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Hi,
I have converted a ATX 530W computer power supply to be a cheap lab power supply. The output is 2x 12V @ 18amps. I read somewhere that you can covert them for 144V DC input but no details. Do you think you can use this for a cheap DC to DC convertor ? Is 18amp sufficient for a vacuum pump and to charge the main battery?
 

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To use a computer powersupply as a DC-DC converter you can simply plug the HVDC directly into the input terminals. As it is a switched power supply, it can run from either AC or DC. The maximum DC input voltage should be 1.5 * rated AC voltage. 180V for 120V units, or 360V for 240V units.

To get the output to be 13.8V instead of 12V you need to modify the feedback circuit that controls the +12V rail.
 

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To use a computer powersupply as a DC-DC converter you can simply plug the HVDC directly into the input terminals. As it is a switched power supply, it can run from either AC or DC. The maximum DC input voltage should be 1.5 * rated AC voltage. 180V for 120V units, or 360V for 240V units.

To get the output to be 13.8V instead of 12V you need to modify the feedback circuit that controls the +12V rail.
OK how do I do that?

Does this apply to all PC power supplies? - I have a couple of old ones with a switch for 110v - 230v - will they take DC as well?
 

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Does this apply to all PC power supplies?
There is always a sense line that goes back to a controller chip somewhere. If you can find that (usually easy, but you can't guarantee it in general), then you can just change the voltage divider and it will aim for a higher voltage. Whether it gets there is another matter, depending on turns ratios and details of the design. But generally, a small change like 12 V to 13.8 V is often possible.

I have a couple of old ones with a switch for 110v - 230v - will they take DC as well?
Yes, usually, but the minimum voltage they will operate on varies a little, and you will definitely not be able to use an old power supply if you run 96 V or less. See DC - DC converter 80 - 140 Volts 8 - 10 amps (AEVA).
 

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