VOGONS


First post, by Synaps3

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A problem I always seem to run into is not finding a suitable power supply. I'm doing an Athlon XP system right now. In the past I bought a couple new old stock PSUs on ebay. All had bulging caps. NONE of the sellers ever check. The Athlon XPs need especially large amps on the 5V rail. A new power supply isn't ideal and I'd have to buy a bunch of molex adapters also.
I don't want to keep gambling on buying random PSUs on ebay and hoping they are good.

Does anybody have a solution? What do you do in this situation?

Systems:
BOARD | RAM | CPU | GPU
ASUS CUV4X-D | 2GB | 2 x PIII Tualatin ~1.5 GHz | Radeon HD 4650
DELL DIMENSION XPS 466V | 64MB | AMD 5x86 133MHz | Number Nine Ticket to Ride
Sergey Kiselev's Micro8088 10MHz | 640KB | Trident VGA

Reply 1 of 19, by Horun

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No older PSU with high 5V amps will have good caps (unless replaced) even if NOS, not after near 20+ years (think the last good Antec TruePower series <like 430's and 480's> were made about 2005.
Just recapped one 480 bought new 2003, has 38a on the +5v and 30a on the 3.3v.
Know of no sources of rebuilt older PSU. If there are the prices probably be way more than doing it your self.... just a thought...

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 2 of 19, by zapbuzz

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was fortunate enough to get a 550 watt ATX PSU from 2004 according to its sticker but I don't use the old small fan ones they're a little hotter and boy i forgot how noisy.
I instead get a new large fan gaming PSU they look ok when sprayed silver 🤣

Reply 3 of 19, by BitWrangler

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Horun wrote on 2021-11-22, 02:27:

Know of no sources of rebuilt older PSU. If there are the prices probably be way more than doing it your self.... just a thought...

I'd think someone would have to charge upwards of about $150 a pop for it to be worthwhile... unless they got cheap labor on it in a poor country, but then that would end up corner cutting and not being any better than what you can currently find.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 4 of 19, by rmay635703

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I was always surprised that nobody makes new AT & ATX PSUs

Some rather more obscure parts still seem to get made.

Funny part is both plain ATX and AT PSUs both stopped being manufactured almost at the same time despite one being 15 years older than the other.

Maybe we just need better conversion kits for existing supplies , I can buy rather beefy industrial 5v supplies cheaply but they seem to fail more often

Ah well

Reply 5 of 19, by Plasma

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IDK about Antec TruePower 430 having good caps, both of mine (that I bought new) failed within 3 years.

Athena Power is still making AT PSUs. No idea if they are any good.

StarTech has a 350 watt "classic" ATX PSU.

Reply 6 of 19, by BitWrangler

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My TP430 which is still going strong, I musta bought in 2004 at latest, 2003 earliest, got 5 or 6 years of daily driver use on it.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 7 of 19, by cyclone3d

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Plasma wrote on 2021-11-22, 04:15:

IDK about Antec TruePower 430 having good caps, both of mine (that I bought new) failed within 3 years.

Athena Power is still making AT PSUs. No idea if they are any good.

StarTech has a 350 watt "classic" ATX PSU.

The Antec PSUs of old were crap.

I gave up on them after recapping a couple. The original caps that died were way too small for the rating that was on them.

I even had to run extension wires and mount the new caps elsewhere because I couldn't find a single high quality brand that produced caps with the original rating with that small of a diameter.

Antec cheaped out on the design/parts and it showed. They were lasting around 1-2 years before crapping out.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 8 of 19, by Synaps3

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Plasma wrote on 2021-11-22, 04:15:

IDK about Antec TruePower 430 having good caps, both of mine (that I bought new) failed within 3 years.

Athena Power is still making AT PSUs. No idea if they are any good.

StarTech has a 350 watt "classic" ATX PSU.

