In this instructable we will be learning how to turn an old computer ATX power supply into a bench power supply.
Step 1: Get an ATX Computer Power Supply
Put that power supply that's been lying around collecting dust to good use or obtain an old one from a friend or recycling center for cheap.
Step 2: Gather Your Tools & Parts
The tools needed are:
1) Screwdriver (To disassemble the power supply)
2) Soldering Iron
4) Wire cutters/strippers
5) Drill/Drill Bits
The parts needed are:
1) Binding Posts
2) Banana Plugs (for making the leads)
3) Switch (Any switch is fine but I prefer using a toggle switch)
5) Heat Shrink Tubing
6) Teflon Tape (or any other insulating material)
7) Zip Ties
Step 3: Disassembly
Remove the screws of the power supply and take off the top.
Step 4: The Wires
Collect and separate the wires by color. Separate the black, red, yellow, and orange wires. Solder the wires together by color but separate 1 black wire from the rest. Also separate the green wire as we will need it later. The rest of the wires are not needed and can be cut or shortened. Remember to place heat shrink tubing over the cut ends of the unused wires to prevent shorts.
Step 5: Installing the Switch & Binding Posts
Start by marking out where the holes are going to be drilled and drill holes appropriate to the sizes of the switch and binding posts. Then, install the switch. After the switch is installed, install the binding posts. The insulating collar on my binding posts were a little larger than the biggest drill bit I had, so I had to get creative and wrap teflon plumber's tape around the metal part of the post to insulate it from the case.
Step 6: Connect the Wires
Separate the black wires into 3 groups leaving one wire aside. Solder the black wires to the black binding posts. Do the same for the rest of the wires but this time solder the different colored wires to their respective binding posts. The green wire goes to one terminal of the switch and the last black wire goes to the other terminal. This will be the switch to power on the power supply. Don't forget the slide the heat shrink tubing over the wires BEFORE soldering the wires though, as you will have to desolder the wires if you forget.
Step 7: Wire Management
Use zip ties to keep the wires neat and tidy.
Step 8: Reassembly
Put the power supply back together by replacing the screws.
Step 9: The Finished Product
The only thing to do now is to power it on and admire your hard work!
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