Good programmable power supply?

Thread Starter

upand_at_them

Joined May 15, 2010
766
I'm looking for a good (programmable?) power supply that's easy on the wallet. I want to be able to test circuits at specific voltage levels and getting any of my bench power supplies to hit, say, 5.1 or 5.2V is a stressful and delicate dance with the adjustment knob. I suppose I could install higher turn pots, though.

Any recommendations for decent, accurate power supplies?
 

Thread Starter

upand_at_them

Joined May 15, 2010
766
My current supplies are 0-25V, and I don't think I've ever gone above 12V. Current to 2A, maybe? Can I get good accuracy for under $100? I could go higher, but I'm trying to be frugal.
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
27,751
For that price you would likely have to purchase a Chinese made supply and I'm not familiar with what brand might be best.
You might look for reviews to see what they say.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,498
Actually, none of these PSUs are "Programable". Having multiple voltage and current settings saved and recallable is going to be expensive and something usually only found on true research-grade PSUs costing far more than these do. These are good solid linear PSUs. Typically 30V, 5-10A, single output, with current limiting and the one I mentioned settable to 2 decimal places on V and 3 decimal places on A. I would advise against the less expensive switch mode power supplys. They have gotten less noisy but I still prefer a good solid linear power supply. FWIW There are lots of cheap kits out there to repurpose old computer switch mode power supplies but...
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
24,232
There are lots to choose from. Decide on max current output, two to choose, 5A or 10A @ 0-30V.

Beware of the following:

1) Inexpensive switch mode PSU may have relays switching in depending on the current/voltage/power range. This is not good if you are trying to use PWM for example to power a TEC.

2) I would be inclined to go for a linear PSU. These are usually heavier (10 lb or more) since they require a heavy power transformer.

3) Some PSU have single readout. You need to switch from voltage to current in order to see the two. Get a PSU with both current and voltage display.
 

Thread Starter

upand_at_them

Joined May 15, 2010
766
I'm ordering that Korad KA3005P. The software-controllable is $30 more than the non-software-controllable, but I found out I can control it with a simple Python script...which would make some testing nice and easy.
 

Thread Starter

upand_at_them

Joined May 15, 2010
766
It arrived today. I've only used it a little bit, and with voltages under 6V, but I like it. I really like that the adjustment knob is a jog wheel, and that I can lock settings. No more delicate dance of a pot adjustment. And this model appears to have been revised a couple times since the EEVBlog review nine years ago. So hopefully bugs have been worked out. The fan seems much quieter than what others have complained about with earlier versions.
 

Dodgydave

Joined Jun 22, 2012
10,050
It arrived today. I've only used it a little bit, and with voltages under 6V, but I like it. I really like that the adjustment knob is a jog wheel, and that I can lock settings. No more delicate dance of a pot adjustment. And this model appears to have been revised a couple times since the EEVBlog review nine years ago. So hopefully bugs have been worked out. The fan seems much quieter than what others have complained about with earlier versions.

Plenty of videos on YouTube for this involving fan mods..

 
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