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DSATX 220w PSU Review

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  • DSATX 220w PSU Review

    DS-ATX DC-DC PSU Review
    Review performed by: Tim Elmore


    My background:

    I am majoring in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Florida, and have taken several classes dealing with electronics and heat flow/heat transfer. I am competent in circuit design, including discrete components, operational amplifiers, power regulation, and control/instrumentation.

    Test setup:

    Car:
    1993 Ford Explorer w/ high output alternator
    4ga cabling to rear distribution block
    US Acoustics 800w subwoofer amp, 65x4 speaker amp
    Audio fed through Pioneer headunit
    CDT Audio CL-61a components

    Computer:
    AMD Duron 950 CPU @ stock
    Abit KX7-33 motherboard
    80GB Hard drive
    Voodoo 3 PCI video card
    D-Link wireless card
    96kbit Envy DAC on Chaintech PCI audio card
    Xenarc 7 touch screen on PSU power

    Test gear:
    Fluke 179 Multimeter w/ temperature probe


    First impressions:

    Packaging was excellent. PSU was inside electrostatic safe bag, wrapped in bubble tape, with shredded paper packaging inside a cardboard box. PSU came with the following:

    ATX cable w/ 2 molex connectors and 3 floppy connectors
    MB-ON signal cable
    40mm fan w/3pin header
    Serial port dongle




    Testing methodology:

    Testing was performed under the harshest of conditions. 4 foot 18ga power wires were run off the beefy distribution block. This is very undersized for a 20 amp power supply. 10 or 12 ga is recommended. A voltage drop of almost 1 volt was measured across the wiring, meaning that the power supply got 12.6v if the cars electrical system was at 13.6v. This makes cranking even more harsh, as the car battery usually dips to 7-9v, the PSU was seeing 5-7v. Both power supplies were run without a fan, including during the temperature tests.



    Test Data:

    Voltages:



    Test data for the M1-ATX at full load was not available because I was unable to keep the computer from rebooting long enough to take readings.

    Temperatures:



    Data Analysis:

    Voltage rails on the DS-ATX are very, very solid. I noticed a fluctuation of about .02vDC, which is very, very good. The rails were dead on, even under load. Generally, as a power supply becomes overloaded, its rails begin to sag. This is evident in the M1-ATX, where the PSUs rails are beginning to sag appreciably. Voltage ripple is also very exceptional. ATX specifications require voltage ripple to be under 100mVAC, and the DS-ATX is well within specifications. I included the PC Power and Cooling power supply as a reference, simply to put the ripple voltage in perspective.

    Temperatures were exceptional for a power supply of this physical size and power output. The temperatures were 15-20C over ambient with passive cooling, indicating the power supply is not under heavy load, and also indicating component choice is good. Comparing to the M1-ATX, we see that the components get very hot, 30-40C over ambient. The component choice on the M1-ATX is poor for a system of this size. The inductors on the DS-ATX are much larger physically than the inductors on the M1-ATX.

    Shutdown controller / serial port / power and signal connections:

    I found the shutdown controller to be excellent. It is easily configurable over the serial port, and worked absolutely flawlessly. Compared to the M1-ATX, I found the DS-ATXs SDC to be much more powerful and adaptable. The serial port interface was also excellent, and easy to interface with Windows Hyperterminal. The reported voltages were very close to what was reported by my Fluke, like within .05vDC. Program mode worked excellently on the unit, as did forced shutdown. Power and signal connections were excellent, with beefy screw terminals for power, and solid plug/jumper blocks for signal and DC output. The serial port interface, however, needs revision, as it is too easy to bend/break the pins with the dongle sticking up from the main board. If a 4 pin extension cable was made, the dongle could be laid flat, and accidental tugs on the serial able would not bend the dongle off.

    Overall analysis:

    I am extremely impressed with this PSU. It is evident that a significant amount of design and testing went into this. It is by far the best DC-DC PSU I have used, and has the most adaptable shutdown controller known to me. I have used it about 1 hour so far, and have had absolutely no problems. I should add that Through 4 hours of testing, I have noticed no voltage rail fluctation, even with heavy bass, and cranking.

    Pros:
    -Very high output, under rated power supply
    -Robust shutdown controller
    -Great voltages and temperatures
    -Very good value at anything less than $200

    Cons:
    -Serial interface is prone to physical damage


    Revisions:
    9/23/05 - fixed URL, added comment in overall analysis, added comment in testing methodology

  • #2
    Reserved for future posts/pictures

    Comment


    • #3
      Very Impressive Review...the only thing that would come to mind would be how would it compare to the opus (220w?)? If and when it comes out. Sounds better and cheaper....duh
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      • #4
        thanks so much greenman

        great review.

        greenman rocks! greenman rocks!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by carsforlife
          great review.

          greenman rocks! greenman rocks!
          Yes, Thanks for the review! I'm going to work on getting an extension cable for the serial port. I am also going to have a USB option.

