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I always appreciated Microsoft products quality, my Xbox360 worked pretty well for 5 years, despite the red leds of death fame, and it continues to do its work. This is the reason why I bought its "brick" PSU at a a fleas market, for about 12$. I decided to build from it a 12V power supply unit for my laboratory.
I've to thank some instructables members (dog digger and Skater_j10) for the help their ibles gave me to understand the connections.
Please if you're not familiar with electronics, inform about danger of electricity on some trustworthy sources (a simple but comprehensive one could be www.dummies.com)
 
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Step 1: The original brick

Let's see what I've learned and practiced.
My brick is the third generation model, because is less powerful than the first two, but it's even so very powerful. Indeed you can read from the back side data that it generates 12V DC at 150W, It also gives a secondary 5V 1A line, which is a very pleasant peculiarity.
The 5V line is always on, since it's the standby power source of the console, but the main line is turned on with a small current flowing between two contacts of the plug.
Pay attention that the psu retains high current in his big capacitors for about 10 seconds after disconnection, and probably some current remains also for more time, so please be careful to not touch circuits with fingers!

Step 3: Read the labels

Each wire is well labeled, so you can easily fond the Power Enable wire (blue one), which has to be connected with a +3V line to turn the PSU on. As Skater_j10 tested you can also use a +5V voltage, so it's easy to insert a switch between BLUE and RED lines.
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slamslam102 made it!4 months ago

I had one of these bricks laying around and a mini PC without a power supply. Thanks for posting this.

DSCF2260.JPG
le-Sid11 months ago
I like this idea. I've used those power supplies in various projects as they are quite powerful and easy/cheap to find (usually about 30$ at local ebgames/gamestop) For mine though I've used a molex connector as I use it sometimes to test hard drives or dvd drives.. Nice Job, very clean and well explained :)
andrea biffi (author)  le-Sid11 months ago
Yes, molex are great for 12V + 5V power connections.
crazypj11 months ago
Sorry for multiple posts, don't know what happened to internet connection, it kinda stopped then freaked out
crazypj11 months ago
small power 'brick' could be added to your micro drill press to power LED lights
Your giving me too many idea's LOL :)
crazypj11 months ago
small power 'brick' could be added to your micro drill press to power LED lights
Your giving me too many idea's LOL :)
Hello,
I like your i'ble, and would surely make such a unit. I also want to make a multiple USB device Charging unit. Is it possible to step down the twelve volt to 5 volt output on this device while keeping the amps as high as possible?

Thanks
andrea biffi (author)  muhammajunaid1 year ago
On a second though, PC psu are very powerful and also danger, and I wouldn't recommend to connect USB devices on them..
Andrea, It's do-able, but I would suggest only the types with the 5V loaded already, and ONLY after turning the supply on, connecting the device needing the USB connection for charging afterwards. But I would still check the voltages with a volt meter 1st. I've done this on many projects, using a 350W ATX supply, powering or charging devices. (latest, using a Radio$hack adapter, plugged into one of the old drive power connectors, to charge a Palm Zire-3, and latest, recharged my Kodak M341 with same supply.. the +5V stays very stable.
andrea biffi (author)  muhammajunaid1 year ago
probably you can use a cheaper PC psu for this purpose, since it already has a powerful 5V line... just my though :-|
bullzebub1 year ago
i like this one! 12A in a silent package... i need to get myself one of those!
personally i mostly use molex connectors nowadays for 5 and 12v since they are so easy to source from dead PSUs and addon fans and stuff :-) that way i dont need to be afraid to confuse 5 and 12 v line :-)
andrea biffi (author)  bullzebub1 year ago
Yep you're right, I've lot of them, that's a good solution for both 12 and 5 volt.
I have no idea what the original connector looks like. So I cannot be sure its not some sort of 'standard' connector for which a mate could be purchased eliminating the need for destroying the original connector. I realize the thought comes too late, but maybe the next guy . . .

Also, since the wires you connected the switch to inside the brick extend through the power cord you cut and soldered to your 'cables,' why not install that switch on your board instead?

And, then, install a switch on the AC side of the brick so you could leave it plugged it and switch the power from the mains when not using it?

andrea biffi (author)  charlessenf-gm1 year ago
Thanks, they're interesting issues.
The plug (you see it in step 10) is specific for Xbox360 (not all of them, see here for more details), so it's very difficult and useless find a proper female plug.
Since it's a laboratory psu, I have no board where to install the switch, it has to be universal.
There is no space to install the main switch in the "brick", I could cut the 220V cable, and insert it there, but I don't need it since I usually have main switches on my multi-plug adapters on the wall.
I realize that you may have a limited collection of wire, but I would suggest that carrying the color scheme (yellow and Blue) to the switch would have been even better. Maybe a bit 'anal' but the sort of practice that you might appreciate years from now if you have to 'go in' again.
He is modifying a power supply built specifically for an X-box so as to be able to use it as a multi-purpose power supply. I saw a title "Power Supply Modification
by andrea biffi" in the email from Instructables and figured out what he was doing from the git go (page one). He's done a good job.
I meant to reply to the post by "manicmonday" when I wrote:

