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I have been watching this site for a while and have found it very informative. Now I have a question. I need a power supply for making little circuits. Digital, timer, op amp ect. I'm just learning about electronics. Can I buy a surplus swiching supply and make it variable or do I need a supply with isolation. Some of the swiching supplies have minimum current ratings. Some of the surplus houses sell a supply with meters and such. Is that a swiching supply dressed up? Does it matter? I'm not sure the difference between switching and not. HELP!!<p>Thanks for the help BOB
A useful power supply will have plus and minus 12 volts and plus 5 volts. If the supply only has +- 12VDC, you can obtain +5 VDC easily using a 7805 or simular regulator IC. You probably don't need a variable supply, a variable voltage can be obtained using a potentiometer and emitter follower. Most switching power supplies on the public market are isolated, don't use one that is not. For your purposes, it doesn't matter if the power supply is switching or linear, the linear supply will be heavier.
American sience and surplus has a supply for about $85.00. Is it worth it to build one at this cost? I would think by the time I get the transformer and other parts I would be better off buying one and get to building stuff. What is the difference between linear and swiching for practicle purposes?<p>Bob
So is it feasable to think i can buy a surplus power supply from a computor, like all electonics sells and use it? Or should I spend the extra and by a Elenco or similar. Some of the surplus ones have a minimum current rating. If i under power it what will happen? Thanks again for all the imput. <p>Bob
A computer power supply requires some control signals, someone here can tell you how to make it work. Usually the 5 volt output requires a load, you can just put a power resistor load on it. It will not regulate with no load.
If you do use a PC power supply, read the output specs (sticker on side) carefully. Note that very often the 5V and/or 12V supplies do not guarantee regulation until a minimum current load is applied. In other words, it may not be 5V under no load or small load conditions.<p>AT supplies are easier to use, ATX supplies need to have a sense line connected to ground or the supply will seem dead.<p>Teknuts is right, Dalbani does have some good deals, I've used them before.
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