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PSU Testers?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 joe_pau

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:37 AM

What do you recommend as a PSU tester. Looking to add to my tool kit. Thanks for the advise.



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:55 AM

There are people here with experience using these testers and they can give you their opinions but I use a multimeter. PSU testers may be better. They are easier to work with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac7YMUcMjbw


#3 joe_pau

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:00 PM

Definitely looking for easier but I'd like accurate as well! Not sure of the quality or accuracy of them so I thought I'd ask. Thanks for the youtube video. I watched that one too!



#4 zingo156

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:01 PM

They catch obvious voltage problems but offer little in actually testing a psu under load. They can be picked up for cheap and I would keep one around just as a first quick go to item. Just be warned that the psu may still have an issue...

 

I built up a psu load testing rig with some monster fans that each drew 30watts a piece. With 10 of those fans that was 300 watts plus the cpu, gpu, and other components. There were countless psu's that passed a simple voltage test but failed under load. Never consider a psu test that has passed as a guarantee the psu is fine...

 

Never use expensive gpu's or components to load test a possible failing power supply. Fans are cheap and can handle a beating. The ones I used were dell blower style fans that I had laying around. I have found them on amazon for relatively cheap a while back.


Edited by zingo156, 25 June 2014 - 12:21 PM.

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#5 joe_pau

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:17 PM

Thanks Zingo. I under stand what you are saying that under load a PSU tester may not work. Correct? Not sure what your "rig" looks like or how to use it. If you could provide more info I'd appreciate it. Thanks



#6 zingo156

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:31 PM

I mean that most psu testers only measure voltage and do not put much of a load on the psu. A psu might be fine with no load on it but fail when a load is applied. What this means is that a psu tester may not catch a problem if that problem only occurs when the psu is running with a load.

 

My testing rig is just an old recycled computer running windows xp with pentium 4 cpu, an old agp video card and 512mb of ram and then 10 dell ~30watt fans. I plug in the suspected bad psu into the computer and fans (I only use enough fans to stress the psu to near it's max load... if the psu can only output 250 watts, I disconnect fans as needed.) Then I run HWmonitor and or test the pins for correct voltage with a multi-meter. This rig has caught countless bad psu's over the years. These are the fans that I have (take in mind I got all of mine from recycled computers so I paid nothing, there maybe cheaper ways to load test a psu maybe someone else has a rig they use? I assume you could use some decent sized resistors to accomplish the same thing.) http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Dell-BG0903-B049-P0S-Dimension-Optiplex/dp/B008K7Z3NO/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1403717254&sr=8-5&keywords=dell+blower+fan

 

By the way, my test rig is very loud with 10 of those fans running full blast. Loud enough for me to abandon it in the back room all by itself when it is running...

 

This rig can be tricky to use correctly as well since you have to try and balance the load a certain way if the psu has more than 1 12v rail etc. It isn't fool proof. It is hard to test all rails accurately with fans. 3.3v, 5v, 12v all need to be loaded and you have to know the max amperage per rail etc to test correctly (most power supplies list loads on a sticker on the side.) It really is a lot of work and this is why I have "known" good psu's to put in a computer to rule out psu's.


Edited by zingo156, 25 June 2014 - 12:48 PM.

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#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:42 PM

Hello zingo156

Do you run some kind of splitter off the Molex connectors to get 10 connectors for the fans?



#8 zingo156

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:47 PM

Yes, I have loads of different cables going everywhere in the machine. I try to load balance between the available cabling coming from the psu. Each fan has it's own molex and I just plug them in as needed. The molex plugs I have are open on the front and rear which means you can daisy chain all of the fans together in 1 chain if you want.


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#9 zingo156

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:50 PM

I edited post #6 to give a few more details... I have used this rig to test psu's that people brought to me without their computer and for psu's that were sketchy. Generally as I mentioned it is easier to have the computer and psu in question and replace the psu with a known good one...


Edited by zingo156, 25 June 2014 - 12:52 PM.

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#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:51 PM

"The molex plugs I have are open on the front and rear which means you can daisy chain all of the fans together in 1 chain if you want."

 

 

Okay, that's pretty neat. Thanks for the explanation.






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