Thanks for the startech reference. Seems like they stopped manufacturing them more recently than most other PSUs like this. Not sure if they are quality though.

cyclone3d wrote on 2021-11-22, 06:30:
The Antec PSUs of old were crap. […]
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The Antec PSUs of old were crap.

I gave up on them after recapping a couple. The original caps that died were way too small for the rating that was on them.

I even had to run extension wires and mount the new caps elsewhere because I couldn't find a single high quality brand that produced caps with the original rating with that small of a diameter.

Antec cheaped out on the design/parts and it showed. They were lasting around 1-2 years before crapping out.

I know EXACTLY what you mean. One of the new old stock ones I bought was an Antec. I thought it would be good because my newer Antecs have been great (running an earthwatts in this computer with nearly 10 years on it!!!).
However, the old Antec I got had bad caps that I couldn't find replacements for like you said. They were super narrow/tall and jammed in. I don't know if this is a common occurrence with PSUs because this is the first PSU I ever opened. That's why I avoided the prospect of replacing them, but maybe this was just a bad model for that.

Anyway, I think I'm just going to get another Antec earthwatts. Not the newest one, but not too old either. Probably the EA-500D. Any objections? 😀

Systems:
BOARD | RAM | CPU | GPU
ASUS CUV4X-D | 2GB | 2 x PIII Tualatin ~1.5 GHz | Radeon HD 4650
DELL DIMENSION XPS 466V | 64MB | AMD 5x86 133MHz | Number Nine Ticket to Ride
Sergey Kiselev's Micro8088 10MHz | 640KB | Trident VGA

Reply 9 of 19, by maxtherabbit

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AT power supplies made in the 80s and 90s for the most part are all still 100% fine

The shitty ATX supplies of the early 2000s are NOT indicative of "all old power supplies" and the FUD needs to stop

Reply 10 of 19, by RaiderOfLostVoodoo

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rmay635703 wrote on 2021-11-22, 02:57:

Funny part is both plain ATX and AT PSUs both stopped being manufactured almost at the same time despite one being 15 years older than the other.

What do you mean? ATX PSUs are still produced.

rmay635703 wrote on 2021-11-22, 02:57:

I was always surprised that nobody makes new AT & ATX PSUs

As far as I know, FSP still produces AT PSUs. But were they just ATX PSUs with -5V? I'm not 100% sure.
They were rather pricy.

I prefer used Enermax PSUs. They're rock solid.

Reply 11 of 19, by retardware

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Synaps3 wrote on 2021-11-22, 01:51:

Does anybody have a solution? What do you do in this situation?

I built my own test bench.

Regarding sellers for checked PSUs, forget it.
There are none, there is no market.

I tried to sell the surplus good PSUs from my bench testing, and I was surprised that, despite the fact that people do know what damage bad PSUs can do to old hardware, apparently there are few if at all people who are willing to pay more than 10 euros for a checked good PSU with test protocol.

Most retro people (at least in Europe) seem to be cheap, not caring about PSU quality.
It must cost next to nothing.
No matter how much ripple, no matter how much the voltages deviate.
They don't care whether +5V is actually 4V, or whether +12V is actually 15V, or whether the ripple cooks the caps and VRMs in their retro rigs.
Instabilities? Blame the board, blame drivers etc. Hardware failures? Blame the hardware's age.

So I ended up selling these PSUs cheap due to lack of demand and my need to free up storage.
I just keep my test bench for testing for my personal usage when I find some top tier brand vintage PSUs.
And I have thrown out all PSUs except for a few outstandingly good ones for my personal usage.

BTW, trading on Vogons is not allowed. But you can PM me anyway and maybe I can help you, for example with some suggestions.

maxtherabbit wrote on 2021-11-24, 04:19:

AT power supplies made in the 80s and 90s for the most part are all still 100% fine

The shitty ATX supplies of the early 2000s are NOT indicative of "all old power supplies" and the FUD needs to stop

True.
It's just crazy that some people recap ANYTHING without checking whether it is necessary at all.

