Linux Blog

Homemade Bench top Power Supply

Filed under: Linux Hardware,The Linux Blog News — at 1:06 am on Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Homemade Bench Top Power Supply

I’ve always had an interest for electronics and recently I’ve been exploring my interests more. Last week I sorted through my tub of parts and placed them in individual draws. It took a good while to sort everything but I think it was worth it. I’ve seen power supplies built from PC power supplies before so I thought I’d build one my self. Thing is, I never really got around to it.

Yesterday I was feeling rather ambitious and decided to make a bench top power supply for small electronics. All the sites I found I have lost, so I kind of made it up as I went along. Most of them used ATX power supplies that are readily available, but I opted for the easy way out and used an AT with a hard on/off switch. At first this was the only reason I used it, but there are more advantages to using a AT over an ATX power supply for an external power supply. Firstly, it was cheap, well free actually. I took it from a PC that I had modified some time ago. I have a box full of AT power supplies in storage that I’ll get to some time and replace it. But I won’t be using the PC it came out of for a while, mostly because I have toaster ovens that are faster. Another reason it is better than a ATX is it has less voltages. The only voltages listed are 12v, 5v, -5v (7v) and GND. They vary in amps but are sufficient for what I will be using it for. It made it easy not to screw it up since there wasn’t many wires.

To make it was really easy. I took the top off. Drilled 4 holes in the case and inserted the insulated terminal, checking to make sure they didn’t ground out on the case. Cut most of the cables, leaving a couple of molex’s hanging out just in case I need them. I then soldered the remaining wires to a terminal by voltage (Yellow +12, Red +5, Red +/-5, Black GND.) It might not be the prettiest of them all, but I think it will do its job well.

My Goals for 2009

Filed under: General Linux — at 7:56 am on Monday, January 5, 2009

Linux New Years Resolutions

As we enter the first REAL week in 2009 there are a lot of goals I have. I’m not one for resolutions just because if I weren’t to complete all of these tasks I would have broken the resolution, and there is no point in making one in the first place if its just going get broken. I’m not going to be bench pressing 200lbs or competing in the Ironman any time soon but these are some of the items of technical relevance.

Set up an Asterisk PBX
I subscribe to the Broadvoice VOIP service and have since 2005. I have been meaning to set up a PBX for quite some time but never quite got around to it. Asterisk running on Linux is a great way to get some extra functionality out of the ordinarily boring phone service. Since my mobile phone now has a SIP client I’d like to be able to use it along with my home phone. I’d also like for other family members to be able to share my international calling plan either with soft phones or analog telephone adaptors.

Learn basic electronics
I guess this is a rather broad topic but basically I would like to get better at basic electronics. Sure, I know my way around a circuitboard and can identify components, but I want to get into the nitty gritty and be able to etch PCB’s and make intelligent devices from the ground up without following plans. This relates to a few other projects I have planned and will be blogging about.

Learn to program and implement micro controllers
This task is very important to me. While I know how to program well, I’d like to be able to program micro controllers and actually implement projects from the project board without buying another basic stamp. This may mean I need to look into different micro controllers either way its something that I’d like to be better at.

Consolidate data
This one really should have been done a long time ago, but everybody knows backing up and organizing data is boring. This next year I hope to be able to better navigate and manage my data. Ultimately I’d like to be able to switch Linux distributions and be able to recover without loosing any data. This is also a safe guard from the inevitable drive failure that is sure to happen to me in 2009. This goal is somewhat complete as I set up a NAS with a script to copy data to a second drive, but is far from being organized.

Rip my CD Collection
Ripping my CD collection probably should be done right after I organize my data. I’ve been putting this off for years but think its finally time to ditch the old plastic and move into digital form. I don’t own an iPod or mp3 player but I should be able to stream them to my laptop or planned media center.

Get Certified
I’ve been collecting certifications for a while but in 2008 I did not get any. Perhaps it is because they are getting harder or maybe its because I’m lazy. Anyway in 2009 I hope to get Security+ certified and then see about some others. On the list are RHCE, LPIC, Cisco, Zend PHP, MySQL and a few other smaller ones.

Thats my list of things I’d like to achieve in 2009, does any one else have a list, resolutions or any comments