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Old 07-30-2005, 05:11 PM   #1
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Power Supplies in Depth

I've been into racing for 2 years now, and it is time to step things up. I need a power supply.

I know enough about them that I know not to buy name-brand RC products because for a 10a model, you're looking at close to $60. Also, I've seen people at the track where I race have power supplies that work nicely, but are not name brand specifically for RC.

And... that is really all I know. Except for the fact that I need a 12v regulated model.


Some of my questions are:
  • How many amps do I need (I will use it to charge one GP3300 battery at 5A and equalize one battery using my Novak Smart Equalizer)?
  • How does input work on power supplies? How do you get the power into the model itself?
  • Can I modify a supply to run multiple electronics off of one?
  • Are power supplies essentially batteries?
  • What are the pros and cons (if any) compared to popin' the hood on the car and using the car battery (what I am doing now)?

I know there are numerous questions, and I would love them to be answered. I have checked around online for answers, but the power supply world is extremely vast, and I could not find my answers.

These have been burning questions, and I'm sure many people will also benefit.

Last edited by basementLOSI; 07-30-2005 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 07-30-2005, 05:20 PM   #2
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depending on which one you get. you can add another set of jacks.
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Old 07-30-2005, 05:21 PM   #3
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or look for stackable banana jacks. i wouldn't go more than three stacked.
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Old 07-30-2005, 05:35 PM   #4
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when i use my 30amp power supply i use a junction box that i made.
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Old 07-30-2005, 05:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baih
....i use a junction box....
This is exactly the route I was going to take. I've actually been looking forward to working on a nice box possibly with some fans perhaps. Some nice banana plugs plus fans or vents equal one sweet -- but small -- project.

But, the question is, what power supply?
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Old 07-30-2005, 05:52 PM   #6
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i use 12volt computer fans. they are cheap at a computer swap meet.

the ps in the picture is a samlex 1223 20amp. usually around $100.00
the radio shack is the same but rated at 25 amps and sometimes goes on sale for around $75.00 my bigger 30amp is a rivergate. they are around $150.00 now.
i have had the samlex for three years. i can run two chargers and my motor lathe. i use a 12 volt motor for my lathe.
also if there are any ham radio stores near you, they use 12volt power supplies also.
also if you go to ebay and search under radio control "power supply"
there are a few. but i dont know of anyone trying them yet.
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Old 07-30-2005, 09:07 PM   #7
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I would suggest one take a look at our TwoLane ProCharger, it has a 12amp power supply integrated into the charger, which can charge two batteries at 6amps each at one time. The 12v output is also accessible on screw terminals in the back, so you can attach wires to power other 12v devices, like a discharge tray or tire heaters, etc, just don't exceed 12amps in total.
The TwoLane unit really cleans up your pitspace of wires, and sets up and tears down much quicker. There is a review of the charger on rctech.net, go to the home page you'll see a link.

A power supply for battery chargers need to have a pretty stable 12v source, or the charger can false peak, a car battery is stable, unless you're running all kinds of electronics of it at once.. Power supplies are not batteries, but essentially 120v ac to 12v dc converters.
If you need a power supply for just charging one battery at 5amps + a discharge tray, I have a bunch of brand-new open-frame 8amp power supplies I can sell at $20ea.
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Old 07-30-2005, 10:41 PM   #8
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Kyle,

I would go with at least a 12 amp, 13.8V DC supply. Even though you are only charging at 5A, you will want something that will easily handle your charger, especially if you plan to use your supply to power several devices at the same time. Your best bet is to search eBay for 'Pyramid power supply'. Pyramid is an excellent brand and you can find them new on eBay for great prices. You can get a 12A power supply for $50 shipping included. By far the best prices I've seen on power supplies.
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Old 07-31-2005, 04:09 AM   #9
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PC power supplies nowadays are actually very good option.

New ATX power supplies have 3.3v, 5v and 12v taps. You can use the 3.3v output for your lathe.

If you guys don't mind, I can post some pictures of a unit I converted.
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Old 07-31-2005, 08:23 AM   #10
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PC power supplies are a cheap solutions but you have to say most of them are not the best design. Far from being as stable as a design like a Samlex. Also the PC PS need a large load for working. The Samlex 1223 is not very expensive and so good so Competition Electronics sells this under their own name.
As power distribution Im using a similar box as baih.
Much More makes one but you can do this much cheaper for yourself.
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Old 07-31-2005, 09:27 AM   #11
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I use this PS ....very inexpensive with 20 amps ::::::

http://www.buyreliant.com/psupplies/psv200.htm

PSV200
$54.50

Pyramid Fully Regulated Low Ripple 20 Amp Switching Power Supply If you are an electronic hobbyist or technician, you will appreciate the many uses for the power supply at your work bench or in your house. For example, use your CB mobile transceiver as a base station, check the operation of auto sound systems before you install them in your vehicle, or even power marine equipment such as pumps.
Lighted On/Off Switch Overheating Protection
Cooling and Fan Control Red/Black Terminal Post
Outputs: 13.8VDC at up to 20 Amps continuous Dimensions: 7.28" x 2.09" x 7.48" (WxHxD)




Henry E
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Old 07-31-2005, 09:42 AM   #12
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The Pyramid route was the one I was going to take a while ago, but I never got around to it. Just wanted to check around to see if there was anything cheaper.

I will love that lighted power supply though, because often I race into dusk.

Still have a few questions:
  • How do I get power into the supply?
  • Do I need to build a junction box for the PSV200 model?
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Old 07-31-2005, 09:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
I've actually been looking forward to working on a nice box possibly with some fans perhaps.
Looks like we thought the same way. This was mine before it was finished.
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Old 07-31-2005, 12:17 PM   #14
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Pink, that is pretty sweet man!

I was thinking the same thing, but perhaps one fan blowing in on one side and another fan blowing out on the other side. It would create a sort of circulation effect, maybe .

I am going for more of the "modern lighted computer case" look. Get my drift?

.....

So, in general, the PSV200 by Pyramid will be my best bet? I've looked into it a lot on other boards and over the net, and I will just keep checking eBay for a good deal.

Some of my questions have still been unanswered though (see most recent post of mine above).
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Old 07-31-2005, 12:31 PM   #15
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Can't get it any better than $55.00 a 20 amp p/s brand new with warranty for Pyramid. You might get a little bit cheaper on e-bay...but you''ll never know what it has been to and if something happens to it...your S O L ...... LOL
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