Reply 13 of 19, by Claris

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Unpopular opinion: i don't really see the point in going out of your way to buy an AT psu when you can just grab a *new* 500Watt evga/corsair off amazon and a cheap AT-to-ATX converter for the motherboard.

Unless you really need to use a soundcard that requires -5v rail or allready have a bunch of AT PSUs lying around, I wouldn't bother specifically hunting for one.

Reply 14 of 19, by cyclone3d

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Claris wrote on 2021-11-24, 12:20:

Unpopular opinion: i don't really see the point in going out of your way to buy an AT psu when you can just grab a *new* 500Watt evga/corsair off amazon and a cheap AT-to-ATX converter for the motherboard.

Unless you really need to use a soundcard that requires -5v rail or allready have a bunch of AT PSUs lying around, I wouldn't bother specifically hunting for one.

I'm of the same opinion. I have very few AT PSUs and almost all my systems that need AT power have an ATX to AT adapter. There used to be a seller on eBay that sold the ATX to AT adapters that also added the -5v but they stopped for some reason.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 15 of 19, by Brickpad

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-11-24, 14:07:
Claris wrote on 2021-11-24, 12:20:

Unpopular opinion: i don't really see the point in going out of your way to buy an AT psu when you can just grab a *new* 500Watt evga/corsair off amazon and a cheap AT-to-ATX converter for the motherboard.

Unless you really need to use a soundcard that requires -5v rail or allready have a bunch of AT PSUs lying around, I wouldn't bother specifically hunting for one.

I'm of the same opinion. I have very few AT PSUs and almost all my systems that need AT power have an ATX to AT adapter. There used to be a seller on eBay that sold the ATX to AT adapters that also added the -5v but they stopped for some reason.

Weren't those the ones that also provided a dummy load too? I can't find those anywhere either. And really, if you need -5v why not just but a Voltage Blaster or its clone? They're pretty cheap.

Reply 16 of 19, by RaiderOfLostVoodoo

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retardware wrote on 2021-11-24, 11:08:
Most retro people (at least in Europe) seem to be cheap, not caring about PSU quality. It must cost next to nothing. No matter h […]
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Most retro people (at least in Europe) seem to be cheap, not caring about PSU quality.
It must cost next to nothing.
No matter how much ripple, no matter how much the voltages deviate.
They don't care whether +5V is actually 4V, or whether +12V is actually 15V, or whether the ripple cooks the caps and VRMs in their retro rigs.
Instabilities? Blame the board, blame drivers etc. Hardware failures? Blame the hardware's age.

Or they have a 5€ PSU tester from Shenzhen, which they use before they hook it up to hardware.
I usually wait for 1 or 2 weeks, after I've received a used PSU, to be sure there is no charge left.
Then I open them, clean them, visually check capacitors and finally check them with my tester.

Schule04 wrote on 2021-11-24, 11:48:

Old Delta, Fortron and Seasonic PSUs are usually are fine for older machines, the only problem are the PCs made between 2000 and 2005 that still need lots of 5V

I would stay away from Fortron/FSP. Had one, that only delivered 11V on the 12V rail. Another one did deliver more than my cheap PSU tester can measure on the 12V rail. Definitely not gonna hook that one up on valuable hardware!
Seasonic are good. Delta is also fine, I guess. But they're cheap OEM. I'd rather look for a rebranded Delta. Those are even better.
By the way: How much Ampere on 5V do those machines actually need?

Claris wrote on 2021-11-24, 12:20:

Unpopular opinion: i don't really see the point in going out of your way to buy an AT psu when you can just grab a *new* 500Watt evga/corsair off amazon and a cheap AT-to-ATX converter for the motherboard.

I never understood why Americans spend so much money on rebranded PSUs.
Your beloved Corsair is just an overpriced Seasonic (best case) or Channel Well (worst case).

