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  1. #1
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Server Power Supply Conversion

    First of all... the disclaimer:
    I am posting about what I did to build my own supply... your results may vary. Traxxas nor myself is responsible for your actions... if you get some crazy idea; take ownership of it!

    Second of all; please read this entire thread before asking questions.
    The answer you seek may have already been covered.


    I chose a server power supply due to a couple of facts...
    1) They do not dip down in voltage when pulling high amperage out of them
    2) They are cheaper than most (if not all) ATX power supplies that will not voltage dip
    3) They are more robust than ATX supplies
    4) They have some very key safety features build in

    Sourcing:
    eBay has LOTS of server power supplies available... they do not need to be new. Just because the server they were powering is out of date does not mean the power supply is out of date.
    Unfortunately, most sellers will not respond to requests for pictures of the "business" end of the supply. So there is a bit of a gamble if the supply is even able to be converted unless the pictures of the business end is already there or you have read of someone converting a similar supply.

    Cost:
    I was able to find both of mine for $15 shipped. That is about the cheapest I have ever read a pair of supplies going for... shipped at least. These buggers are not light, so shipping is going to be a killer if it is not included in the price. I would say an average price for a pair is between $20-30 shipped. Beware of the super cheap ones... they may be cheap for a reason; just be sure to do your homework before you purchase.
    Be sure to add a few bucks in your budget for the proper wire, connections, ect. I have a total of $30 into my supply.

    What to look for:
    Pins and tabs. Some have circuit boards that stick out that slid into the server case. These are usable... but you must be comfortable soldering onto a circuit board and the solder joint must be good enough to carry the full load of the supply. The supplies with pins and tabs are a little easier to work with. Some have special sockets that may be impossible to use... depending on if the socket is removable/solderable.
    Voltage and wattage. Obviously you are going to want one that is capable of supplying what you need. But, if you come across one that is a little on the weak side for the right price, these can be hooked up in parallel and series to fit what you need.
    If you think you only need one, get two. If you ever need to hook two of these bad boys together, whether it be parallel or series, it is better for them to be identical. The easiest (and cheapest) way to get two identical power supplies is to get them at the same time from the same vendor. Worst case scenario... you have a backup.

    Precautions:
    Google the part number of the one you want... there just might be someone else that has bought it to convert it. This would be the absolute best case scenario as all the pinout work might be posted about it!! This search might also turn up some information on if it cannot be converted or if it is a "junk" supply.
    There also might be a good shot of the business end... gotta love Google!

    Converting:
    Server power supplies are designed to only be operational when they are installed into a server station. However, there is a way to trick the supply into thinking it has been installed through its' pins. You can see these pins in the pictures below.
    Connecting 3-4 of these pins directly to one another will allow the supply to turn on. As far as I know, no two different power supplies have the same pinout. Some supplies have a pin that is a little bit shorter than the others... this is a good indicator that this is one of the pins that is required to be connected as it is the last one to slide into the station. Some supplies do not have this convenient feature and you will need to use a lot of trial and error to get your supply running. I was fortunate enough to get one of these supplies... it took me 45 minutes to get mine running... lol. To find my pinout I used a section of very fine gauge wire and start connecting them with the unit plugged in until it turned on.
    There are two stages of activity for most power supplies... soft on; where the fans run at half speed but no power is produced... and full on; where fans run at full speed and full power is available. I found soft on before I found full on.
    The fine gauge wire is used so that if a pair of pins that should not be connected get connected the wire will burn out before the supply is damaged. But, to be honest, the supply should shut itself down before any damage occurs; one of the many great safety features of a server power supply.

    Connecting:
    Once you get it powered up there are a few different ways to hook up...
    1) Solder heavy gauge wire to mounted copper piping to use clamps that came with your charger
    2) Solder heavy gauge wire to a row (or single) of 4mm jacks (pictured below)
    3) I have seen where some have simply clamped onto the tabs

    Series
    You can hook two (or three) of these up in series.
    This will increase voltage while available amperage remains the same.
    The benefit of this is feeding your charger high voltage means it has to to less work to feed your packs high amperage. (great for parallel charging)

    To do this will require you to defeat the ground on one of the supplies. I chose to do this to the supply that feeds the negative side of my charger. If you do not defeat the ground, the supplies will not operate. I was able to defeat my ground by simply not hooking it up to the incoming AC. Some supplies have grounds elsewhere that must be defeated for this to work.

