12v Test Power supply - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 10-25-2011
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12v Test Power supply

Whats the best option for a regular 110 power 12v transformer/power supply?
I want something inside to test lights and such.

Is the best option just a cheap computer power supply, and use the 12v pin out?

what do you all use?
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Old 10-25-2011
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Go to radio shack, get the 12 power adapter. plugs right into the wall.
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Old 10-25-2011
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Yeah the 12V adapter is what I usually use. OR you could build your own.
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Old 10-25-2011
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I have a box similar to this, but older and 12v. I don't use it too often as generally theres a charged motorcycle battery or two on the shelf, and that's quicker for a small test of something.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2103960
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Old 10-26-2011
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Depends on how many amps of output you'll need.

I've made several of my own power supplies using modded wall-warts. I can usually get about 1amp out of them. I've also modded some outdoor lighting (12v low voltage AC) transformers/power packs to output 12vDC with about 5 amps.
I had one of the outdoor transformers made up with a digital display & variable voltage from 1.5v to 12v, but I took it apart for some reason a while back & it's still under the pile of junk on my work table

If you think one of the small ones (1amp output) will fit your needs & I'll put one together for you.

On a side note, most of the 12v "rated" ac/dc power supplies actually output anywhere from 13v to 19v without a load. If you're doing sensitive stuff with led's, etc. you'll want better control of your voltage so as not to damage anything.
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Old 10-26-2011
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If you already have the computer power supply that is a good option. Just short the green wire to ground and it will turn on. It will give you 5,12,3.3,7, and maybe others depending on how old it is. Once you use it for a generic bench supply do not use in a computer again.

What ever you decide work within the amperage of the supply you choose, lights can pull some juice.
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Old 10-26-2011
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It will be a lot of various lights and things.

Quite possibly one of these:


http://www.whelen.com/_AUTOMOTIVE/de...70&prod_id=200


according to specs draws 1.5 amps per light... 8 lights, max draw 12 amps. Plus controller.

Most computer powre supplies should be within that range, right?

buggman anything you can do for me to run these lights?

I have an old pc i can pull the power supply out of, its an old compaq presario PII so I don't think I need it anymore haha.
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Old 10-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korey89 View Post
Definitely what you want for the current you're looking for. A computer power supply won't put out the current you need.
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Old 10-26-2011
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Quote:
A typical desktop PC that didn't come with a dedicated graphics card will usually have between a 300 to 350W unit with around 15 to 22A rating.
http://compreviews.about.com/od/cases/a/PSUWattage.htm

According to this I should have plenty. Will have to check out the power supply though.
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Old 10-26-2011
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The thing you need to check, though, is the amperage rating for each power rail in the supply. If you don't need to run all your stuff off a single power supply (like in testing a complete system), then it should work for you, but if you need a single 12V feed, a computer supply won't work because that total current is spread out between all of the power feeds.
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Old 10-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ME00Stepside View Post
The thing you need to check, though, is the amperage rating for each power rail in the supply. If you don't need to run all your stuff off a single power supply (like in testing a complete system), then it should work for you, but if you need a single 12V feed, a computer supply won't work because that total current is spread out between all of the power feeds.
It will so work. Computer power supply is what I use. Been using it for 3 or 4 years to test 12v.
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Old 10-26-2011
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The smaller 300/350 watt units only have 1 12v rail and the rated output on that rail is adequate.

FWIW, my 3 yr old 650watt unit has a single 12v rail with 49 amps. They are very capable just not designed for this type of loading. They usually need loads on all rail to maintain quality power. Even with the stressed psu the power coming out will be cleaner than what an alternator kicks out.
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Old 10-29-2011
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Watch the amperage you are testing.
If you are talking just basic LEDs then a good quality CB/Radio Pwr Sup will work, maybe around 10 amp output max.
A 6 or 3 amp will be good but it all depends on the amperage draw of the lights you are testing.
If you are talking testing std off-road lighting, use the vehicle battery and the correct sized wire.

I use a 25 amp output pwr sup for most of my testing, mine is variable output but a std output will work IF you are only doing low amperage draw.
Think about what you are going to do, now and in the future, and determine what pwr sup will work.
Chk out the Radio Stores and see what they have.

To me stay away from Rat Shaq… just me.

Here are some ideas: $$$ - all depends on what you want…

http://www.walcottcb.com/pyramid-ps9...ply-p-670.html

http://www.walcottcb.com/pyramid-ps3...ly-p-1492.html

http://www.walcottcb.com/alinco-dm33...ly-p-1557.html
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