Choosing a Benchtop power supply

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by Trueblue, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Trueblue

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    I need some advice on choosing a bench top power supply for getting started. I took electronics in high school back in the 70's but although I remember some things like ohm's law calculations, I have forgotten more than I remember so I am starting again at ground zero.

    I ordered a college textbook "Grob's Basic Electronics" and the lab/experiments manual that goes with it. The textbook is pretty good but the lab/experiments manual is just terrible. I wish that I had the lab manual from high school but I don't remember the title. If anyone can recommend a good lab manual that starts right from the beginning I would appreciate the help. Oh I did just order Make Electronics and Getting Started in Electronics (Mims) so hopefully they are better.

    I have ordered some basic parts from Amazon like a multimeter, breadboards, a resister pack (various sizes), capacitor pack, diode pack, LEDs, battery connectors, etc. I still need a few others but I will pick these up as I need them.

    I want to order a good but affordable power supply. Yes I know that good and affordable don't necessarily go together but I just want a reliable one to get me started initially. I found this on ( and I was wondering if this would be a good buy or should I be looking at something else?

    I know that was a bit of rambling on so, to be more to the point. I am looking for:

    1. A good but affordable DC power supply for a beginner
    2. A good experiments manual that starts from the beginning

    Thank you to anyone who might be able to assist me.
  2. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    I just ordered this one and I am very happy with it. It has plenty of features at an affordable price.
  3. crutschow


    Mar 14, 2008
    Trueblue, the one you referenced looks OK but it only has two outputs. I suggest you get one with three outputs, such as spinnaker has. That way you can use the single (5V) output for the digital circuits, and the variable plus/minus outputs for any analog circuits you may have. I also like that spinnakers supply has separate voltage and current meters for each variable output.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  4. Trueblue

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    Spinnaker & Crutschow:

    Thank you for the input. I appreciate the help...
  5. K3CFC

    New Member

    Dec 4, 2012
    When i buy something i get the best one there is. you will only get it in the future after you spend money on the cheap.
  6. WBahn


    Mar 31, 2012
    The one that Spinaker showed looks okay, particularly at that price.

    An alternative would be to make your first project the design and construction of a bench power supply. You can start small and build. Start out with a fixed voltage supply. 5V is the classic norm, but today you might want to make that 3.3V. Depends on what you are doing. No need to get fancy. Then make an adjustable supply that gets up to at least 15V but 30V is better. If you feel up to it (or nearly so and want to push yourself), put in some bells and whistles such as current limiting, thermal shutdown, and/or voltage and current monitoring.

    At the end of the day you may or may not have saved a bunch of money and you may or may not have something that has the same performance, but you will have learned a lot about practical electronics and have something that you can readily repair and maintain.
  7. circuit4pcb

    New Member

    Feb 4, 2013
    Most may not want to spend this much, but I have a Leaptronix LPP-3025t. It is a triple output programmable power supply. Outputs 1 and 2 are programmable up to 30V, and output 3 is also programmable but you can only select from 0,1.8,3.3, and 5v. This power supply comes with the software to control it, which shows a graph of the current voltage, you can also program steps of voltage. It is pretty loaded for the price of $550.