Frugha's Benchtop Power Supply Straps a 3D-Printed Front Panel to an Upcycled ATX PSU

Designed for safety and flexibility, this fused PSU project provides all the standard outputs plus a variable output from 0.8-12V.

Gareth Halfacree
2 months ago3D Printing / HW101 / Upcycling

Pseudonymous maker "Frugha" has designed a 3D-printed adapter, which turns an ATX-standard computer power supply into a handy benchtop supply with fused and adjustable outputs — complete with a voltage display for ease of adjustment.

"Because there are high voltage capacitors inside the power supply we won't open it," Frugha explains of their approach to the conversion, which doesn't require irreversible modification of the PSU. "To work around this I designed a case that will be mounted to the front of the power supply giving you a place to put all the wires and components."

Those components: A step-down bck converter, a voltage meter with display, a potentiometer, a 5Ω 10W resistor to serve as a load so the PSU can operate normally, and fuses in panel mounts — used to provide a level of protection when wiring the supply into your projects via the hand panel-mounted banana plugs. An on/off switch, meanwhile, allows the ATX power supply to be started and stopped without being connected to a PC.

The buck converter and potentiometer serve to give the homebrew benchtop power supply a feature many of its contemporaries lack: An adjustable output, turning a fixed 12V output into a variable output configurable from 0.8V to 12V. The voltage meter, mounted above the potentiometer, reads out the current setting — allowing for quick adjustment.

Instructions for building your own version of the project, along with the STL files required to print the front panel, are available on Frugha's Instructables page.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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