App note: Power supply topologies – Forward of Flyback? Which is Better? Both!


App note from Coilcraft camparing two recognized power supply topologies. Link here (PDF)

Beatles or Stones? Michael or LeBron? Deep dish or thin crust? Forward or flyback? These are just a few of the age-old questions that have been hotly debated over the years, people arguing their opinions with great vigor. But, the truth is, most of the time the answer is both, due to the merits of each.

In this article, we will focus on forward or flyback. We’ll discuss the characteristics of active clamp forward and continuous conduction flyback isolated power supply topologies and demonstrate the design and performance trade-offs of each using two telecom-oriented power supplies as examples.

App note: Addressing power supply challenges for after-market electronics and infrastructure

Addressing Power Supply Challenges for After-Market Electronics and Infrastructure

This application note discusses key market trends and customer needs that are presenting new challenges for power supply design for after-market technologies and transport infrastructure automation. This piece will also examine solutions to address these challenges, with a special emphasis on power architecture. Link here

After-market automotive products have driven remarkable innovation, from infotainment and telematics to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Features like GPS, rear-view cameras, and parking sensors are now common in vehicles. There is also a continuous rollout of novel after-market technologies being developed by companies worldwide. Fleet management, on-board diagnostics, heads-up display, and freight control/monitoring are just a few examples of technologies found in cars and trucks, trains, ships, avionics, and defense applications.

13.8V 5A power supply


Dilshan Jayakody published a new build:

13.8V power supplies are commonly used in armature radio experiments. Most of the portable armature radio transceivers are designed to work with a 13.8V power source. We mainly build this power supply unit to power some of our armature radio circuits and modules.
This design is based on the popular LM338 5A voltage regulator. We choose this regulator because of to it’s higher current rating, short-circuit protection feature and higher availability.

See the full post on his blog.

Teardown and repair of an GW Instek PSW80-40.5 1080W multi-range programmable power supply

GW Instek

Teardown and repair of an GW Instek 1080W power supply from The Signal Path:

In this episode Shahriar investigates the failure of a GW Instek 1080W power supply capable of providing up to 80V and 40A of programmable output voltage and current respectively. The power supply does not power on. However, relay noises can be heard inside the instrument during power on.
Teardown of the unit reveals a modular design with PCBs on all sides. The instrument comprises 6 different modules and 3 complete power supplies in parallel. The controller circuit is powered from the middle power supply module. Examination of the boards reveals three separate failed devices.

More details on The Signal Path site.

Check out the video after the break.

DIY custom power supply


Anthony Lieuallen made this custom power supply and wrote a post on his blog detailing its assembly:

You might not truly be an electronics nerd until you build your own power supply. Either way, I’ve finally passed that threshold. As I’ve mentioned previously (and previouslier), I’ve been working on mine — very slowly, off and on — for most of a year. The bare start came with a guide posted to Hackaday about using nichrome wire to heat and bend acrylic plastic in straight lines, to make cases.

More details at

Inside a two-quadrant power supply – Agilent 66312A teardown and experiment


Kerry Wong did a teardown of an Agilent 66312A dynamic measurement DC source:

Typically, a lab power supply can only operate within a single quadrant. Take a positive voltage power supply for example, it can only output or source current. If any attempt is made trying to sink current into the power supply by connecting a voltage source with a higher voltage than the output voltage of the power supply, the power supply would lose regulation since it cannot sink any current and thus is unable to bring down and regulate the voltage at its output terminals.
The Agilent 66312A dynamic measurement DC source however is a two-quadrant power supply, it not only can source up to 2A of current between 0 and 20V, but also can sink up to 1.2A or 60% of its rated output current as well. Although lacking some key functionality of a source measure unit (SMU), Agilent 66312A can nevertheless be used in similar situations where both current sourcing and sinking capabilities are needed.

More details on Kerry Wong’s blog.

Check out the video after the break.

Glowing mercury thyratrons: Inside a 1940s Teletype switching power supply


Ken Shirriff take a look inside a bulky DC power supply REC-30 rectifier, how it works and contrast it with a MacBook power supply:

We recently started restoring a Teletype Model 19, a Navy communication system introduced in the 1940s.14 This Teletype was powered by a bulky DC power supply called the “REC-30 rectifier”. The power supply uses special mercury-vapor thyratron tubes, which give off an eerie blue glow in operation, as you can see below.
The power supply is interesting, since it is an early switching power supply. (I realize it’s controversial to call this a switching power supply, but I don’t see a good reason to exclude it.) While switching power supplies are ubiquitous now (due to cheap high-voltage transistors), they were unusual in the 1940s. The REC-30 is very large—over 100 pounds—compared to about 10 ounces for a MacBook power supply, demonstrating the amazing improvements in power supplies since the 1940s. In this blog post, I take a look inside the power supply, discuss how it works, and contrast it with a MacBook power supply.

See the full post on Ken Shirriff ‘s blog.

Amiga 500 power supply build


A how-to on building an Amiga 500 power supply from Inkoo Vintage Computing:

The power supply of my Amiga 500 is a bit unreliable. I’ve had some issues with the machine where the PSU could be the culprit, so I thought that it would be better to get a new power supply. There are used Amiga 500 power supplies occasionally available on online auctions, and there are also unused (but probably quite old) power supplies available on some online retailers. The issue with these 20-30 year old power supplies is that the capacitors are starting to dry. This can be a fire hazard, as old capacitors may even explode (this has happened to the PSU of my old IBM XT, it was not a pleasant experience). So in order to get safe and reliable operation from an old PSU, the capacitors should be replaced.

More details on Inkoo Vintage Computing homepage.

DC/DC switcher for 5v TO 3v at 750mA in a TO-220 7805 footprint


An open source small DC/DC 3W switcher to drop 5V to 3V in a 7805 TO-220 pinout from Black Mesa Labs:

This post is an open source hardware design from Black Mesa Labs for a simple DC/DC converter for dropping 5V to 3.3V ( or adjustable to lower voltages via resistor selections ). The design is based on the PAM2305 from Diodes Incorporated, a great little 1 Amp step-down DC-DC converter in a small TSOT25 package. The PAM2305 supports a range of input voltages from 2.5V to 5.5V, allowing the use of a single Li+/Li-polymer cell, multiple Alkaline/NiMH cell, USB, and other standard power sources. The output voltage is adjustable from 0.6V to the input voltage.

More details at Black Mesa Labs site.