Power supply advice

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Power supply advice

Postby pan069 » 2018-12-06 @ 06:40

Hi all,

Long time lurker, first time poster..

I have an itch, to play with some old boards that I have; ASUS PVI-486SP3, Lucky Star 5I-VX1F, 286 AMD N80L286. I have pretty much all the parts to build each of these puppies into a working system, except for a PSU.

Now, I'm basically a noob when it comes to things electronic, but I'm willing to learn and I can handle myself with a screwdriver. I used to build my own systems (if you can call it that) many many years ago. A lot of knowledge I seem to have forgotten...

So my question is, what would you guys recommend to use as a PSU? Obviously I have to get some ATX to AT converter cable, but, to get the ball rolling, I thought maybe this one:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6817151089

What do you guys think?
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby ODwilly » 2018-12-06 @ 08:30

pan069 wrote:Hi all,

Long time lurker, first time poster..

I have an itch, to play with some old boards that I have; ASUS PVI-486SP3, Lucky Star 5I-VX1F, 286 AMD N80L286. I have pretty much all the parts to build each of these puppies into a working system, except for a PSU.

Now, I'm basically a noob when it comes to things electronic, but I'm willing to learn and I can handle myself with a screwdriver. I used to build my own systems (if you can call it that) many many years ago. A lot of knowledge I seem to have forgotten...

So my question is, what would you guys recommend to use as a PSU? Obviously I have to get some ATX to AT converter cable, but, to get the ball rolling, I thought maybe this one:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6817151089

What do you guys think?

That appears to be an SFX PSU. Although suitable, it will not be compatible with most AT or ATX cases, it's meant for a Small Form FaXtor case.
Main pc: Asus Rampage Gene ii, X5650, 250gb Samsung Evo, RX480, 12gb Crucial DDR3 1600.
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby pan069 » 2018-12-06 @ 09:18

I'd love to get my hands on a cool looking AT mini tower in good condition, but one can only dream I guess. I think my set ups will be running on the test bench I'am afraid..
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby wiretap » 2018-12-06 @ 12:20

Pick up an Athena Power AP-AT30 --- they sell for around $37 brand new on Amazon. (one of the few still manufactured today)

Product Page: http://www.athenapower.com/node/258

https://www.amazon.com/Athena-Power-AP- ... B0042P2IIG
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6817338010

OutletPC has it for $30: https://www.outletpc.com/rx4961.html
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-12-06 @ 18:48

Some models of Athena Power supply are known to be garbage. I'd steer clear unless I already knew how a particular model of theirs was built.

Startech makes AT and ATX 1.3 compliant PSUs with midrange (therefore acceptable) quality. Not as nice as the Delta AT PSU on my test bench, but certainly safe and functional.
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby pan069 » 2018-12-06 @ 19:52

Thanks guys! I look around a bit more. I did came across this while Googling, thought it might be of interest:

https://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/psu_manufacturers
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby SirNickity » 2018-12-06 @ 20:58

I haven't found that Startech supply in the wild. Do you happen to know where it can be obtained?

If you use an ATX-to-AT adapter (which is handy to have for testing if nothing else), note that they don't always provide -5V to the motherboard, since many ATX supplies don't provide that rail anymore. Most components don't use -5V, but some sound cards and I/O cards do. If something acts weird, that might be why. I have a PAS16 that seems to flip out and play sound too fast without -5V (although it seems to have other issues, so I'm not 100% sure that's why, and I haven't checked to see if the -5V pin goes anywhere.)

You can find adapters with a -12V to -5V regulator in-line, which will make sure you have the rail if you need it. I would go that route if possible, just in case.

