Kickstarter: A Bench Power Supply in Your Computer

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This is a new project on kickstarter that I think will be of considerable interest to our readers. I invite you to have a look and strongly consider supporting this. -sg

Picsu: Convenient configurable power supply for hobbyists, engineers, and DIYers. Installs in your desktop PC!

By Russell Merrick

This is an idea that I have had rolling around in my head for YEARS. I filed a Patent Application with the US Patent Office to secure the rights to the idea. Then I contacted a bunch of companies like Agilent, B&K Precision, etc to try to license the idea of a compact PC based power supply to them. Unfortunately nobody was interested in trying out a new design for a power supply.  

But I couldn't let the idea die!

I decided on the Kickstarter route because I know that you techies out there are like me - you want the best tools available that are convenient and affordable (and really cool!). The Picsu fills a much needed gap! I love working with the prototype on my own hobby projects. I hope you enjoy using the Picsu for your business, educational, or hobby designs. 

Picsu Details:

You will notice that the Picsu has no display screen for things you would normally see on a power supply, such as voltage or current. This helps to keep the costs down for the supply. It also makes it very convenient to have all of the operating information right in front of you on your computer screen. 

Picsu prototype.

Picsu prototype.

The Picsu is powered by your computer's internal power supply. All that is required is an available SATA power cable. This means that there are no power cables crowding up your workspace. The design has built-in short circuit protection, so your computer's power supply will continue to operate even if the outputs are shorted together. 

(Note: You should ensure that your computer's power supply has enough headroom to operate the Picsu under its highest load (12V*2A = 24 Watts). This should not be a concern for the vast majority of users, as most PC power supplies have significant headroom on their output power.)

Picsu Features:

  • Single channel output 
  • Voltage output range 1-12V, precision to 50mV.  
  • Max current output = 2 Amps
  • User friendly serial port communication.
  • Adjustable output current limit
  • Short-circuit protection on output.

The Picsu is controlled by your computer's serial port. If you're not sure if you have a capable serial port, no worries! There are plenty available on Amazon. This will ensure that you are able to communicate with the Picsu.  

Here's the Kickstarter link. The Kickstarter page has more information, and you can send questions directly to the project creator.

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