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Advice needed - picoPSU-120-WI-25 not reliable

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  • Advice needed - picoPSU-120-WI-25 not reliable

    I'm just about done with my new system, which is a Zotac Nforce 630i motherboard with a Celeron 430 35W processor in an M350 chassis. I'm using a 2.5" SATA HD for now. System works fine with a regular ATX power supply or my M1-ATX, which unfortunately does not fit into the M350 chassis. So I got the picoPSU-120-WI-25 to use in the car, and I'll use the M1-ATX's shutdown controller to power a relay that will break the power connection to the picoPSU as well as power the screen and a few other items.

    Unfortunately, I'm on my second picoPSU and they both have the same problem. The original one worked fine for several days and then got very flaky, just like the replacement. Usually I just see the red LED flash momentarily on the picoPSU, the cpu fan twitches, and nothing but the green LED on the picoPSU mocking me. Sometimes I can get it to power up the system, but it's rare.

    I have 2 bench supplies that I use, one is measuring 15.0V and the other measures 13.8V, but I've also fed it +12V from an ATX supply. Current draw into the M1-ATX is right at 2A, which I've also seen with the picoPSU when it actually worked. I hacked up the M1-ATX cable to measure current draws, and with the M1-ATX saw 2.5A on the +5V rail (4A in-rush current) and about 1A on the +12V rail both for in-rush and stable system. Haven't measured 3.3V current draw but the picoPSU is rated at 6A nominal and 8A peak so I just don't see how that could be it since the overall system power draw is so low.

    Any suggestions? I've asked the mfg. for technical support but haven't heard back yet. I have hours of testing into this POS, and I can't believe it won't work correctly with such a low power system.
    Zotac N630I-D-E M/B w/ Nvidia 7100, E5300 cpu, Xenarc 700IDT, M2-ATX, XP, RR & DFX 5.1.

  • #2
    normally i would say that the PSU is out shutting down, because of either overdraw current, or it has previously encountered a massive overdraw that has shot it to pieces

    most motherboards ues ~20-40watts for ram/onboard sound and graphics/northbridge and so on, then 35+ for your CPU graphics card if there is one, drives and your looking at something like 100+ish while it is under the 120 stated max power output of the pico, it also depends on the voltage drawn.

    the 120 watt is max combined from all rails 3.3 / 5 / 12 and thus even with 120 watts if you have say 60 of those watts as 12volt and you have drawn 70 constantly it may have shot it to pieces, in my honest opinion those pico PSU's are ****e on a stick, and only serve the very low end ITX boards or picoITX boards.

    personally i would look at a refund if possible and upgrading to say a 200-300watt PSU that would fit your case and purposes