DIY CC CV Variable Bench Power Supply 1-32V, 0-5A

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Introduction: DIY CC CV Variable Bench Power Supply 1-32V, 0-5A

About: I love tinkering with Arduinos and other electronics. I am the owner of A2D Electronics, an online store based in Ottawa, ON that is committed to providing Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, accessories, and other ele...

I have gone without a variable lab bench power supply for too long now. The PC power supply that I have been using to power most of my projects has been shorted out too many times - I have actually killed 2 by accident - and needs a replacement, at least for low power loads. There are now extremely cheap 5A CC Buck converters available that are perfect for something like this. I also added a Voltage and current display, a switch, and replaced the onboard 10K trim pots with regular potentiometers. I also desoldered one LED that lights up when the output is shorted (indicates constant current mode), and added some wire extensions and a 3mm LED to mount to the case.

You can also check out this project on my website here:

https://a2delectronics.ca/2018/03/21/diy-cc-cv-variable-bench-power-supply-1-32v-0-5a/

Step 1: Battery Configuration

18650 batteries are lying around all over my workshop, and I needed something to do with them. I found a design for a 4S10P holder on thingiverse that I printed out and put cells in it and soldered them up with 2A fuses to give me 8S4P. The rest of the space in the holder is used for the CC CV buck converter and other electronics. This allows the highest voltage possible for the buck converter, so we get the biggest voltage range on the output. The maximum voltage will decrease and the 18650 cells are drained, but I don't anticipate needing 33V DC very often.

Step 2: Display and Power Connectors

The display is powered with 12V through a 7812 12V voltage regulator, that can handle up to 35V max input. Finishing this up, I added an XT-60 connector and a balance connector to the main battery so that I can charge it up. I also added some cardboard on the top and bottom to protect the fuses and avoid shorts. To finish it up, I printed out my logo on a used label sticker page and transferred it to the top of the battery.

Step 3: Other Thoughts

I have used this fairly often, mostly to simulate 18650 batteries. I would love to find a way to get coarse and fine adjustment on voltage and current levels, so that it is much more usable. Right now, it is fairly difficult to get an accurate voltage without the tiniest of turns on the potentiometer. I might make a similar one using the same parts, but instead of attaching it directly to a battery, use an XT-60 connector and then it can be used with any battery I want. That will need a boost converter as well to get higher voltages, but that it easily fixed.

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    7 Discussions

    A wiring schematic would be helpful as it's not clear to me how the various items that are mentioned are connected together. It seems the 18650 cells are in some kind of series/parallel setup but I'm not sure what kind? Are there any particular type of CV / CC module that you used? And what power source (voltage) should be used to charge the cells? Hope these questions are not too dumb for you, I just don't see how I could duplicate your project with this information?.

    i have one of these modules but i found it to be quite innacurate compared to multiple multimeters i tested it with. if you want/need accurate voltages, stay away from them

    I guess you are aware that the battery plastic holders are available on the ebay very cheaply and they snap together to any size . But thats not where you wanted to go I guess. Making it yourself is most of the fun

    There are better choices now for a voltage regulator ..see LM1117 which does not pass current if it blows whereas the 7812 will pass full volage and current to the rest of your circuit

    1 reply

    The LCD that it is powering says it can handle up to a 30V input voltage, but I was a little skeptical on that given that it did not have an official datasheet. That being said, full voltage to the LCD might not be the worst thing. It would probably have been better to have just connected the LCD to a 3S string of batteries within the pack. Current draw is pretty low, so it would not throw it wildly out of balance.

    Thanks for the info on the failure modes of the regulators. I had the 7812 available, but might look in to getting some 12V and 5V LM1117 regulators for future projects.

    You could replace the single turn potentiometer with a 10 turn style (I assume they still make them) so that you could get more precise control of the output voltage.

    1 reply

    I did look in to trying to get some of those. It would have been a great idea if they were not so expensive ($3-5 each).