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Is this Power Supply Suitable?

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David Davis02/08/2020 20:04:47
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3835 forum posts
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I'll admit from the start that I am baffled by electric flight. I know what volts, amps and watts are but cannot understand their relevance.

I use a Hobby King X120 charger coupled to a 12 volt power supply made by an electronics engineer. Thanks Sparks! He was going to throw it out so I took it off his hands. You plug the power supply into the mains and twelve volts comes out of the other end to power the X120. That's the limit of my electrical knowledge!

The only problem with my existing Power Supply Unit is that it's rather big and heavy, and I'd like to leave another one at my partner's house for those occasions when I visit her. So my question to the cognoscenti is:

" Would this PSU Be suitable? If not why not and what would you recommend instead?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/120W-12V-10A-Small-Volume-Single-12-volt-Output-Switching-power-supply/222244207461?_trksid=p2485497.m4902.l9144

All of my electric models currently use 3 or 4S LiPos and I can't see me going in for anything much bigger even thought the charger is capable of charging 6S LiPos. I'm a died in the wool i/c man really!

PeterF02/08/2020 20:35:28
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567 forum posts
740 photos

You profess to little electrical knowledge, but have chosen a power supply that needs to be wired up properly to the mains in a safe manner with exposed parts and a very open mesh cover. These are really designed to go inside a piece of equipment like a 3D printer which will hide the terminals and prevent access. I would also be concerned that you should have your PSU rated higher than your charger. Your charger will output 120W so you supply should be larger, 150W would be good.

For someone without electrical experience, I would suggest a proper consumer product such as Fusion charger, no worries about wiring, no concerns about safety with exposed terminals or open mesh cages. Downside is higher cost.

Paul Marsh02/08/2020 20:43:11
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4088 forum posts
1231 photos

Can't you get a charger which is mains and 12v powered as well. bought them from swap meets for £5, even new are about £50.

David Davis02/08/2020 20:58:22
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3835 forum posts
741 photos

Thank you for the advice Peter F. I'll look into it.

Paul, I retired to France about six years ago and swap meets are nothing like as good as they are in GB and even if you manage to find one, you'll probably have to drive a long way to get to it.

Steve Balaam02/08/2020 21:12:06
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136 forum posts

I recently purchased a HOTA D6+ from Banggood, It can charge two LiPo's (up to 6S) at a time and can be mains or battery powered. Works well for me and seems to get favourable reviews. Might be worth a look.

John Wagg02/08/2020 21:32:26
115 forum posts
20 photos

Won't a 4s LiPo need more than 12v to fully charge it.?

Paul Marsh02/08/2020 21:32:56
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4088 forum posts
1231 photos

something like this. surely £29 isn't too bad, and safer as well...

charger

Andy4802/08/2020 21:35:34
1550 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by John Wagg on 02/08/2020 21:32:26:

Won't a 4s LiPo need more than 12v to fully charge it.?

Nope. The charger is capable of increasing the output voltage.

Jeffrey Cottrell 202/08/2020 22:08:01
202 forum posts
32 photos

Hi David

I have one similar to the one you linked to, in use for many years. As Peter points out, it does come without leads, which means you have to get hold of some mains cable, plus wires and connectors to suit your charger.

However wiring one up is no different from wiring up a plug.

Unless you are really an electrical novice, should present no problem.

Note, the one I linked to has a plastic flip down cover, so a bit safer for prying fingers.The one I have (20a) has three separate 12v outputs, so possible to run three chargers simultaneously.

One word of warning.

The one I bought has a switch on the side to switch between 110v (US) and 245v (UK). Don't forget to set the right voltage, otherwise it lets out the magic smoke. Ask me how I know?

Cheers

Jeff

Test Pilot02/08/2020 22:40:50
13 forum posts

Why not get something suitable, designed for the job from a reputable UK supplier?

Like this:-

https://www.logicrc.com/?s=c:0,c:40,c:40-50&ItemId=O-FS-PS201

TP

Richard Clark 203/08/2020 04:07:24
426 forum posts
Posted by David Davis on 02/08/2020 20:04:47:

I'll admit from the start that I am baffled by electric flight. I know what volts, amps and watts are but cannot understand their relevance.

I use a Hobby King X120 charger coupled to a 12 volt power supply made by an electronics engineer. Thanks Sparks! He was going to throw it out so I took it off his hands. You plug the power supply into the mains and twelve volts comes out of the other end to power the X120. That's the limit of my electrical knowledge!

