ATX Power Supply

It’s been a little while since I posted anything about the quadcopter so time to put that right … kind of. Although not a physical part of the quadcopter this is nonetheless a vital piece of kit, for without it I’d have no way to charge the battery that powers the quadcopter.

The eagle eyed amongst you might have spotted the Lipo (Lithium Polymer … nothing to do with suction!) battery charger in amongst the goodies from Banggood …

Lipo charger

What you wouldn’t have seen is the power supply that it needs to charge the batteries … because it doesn’t come with one! A quick look at the specifications told me that the unit accepts a DC input from 11 – 18 volts and anyone with a passing knowledge of PC internals will know that an ATX power supply unit (PSU) has a very useful range of output voltages; 3.3V, 5V +12V & -12V. A little bit of poking around and I found a power supply from an old Dell PC with, amongst other outputs, +12V rated at 17A and 5V rated at 13A … sorted! The 12V is perfect for powering the charger and the 5V is great for providing power suitable for USB charging circuits (saves messing about with multiple mains USB chargers).

It’s a pretty straight forward process to remove the PSU from the PC and modify it to work as a basic bench power supply, there are hundreds if not thousands of write-ups across the the web as this search on Instructables shows … so I’m just going to focus on how I carried out the conversion.