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There are a lot of convenient and inexpensive ways to get get variable voltage from a fixed voltage DC power supply. The previous post detailed one way with an adjustable boost module. Many variations of these inexpensive modules are commercially available.

Step down DC buck converter adjustable voltage module

Step down DC buck converter adjustable voltage module

This post covers how to build a slightly different unit with an LM2596 step down DC buck converter module. The main difference with this unit and the adjustable boost module in the previous post is that this unit does not support increasing voltage. It is strictly for stepping down voltage. But I think it’s a good unit and definitely worth having in my toolbox. This post describes the steps on how to build it. Continue Reading »

A quick and easy way to get variable voltage from a fixed voltage DC power supply is to use a commercially available adjustable voltage converter module. This is a convenient and inexpensive solution for powering electronics projects.

Adjustable Voltage Converter Module

Adjustable Voltage Converter Module

One of these modules can easily be connected to the output of a DC bench supply or even a salvaged AC adapter that may be lying around. Different modules are available for either stepping up or stepping down voltage. Some units also come with a built in voltmeter like the one pictured above. Continue Reading »

This is a follow up post to the previous post on how to convert a computer ATX power supply to a shop DC supply. This article describes how to get more voltage combinations and goes into more detail on how to work with the unit.

DC bench supply made from computer ATX power supply

DC bench supply made from computer ATX power supply

When you convert a computer ATX power supply into a DC bench supply it can include up to 5 voltage outputs plus a ground. An ATX PSU (power supply unit) will always have four voltage rails — one each for +3.3 volts, +5 volts, +12 volts and -12 volts and sometimes there will be a fifth rail for -5 volts. Continue Reading »

This post is the second in a series on how to convert an inexpensive computer ATX power supply unit (ATX PSU) into a useful tool for electronics projects or powering devices. The PSU case in previous article had vent holes on the back panel which put the binding posts in an odd arrangement. The vent holes on the back panel were a little different on this PSU case which allowed the binding posts to be arranged a little differently.

DC bench supply converted from inexpensive ATX power supply

DC bench supply converted from inexpensive ATX power supply

The project can probably be completed in a day or so and requires only a few basic tools like a power drill and a few other hand tools. It would be helpful to have an assortment of heat shrink tubing and a heat gun, plus a hot glue gun, a soldering gun, electrical tape, some solder and a few other electrical tools like wire cutters and a wire stripper. Continue Reading »

This article is the first in the “Projects” category. It’s a very inexpensive way to make a pretty good DC bench supply or dedicated 12 volt supply for working on projects or powering devices. As of this writing, a good quality and powerful ATX PSU (power supply unit) can be obtained online for about $20.00 or less. With the addition of a few inexpensive electronic parts (binding posts, LEDs, resistors, and some bits of hardware) a person with moderate electronic skills can do this project.

ATX PSU converted to DC bench supply

ATX PSU converted to a DC bench supply

Below are links to some online articles and videos to use as examples done by other people. Most online references fall into two categories — converting an ATX PSU into a bench power supply or a dedicated 12 volt power supply. Continue Reading »

WordPress Idea

It would be nice to be able to disable html rewriting in the visual editor in the blog admin settings without any special plugins. For example, when using an <iframe> in a post, it would be nice to keep the WordPress visual editor from stripping it out. Also it would be nice to be able to switch back and forth between the visual editor and the text editor and have WordPress preserve all the html like <p> tags or <br /> line breaks without stripping them out.

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