Author Options:

Can I power 3 small electronic components (video game, LCD screen, audio amp) with a 6 volt adaptor? Answered

Hi, I need help working out the power supply issues on this project of mine.

Once I have the parts defined I'm going to teach a DIY class to 5-10 young under-privileged kids where they can build their own arcade machine. I'm hoping to keep the costs down to under $50 as I will be self-funding this.

I'm building a small desktop video arcade system using one of those old Namco Joystick boxes which are battery driven (4 AA batteries) and have an audio and video RCA jack which you hook up directly to a tv.

There are 3 main components.

Video Game/joystick box
Regarding the power requirements. All I know is that it takes 4 AA batteries. So 6 volts. I don't know how much current it draws. Can I use a multimeter to measure this? Do I need this information to move forward?

4 Inch LCD Video Screen
Here is the range of power options for this device.
5.1v / .27a / 1.377w [lowest stable voltage]
6.0v / .25a / 1.5w
6.6v / .23a / 1.518w
7.4v / .20a / 1.48w
8.0v / .18a / 1.44w
8.6v / .17a / 1.462w
9.2v / .16a / 1.472w
9.8v / .15a / 1.47w
10.4v / .14a / 1.456w
11.0v / .13a / 1.43w
11.6v / .12a / 1.392w
12.0v / .12a / 1.44w [highest recommended voltage]

Small Audio Amplifier board to drive a small speaker. Probably not more that 1 watt I'm guessing would be loud enough. Not sure what to use here. Any ideas? If this also can take 6 volts then everything can be powered by one 6 volt power supply. This looks interesting.
I would just have to add a speaker and a potentiometer for a volume control. It says it will take up to 5.5 volts. I wonder if I could push it and give it 6 volts or if not whether I could reduce the voltage slightly in order to keep everything at 6 volts.

I've already built one of these desktop arcade machines ( http://www.jochumson.com/project7.html ) but ended up using both the video game batteries (which powered the video game) and a separate 12 volt power supply (which powered both the LCD and an audio amp board) and I didn't like that as you had to replace the batteries as well as have it plugged in all the time. I ended up using a small 3 watt amplifier which was WAY too powerful. I could only turn it up a little before the volume was earth shattering. And this was a small audio amplifier board.  I would prefer it to be as simply as possible. Just need to amplify the RCA audio output to levels appropriate to playing on a kitchen table. Not very loud.

Ideally I would like to:

Power all three things with the (4 AA batteries) that comes with the joystick. That would be ideal as it would allow this small video arcade machine to be portable. Assuming though that the batteries didn't drain way too fast.

If the batteries don't provide enough current then the next best thing would be a power adaptor. Something like this assuming that it could power all three components (video game/joystick, video screen and audio amplifier).  http://amzn.to/1rza3bG

So my issues are:

Can I power all this with one power supply?

And are there issues like voltage spiking that I have to worry about when connecting multiple components like this to one power supply? Or can I just hook them up in parallel assuming they all take 6 volts and the total current draw is less than the power adapter is rated?

Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Here's my first attempt from last year.

Thanks very much!

Chris Jochumson



5 years ago

Need to calculate the total power draw of everything. Should be able to power it off of the AA batteries but they may not last vary long.