    This, however, does not totally defeat the "direct short" safety feature. If you happen to touch or short out my two supplies together, they stop producing electricity, the fans slow to half speed, and the LED's will flash.
    BUT, your results may vary... it is better to test before this feature is needed and take precautionary measures like cover the supplies (yet provide ventilation)

    Parallel
    If the supplies you purchased are not up to the task of supplying your high amperage charger, connecting these in parallel will keep the voltage the same, but double the available amperage.

    Series/Parallel
    So you went really cheap on your supplies and you need to hook up two sets of two in series and then hook those two sets in parallel for one mega supply to power your needs.
    If you have to ask how to do this... don't!!

    Providing AC
    I have seen a few hooked together where they have two plugs.
    I chose to use just one plug and hooked the AC side in parallel.
    AC power comes in from the IEC connection and feeds the positive supply power, neutral, and ground while there is a set of jumper wires that feed the negative supply only power and neutral.
    Last edited by Jimmie Neutron; 04-23-2012 at 08:46 PM.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  2. #2
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Here are some pictures....


    Power Label


    She measures roughly 2.5 x 5 x 13 inches


    Pins and tabs... and fans


    Here you can see the LED's, AC socket, and the locking device
    Last edited by Jimmie Neutron; 04-23-2012 at 08:35 PM.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  3. #3
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    In this shot you can see the positive (far left) wire heading toward the negative of the other supply. You can also see which three pins needed to be connected and that I cut all the unused pins off flush. (these all will be covered in liquid electrical tape)


    I chose to squish my similar tabs together... also you can see I am using 8awg wire


    Triple power tap... I can run 3 chargers at once; if I ever need to.


    Here you can see the AC switch... I do not like hooking my charger to a live power supply; it might spark


    AC in


    Here you can see that I have the AC side connected in parallel so only one plug is needed
    Last edited by Jimmie Neutron; 04-23-2012 at 08:47 PM.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  4. #4
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    I have been using these for over a year at this point.
    They have multiple 20 amp charges on them and have never gotten over 87F sitting in a large box with no ventilation.

    Is 1800watts overkill?
    What's wrong with overkill??

    I am hoping later this year to finish my other power supply... it will have selectable voltages!!
    (3.3v, 5v, 6.6v, 8.3v, 10v, 12v, 15.3v, 17v, and 24v)
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  5. #5
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. pavmentsurfer's Avatar
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    Am I reading this right, did you just build a 75 amp 24volt PSU? That is one serious setup.
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  6. #6
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    I built it a while ago... just never bothered to post anything about it until now.
    And yes; 24 volt 75.7 amp power supply.
    It dims my lights when I power it up

    But I definitely agree with you... I doubt I will EVER outgrow this supply.
    Last edited by Jimmie Neutron; 04-23-2012 at 09:10 PM.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  7. #7
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Emaxx2.0's Avatar
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    (In the Hank Hill voice) That is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.
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  8. #8
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    WOW... simply WOW.

  9. #9
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Thanks for the compliments!!

    Just wait until I finish the other supply. It will have relays to control current flow and it will be running in series or parallel depending on the way the switches are flipped. I am still working out the wiring schematic.

    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  10. #10
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Emaxx2.0's Avatar
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    OK cool. I'm definitely going to do this with the same servers. This is more for a cool factor and challenge then actual use(it will definitely get used no doubt). Plus you be pretty awesome at the track were you can have others run their chargers off your supply. I'll put it in the carrying case, remove the fans and install LED fan(blue is cooler) and somehow put a on and off switch by the input cable (just easier) and mount a G.T. Power Watt Meter. Now where would you get pc power cables and accessory? Also can you run 2 24volt chargers on this or just 1 and several 12volt? And can you take a pic of the hot swappable pin setup?
    Last edited by Emaxx2.0; 04-23-2012 at 10:22 PM.
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  11. #11
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    The number of chargers than can be ran is only limited by the amount the supply can provide.

    So... in theory, this set will feed 14 12v 10a chargers with ease with proper connections.
    It can also feed 3 24v 20a chargers. Or 2 24v 30a chargers...
    Basically you just need to stay under the amperage supply threshold.


    The other supplies I used:

    40 Ft. Retractable Cord Reel
    I have modified this to have the pronged AC plug on the retractable side and a right angle IEC on the stationary side. (this is also used to power my camper)

    Right Angle IEC

    Banana Plug Jack

    Some 6.5mm bullet connectors that I cannot link to.