The only problem with my existing Power Supply Unit is that it's rather big and heavy, and I'd like to leave another one at my partner's house for those occasions when I visit her. So my question to the cognoscenti is:

" Would this PSU Be suitable? If not why not and what would you recommend instead?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/120W-12V-10A-Small-Volume-Single-12-volt-Output-Switching-power-supply/222244207461?_trksid=p2485497.m4902.l9144

All of my electric models currently use 3 or 4S LiPos and I can't see me going in for anything much bigger even thought the charger is capable of charging 6S LiPos. I'm a died in the wool i/c man really!

No. It is extremely dangerous in inexperienced hands as it is designed to go inside something else. Buy a proper one from a model shop. It will also be 'partner proof', unlike that one

Edited By Richard Clark 2 on 03/08/2020 04:10:32

EarlyBird03/08/2020 07:30:53
337 forum posts
259 photos

RC2 yes

Not suitable and dangerous.

Steve J03/08/2020 07:41:55
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2046 forum posts
60 photos
Posted by David Davis on 02/08/2020 20:04:47:

Would this PSU Be suitable?

I am a bit shocked to see a builder such as yourself going for an Almost Ready To Use power supply . A proper aeromodeller would be hacking a refurbished HP server power supply.

Are you planning to make a nice hardwood box with some 4mm posts on the front for it?

Edited By Steve J on 03/08/2020 07:43:31

David Davis03/08/2020 07:44:16
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3835 forum posts
741 photos

Thank you for all of the advice gentlemen, you may well have saved me from blowing myself up.

I'll go for a combined mains-12 volt charger as recommended by Paul Marsh. Smaller, simpler and neater than the arrangement I have at home.

Edited By David Davis on 03/08/2020 07:47:27

David Davis03/08/2020 08:20:07
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3835 forum posts
741 photos
Posted by Steve J on 03/08/2020 07:41:55:
Posted by David Davis on 02/08/2020 20:04:47:

Would this PSU Be suitable?

I am a bit shocked to see a builder such as yourself going for an Almost Ready To Use power supply . A proper aeromodeller would be hacking a refurbished HP server power supply.

Are you planning to make a nice hardwood box with some 4mm posts on the front for it?

Edited By Steve J on 03/08/2020 07:43:31

I don't know what an HP server power supply is! laugh

Steve J03/08/2020 09:22:12
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2046 forum posts
60 photos
Posted by David Davis on 03/08/2020 08:20:07:

Posted by Steve J on 03/08/2020 07:41:55:

A proper aeromodeller would be hacking a refurbished HP server power supply.

I don't know what an HP server power supply is! laugh

A power supply from an HP server.

For those who aren't electrically challenged, here is a thread over on RCG on converting server power supplies.

Doc Marten03/08/2020 09:39:20
693 forum posts
7 photos

I'm with Steve on this, if you're looking at buying a unit that you're willing to do some soldering work to (which you are more than capable of doing) then go for a HP server PSU, you'll have to cake the exposed 'Busbar' with hot glue afterwards to close the connections but you'll have a unit that can deal with just about any charger you couple it to, all for a bit of time and £15.

Here's one

Youtube will show you how to wire it, Honestly it's not difficult, I'm not an electronics guy but I've done 2 of these.

hp psu 2.jpg

 

 

Edited By Doc Marten on 03/08/2020 10:05:46

Martin Harris03/08/2020 09:39:29
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9491 forum posts
256 photos

Servers are used in business critical applications and reliability is key - their power supplies are designed to run year in, year out and therefore use top quality design and components - and cost an arm and a leg when new. Power supplies designed for the hobby market don't.

Edited By Martin Harris on 03/08/2020 09:40:57

Doc Marten03/08/2020 10:26:12
693 forum posts
7 photos

Actually it was from the link Steve posted that I got my info from, not Youtube.

Geoff S03/08/2020 10:38:49
3753 forum posts
36 photos

+1 for a server power supply.

I've been using one for years after reading an article by PDR on the RCMF forum. They're very cheap (mine was less than £20 on eBay) and are capable of delivering a lot of current at 12v (IIRC mine is 24 amps). The are mains powered and have a standard Eurolead mains connector like (say) a PC. They just need a few links made on what would be the rack connecting pins and a simple means of connecting to your charger (I've attached brackets on the top with 4mm sockets). All the soldering is on the low voltage side so safe from electical shock injury (though be aware high current supplies can make things hot without blowing a fuse!).

The only disadvatage is their rather odd shape but, overall, they're not very big.

I believe they are replaced routinely as part of maintanence procedures as they're often in critical systems hence their availability s/h

Geoff

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