX as they come your way though. They don't live forever.


I'm very interested in this design but there is one problem that I
see with it: the parts of these psu were rated for a specific amount of
Watts. By putting the second one in series, I'd be doubling the voltage
and the overall wattage that's being loaded on it. These actually
expensive psus I'm working with and I can't afford to blow one up. How
does one go about verifying if the PSU can handle the doubled wattage?

Hi Fadi,
Your 2 power supplies can be seen as a pair of 12 volt batteries when the DC ground is isolated. If one battery is a large car battery and the other one is a smaller motorcyclel battery you can only draw the amount of energy out that the smaller battery can provide.

Even if you have 2 similar car batteries, one might be older or weaker than the other. The weaker battery will provide as much power as it can and no more. The extra capacity of the bigger battery (or PSU) counts for nothing when they are connected in series.

Don't forget your power supply provides the power and the load takes what it needs - the power supply can never push extra power into a load and damage it.

Please take care with the high voltage side of these power supples.
Electricity only kills you once.

So John, are you saying you float both 12v dc case grounds and then just have the cases ground the110vac? The ac grounded cases can then still touch each other and the red and black 12 leads are just treated as standard 12v wiring such as those found on a car battery? I ask because I'd like to take two 12v 10a computer power supplies and use them to run an all in one gecko driver/controller. (g540 model) It will be running three 3.5a NEMA 23's. If I recall the gecko asks for 15-40v so I think this combination would be a good middle of the line match.