Lab power supply

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by BrainFog, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. BrainFog

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    122
    4
    Hello Everybody.

    Recently I have been less focused on my electronics projects and working on my fundamental understanding of physics. However I have reached a point where I really do need a lab power supply to further my learning.

    Unfortunately money is far from unlimited so cost is a factor. I looked up Lab power supplies on ebay and found this:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-HQ-Va..._Measurement_Equipment_ET&hash=item5d398266ea
    At first glance it looks like a really good deal however that is what all sellers want you to think. What do you think of this cheap lab power supply?

    What are the limitation likely to be of a very cheap lab power supply compared to main brand one built to a much higher standard?

    I am mostly likely to use it for low power experiments and am unlikely to use its full rating for anything but brief periods. I also wish to use it to charge Li-ion cells, one concern is that if it misbehaves and decides to put far more voltage or current through the cell than I have set it to. How likely is this to happen on a cheap Power supply? For those that don't know Li-ion's are safe within certain voltage limits but can explode if their voltage rises beyond a certain limit or if they overheat.

    Thank you
     
  2. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    Power supplies are also one of those projects it is possible to DIY, which is what I did when I was just beginning.

    Bill's Blog

    Basic Bench Top Power Supplies

    I wound up buying this Velleman unit 30 years later (when I had a bit more cash)...

    [​IMG]

    http://www.vellemanusa.com/products/view/?id=522797

    It is pretty good, but there is one thing you need to be aware of. It has filter caps on the output. If you set the current limit, then connect something like an LED to it, it will pop them from the capacitor discharge.

    The problem is easily solved however, short the output, then (after you have connected the load such as the LEDs), remove the short. No surge, simple.

    I suspect your unit will have similar issues, but it is easy to test, LEDs are cheap. In either case most units like these do a good job.
     
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