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Advice on purchasing a cheap bench power supply

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by seanspotatobusiness, Aug 30, 2013.

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  1. seanspotatobusiness


    Sep 11, 2012
    I live in the UK. I bought a really cheap power supply from a Chinese EBay seller and it broke pretty quickly. I'm now looking for another but I'm willing to spend a bit more; ideally less than £130, if that's possible. I've got quite a few hobbies of which basic electronics is one. I don't know what kind of voltages and currents I will need in the future. At the moment, <12 volts and <2 amps would be enough but I'd like to have a higher ceiling in case I do something I can't predict right now.

    I'm on and they have many supplies and I'm slowly going through them and looking for reviews via Google. For many units I can find no reviews. So far all those I've checked have one thing or another wrong with them.

    Apparently some power supplies break if used to charge batteries?
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  2. techiesteve


    Jul 27, 2013
    I use 3 variable dual output power supplies, two Farnell and one Wier. One came from a radio rally, the others from eBay, one of those collected locally. All bought economically and are very reliable. I would never buy cheap Chinese junk power supplies, same goes for their AF and RF signal generators, cheap rubbish. Counter to this, a cheap £20.00 Chinese LCR meter from HK has turned out to be quite reasonable, good value for the low cost.
  3. seanspotatobusiness


    Sep 11, 2012
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    I purchased a couple of these recently.

    Yes they're based on a cheap Chinese unit, but following the destruction of one by a local blogger some changes were made to the design and they are now far more rugged.

    It's pretty clear what cheap Chinese unit they're based on and given the weaknesses of the first version of this product I'd be very wary of them.

    I've seen the unit you refer to in the link above. The same (or a very similar one) is sold by a reputable supplier here.

    What was the cheap power supply you purchased initially?

    It is certainly possible to kill some power supplies by charging a battery. The easiest way is to turn off the power supply before disconnecting the battery. There is a "trap for young players" (that really should never be found in a commercial product) which could damage a pass transistor.
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