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Thread: OK, lets have a final answer!

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate orangewhip's Avatar
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    OK, lets have a final answer!

    Hey all, I've been on this board for a few years now, and personally I have been running a power inverter for my system. I now believe that the DC-DC solution is a much, MUCH more effecient way to go.

    That being said, I have been reading for like a year now about all the different solutions for DC-DC power supplies...self-made, users on the board made, store bought and some sort of combo of the previous 3.

    Looking at all these solutions, the Opus PS seems to be the best one...... regulated 12V (I think), start-up bypass, timed power-down, decent wattage, etc.... The only downside seems to be the price.

    Now here are my questions...

    What is the BEST dc-dc out there?
    Why hasn't somebody made a unit the same as the Opus and sell them thru here? (possibly somebody who has bought one and reversed engineered it?) Is Maestro's the same?
    I realize there are different needs for different users, but really, if there is 1 ps that has all power rails (even if not needed), decent wattage and the above options, wouldn't just 1 dc-dc ps be good for all?



    Thanks for listening and hopefully somebody can FINALLY fill me (and I am sure others) in as to what would be the best solution to go with, whether using a Epia, BookPC, or whatever.


    Cheers All!!

    P.S. On this board for like 3 or so years and still going strong!! This board and its members ROCKS!
    OrangeWhip? OrangeWhip? 3 OrangeWhips!!
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  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate
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    I've got an answer. There is no such beast.

    I've you've been keeping track of the messages here on the forum, you've seen that the variety of DC-DC solutions are definitely now increasing, in part due to the success of ITX, but the prices are still high.

    There is no such "best" PSU, it will really depend on your particular situation and desires/needs.

    Opus is a great unit, yes, if you want a turnkey PSU and don't care how much you pay, then Opus or Keypower seem to be your best choices.

    If you're on a budget or just like tinkering and have time, you can build your own PSU for relatively cheap ($30-$50) to whatever specs you need.

    If you're trying to power a P4/3.0 (82W max), then you're gonna need a beefin PSU, however if you're gonna power a P3/500 underclocked to 333 (20W max) then a base sproggy will do you fine.

    So to answer your question, there is no simple answer. It all depends on the factors involved. For example:

    a) What is your total system power?
    a.1) What type of CPU are you powering?
    a.2) How many peripherals are in your system?
    a.3) Do you have any other devices drawing current off your PSU? (GPS/USB devices/etc)

    b) What is your budget?
    c) What is your level of electronics expertese? Can you operate a soldering iron?
    d) How soon do you need it?
    e) What physical size must the PSU be?
    f) What do you currently have?

    There are many different options available. If you already have a computer that has a 12V PSU (Cupid, Epia, BookPC, etc) then you could just add on a regulator for the 12V output, and run the rest directly off your computer. The possibilities are endless.

    The most popular however is to use the Opus, it looks like.

    -----------

    Why hasn't somebody made a unit the same as the Opus and sell them thru here?
    Because in order to make it a worthwhile business venture, creating a PSU with the capabilities of the Opus would cost almost as much as the Opus does. That pretty much goes for "why isn't there a clone of the XYZ PSU out there" question as well, in order to make a worthwhile business venture, it'd cost too much.

    There are people like Jeff Mucha who has a "commercial" PSU that he made and sells, 70W for $150, however with the prices coming down on other options that isn't such a good price anymore. Maestro just puts together the public-domain Sproggy design (60W) and sells it (completely assembled for $150). The cost of buying all of the components is probably close to $60, so if you add in time to assemble, test, etc and a bit of profit you're looking at at least $100, and it looks like there are several new PSU options that are coming out for < $100. People are also interested in warranty and knowing that their unit was "professionally created", which you can't offer in a "garage company" operation.


    realize there are different needs for different users, but really, if there is 1 ps that has all power rails (even if not needed), decent wattage and the above options, wouldn't just 1 dc-dc ps be good for all?
    As your question stands, sure, get a KeyPower 250W ATX power supply. However you forgot to mention price, which is ultimately the deciding factor. If you don't have $250 to blow on a DC-DC PSU, then it's not an easy question to answer.