He is modifying a power supply built specifically for an X-box so as to be able to use it as a multi-purpose power supply. I saw a title "Power Supply Modification by andrea biffi" in the email from Instructables and figured out what he was doing from the git go (page one). He's done a good job.
Wyle_E1 year ago
I might use a more robust connector for the 12V. I don't know if that little coax plug can be trusted with 12 amps. BTW, 12 volts isn't a shock hazard, so I'd worry more about accidental shorts. A supply designed to deliver 12 amps can be a small-scale spot welder before its overcurrent protection kicks in.
andrea biffi (author)  Wyle_E1 year ago
Current is the dangerous property, and perhaps 12A are not deadly, but they're pretty risky. A car battery is 12V 50A and it could kill you.
VOLTAGE is required to drive current. You are HIGHLY unlikely to have a resistance of 1Ohm, unless we dug electrodes into your body.

A car battery can deliver many HUNDREDs of amps, and will only kill you if someone drops it on your head.
I loved your comment about the only way a car battery will kill you is if someone drops it on your head.

I can not believe the number of people that I've talked to that think touching both terminals on a 12V car battery (with the car not running) will kill you. It's absolutely amazing. They've heard the part about how few amps is required to kill you and know (or assume) that because a car battery has 400, 500, 600, 700+ amps that you'll be killed instantly if you touch both terminals. They simply don't understand the relationship between Voltage and Amps and what is required.

I loved your comment about the only way a car battery will kill you is if someone drops it on your head.
Point of order: A car battery doesn't "HAVE" current. It MIGHT be able to DELIVER current, up to the limit imposed by its internal resistance though....Some car batteries can deliver well in excess of 1000A - it ruins them, and the spanner you dropped across the terminals though....
I am not sure you have convinced the guys that know "Current Kills so a bigger A number = bad" here but I applaud your effort and also enjoyed your note about the best way to kill with a car battery :).
andrea biffi (author)  steveastrouk1 year ago
my mistake: 50 Ah, not A
http://i.stack.imgur.com/OT5MB.png

My rectified 45KV light bulb is just as dangerous as 120V at 1A (its input) likewise 1V at 120A is equally dangerous.
You are clearly not qualified to assess the data in the table. and wrong. You should go away and learn some basic facts before posting. Higher voltages are the HAZARD, high currents the CONSEQUENCE, and its the current which kills. If the path impedance is not low enough for the high voltage to force the current then there is no hazard.
No it isn't. That's completely wrong
We have at least one great techie amongst us!
A few milliamps of current going straight through the heart will kill you instantly.

A Mini-van battery may hold somewhere in the range of 700A, not 50 A, 50 A might be like a lawn mower or something small.

It takes one or less amps to kill you.

Yet taking that fact, you can probably touch a 220v pole thats 100A, and with one hand and use your feet as ground, but my god will it hurt.

going from left hand to right hand, you are as good as dead jack.
andrea biffi (author)  Wyle_E1 year ago
Now that you make me thinking about it, that plug is probably not suitable for so much current... I've to search something bigger.
The plug is fine for that amount of current. Go bigger if you want (I always like to over-engineer), but the way you have built it is safe. If you still feel uncomfortable or unsure, put the brick use, and feel the connector for temperature every 1/2 hour. If it gets too hot to hold, you need a bigger connector.

Good instructable by the way. Very clear, logical steps, and very good photos.
andrea biffi (author)  Marcos El Malo1 year ago
Thanks Marcos, as PSU for laboratory this will not power very high loads for long time, so after your advice I'll left it as it is.
But I'm arranging to build a similar psu for my battery hacksaw (with dead batteries), it needs about 7 A or a bit more. In that case I'll make a better plug.
good instructable and an interesting idea i will have to try this some time.
Ktululz1 year ago
At the end of the step 3, I think you mean "between blue and red lines" instead of "blue and yellow lines".
Otherwise, it's a good instructable, I think I'll start mine soon.
andrea biffi (author)  Ktululz1 year ago
Ouch! Bad bad bad mistake! Thanks very much I've fixed it!
It is a good idea to tell right at the beginning of any text the basic idea of the text as a whole so that the reader can determine if they are interested or not.

This instructable does not follow that rule, so I have no idea what this is all about. I understand that there is some kind of a modification to the power supply of a xbox360 and some mention of a "Brick" that I don't understand. I might be interested in this, but didn't feel like reading a huge amount to figure that out.

Can you help me with that? Thanks
andrea biffi (author)  manicmonday1 year ago
this gaming console's psu is called "brick" referring to his geometric proportions. About the intro, I think that sentence in the third line is pretty exhaustive...
I hope to have been helpful.
(removed by author or community request)
andrea biffi (author)  manicmonday1 year ago
I'm sorry it was't pretty clear, I corrected "source" into "supply" the third line of the instructable:
"I decided to build from it a 12V power supply for my laboratory."
Tin Man1 year ago
As the blue wire is redundant at both ends of the cable, would it be worth adding it in parallel with the yellows? This would give three 12V conductors rather than two, and help reduce the source impedance. The 5V is always handy for use as a USB phone-charger.
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