    A chunk of 3.8 soft copper pipe.

    and some scrap angle iron I had.



    Pictures of the pinout are above.
    Last edited by Jimmie Neutron; 04-23-2012 at 11:08 PM.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  12. #12
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Emaxx2.0's Avatar
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    ok Any idea where i can find a IEC 320 C-14 male adapter with a screw mount so i can mount it to a case?
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  13. #13
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    You could use what it came with...


    The one I bought came from All Electronics... they have a $7 minimum shipping charge.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  14. #14
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Emaxx2.0's Avatar
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    This is what I'm looking for.
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  15. #15
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    That is beautiful. Looks professionally done!

  16. #16
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Thanks kwe!
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  17. #17
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emaxx2.0 View Post
    This is what I'm looking for.
    Answer is in post 14
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  18. #18
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Emaxx2.0's Avatar
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    Got 4 dell 58amps 700watt Server power supply 25 shipped. 1400watts at 58amps should be well enough for anything. I know their in a dial you can make slight voltage adjustments. Might do 12.8 volt for each supply. Any updates Jimmie?
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  19. #19
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Sorry I did not see your post...

    No updates... life is busy!!
    I do hope to get to finalizing the case within the next few weeks though...
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  20. #20
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    Nice, While i got time on my hands still, I have done the sony ps3 mod and would like to have a go at one of these.
    Problems.The manual's good starting point. Simple

  21. #21
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    Nice. The flow of electrons leads to technology.
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  22. #22
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    Hi Jimmie, by coincidence, I have the exact same 930W Dell Server PS (D3014 Mod 7000815-0000). We were scrapping an old Dell Poweredge 2800 server at work and I ended up with (2) of these nice power supplies.

    Thanks for the detailed information that you provided for us here but can you provide more detailed info on the Pin-Outs that need to be used? The photos are very difficult to make out and I'd rather not go the trial & error route with small wire If I can help it. P.S. I am only utilizing (1) of these at a time. The 2nd unit is just for a spare, or in case I need 24V down the road.

    Thanks
    Jeff

  23. #23
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    These are very hearty units indeed... I imagine you will be pleased!!

    Before you do anything with the pins, double check that these are the ones.

    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  24. #24
    Raptorcize
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    Thanks Very Much for the Speedy Reply!

    Jeff

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    So instead of starting a new thread I thought I might add to this one. I bought myself a pair of these same supplies in efforts to make a similar 24V power supply.

    Jimmie as always was extremely helpful with questions I had.

    I wanted to add a little tid bit to the info he has given. I looked on some other forums concerning SPS's and found that certain supplies had the ability to slow down the fans when an additional pin was connected so I began to probe around and here is what I've found:

    Using the same power supplies Jimmie has discussed above you can in fact connect an additional pin and it slows the fans down to a more tolerable noise level while still moving a good bit of air without having to split the cases to add a resistor to the fans.

    Is it enough to keep the supplies cool while performing a high amperage charge? I don't know as I'm still in the tinkering stages.

    However, by simply connecting an additional pin to the other 3 pins already tied together (as described by Jimmie) along with a switch the supplies now have a 2 speed fan arrangement. With the switch open, fans run on "high", with the switch closed the fans run on "low."

    If you were to cram the supplies into a box in efforts to make a more portable charging solution to take to the track or out in the field I would suggest keeping the fans on high. JMO if your outside who cares about noise?

    As Jimmie states in his first post if you attempt any of this you must take responsibility for your actions, anything involving electricity can be potentially dangerous.

    That being said I also want to add that when these supplies are wired in series the steel cases CANNOT touch each other or they will arc due to the internal wiring of the supplies. If you probe the supply cases with the leads of your multimeter they read 12VDC.

    Enough rambling. Here's the pin out. Notice the red pins are the same as Jimmies above. The green pin is the one that slows the fans down when connected. Add a switch and boom pow you now have a two speed fan.




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  26. #26
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    I might also add that the direct short protection on the supplies' outputs still functions normally.


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  27. #27
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Beautiful addition to the thread... wish I had found that pin before I snapped all of mine off flush. lol

    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

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    Thanks Jimmie. Couldn't have done it without your help.

    There was also a guy who took it one step further and installed an LM34DZ temperature sensor instead of a switch so his fan speed was basically thermally controlled.

    For now I'm happy with the switch but as the hobby goes I'll undoubtedly get bit by the tinkering bug and might have to give it a whirl.


