After having a couple of the cheap Chinese PSUs fail on me in a rather spectacular fashion, I decided to splash on a more expensive name-brand PSU, since constantly replacing PSUs at £15 a piece is going to get old pretty fast. This is the 30A model from Mercury, which seems to be pretty well built. It’s also significantly more expensive at £80. Power output is via the beefy binding posts on the front panel. There isn’t any metering on board, this is something I’ll probably change once I’ve ascertained it’s reliability. This is also a fixed voltage supply, at 13.8v.
Not much on the rear panel, just the fuse & cooling fan. This isn’t temperature controlled, but it’s not loud. No IEC power socket here, the mains cable is hard wired.
Removing some spanner-type security screws reveals the power supply board itself. Everything on here is enormous to handle the 30A output current at 13.8v. The main primary side switching transistors are on the large silver heatsink in the centre of the board, feeding the huge ferrite transformer on the right.
The transformer’s low voltage output tap comes straight out instead of being on pins, due to the size of the winding cores. Four massive diodes are mounted on the black heatsinks for output rectification.
The supply is controlled via the jelly bean TL494 PWM controller IC. The multi-turn potentiometer doesn’t adjust the output voltage, more likely it adjusts the current limit.
Power to initially start the supply is provided by a small SMPS circuit, with a VIPer22A Low Power Primary Switcher & small transformer on the lower right. The transformer upper left is the base drive transformer for the main high power supply.