Introduction: Take a Look Inside a ATX Computer Power Supply
Have you ever wanted to see what's inside a computer power supply?
Well here's your chance.
P.S. this is my first Instructable so I hope it's good enough
Caution: Don't do this at home unless you know about the risk of shocking yourself even after turning it off! If you want to take that risk, Always discharge those 1 or 2 large mains filtering capacitors by jumpering the green wire in the 20 or 24 pin ATX plug to a black wire in the same plug while the PSU is unplugged. You should hear a click. Remove the jumper and disassemble.
You might want some rubber gloves to keep your hands from getting electrified
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Step 1: A Look Inside the Power Supply
This particular power supply has a un-switched output meaning the output always has voltage. the rectifier down the bottom of the psu uses 4 diodes to change AC to DC. On the primary side of the board, we see the X-Y caps dominate the space. They serve as the mains filters. Lower down, just to the right of the torroid, are some yellow rectangles. These are caps designed to help the power supply handle surges and inrush current. To the right of the fuse is another inductor (the white thing) used for more mains filtering. It may actually be an isolation transformer. In the middle, we see the heatsinks. attached to them are the mosfets, used to raise the frequency of the AC. This allows the transformers to be smaller, and results in less ripple to be filtered out. On the upper right is the voltage regulating parts. On the heatsinks are more Vregs. On the upper right is the secondary side, with its filter capacitors and inductor.
Step 2: The Output Cables
The output cables are the wires that run from the psu to the motherboard, harddrives, cd drives, floppy disk drives and sometimes to your graphics processing unit (GPU). If you wanted to use the power supply outside of the computer for testing temporarily like watercooling systems and peltiers or permanent things like bench-top power supplies, you would need to jumper the green (signal wire, on/off) to the ground in the main power connector to boot the power supply. When the power supply is plugged in, the purple wire in the motherboard connector is LIVE (5v). This is the motherboards standby power source.
Thanks for looking at my first instructable.
Thanks to tech-king and Goodhart for being a collaborator and helping me to update our instructable.