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Need 110 AC to 12v converter help? Answered

Am trying to put a boat radio on my patio, plugging into house current.  The radio uses a 10amp fuse.  All $5 converters I find on the net are for cell phone chargers and the like.  I don't think they have the power I need.  Have seen something about using an old PC power supply, but I'm not sure it will stand up to the weather, even though it will be in a box, and I don't know how to determine which outputs would be 12 volts.  Anything I have found is WAY over budget...I'm trying to find something for less than $25.  Am I on fools errand?  Are there options I don't know I have?  Any help is most welcome!

***REVISION***  I should qualify....the radio is actually an AM/FM CD radio, not VHF or Ham.  Sorry for the confusion. 


This is probably going to sound like a really far out idea, but supposing you actually measured the amount of current this radio draws, from a 12 volt battery you know it works with. 

I mean if you measured the current, then you'd know, and then you shopping, or scavenging, for a 12V supply with specs indicating it is capable of giving this much current.

I’ve done this before at the hunt camp.

Battery charger on fast charge (Not trickle charge.) and a large capacitor or a battery on the output.

Works during a blackout if you use a battery.

You need some serious grunt -120W of grunt to drive it. Radio Hams often have 12V battery eliminators of that kind of rating, but sniff around on Ebay, and you can pick up 12V "SMPSU" for 25 bucks.

If you go the PC PSU route, the wires you want are black and yellow, but you might be lucky to get a supply with a 12V 10A output these days.

Most decent PC PSUs have multiple 12V rails rated for, on average, 18A. But you'll have to spend about $50 or more for it.


5 years ago

Old battery chargers can be had for under $10 in re-cycle stores.


He would have to add a filter circuit. Most of those cheap old chargers just have rectifier diodes and the output is very choppy. Batteries don't care so it works fine for that. A radio would end up sounding like a machine gun.


Boat radios I have known are made to run on rough choppy power.