Silverstone used to sell a 1 by 1 copy of my Seasonic Platinum Fanless 520:
The Nightjar 520. Looks exactly the same except it's white instead of black. Same stats.
Initial asking price was 150€ but quickly dropped to 135€. At the same time you could get the Seasonic for 130€.
Seasonic: 7 years warranty
Silverstone: 3 years warranty
Why the hell do people buy this overpriced crap? It's a rip off.

Claris wrote on 2021-11-24, 12:20:

Unless you really need to use a soundcard that requires -5v rail or allready have a bunch of AT PSUs lying around, I wouldn't bother specifically hunting for one.

There are more devices than sound cards which need -5V. Also some people don't like having to switch PSU if they want to switch sound cards. Flexibility is king.

If you want -5V my suggestion would be:
LcN26vz.jpg
Also has more power on +5V than a 1000W Corsair.
The (G) means, that it's the Kraut version. Just search for EG365AX and you will find them. Doesn't really matter if you get the 1.2 or 1.3 version. Don't bother looking for newer PSUs. Those are the last that have -5V. There are also variants with 265W, 301W or 465W. But the 365W one is the most common.
Efficiency is close to 80PLUS. Since systems which require -5V usually are below 100W, you can turn the fans to minimum. Also they are sturdy as hell.
I used to snatch them up for 5€ plus shipping. Never paid more than 10€ for them. My buddy also has a few of them. But it's getting harder to acquire them for that price.

If you need more power on 12V (overkill XP build comes to mind), I would search for a used Enermax Modu87 or Seasonic X series. You can get them for around 50 bucks. Much better quality than current 80PLUS Gold PSUs. Those were top of the line during Sandy Bridge era. Still have my Modu87 from back in the day and use it in my XP rig.
If you want to spend a bit more: Enermax Platimax or Seasonic Platinum series.

Brickpad wrote on 2021-11-24, 16:54:

And really, if you need -5v why not just but a Voltage Blaster or its clone? They're pretty cheap.

Because they're a waste of precious ISA slots.

Reply 17 of 19, by cyclone3d

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@Brickpad - Yep, those adapters were also the ones that had the load built into them via a ceramic resistor.

@RaiderOfLostVoodoo - If you hook up a PSU to a motherboard without the main power hooked up to it and then turn the power switch on, it should completely drain any charge that the capacitors have left in them.

Same goes for CRTs. I've had a good number of them open and I always just power them up after unplugging them from the wall in order to drain the power from the caps and CRT.
I've also worked on CRTs with them opened up and I don't recommend that but sometimes it was required for troubleshooting and adjustment purposes.

See here for more info about different methods to discharge the caps in a PSU IF it doesn't already have the appropriate auto-discharge circuitry built in.
How to discharge a PSU completely before changing the fan?

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 18 of 19, by RaiderOfLostVoodoo

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-11-24, 18:11:

@RaiderOfLostVoodoo - If you hook up a PSU to a motherboard without the main power hooked up to it and then turn the power switch on, it should completely drain any charge that the capacitors have left in them.

I know. But I'm a bit paranoid about that.
Don't want to end like that kid who electrocuted himself a few years ago.

Reply 19 of 19, by retardware

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-11-24, 18:11:

@RaiderOfLostVoodoo - If you hook up a PSU to a motherboard without the main power hooked up to it and then turn the power switch on, it should completely drain any charge that the capacitors have left in them.

This is also recommendable to do before changing cards.
With good PSUs, the standby voltage can stay quite long after mains disconnect.

cyclone3d wrote on 2021-11-24, 18:11:

I've also worked on CRTs with them opened up and I don't recommend that but sometimes it was required for troubleshooting and adjustment purposes.

Eheh 😀 Being zapped with 800V at 15.6kHz is fun... I know from my own experience, back then when TVs didn't have mains insulation and to check/measure/repair them one had to operate directly from mains the ghetto way if one didn't have an insulation transformer, like most school kids 😀