Power supply: It lives!

The power supply lives!

On my initial inspection of the power supply, the only obvious thing wrong that I had found was a blown fuse. After replacing the power cord, I noticed the power on lamp had burned out too.

Off I went to the last remaining Radio Shack in my area (a franchise store, also known as Hurricane Electronics) to see if I could find some fuses and a replacement lamp. Found some replacement fuses easily enough (35V, 20A), and much to my surprise, replacement bulbs that were the exact same style as what was already on the power supply.

Replacing the light was easy enough, but took a bit longer than expected. The original pair of wires for the light kept breaking when I tried to put the light back into place, so I ended up just replacing the two wires with some 18 gauge stranded wire I had. Once the light was back in place, I plugged the power supply in and on came the light. Yay!

Power supply light
Power supply light

Then I replaced the fuse, turned it back on and was greeted with the meter telling me there was 13ish volts. With my DMM, I read 13.3 V DC at the meter.

13.4V DC output
13.4V DC output

I tweaked the pot at the control board to bring it up to 13.7 V DC.

Tweaked up to 13.7V DC output
Tweaked up to 13.7V DC output

So it looks like the only problem with the power supply was the blown fuse. Now to see how it works with a load applied.

Power supply schematic 20170708
Power supply schematic 20170708

Power supply: Power plug replacement

With the power supply schematic mostly done (I need to make another pass through to check that I got everything right), I decided the power supply needed a new input plug.

The power supply came with a two prong plug and a smaller two prong socket for power input. At some point someone had soldered a regular two prong power cord to the plug, which I quickly removed (mostly to get it out of the way).

Back panel AC in
Back panel AC in

The smaller socket (the round one on the right in the image below) looked like it might have been something standard decades ago, but didn’t look like anything I recognized.

Back panel power output
Back panel power output

The plug and socket both came out, and I dug out an old three prong power cord from the junk box. After spending some time figuring out how to connect things, I wired in the power cord.

New power cord
New power cord

Inside I used a terminal block to connect the power cord with the wires that used to run from the original plug.

Power cord connections
Power cord connections
Power cord connections
Power cord connections

Ground on the power cord got tied to the chassis, while the neutral line went straight to the transformer, and the hot line to the power switch.

Plugging it in and pushing the power switch made the transformer produce the characteristic buzzing sound, but it looks like the power indicator lamp is burned out. 23.2 V AC measured on the output of the transformer, which seemed reasonable. No smoke released, which is a good sign.

Now that I can get power into the power supply, I can start figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

Power supply: Out to the control board

I’ve finished tracing the power supply schematic out to the control board. I’ll go through it once or twice more to make sure I’ve got everything right, but I think I’ve got a fairly complete schematic of the power supply now.

Here’s the schematic so far.

Power supply schematic
Power supply schematic

I did run into an anonymous transistor type part with a red case that I wasn’t able to identify. Whatever markings were on it have been rubbed off, so there’s no way to really identify it anymore.

Mystery transistor
Mystery transistor

The base of the transistor (I’m assuming it’s the base anyway) is connected to pin 10 of the 723 voltage regulator while the emitter is connected to the bases of the power transistors. The collector goes to pin 12 of the 723 and the collectors of the power transistors. Checking with schematics for my Astron RS-35, there’s a TIP29 transistor in roughly the same spot, so I’m reasonably confident this mystery part is an NPN transistor of some kind.

Tracing out the control board was a bit tricky, but I think I managed to get it right (I think I’m missing the diode on the schematic though). I’ll need to recheck where the wires coming off the control board go in the rest of the power supply.

Power supply control board
Power supply control board

Quite impressed with the way this power supply was put together. Everything is soldered or screwed together nice and cleanly, and the wires are nicely dressed and bundled together with zip ties and string.

Except for the blown fuse, I don’t see anything obviously wrong with the power supply. I think I will look into replacing that AC input plug though before I try applying power to this thing.

Power supply: Power transistors

I’ve traced the power supply schematic past the SCR and out to the power transistors that are attached to the big heat sink. This part of the schematic might be a little questionable because a lot of the wires are covered up or obscured by other components and a little harder to follow.

The schematic so far:

Power supply schematic
Power supply schematic

I’m up to the control board now. It’s small, but has a lot of wires coming in and out of it. Fortuantely it’s all point to point wiring on perfboard, so I don’t have to follow any PCB traces.

Power supply project: Input and filtering

Tracing out a schematic for this power supply has been pretty fun so far. It’s also been a good excuse to learn how to use KiCad.

So far I’ve made it past the rectifier and filtering capacitors up to the power transistors. I’m pretty impressed with the way the innards of this thing are put together. The bridge rectifier part took me a bit to figure out until I realized there were two different stud mount diodes in it.

Rectifier diodes
Rectifier diodes
Rectifier diodes
Rectifier diodes

I’ve come across a couple types of components that took me some searching to figure out what they were (still not quite sure what one of them is). This one in particular is one I haven’t been able to identify.

Mystery component. Diode? Transistor?
Mystery component. Diode? Transistor?

It’s connected to one of the outputs of the bridge rectifier and the control board at the top. At the bottom it’s connected to an air core inductor and parts that lead to the 2N5886 power transistors. A Google search of the numbers printed on it take me to a single page at a store that has it listed as a rectifier diode.

This is the schematic I’ve cobbled together so far. Things start to get a bit confusing after the rectifier, but I think it’s reasonably accurate.

Power supply schematic
Power supply schematic

I wasn’t able to find symbols for everything in the KiCad library, particularly for the connectors, so I just used something that looked reasonable.

This has been a fun exercise so far. The power transistor section will probably take me a while to figure out.