[ale] [way OT]: Workbench power supply?

Benjamin Scherrey scherrey at proteus-tech.com
Thu May 1 23:33:09 EDT 2003

	You're right that bench power supplies are insanely expensive and, if you do a lot of 
electronics work, you'll find that their quality varies considerably across all price bands. Obstensively 
they justifiy the cost by providing clean signal power and all kinds of protection but I find you really 
have to spend some big money to buy one that lives up to the promises. Actually one of the best 
electronics projects a hobbyist can undertake is building his own power supply - that way you really 
learn what its all about and end up with exactly what you want for a lot less money.  Most serious 
hobbyists end up building two or three specialized ones rather than one do-it-all supply as it still 
ends up costing you less and the circuits are much simpler.

	That said - the suggestion that you use a car battery reminded me of a cool device I 
bought recently for some portable power. It's an MVP Portable Power Station which has built-in 
jumper cables (for jumping a car or boat) and a 12V DC output plug for devices like a flashlight or 
radio. It costs about $50 and has been very useful. It has a sealed lead-acid battery so your power 
should be pretty clean and an led showing low/medium/good/charging status. Whole thing plugs 
into an AC adapter for recharging and is about the size of two laptop computers stacked on top of 
each other. I found mine at an Autozone and typically use it to get a spare car with an old battery 
started every-so-often or to go camping.

	Good luck -
		Ben Scherrey

5/1/2003 10:38:04 PM, Christopher Bergeron <christopher at bergeron.com> wrote:

>Any guesses on how long "a while" is?  I really don't want to be 
>swapping car batteries out daily, weekly, or even monthly (for that 
>matter).  I'd like to find a way to do this by using either an 
>affordable power supply, or a "combination" of computer power supplies.
>Jeff H actually gave me some good advice tonight.  Am I right in 
>thinking that if I try to draw more current from a supply than it can 
>handle, the power supply will be the only casualty?  I'm asking this 
>because I have MANY PC power supplies that can give out 10A at 12V.  I 
>can burn through power supplies without tears; however, if I lose my 
>mainboard or my DC-DC supply, I may shed a few.

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