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Computer power supply used for charger power supply?

Computer power supply used for charger power supply?

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Old 05-23-2008, 12:06 AM
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Default Computer power supply used for charger power supply?

Hey guys,

My question is has anyone done this before? How stable is it, as well as reliable? It has been done and almost seems too good to be true. Cheap price, or you may have a spare lying around like I do.

Found numerous articles online about the steps required to run an ATX pc power supply for a charger power supply for R/C applications. Every power supply I have seen has a nice 18amp rating, and even if constant is slightly less its still more than enough. At least the newer power supplies also have 2 seperate 12v 18amp outputs so I dont see why running 2 chargers off one supply wouldnt be possible, especially for only $50-120 for a reasonable one.

I plan on testing it out soon regardless of any answers but some expectations or suggestions would be nice.

Thanks guys
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:24 AM
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The problem with that is most people who do this use an old PSU out of a old broken computer, and the cheaper the power supply the more inflated the specs are. I can almost guarantee you, unless you're using a newer high wattage PSU, if it says 18A its probably closer to 12A. A lot of new power supplies advertise "true power", but that hasn't always been the case.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:11 AM
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Search a little, I only paid 60.00 for an actual 20amp power supply ready to use. (new)
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:41 AM
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I tried this, but ended up giving up on it. Like mentioned the one I had didn't seem to deliver the promised power, the voltage dropped considerably, it couldn't reliably keep 2 ICE chargers going on standard 1/10 packs. It had a voltage adjustment, but that didn't offer enough adjustment. And it was fairly heavy and not very travel/handling friendly, sharp edges and such. Back in the brushed days I was hoping to use the 5V 30amp output for screwing around with motors, but I found out that they don't like surges and it quit working. Thought about trying another unit, but in the end just gave up.

But others have had better success than me.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:00 AM
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Dave,

The ICE suggest at least a 15amp power supply to use full features so running 2 units would require a min 30 amps. You should maybe look at the Bulldog units, a bit more price but they have large units (30, 45amp and larger)

I run the Ripmax ProPeak unit. 13.8 volt - 20 amp with my ICE but I run only 1 unit and it works fine.
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:47 PM
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AZ, the 15 amps is only needed if you are really using the ICE to the max, like charging 4s lipo at 8 amps and such. Charging 6 cell oldies and 2s lipo at 5 to 6 amps doesn't use all that much, only about 4-5 amps per. The ICE is pretty efficient unlike the stuff we had back in the day. I run 2 ICEs on a RipMax, I've got the double output model with the current meter, works great. I've even ran 3 chargers off of it with no issue. Good point though if one does have bigger packs than I do.

And I would always recommend a larger supply than what it appears you need, say 30% larger or even more would be better. In my experience all power supplies, not just RC, don't like being pushed to the max. Good to have a little safety margin.
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:34 PM
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I'm using a 18A 12V Meanwell power supply, with a Indi 16X512 now for charging NiMh's and LiPo's, and it's doing OK, even when i use two chargers at the same with.
But before that i used to power my chargers with an old AT PC power supply, and works fine to charge NiMh's or 2 or 3C LiPo's.
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Old 05-24-2008, 11:52 PM
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I've been using an ATX power supply for my RC kit for the past five months with no problems. I typically run a discharger, equaliser and 2x old LRP chargers.

As others have mentioned, the key factor is to find one of reasonable quality. PSU's with high amps on the 12v rail aren't found in 10 year old PC's. Unfortunately, the rating on the side of the box isn't neccessarily what you get either, so finding a good brand also helps (Aopen, Enermax, Antec to name a few).

The PSU I've been using is a four-year old Aopen 300W. Rating is 15a on the 12v rail. Not sure how accurate this is but it suits my purposes.

About $5 in parts and an evening to do the conversion.

Photos and details are here if you're interested.
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