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Computer Power

September 23rd, 2011

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How can I bypass the 12 volt output limit in a computer power supply?

I have a computer power supply from a decently old computer (2000-2003 I would guess) and I converted it into a fully working lab power supply. How can I use the full 24v potential that this thing can give off without it shorting out and shutting off? This thing could handle the voltage just fine, this feature is just put in to protect the computer it is supposed to be installed in. Is there a way to get past it?

You'll need direct help from someone who understands basic electronics. The output voltage is regulated by circuits comparing it to a reference, such as a Zener diode. Replace that diode with one having a different threshold voltage (or a variable-voltage supply of your own design). As long as the voltages stay within the operating ranges of the components in the circuit (especially the capacitors), you can vary the output voltage quite a bit.

PC's use switching supplies because they are light, cheap, and efficient. But they can't provide the quality of regulation and signal purity one expects from a lab supply. It might be good enough for your needs, though.

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