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How to Build Your Own Variable Bench Power Supply Using an ATX Power Supply

Bundle wires of the same colors together. The color code for the wires is: Red = +5V, Black = Ground (0V), White = -5V (not used), Yellow = +12V, Blue = -12V, Orange = +3.3V (not used except if you have a brown wire in your supply, Purple = +5V Standby (not used), Gray = power is on (output), and Green = Turn DC on (input).

Start by drilling holes using a dremel tool or drill to the size of the banana jack post you are going to use. Also drill a hole for the LED, and also cut out square piece where the LCD will go and also drill room for a potentiometer with knob.

Connect one of the red wires to the power resistor, connect all the remaining red wires to the red binding posts; Connect one of the black wires to the other end of the 10 ohm power resistor, one black wire to a resistor (330 ohm) attached to the cathode (shorter lead) of the LED and the other end of the LED (anode) connected to the gray wire,all the remaining black wires to the black binding post; Connect the +12VDC wires to the desired post( but leave one wire left alone so that you can use for variable voltage), the -12 VDC to desired post(the excess piece of wire cut and save for variable voltage section). Variable voltage binding should be left alone at this point and nothing should be soldered to it.

Note some power supplies might have a brown sensing wire and or a pink wire. If you have a brown wire, solder it to the 3.3v orange wire and cut the rest out since you wont need to use them, and if you have a pink wire, solder it to the red wire. Please also notice the rubber grommets in the picture that are at the binding post. these are to be put on first then put on the nuts because this is to prevent metal nuts from making contact with the metal case so there for no shorting all the other binding posts together. Build the voltage regulator circuit.

Using the components gathered, build the following circuit on a circuit board (if you need a datasheet here is the website for the IC lm 317 (http://www.national.com/ds/LM/LM117.pdf)), but solder wires to the potentiometer to make it out of circuit. By that i mean only the wires are to be attached to the pc board rather then the actual pot being soldered. This is because we are attaching the potentiometer to the case so that we can use it as a knob to turn it to adjust the voltage we want. Note that the way you will power up the circuit is using those +12VDC wires and -12 VDC wires.

Things You'll Need


a Power-Indicator LED (red is always a good choice) LM317 Voltage regulator 5k potentiometer with knob banana jack post .1uF ceramic capacitor 1uF capacitor 330 ohm resistor (1/4W) for power indicator led 120 ohm resistor (1/4W)

10 ohm power resistor 10 Watt LCD voltmeter pc board ATX power supply 5k potentiometer with knob banana jack post