Bench Power Supplies

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Bench power supplies are boxes that you plug into the wall, and provide an adjustable range of DC voltage on their output terminals. They usually have some knobs and a meter of some sort on them to help dial in the correct voltage. Some also have current limiting to help when troubleshooting or testing a new project. (Keeping the current limited to just above what the device needs can help prevent shorts from damaging components)

We have several bench supplies at the lab, from very small to very large! Any of them should be able to provide the power you need, but if you have certain voltage or current requirements, make sure the supply can handle that! All of the supplies have their ratings clearly printed on them.

Models of supplies at the lab

Small Grey Power Supplies

Small grey power supply
  • Model: [9902-PS]
  • Voltage: 3-12VDC (Stepped at 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, 9, 12)
  • Current: 2A
  • Adjustable Voltage?: YES
  • Adjustable Current?: NO
  • Owner: Lab
  • Other information: These are small power supplies, we have two or three of them around the lab. They are useful for [Arduinos] or other small projects that don't need a ton of current. Actually, they should be fine for most of what we do in the lab. Select the voltage with the selector switch, and turn it on, simple as that.

Grey Digital Power Supply

Grey digital power supply
  • Model: [9600 PS]
  • Voltage:0-18VDC
  • Current: 0-3A
  • Adjustable Voltage?: YES
  • Adjustable Current?: YES
  • Owner: Lab
  • Other information: This is a fully adjustable bench power supply with Constant Voltage(CV) and Constant Current(CC) adjustments. To use, turn on the supply with the leads disconnected. Make sure the Current knob is not all the way down. Adjust the voltage knob to get the desired VDC on the display. Plug in your device. If the bottom CC light is on, that means it's in current limiting, and it's backing down the voltage to limit the current. You need to turn up the knob a little to adjust this, while viewing the display.

BK Precision

BK Precision power supply
  • Model: [1692]
  • Voltage: 0-15VDC
  • Current: 40A Continuous
  • Adjustable Voltage?: YES
  • Adjustable Current?: NO
  • Owner: Lab
  • Other information: This usually sits on the large work desk under the pegboard. If the knob does not change the voltage, check the underside of the unit for a small switch, whose purpose it is to lock it to 13.5v. This is for easy setup for 12v vehicle-powered devices such as radios and other audio setups, or anything you need to run off 0-15VDC.

Motorola Bench Supply

The big one.

(AKA 'The Big One')

  • Model: Motorola Power Supply
  • Voltage: 0-40VDC
  • Current: 40A Continuous
  • Adjustable Voltage?: YES
  • Adjustable Current?: YES
  • Owner: Chorca
  • Other information: This is a large power supply. It weighs a lot because it's linear, not switching like the small BK Precision. There is a huge transformer in here and basically no digital logic. It's all discrete components. It can handle running something at high power for long periods due to it's robust construction. It's also somewhat dangerous, keep your fingers out of the high current section. At the same time, those wishing to use the high current section will need to acquire their own probes, as the ones that came with it are missing.