Hello/Choosing a good bench-top power supply.

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by Ardumedes, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. Ardumedes

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 28, 2014
    4
    0
    Hello all!

    First post here, so bare with me. I am just starting to equip my shop to work with electronics. As of now I have an old RS Micranta 0-20v variable power supply with a broken volt/ammeter. I would like suggestions for good power supplies.

    Here is what I want/don't:

    • I do not want to build one.
    • I want a voltage range of 0-30v
    • At least 2 channels, or a cheaper unit that I can get two of
    • I want to keep it under $200 USD including shipping
    • I want independent Voltage and Amperage control
    • Digital not analog
    • I would be happy with used/old if they are good

    So far I have found this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/310952281502
    I would like any feedback people have on these.

    Thank you for your time,
    Ardumedes
     
  2. mitko89

    Member

    Sep 20, 2012
    123
    19
    Are you from Europe or US? There are few big companies in Europe which offer good deals on such equipment. What maximum current?
     
  3. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    1,008
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    He's on Mars apparently, shipping costs could be an issue, I suggest light weight is a requirement.

    :D
     
  4. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,446
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    I do hope you realize that you cannot control voltage and current independently. Voltage and current are interrelated by Ohm's Law, I = V/R.

    The voltage and current adjustments you see on bench power supplies are limits, i.e. they limit the maximum voltage or maximum current when set for constant current mode or constant voltage mode, respectively.
     
  5. Ardumedes

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 28, 2014
    4
    0
    @Mitko: I am in the US. Sorry I thought I had put that somewhere.

    @Sirch: :D

    @MrChips: Yeah like I said really new to this stuff. I did not know they were limiters. Thanks for the tip.
     
  6. mitko89

    Member

    Sep 20, 2012
    123
    19
    Not sure about the prices of equipment in the US. I would check on the craigslist for a giveaway, browse amazon for some modules such as the one you have posted. For your information, there are few Chinese brands which manufacture such equipment UNI-T is the lowest quality of them (based on my observations), followed by Rigol, Hantek, etc. Rigol are pretty nice for the money (at least for oscilloscopes) so I would look for something like that. Check the catalogues of farnell, maybe tme.eu, but not sure how much the shipping costs will be... Hope this at least gives you some general guidance.
     
  7. Ardumedes

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 28, 2014
    4
    0
    Thanks! I am just trying to find one that is a decent replacement for my old Micranda. I will check out those brands suggested, and if you think of anymore feel free to share.
     
  8. Chalma

    Member

    May 19, 2013
    54
    2
    I use one from BK Precision. While it's not my favorite, and there are issues I don't like with it, it does it's job. I double check everything with my good meter or scope. Best of all it has rs232 on there if you wanted to experiment with computer/automation. It beats your minimum requirements, and in addition can be ran independent, track or parallel mode. I got it for under $200 (shipping not included sorry I know you might have to just eat this or look for a different model). Hope this helps.
     
  9. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
    1,305
    Ebay has heaps of cheap options for sale new.

    I'm not sure if they are "good" but in my experience you are better off with more power supplies that work OK than one supply which is "good".
     
  10. Ardumedes

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 28, 2014
    4
    0
    Thanks for the help guys! I will look into the suggested products and make a decision from there.
     
  11. MrAl

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    2,438
    492
    Hi,

    What current are you looking for though?

    The price goes up with the current output. 3 amp output is cheaper than 10 amp output, for the same voltage range.
     
  12. MrSmoofy

    Member

    Jul 28, 2014
    112
    5
    I'm very new as well and have been reviewing and buying up equipment left and right based on reviewes I've been reading.

    I had the same budget at you wanted to spend no more then $200. First off I'm of the thinking cry once buy once. If your really going to get into this your gonna want your equipment to be good, accurate and long lasting. While I know not everyone has the cash flow to buy the top of the line on things think about what you will do in the future.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCT2OlpKb7s

    After watching many reviews on youtube and reading blogs the above video basically sold me on their products and that particular model. It had features I had read about that I knew I wanted and also things I'd never thought about and once I knew about I wanted as well.

    In searching for this product I found it to be a UK company and I'm in the US. I found that they have a US partner that makes the same under a different name but found it to be very expensive compared to the UK version of the same (don't know why).

    After some back and forth emails with the company they ended up offering me a very good deal I could not pass up. I'd rather not go into details of the specifics of this deal as it could of been a special situation for me but I ended up increasing my budget by a lot and got sometime I know will last me the rest of my life.

    I ended up ordering directly from them the PL303QMD model http://www.ttid.co.uk/go/npl/npl-dual.htm

    I can tell you it's more then $200 USD but much less then the list price of around $800 USD. This actually happened about 3 weeks ago and I've not received it but have been told it will be finished and will be shipping out next week. (Super Excited)

    While this is probably overkill for any home starter and sure you can get something cheap think about where you will be in the future and what you will be wanting to do and how much you've spent either replacing/upgrading/adding to/fixing a cheaper unit.

    The PL303QMD - two identical outputs as per PL303, with Tracking and Parallel modes

    The PL303 is what I started looking at PL303 - 0V to 30V/1mA to 3A; 0V to 30V/0.1mA to 500mA; (90W max.)

    They have other models for more voltage or more amperage but you didn't mention amerage at all so I'm not sure what your lookign for there. If you want high voltage and high amepage yo ucould be looking at even bigger money then I spend.

    While with the PL303 your limited to 3am the dual gives me up to 6amp when I combine them.

    PL068 - 0V to 6V/1mA to 8A; 0V to 6V/0.1mA to 500mA; (48W max.)
    PL155 - 0V to 15V/1mA to 5A; 0V to 15V/0.1mA to 500mA; (75W max.)
    PL303 - 0V to 30V/1mA to 3A; 0V to 30V/0.1mA to 500mA; (90W max.)
    PL601 - 0V to 60V/1mA to 15A; 0V to 60V/0.1mA to 500mA; (90W max.)
    PL303QMD - two identical outputs as per PL303, with Tracking and Parallel modes (see Modes section)
    PL303QMT - as per PL303QMD plus third output as per PL068 (above)

    Yes I've only talked about this one brand but reviews led me to it and then the customer service I received from them in the UK made me spend the extra money and buy it.

    Hopefully this helps some. Feel free to ask questions on my journey into electronics. It's been fun so far and this forums has loads of super helpful people.
     
  13. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,446
    3,361
    I do not agree with MrSmoofy's reasoning unless you have an infinite budget or a very rich uncle.

    If you are now starting out and wishing to equip a workbench with some nice pieces of test equipment, remember that there is a learning curve. You do not know what your future needs will be. Don't sink your money into a lot of expensive equipment that you will never use.

    Start off with modest equipment that will fill your immediate needs. As you learn more about the hobby or trade you can always upgrade. You can sell your original purchases or you can keep them for backups.

    Overtime, you will be in a better position to make concrete choices on your own without have to make wild guesses into the future.
     
  14. MrSmoofy

    Member

    Jul 28, 2014
    112
    5
    If I had an infinite budget or a very rich uncle I would of gone with something more expensive :D

    Everyone is different and you have to buy what fits your budget and what fits your needs. I was mostly just giving my experience just as a reference my decision did come after a month of research and my experience was pretty unique since the manufacturer gave me a deal I couldn't pass up.
     
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