General Equipment Power Supplies

Thread Starter

bpm5cm

Joined Nov 16, 2018
7
I work in a lab and have a general understanding of electronics (far more than anyone else here), I've made a few of my own circuit boards and made a few repairs so now I'm the go-to when something breaks.

The last two things to go (a sonicator/heater and an incubator/shaker) both had power issues. The sonicator didn't have fuses blown but I couldn't trace the problem that well (other than power went into the circuit but didn't come back out) and a new one was cheap enough and they needed it so they bought a new one. The incubator is several thousand dollars and one fuse kept blowing and then something else blew in the power supply (again, 120 VAC in, nothing out). All the details aside, and as a general rule, if I could figure out the voltages coming out, is there a reason I couldn't just replace them entirely with a generic power supply? It's easy and cheap enough to go from 120 to 5v or 12 v, but I wasn't sure if there was more to it than that. I can provide specific details about my equipment, but this is more of a generic is a power supply just a power supply. In these instances I'm talking about a separate board were 120 (or 240) goes in and then from there lines go to other boards, not all in one.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,714
This is what your post would look like if you used paragraphs:
The last two things to go (a sonicator/heater and an incubator/shaker) both had power issues.

The sonicator didn't have fuses blown but I couldn't trace the problem that well (other than power went into the circuit but didn't come back out) and a new one was cheap enough and they needed it so they bought a new one.

The incubator is several thousand dollars and one fuse kept blowing and then something else blew in the power supply (again, 120 VAC in, nothing out).

All the details aside, and as a general rule, if I could figure out the voltages coming out, is there a reason I couldn't just replace them entirely with a generic power supply? It's easy and cheap enough to go from 120 to 5v or 12 v, but I wasn't sure if there was more to it than that.

I can provide specific details about my equipment, but this is more of a generic is a power supply just a power supply. In these instances I'm talking about a separate board were 120 (or 240) goes in and then from there lines go to other boards, not all in one.
As long as the generic supply meets or exceeds the specs of the original. Make sure the generic supply also has certifications that meet or exceed the original equipment.
 
Last edited:

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,390
All the details aside, and as a general rule, if I could figure out the voltages coming out, is there a reason I couldn't just replace them entirely with a generic power supply?
There is no reason, other than those pesky details! I think your odds are good in your applications but in some devices (TVs, for instance), the power supply is under control of a microprocessor and there are all sorts of feedbacks used to control the power supply. Again, I think all of that is unlikely in your application but it's something to ponder.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,612
IN many cases, scientific and industrial equipment use supplies sourced from companies like Delta who can make custom supplies but offer standard ones easily engineered into equipment. It saves a lot of trouble for them.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
20,652
It is possible these are SMPS, I much prefer to use linear supplies either from a quality manuf. or in some cases build my own from Toroidal transformer based versions, especially when a little customization is needed.
I can't ever remember a time when I have been called in the replace a linear version, can't say the same about SMPS though!
Max.
 

Thread Starter

bpm5cm

Joined Nov 16, 2018
7
This is what your post would look like if you used paragraphs
I apologize, I was interrupted many times while trying to post this, so my train of thought wasn't very fluid.

Thank you all for the input. After reading these, I decided to take an ATX power supply one of my coworkers had and wire it in such a way that I was able to get the incubator working. This was just a test to see if it would work, but now I feel more confident telling them I can fix it with a <$100 power supply as opposed to them buying a new one for $5000. There is plenty of room in the casing to where having a custom made board is completely unnecessary.
 
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