Lab Bench Power Supply

As a curious person with a spare power supply lying around the house, I made the executive decision to do something useful with it. After seeing tutorials and friends do something along these lines, I decided to try my hand at this. Not quite sure yet what I’ll do with it… but it’s pretty nifty!

Summary of Steps:

  • Cut off all plugs and connectors and leave the wires at approximately the same length (for ease of bundling). Strip off ~half an inch from the ends.
  • I used a metal punch to create the connector panel opening. The edges were filed down. A quarter inch sheet of plywood was used for the connector panel. This was screwed in to the metal case.
  • Holes were drilled in the wood. You can guess where (the bolts go there).
  • Bolts were put in a lathe to produce a hole. I picked 3/16ths of an inch, I should have used 5/32nds to have it fit banana plug connectors better. The ends were sanded on a belt sander to remove jagged edges.
  • The wires were sandwiched between washers threaded onto the bolt. The bolt was mounted on the plywood and secured by a nut. I allocated 2 nuts per bolt, so that wires could be attached to the bolt-connectors.
  • Connect the green wire (there’s only one) to ground. This tricks the power supply into staying on, even though it’s not connected to a computer. Some tutorials say you need a load on the power supply for it to run, but since I have a fan in the PSU, that provides all the load I need.

ATX Power Supply Wire Colors:

  • Blue = -12
  • Orange = 3.3
  • Red = 5
  • Yellow = 12
  • Black = 0/Ground

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