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PSU Testers

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by TimoftheC, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. TimoftheC

    TimoftheC Kilobyte Poster

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    Guys,

    Do any of you use the PSU Testers available on the marlet?

    If so, how reliable do you find them as I'm considering getting one as I have had a number of requests just lately to fix computers with annoying intermitent faults that could be a failing PSU and I currently have no way of testing them par carting a spare PSU with me for a swap out?
     
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  2. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    We use something like THIS

    Seems to do the job :D
     
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  3. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I use one, and it has worked well.

    Harry.
     
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  4. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    When I was working at the college in Newcastle, one of the IT guys I worked with had one and it does the job really well :biggrin
     
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  5. TimoftheC

    TimoftheC Kilobyte Poster

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    Ok, thanks guys - looks like I'm gona go get me one :D
     
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  6. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    isnt that just a fancy multimeter? one thats restrictive in how you can use it?
     
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  7. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    No. My one doesn't include any metering anyway.

    The point of the PSU testers is twofold:
    1) They provide a load to the major voltages - many PSUs will not start correctly if there is no load.

    2) They provide the 'Power Good' feedback for the PSU to start and maintain voltages. This function mimics what is done by the motherboard.

    My one also includes test points for use with a DVM.

    Harry.
     
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  8. TimoftheC

    TimoftheC Kilobyte Poster

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    Not Sure Fergal.

    As I understand it, testing a PSU with a normal multimeter is difficult due to the switching nature of the PSU - I believe there is a way and remember reading a while ago about how difficult it was to do. The PSU Testers that I have been looking at just do a specialised job which I think is quicker and easier than trying to do it with a multimeter - of course, I could be wrong completely and I'm sure some esteemed member will put me right :biggrin

    Edit - Harry's answer is better than mine.
     
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  9. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I haven't ever used one... but if funny, unexplained things started happening on my PC that looked like it could be power related, I'd buy one in a heartbeat!
     
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  10. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Thanks for that a handy little piece of kit 8)
     
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  11. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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  12. TimoftheC

    TimoftheC Kilobyte Poster

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    OK, got meself a tester and need a bit of guidance on the output but thought I'd keep it here rather than start a new thread.

    Tested a PSU I know to be unserviceable and got the following readings off my shiny new tester: -

    +5v = 5.2; +12v1 = 11.2; +3.3v = 3.3; -12v = 11.9; +12v2 = 11.2; 5vSB = HH; PG = 360ms.

    Now, I understand some of the above but not all. In particular, I don't understand the 5vSB, although it is obviously failing due to the HH reading. In addition, the Power Good (PG) reading seemed to change sometimes when I turned the power off and on - sometimes reading as 200 and sometimes 520 - again, not sure what this means.

    Anyone want to help me out and explain it a bit or point to a site that does (googled it but can't find a definitive answer).

    I also tried the tester on a PSU a work that I suspected was failing, however, all the outputs appeared to be in the correct ranges, although I'm not sure whether a PG of around 500 is any good?

    Oh, and the tester cam with an amazing lack of instructions :dry

    Thanx

    EDIT - whilst continuing to try and find the answers on the net I came across this: - http://www.formfactors.org/developer%5Cspecs\ATX12V_1_3dg.pdf

    It's a bit technical for me but I now know what the 5vSB reading is for!
     
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  13. TimoftheC

    TimoftheC Kilobyte Poster

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  14. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    First - 11.2V for the 12V rails is well low!

    Second - I suspect the readings like 'HH' are specific to that tester. Can you give a link as to where you got this unit?

    Harry.
     
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  15. TimoftheC

    TimoftheC Kilobyte Poster

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    Hi Harry

    The tester I brought from Maplins is this one - http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?ModuleNo=98829&doy=6m3

    It doesn’t come with a great deal of literature but I believe it is based on this http://www.lindy.co.uk/lindyshop/manuals/43058v2.pdf

    I know that either LL or HH means a failure on a particular reading, therefore the 5vSB part of the PSU has failed.

    The 11.2 reading I had on the 12v rail I thought was ok as the range given as acceptable is between +11v to +13v.

    EDIT - read the literature agin and just realised - an LL reading means that the voltage is loo low and a HH reading means it's too high. Therefore, in the PSU I'm testing, the voltage on the 5vSB rail appears to be too high - that sound right?
     
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  16. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    That is a great deal more elaborate than the one I have. I might be persuaded to upgrade mine!

    I was a bit surprised at the range shown as 'allowed' in that 'manual'.

    Checking the only copy of the ATX spec I have here suggests that the normal regulation to be within 5%, but it is is allowed to drop to 11V on peak load. I personaly wouldn't be happy with regulation as poor as that. :biggrin

    Harry.
     
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  17. TimoftheC

    TimoftheC Kilobyte Poster

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    I'd lend ya mine if ya were willing to come and get AND promise to return it when your done:D

    In one of my early posts Harry I have a link to the "ATX12V Power Supply Design Guide" and on page 10 of that there is a table showing the acceptable DC Voltages (under the heading "3.2.1. DC Voltage Regulation")

    The table does allow a ± of 5% with a range of -11.4 to +12.6, but one of the notes underneath states that a range of ± 10% is allowed at peak peak loading times re:

    "(1) At +12 VDC peak loading, regulation at the +12 VDC output can go to ± 10%".

    Not sure if that changes you perspective or not but I would add that the PSU I'm testing is a generic 250w one that originally shipped with an emachines desktop. I don't suppose it was built to give out too clean a power supply :D
     
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  18. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    The only doc I have here is dated about 3 years after your one. It is very similar, but states a floor of 11V for 12V2.

    Harry.
     
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  19. neutralhills

    neutralhills Kilobyte Poster

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    I test PSUs two different ways...

    1. If the computer won't power up, I throw it on my el-cheapo tester which will let me know if it will power up at all or not.

    2. If I'm having unexplained problems with a computer and I want to see if dirty power coming out of the PSU is a possible issue, I check it using a PC-based oscilloscope. I want to make sure the power coming out is even with no over or under voltage spikes.
     
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  20. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I've always wanted one of those. I just can't justify the cost though! It's not as if I repair stuff for a living.

    Having said which - very few PC-techs I've ever met had a 'scope, or would know how to use one!

    Harry (originaly an electronics engineer)
     
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