You can also get I/O shields for ATX cases that have AT keyboard holes pre-cut, or blank shields where you can cut your own. Then you might be able to use an ATX case. Usually, the motherboard backplate will have the necessary mounting holes -- and better still, you won't have to use those crappy plastic stand-offs that are so common on AT cases.
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-12-06 @ 23:30

In NA, they're available through Newegg. I'm not sure what your locality is, but you can see who retails them in various parts of the world via the startech.com website and go from there.
https://www.startech.com/WhereToBuy
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby BeginnerGuy » 2018-12-06 @ 23:48

I second the StarTech, hopefully you can get one shipped to you reasonably. My father bought a bunch of the 230W model and tested them with his scopes (he's the family engineer, I'm just a programmer) before installing them in some old computers running some type of milling machines. I've been running one myself now for a good two years with no issue at all.

I was going to buy the Athena 300W model but he directed me to the Startech. I'm not sure if that meant he didn't like the Athena brand or just that 300W was ridiculous for my 486.

I have a box for one here, it's PART #PS2POWER230 , website is startech.com
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby SirNickity » 2018-12-07 @ 19:27

I'm in NA as well. Newegg doesn't list the AT supply under a filter of Power Supplies + Manufacturer: StarTech. I think I arrived there via Google search once and it was NLA. Even on the StarTech site, the PSU section lists "ATX, AT, and 80%+ efficiency" in the heading text, then has no link for anything but ATX and 80+. If you search for the model, it says it's discontinued. So I guess that's the end of that.

That's too bad. What I would really like to see is someone create a PSU with AT connectors and an emphasis on the 5V rail, but use the physical front panel switch for a soft-on instead of carrying live mains through the kind of cheap metal enclosures with tons of sharp edges that I'm accustomed to in AT cases.
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-12-07 @ 21:14

It looks like they recently discontinued that model. The ATXPower300 is still available, though, for older ATX builds and (with an adapter) for AT builds as well. ATXv1.3 compliant, so 5V heavy and still with a -5V rail.

As the Athena power unit is the only AT PSU still available from the factory, I'm now fairly curious what the internal construction is like.
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby ODwilly » 2018-12-07 @ 23:16

gdjacobs wrote:It looks like they recently discontinued that model. The ATXPower300 is still available, though, for older ATX builds and (with an adapter) for AT builds as well. ATXv1.3 compliant, so 5V heavy and still with a -5V rail.

As the Athena power unit is the only AT PSU still available from the factory, I'm now fairly curious what the internal construction is like.
I have one of anyone would like pictures
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby BeginnerGuy » 2018-12-07 @ 23:43

Shame if the Startech AT supply is no more. I see a couple on ebay but that's it.

I'll get the 300W ATX model with an adapter next time, but still I believe I only paid around $30 ea inc shipping for the AT model, so that was a nice deal.

There is a live chat option and phone number on startechs page if anybody feels like inquiring about the future of that PSU, if not I can bother them on monday
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-12-08 @ 01:35

ODwilly wrote:
gdjacobs wrote:It looks like they recently discontinued that model. The ATXPower300 is still available, though, for older ATX builds and (with an adapter) for AT builds as well. ATXv1.3 compliant, so 5V heavy and still with a -5V rail.

As the Athena power unit is the only AT PSU still available from the factory, I'm now fairly curious what the internal construction is like.
I have one of anyone would like pictures


Yes, please!
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby TheMobRules » 2018-12-08 @ 04:25

SirNickity wrote:That's too bad. What I would really like to see is someone create a PSU with AT connectors and an emphasis on the 5V rail, but use the physical front panel switch for a soft-on instead of carrying live mains through the kind of cheap metal enclosures with tons of sharp edges that I'm accustomed to in AT cases.


I have an Astec AT power supply from the mid-late 90s that has a +5V standby and a soft-off switch, the model is SA147-3405 (probably from some OEM system). It's rated for 145W, but the build quality is very good.
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Re: Power supply advice

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-12-08 @ 16:42

TheMobRules wrote:I have an Astec AT power supply from the mid-late 90s that has a +5V standby and a soft-off switch, the model is SA147-3405 (probably from some OEM system). It's rated for 145W, but the build quality is very good.


I have a Compaq OEM PSU that does the same.
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