[WIP] PC Power Supply Load Tester  

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strudinox
(@strudinox)
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Since doing reviews here on many different computer power supplies, I have always wanted an easy efficient way of stress testing them other than just hooking them to a system and then making them run [email protected] or something. SO.... why no build a box that will create load on a PSU instead of a PC! The advantage to this is HUGE because you can specify exactly how much load in watts you want to add rather than just guessing with just adding hardware. This way you know exactly how much the PSU can handle in a real world scenario, whether it's over or under it's ratings.

It started with a basic idea of just making a box with a bunch of load resistors attached to switches that I can just turn on and off. Each switch flipped would add 50W of load or something. Then the more I though about it, the more involved the project started to become. Yeah switches would be cool, BUT wouldn't it be even more cool if the entire thing was electronically controlled via some basic CPU?! (cough* adruino* cough* cough*).

Eventual Features:

  • Arduino Powered
  • Ability to load 1000W off the PSU's 12V rail
  • Full display for watt selection, and other purposes
  • Built in surge protection

And.... here is what it will look like:

UZcp7.jpg
The outside of the box. This use to be a massive 5V power supply

xEzpM.jpg
The guts.... explained. The three red boards are to read the information sent by the Arduino and to fire on the load resistors individually. Each card will be connected to 8 load resistors. The green wires are not ground (so sue me). they provide the power coming from the PSU and distribute it to each of the red cards.

bSNdm.jpg
The Arduino board. It's just chillin working on figuring out how to talk to other chips and blink LEDs.

The display for the tester will be on top of the unit. I ordered it last week so it should be here soon. Once I get it, I'll measure it and cut a hole in the top of the box so it will set in there nicely.

Let me know what you think! It's still a ways off. Most of the programming still needs to be done and I need to buy $100 worth of high powered load resistors. And some relays to turn them on.

๐Ÿ˜‰

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Posted : 08/09/2012 11:05 pm
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