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    Nice work guys, those look great. I went a little different route, I used a power supply out of a camper. I got two of the same ones, they are rated to 70 amps. I only use one right now and the other is a spare. They are programable up to 15.5 volts, low voltage cutout, and over amp protect. It works pretty good, I run two chargers, most of the time and can run three if need be. I guess there is always more than one way to skin a cat as they say.
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  30. #30
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    ok guys i work at a server supply company. i was wondering if it has to be a dell PE2800 ps. as i have a wide assortment of these. ibm, hp, compaq, cisco, and dell, also some older stuff. like as400 and rs6000 platform stuff. but given the right amout of information and possibly some help i think i might be able to do something like this but i dont have the use for something that massive. i know lipos could charge faster but i would like to keep my nimh batteries not exploding on me. i could on the other hand assist some of you with some information. please pm me for that sort of stuff. as i dont want to get in trouble on here.
    3908 emaxx, brushed... slash 2wd... whats next?

  31. #31
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westoakmech View Post
    Nice work guys, those look great. I went a little different route, I used a power supply out of a camper. I got two of the same ones, they are rated to 70 amps. I only use one right now and the other is a spare. They are programable up to 15.5 volts, low voltage cutout, and over amp protect. It works pretty good, I run two chargers, most of the time and can run three if need be. I guess there is always more than one way to skin a cat as they say.
    What is the part number on those??
    They sound like what may be needed for some of the super-powerful chargers that are coming out.
    (some are requiring a minimum of 30v to operate at full output)

    Quote Originally Posted by hatethmpr View Post
    ok guys i work at a server supply company. i was wondering if it has to be a dell PE2800 ps. as i have a wide assortment of these. ibm, hp, compaq, cisco, and dell, also some older stuff. like as400 and rs6000 platform stuff. but given the right amout of information and possibly some help i think i might be able to do something like this but i dont have the use for something that massive. i know lipos could charge faster but i would like to keep my nimh batteries not exploding on me. i could on the other hand assist some of you with some information. please pm me for that sort of stuff. as i dont want to get in trouble on here.
    It does not have to be this particular supply... as I stated in the first post:
    Precautions:
    Google the part number of the one you want... there just might be someone else that has bought it to convert it. This would be the absolute best case scenario as all the pinout work might be posted about it!! This search might also turn up some information on if it cannot be converted or if it is a "junk" supply.
    There also might be a good shot of the business end... gotta love Google!
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  32. #32
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    I will have to look, I got them out of old campers in a junk yard. I know they are both the same model.
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  33. #33
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    if anyone is interested in some sort of a power supply let me know the part number. i may be able to help you out. i know this is thread jacking but i can and am willing to help.
    3908 emaxx, brushed... slash 2wd... whats next?

  34. #34
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happymachinist View Post
    Thanks Jimmie. Couldn't have done it without your help.

    There was also a guy who took it one step further and installed an LM34DZ temperature sensor instead of a switch so his fan speed was basically thermally controlled.

    For now I'm happy with the switch but as the hobby goes I'll undoubtedly get bit by the tinkering bug and might have to give it a whirl.


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    I know this was from a while ago, but do you have any links?
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

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    I remember that, been trying to find it for a while thanks. data sheet
    Problems.The manual's good starting point. Simple

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    Anyone do anything with this? I have a few of these power supplies that I would like to convert. Please let me know if anyone has done anything more.

  37. #37
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Which part? The temp sensor?
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  38. #38
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    Well im not too concerned about the temp sensor. Putting a switch across B2 and A3 slowed the fan down to a tolerable level. I was just curious to know weather anyone has been running this on lipo chargers. I want to know if the voltage stays above 12v with a load.

  39. #39
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    I have this PSU setup the same way you have it set up right now. I had it running for about an hour with 5 120mm fans each pulling around 1amp each.. I shut it down to take the volt meter off the line because I was testing amp's.. After trying to turn it back on, all I get is a yellow caution light in the back but no power..

  40. #40
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Just slowing the fans down is not a good idea.

    I have been using two in series, as shown in this thread, for over a year now with countless 20 amp charges. Not sure of how many amps I have been pulling, but I have definitely not seen any voltage dip.

    If the caution light is on, something is not right. Make sure your connections are still solid... not sure if you soldered them or what, but a poor connection can cause issues.

    Also, 5 amp load test is not much of a test for a 75 amp power supply.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

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