          I hope the other beta testers will follow your lead and provide pictures. That was great!

          -Jeff
          MPEGBOX - Plexiglass Computer
          www.mpegbox.com

          Comment


          • #6
            3 days, 10 hours, no complaints.

            Comment


            • #7
              greenman, you have PM

              Comment


              • #8
                i was greeted by the usps box when i arrived from school today.

                for now, i'll post what i received. i won't be able to test until this weekend, the earliest.

                i'll add onto the previous posts with some more pictures and closer views.
                please be careful when opening the box. when i opened mine, a jumper cap fell out of the box. not sure if it's packaged in any of the bags and fell out, or was simply added by mistake. i emailed zootjeff about this, i'll see if it was packaged accidentally because i don't see any pins on which to put the jumper cap on anyway..


                contents of box. no bubble packaging this time, but the contents were well protected from the box and shredded paper wrapping.


                from left to right - cables, dsatx psu, serial dongle.


                closer view of serial dongle.


                closer view of fan with 3 pin header.


                closer view of atx header


                mb-on cable


                12v 4pin power header


                dsatx psu


                dsatx psu


                solder points - look clean and solid


                misc header pins


                power terminals - note the 20amp fuse in bright yellow


                top view


                closer view of serial dongle


                another angle


                the good - the components look solidly built.
                a few little nitpicks - the 20amp fuse looks like it might be difficult to remove, considering the proximity to the main power input terminals. the atx header is hard to insert and remove from the psu. the power terminal screws are hard to turn.
                RED 1999 ACURA INTEGRA GSR STOLEN -- CHICAGO 02/27/08
                VIN JH4DC2391XS002416
                PLATE ILLINOIS 5287412
                Team Integra Markings on Rear Quarterpanel Windows
                REPORT TO 911 IF FOUND

                Comment


                • #9
                  very nice pics, which I'd had macro capibility.

                  As for the screw terminals, I'd rather them be stiff, so they stay tight..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cell21633
                    the good - the components look solidly built.
                    a few little nitpicks - the 20amp fuse looks like it might be difficult to remove, considering the proximity to the main power input terminals. the atx header is hard to insert and remove from the psu. the power terminal screws are hard to turn.
                    Yaa, the Fuse is Hard to remove, the best way is get some needle nose pliers. If you use those, it is very easy. It was either put it there or grow the board...

                    -Jeff
                    MPEGBOX - Plexiglass Computer
                    www.mpegbox.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      pictures would've been clearer if i found my tripod quick-connect mount.
                      yes, tight is good however, i feel like the amount of pressure i need to apply to turn them might weaken or break over time whatever solder contacts there are on the board from bending it.

                      btw, what are the pinouts for jp1..i can't seem to find the info anywhere.
                      and where does the mobo-on cable go..

                      edit
                      Yaa, the Fuse is Hard to remove, the best way is get some needle nose pliers. If you use those, it is very easy. It was either put it there or grow the board...

                      -Jeff
                      ahh..i suppose i could use those or some automotive fuse pullers..
                      RED 1999 ACURA INTEGRA GSR STOLEN -- CHICAGO 02/27/08
                      VIN JH4DC2391XS002416
                      PLATE ILLINOIS 5287412
                      Team Integra Markings on Rear Quarterpanel Windows
                      REPORT TO 911 IF FOUND

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        http://www.mpegbox.net/DSATX/DSATX%20Spec.pdf
                        MPEGBOX - Plexiglass Computer
                        www.mpegbox.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          11 people still need to submit their reviews


                          come on, guys

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have also received my DSATX220, but since it has been a rainy weekend and I have to do all my work out on the street, I haven't had a chance to install the power supply yet.

                            The unit was shipped via US Postal Service, and was packed well, however, as with cell21633, I also had a loose jumper floating around in the box which I didn't discover until I was ready to discard the empty box.

                            Size-wise, at 4.25" x 3.5" x 1", the DSATX 220w is smaller than an Opus 150.

                            For those who are looking to house the DSATX in its own enclosure, an Opus 150 enclosure could be used.

                            I had an Opus 150 enlosure lying around, so I figured I'd see how well the fit was: although the stock enclosure standoffs would need to be removed and new ones installed (since the DSATX is smaller and the standoffs don't align with the mounting holes on this PSU), with slight modification, it is definitly capable of housing the DSATX.

                            Once the weather clears up and I'm able to work outdoors I'll finally be able to install this puppy..
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                            • #15
                              I was able to fab a houseing out of the shuttle sized PSU that came in my ideq 200n, I removed the AC-DC psu's components. it was not a perfect fit but workable in my case.

                              As with tj i was rained out most of the weekend but hopefully I will be able to post some pics tomorrow.
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