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Old 23rd August 2008, 12:36 AM   #1
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Default Good DIY Bench PSU for Solid State

I need to build a good bench psu for testing and troubleshooting solid state amplifiers. Any suggestions for one that will last through my growing knowledge base and technical ability.

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Old 23rd August 2008, 01:29 AM   #2
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A person's budget and power requirements come into play.

Very low noise and/or high power affects cost. Personally I'd stay away from used bench supplies. They are more often than not beat to death and out of caliberation.

Some of the Chinese bench supplies are pretty reasonable for price and perfirmance like Mastech. Agilent is more expensive, but very high quality.

Perhaps you could share your power requirements so we could provide better help.

Be VERY careful buying used power supplies on ebay. Pay more for a vendor who tests the units and warranties them.

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Old 23rd August 2008, 09:26 AM   #3
Twaksak is offline Twaksak  South Africa
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Default Audio testbench power supply

Have you perhaps studied the current limiting supply from Randy Slone? (chapter 13 diagnostic equipment) in his book titled 'High-Power Audio Amplification Construction Manual)

I myself wouldn't mind making one of these for my bench

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Old 23rd August 2008, 09:37 AM   #4
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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I have been toying with a DIY bench supply idea also.... started as a regulator for a class A amp... turned out it would be impractical for such a use, but it would make a beefy backbone for a bench PSU (0.6C/W heatsink) It still needs some tweaking as the voltage range is still slightly limited. slap on some needle type V and A meters and a PIC or pot to adjust voltage and Bob's your uncle. It won't have a current limiter but it is sure to outlive at least a 200W drawing.
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Old 23rd August 2008, 09:41 AM   #5
lineup is offline lineup  Sweden
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Default Re: Good DIY Bench PSU for Solid State

Originally posted by Gavinator68

I need to build a good bench psu
for testing and troubleshooting solid state amplifiers.

Any suggestions for one that will last
through my growing knowledge base and technical ability.
I have built my own custom bench supply, from old reused transistors/components.
As I am more into pre amplifiers, than into power amplifiers
this one has not several Ampere output.

2 x 20 VDC ( +- 20 Volt = max 40 Volt )
.. adjustable From 2 x 0.00 V >to> 2 x 20.00 Volt
and some fixed voltages outputs:
+ 5.0 Volt
+ 8.0 Volt
- 8.0 Volt

The Max Current output for any of those is:
200 mA .. as I used only one smaller TRAFO = 15 VA


I have published my Bench Supply in Power Supply Design forum.
Along with schematics.

Lineup Audio power supply forum
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Old 23rd August 2008, 10:52 AM   #6
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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try to find a secondhand version.
I suggest a two channel with output meters (analogue or digital) for both voltage and current.
The voltage should be adjustable from 0V to 30Vdc or more if that is your requirement.
Both channels should have an adjustable current limit, 0mA to 2000mA or even as high as 5000mA.
Better if both channels can be used and adjusted independently and very convenient if a push button is available to series connect the outputs for a dual polarity tracking supply.
This will serve for 95% of your lab power needs. If it has a 5A 5V aux supply even better.

Any specialised low noise or HF supplies can be built up specifically for the project.
regards Andrew T.
Sent from my desktop computer using a keyboard
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Old 23rd August 2008, 01:32 PM   #7
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I like your idea would an old HP 6205C do the job and meet the requirements you set fourth? And if not do you have a recommended unit that I might look for? I would not be opposed to building from scratch if necessary.

I know I want:

30 - 50V Variable
Variable Amperage

This should cover most of my future needs?

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Old 23rd August 2008, 04:09 PM   #8
Tarzan is offline Tarzan  Belgium
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For several years now I use a "cheap" chinese made psu.
2 x 0..30V @ 5 Amps.
It saved me a lot of components during test.
It made trouble shooting an amp a lot more relax, knowing that it it will not burst into flames with every mistake...

Allthough the 30Volts is a serious restriction if you have to test (or build) amps that sometimes need a suply of +/- 100 plus volts.

A good project would be such a psu. +/- 120V @ 1 or 2 amps.

I haven't come across such a schematic.
Buying one is tremendeous expensive. And most of us have the parts laying around.
Knowledge of designing such a beast is "someting else" (Eddy Cochran -

IF some one has a nice example, pls...

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Old 23rd August 2008, 05:44 PM   #9
Elvee is offline Elvee  Belgium
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If you understand french, here is an example of "configurable" supply, adaptable from 12V to 300V max voltage, and 1 to 50A max current.
The values shown in example are 50V/2A:

Here is another one, more complete, but with fixed features 30V/5A:
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Old 23rd August 2008, 08:28 PM   #10
jaycee is offline jaycee  United Kingdom
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If you want to build one, start with a simple LM317/337 based supply. If you need more current you can use pass transistors to increase the 317/337's current handling.

You will very rarely need tons of current, as you are only testing the amp when you put it on a bench supply - you are not trying to drive speakers. Once you have the amp working OK on a bench supply, you would connect up it's regular supply to do proper testing with.

You may also want to look at getting a Variac for when you need to bring up an amp's power supply slowly.
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