Chinese 12v 10A Power Brick Analysis

I recently ordered a PSU to run one of the TVs I converted to 12v operation, and being an older TV, it’s a fairly heavy load at 6.5A. eBay to the rescue again, with a cheap 10A rated supply.

Power Brick
Power Brick

Like all similar supplies these days, it’s a SMPS unit, and feels suspiciously light for it’s power rating.

Cover Removed
Cover Removed

Luckily this one is easy to get into, no ultrasonic welding on the case, just clips. Here’s the top cover removed, big alloy plate between the heatsinks.

PCB
PCB

The top heatsink plate was glued to the top of the transformer with silicone, some gentle prying released it. From the top, things don’t look too bad. There’s some filtering on the mains input & it’s even fused!

Primary Side
Primary Side

Here’s a closeup of the primary side of the PSU, the main DC bus capacitor is a Nichicon one, but it’s clearly been recovered from another device, look at the different glue on the end!
it’s also flapping about in the breeze, the squirt of silicone they’ve put on does nothing to stop movement.
Also here is the mains input fuse, filter capacitor & common mode choke. At least there is some filtering!

The main control IC is a UC3843B High Performance Current Mode PWM Controller, operating at a switching frequency of 250kHz.
The main switching transistor is visible at the bottom left corner, attached to the heatsink.

Secondary Side
Secondary Side

Here’s the secondary side of the supply. The transformer itself is OK, nice heavy windings on the output to suit the high current.
It’s using proper opto-isolated feedback for voltage regulation, with a TL431 reference IC.
The output diodes are attached to the heatsink at the top of the photo, I couldn’t read any numbers on those parts.

The output filter capacitors are low quality, only time will tell if they survive. I’ll put the supply under full load & see what the temperature rise is inside the casing.

PCB Bottom
PCB Bottom

On the bottom of the PCB things get a little more dire. There isn’t really much of an isolation gap between the primary & secondary sides, and there’s a track joining the output negative with mains earth, which gets to within 2mm of the live mains input!

As with all these cheapo supplies, there’s good points & bad points, I will update when I’ve had a chance to put the supply under full load for a while & see if it explodes!

 

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