Introduction: (Adjustable) Power Supply 650 Watts 54 Amps for Under $50

About: Student

The idea is to make a relatively small, compact power supply that can fit many purposes. This build will include the following ports:

  • USB charger
  • Car Cigarette socket
  • XT-60 (RC)
  • T-plug (RC)
  • Banana plugs

It also includes an adjustable part that could be used for:

  • Testing electronics
  • Powering your laptop

This instead of only one pair banana plugs. I think it's also important that it can be built with a limited budget and that everyone can make this or a similar project.

Step 1: Making a 3D Model of the Enclosure

Be creative!

My advice: Make sure that everthing fits correctly. Take some time to ensure it fits perfect, rather than you manually having to adjust the enclosure with a saw, drill or file. This will take up a lot more time and the finish of the final product will not be as high as supposed.

I added my Solidworks files.

"Solidworks2014-Power supply .zip" see files

Step 2: Laser Cut the Enclosure

Convert the 3D model to 2D parts and laser cut them.

It cost me $8 to laser all the parts (wood and professional help included).

I added my DXF files (if you want to make the exactly same project).

Step 3: Prepare the Housing

First I sanded all the parts with a grinder. Then I glued them together and let them dry for 24 hours under the pressure of clamps. Then I again sanded the enclosure, and applied laquer to the wood. I waited for 4 hours, sanded the enclosure again, applied laquer and waited another 4 hours. If a better finish is desired, the last step of sanding, applying laquer and waiting can be repeated.

Step 4: Prepare the Power Supply

I disassembled this power supply from an old server. The specifications listed that it operates on 12 volts @ 54.4 amps. I salvaged the connector form the motherboard.

I searched Google for the serial number to find the start button wires of the power supply (the black and yellow wires in the pictures). When the black and yellow wire are connected the power supply will power on. It's like a usual computer power supply, where you connect the green with the black wire to get 12v, 5v and 3.3v.

I used 2x 6 mm^2 wire (9AWG) for the power distribution. Then I soldered an additional black and red wire for the adjustable part of the power supply.

Step 5: Adjustable Power Supply 80watt Max 130 Watt Peak

I looked at the datasheet of the volt/amp meter how to connect it. Then I extended the potentiometers so I could mount them in the enclosure.

NOTE: The potentiometer I used aren`t correct. Those are 10 step 10 kiloohm potentiometers. So I used the old ones for now but I ordered new.

**** i added the "electrical schematic" and "order list" ********

Step 6: Inserting the Electronics and Soldering

I used a simple step-down converter for the fan (12 to 6 volts) and connected it to the power supply and the fan. Then I inserted the electronics, ports and power button in the enclosure and soldered it all to the power supply.

Step 7: Testing

It is smart to first use a multimeter to measure the polarities and voltagea of every connector. You could, for example, put some load om every connector and make sure it works. Also some vibrations could be made to test for loose wires.

Step 8: Final Product

Some improvements that could be made:

  • Order the correct potentiometers
  • Order two of the same volt/amp meters (same display colors)

I now hope to inspire you to also make an (adjustable) power supply or a similar project. If you have any questions, please leave it in the comment or send me a message and I'll try to answer them for you.

Power Supply Contest

Judges Prize in the
Power Supply Contest