I have been building computers for almost twenty years and it seems like I’ve always got one machine in the house in some state of being “upgraded.” I came across this little gadget on Amazon and thought, “hey, that is simpler than using a multimeter.”
It came from China and it was here in literally a week. (The last few things I’ve gotten from China have been sent lightning fast.)
Anyway, so the Power Supply Tester comes with literally no instructions. This turned out to be a good thing. It makes for a good kids project to figure out: (A) how it should work, (B) whether it, in fact, works like we think it should, and (C) whether or not it is accurate.
So, we starting reading up on the ATX Power Supply specification. There is a huge amount of interesting information available regarding how the ATX standard came about, who promotes the standard, and so on.
It turns out that we have a great “demo” power supply that actually has a minor issue (over voltage) that the tester detects. We use the Power Supply Tester to check the “good power” self test result in miliseconds, and test both the 24 pin motherboard connector as well as a 6 pin, twelve volt lead. The results are displayed with voltage details in a liquid crystal display screen. We also use it to check the MOLEX, SATA, and floppy connectors. These peripheral connectors are only tested using red/green lights. We then dig a bit deeper using a multi-meter to test the 3.3 leads and take a look at the VSB (Voltage Stand By) functionality.
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