Description: You don’t have the power? Well, there’s no need to ask Scotty – the SparkFun Benchtop Power Board Kit has your back. This board will let you take advantage of your power supply to create a benchtop power supply with enough juice to run almost any of your embedded electronics projects.
The benchtop power board kit was created to provide quick access to the typical voltages needed when developing physical computing projects (embedded systems). After assembling the kit you’ll have access to four different voltages (3.3V, 5V, 12V and -12V) each with their own replaceable 5A fuse. Each power rail has a corresponding ground connection; all of the power rails are brought out to a binding post. The benchtop power board should be powered by a standard computer power supply with an ATX connector. With this rev we have finally added a power switch and made each standoff to a more appropriate height to fit the mounting posts.
This kit is simple to put together and shouldn’t take more than 30-45 minutes for a beginner.
Based on 10 ratings:
2 of 2 found this helpful:
Pretty cool little device. Build once and plug and play to save the trouble of having to mod old power supplies. Fairly easy to build too.
I guess it’s not a big deal with more modern supplies, I remember when I started converting ATX supplies many of them wouldn’t latch on without a healthy load on the 5V rail. If you run across this problem, it could be solved fairly easily by connecting a dummy load at the binding posts. I remember having less frequent problems with the other rails not being voltage stable without their own loads also, but those were kind of a case by case basis.
Words of caution: -I accidentally shorted the back of one of the 90° ATX connector pins to one of the fuse blocks with the probe when carelessly trying to probe for voltages on first use. Power supply went into protection mode so it was fine, but I’d probably recommend protecting the exposed 90° pins (taping, etc) and/or not trying to probe around them. -As a general FYI, I had a few issues on soldering the wire jumpers to the through hole spots in the board for the ground posts. Even with my decent 80W temp controlled soldering station, the heat was getting sucked up by the huge ground plane in the board (nearly the whole board was getting warm) resulting in cold joints. I had to turn my iron up to about 450°C to be able to dump enough heat into the board to get solder to stick well to the PCB pads. -Triple check orientation of fuse holders before soldering. -The black binding posts I got rotated in the board when I was trying to tighten them and their connections down (oval shaped holes supposed to prevent this). I had to hold them with a vice grip. Had no problems with the red ones. -I am also not a fan of how the instructions say to attach the wires to the bottom of the binding posts by crimping it between the two nuts. This is not a very good connection IMO, I ended up crimping a small ring terminal to the wires and secured that instead.
1 of 1 found this helpful:
1 complaint: as posted elsewhere, the nuts on the posts are too close.
1 observation: the holders for the fuses have notches and can be put in backwards. The notches keep the fuses from sliding, so they are a good thing.
2 recommendations: Add a USB power connector. Add posts to connect jumper wires. Male posts would be simplest, I think.
All in all, recommended. (and pleasantly surprised I didn’t burn anything down while assembling it)
3 of 3 found this helpful:
Works good for all electronic projects. Would like to see a version with a lm317 and variable resistor to create an adjustable voltage out.
6 of 7 found this helpful:
Couple of nitpicky things: silkscreened print suggests an orientation that is unlikely, that the powered device is away from the user while the ATX power supply is close to the user.
The banana jacks are spaced at the standard distance, but each GND+Voltage pair is placed very close to its neighbor, which visually creates pairings that don’t match the silkscreen.
It works as intended and has a very welcome place on my bench
1 of 2 found this helpful:
This was what our son wanted for a project he is building. He is very happy with the way this has preformed for him.
1 of 2 found this helpful:
I can’t use this with my power supply because it turns out the pin-out on mine is not standard ATX! I have a salvaged Apple G5 PSU (2004) that I want to use as a benchtop supply. I went ahead and modified the design of this board to suit my needs. Go open source hardware! https://github.com/dustMason/Apple-G5-PSU-Benchtop-Power-Supply-Breakout
I’m new to electronics in general. This was a great project to start honing my soldering skills. It works exactly as described. I couldn’t be happier with this power board. Thanks!
Easy to assemble and works fine.
It went together fast and easy. The only change I did from the instructions was putting ring terminals on the ends of the wires. Then there would be no chance of them coming loose. Now I have more power for projects and rock solid stable voltages. Great product!