A Modular USB Power Supply

Several months ago, I designed a modular USB power supply to get useful, isolated voltage (including split voltages) out of a computer and power small electronics devices. It was designed to be retrofitted to Mini3 amplifiers, but will work with anything else that needs 24VDC or less and about 2W of total power or less.

I had some PCBs fabbed of the original, simple, idiot-proof design, which looks approximately like this, when assembled (this is an early prototype):

It’s small, about 1.6 inches by 1 inch (37x25mm); it should fit pretty much anywhere a 9V battery fits.

A couple of PCBs of this original design are still available. They’re RoHS-compliant, fabbed with 2-ounce copper and gold-plated. If you’d like one (or more) to add to your electronic project of choice, contact my friendly neighborhood webhost, who’s handling the annoying end of things for me (i.e. payment and shipping). They’re 3 USD each, 2 for 5 USD, plus 1.5 USD for shipping in North America, 2.5 USD in the rest of the world. PayPal is the preferred method of payment. All of the parts to build the various configurations are available from most of the major electronics distributors – Mouser, Digi-Key, Farnell, RS, et cetera. A fully assembled MUPS will set you back about 25 USD, all told.

Despite the simplicity and low cost, it’s proven to be a remarkably effective and efficient method of getting useful and isolated voltages out of a computer’s USB port.

A two-page set of instructions can be downloaded here (26KB PDF).

Published in: Geekiness, General | on July 13th, 2009| Comments Off on A Modular USB Power Supply

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