    If you are looking for a cheap professional PSU, we're organizing a group buy for the MagicPower MPD-810H (120W) (comes with cables, turnkey solution) which looks like it'll be around $100USD landed in your lap. Feel free to join

    Arise also offers a good deal, about $120 for the same unit on a per-customer basis. They don't believe in bulk deals though (they offer $2 off per unit for > 10 units, and won't even ship to individual addresses).
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate
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    The reason there really cant be a one size fits all PSU is not just that people have different current requirements, the Pentium 166 vs Athlon XP 2000 argument, but also voltage requirements vary. My PSU consists of only 5v @ 10amp and 12v @ 2amp, I do not need any other voltages like -12v, -5v, 3.3v, for my motherboard - so Im really not going to buy an expensive PSU that has those features when i can build a PSU with those features for ~$15.
    -------------------------------------------
    (=========-) 99% complete
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    AMD K6/2 500 @ 450mhz to keep heat and power usage down, 64Mb, slim CDrom drive, 64mb USB pendrive for MP3 transfer, 10Gb 2.5" drive for MP3, USB>RS232
    All jammed in external CDROM drive case.
    Kenwood KVC-1000r In-Dash LCD. x-10 MouseRemote. Destinator V2 Gps. DC-DC with onboard Shutdown controller.
    ----------------------------------------------

  4. #4
    SkinnyBoy
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    What happened to the big cahoona powersupply found here: AT/ATX DC-DC Big Cahoona Power Supply Plans.

    It was supposed to be upto 500watts full ATX no transformer, a single IC the wattage was only limited by the size fo the inductors and number of mosfets... it was a good plan... WHERED IT GO!?!?!

    Last post was August 2002 There is a schematic and BCheese was working on it... but, he disappeared after that post..

    I don't know where to get those ICs, but if I did, I would attempt to continue work on it..

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate
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    Well, I rekon it was summed up in only the second post in that thread:

    Originally posted by pcman_cortina
    wow another newbie that thinks he can change the world

    imo why reinvent the wheel you can buy a 200w dc-dc and you get this magical thing called a warantee

    anyway thats my 2.2c (inc gst)

    cheers
    pcman
    Just another grand idea from a newbie who posted first and thought about it later.
    -------------------------------------------
    (=========-) 99% complete
    --------------------------------------------
    AMD K6/2 500 @ 450mhz to keep heat and power usage down, 64Mb, slim CDrom drive, 64mb USB pendrive for MP3 transfer, 10Gb 2.5" drive for MP3, USB>RS232
    All jammed in external CDROM drive case.
    Kenwood KVC-1000r In-Dash LCD. x-10 MouseRemote. Destinator V2 Gps. DC-DC with onboard Shutdown controller.
    ----------------------------------------------

  6. #6
    SkinnyBoy
    Guest
    What was/is wrong with the idea then??

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate
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    Well, apart from the fact that the furthest it got is an untested non-atx compliant schematic got released, which to me does not look like it can supply 500watts, nothing. I you think you can finish that then go for it, just dont post any crazy ideas about bolting 50 linear regs to a piece of sheet metal under your hood.
    -------------------------------------------
    (=========-) 99% complete
    --------------------------------------------
    AMD K6/2 500 @ 450mhz to keep heat and power usage down, 64Mb, slim CDrom drive, 64mb USB pendrive for MP3 transfer, 10Gb 2.5" drive for MP3, USB>RS232
    All jammed in external CDROM drive case.
    Kenwood KVC-1000r In-Dash LCD. x-10 MouseRemote. Destinator V2 Gps. DC-DC with onboard Shutdown controller.
    ----------------------------------------------

  8. #8
    SkinnyBoy
    Guest
    Originally posted by phil.45
    just dont post any crazy ideas about bolting 50 linear regs to a piece of sheet metal under your hood.
    HEY!!! that was a good idea.. one of my best.. and as for the circuit, there is no reason why it couldn't give 500watts, whats the problem? and how is it not ATX compliant? it is... lol isn't it?

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate
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    There has been several people who were working on a power supply, only to have it all fall apart or disappear. It's unfortunate but designing one of these takes a lot of time.
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

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