Cyrozap's Tech Projects

Computers. Circuits. Code.

Power Supply Perils

After 3 years of faithfully supplying power to my MakerBot Cupcake, the power supply has finally died. Every time I switched it on, it would turn right off. That's not bad for 3 years of use, especially considering that I probably started using too much power when I switched to a stepper extruder with power resistor heating with the MK6 upgrade. I've already found an amazing new power supply for it, but it has an air intake on one of its larger sides, so I'll have to cut a hole (or drill a bunch of tiny holes) in the MakerBot's bottom panel. This is in addition to the work I'll have to do on the back panel to get the power switch to fit.

The funny thing is, while I was thinking about power supplies, I decided to finally wire up my RepRap's $40 PSU that I got many months ago. Upon plugging it into the wall, I decided to feel how warm the case got with no load (as an initial precaution). What I got was something much more interesting. Instead of feeling heat, I felt a light tingle. Even more interesting was the fact that the tingling seemed to make my fingers move ever-so-slightly at a familiar 60 Hz. After pulling my hand away and mulling over the implications of what just happened, I decided to touch the PSU casing again. I guess that makes me a scientist. After my little science experiment, I cut power to the PSU to prevent further mishaps. I guess I'll be modding an ATX power supply and using that for now...

Update: Apparently I only imagined the whole "tingling" thing (it may also have been the result of a pinched nerve). I just tested the power supply again and I felt no tingling and the output voltage range seems fine. I highly recommend Lulzbot as a source of RepRap power supplies because they have top-notch customer service.