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

    This first post is going to be very similar to the first post of my other Server Conversion thread.

    First of all... the disclaimer:
    I am posting about what I did to build this particular 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 Just because the server they were powering is out of date does not mean the power supply is out of date.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.

    Costs:
    I was able to find this supply for $12.09 shipped. These buggers are not usually very 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 $15 into this 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 (SPS) 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
    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 sets hooked together where they have two plugs.
    It is possible to use just one plug if you are using more than one SPS, just wire 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.
    Of course, this much simpler when you are only using one supply.

    Now on to the build...
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  2. #2
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    The SPS used for this conversion is a Dell DPS-500CB. With minimal tools and parts, I was able to convert this supply within an hour without knowing the pinout... I estimate this to be roughly a 15 minute task for anyone that uses this thread as a guide.

    What you will need:
    Sharp knife
    Servo extension
    Shrink tube
    Electrical tape
    PC power cord

    What will make this easier:
    Dremel
    Cut off wheel

    If you feel up to it:
    Soldering iron
    Solder
    Flux
    Solid core wire
    Hands free device


    This shows you the size of the supply... it is laying on the corner of a standard sheet of paper.


    The label declares the 12v rail to have 41 amperes available... which is enough to feed even a 30 amp charger.


    The AC end.


    The business end.


    These grounding tabs can be popped off.



    The first step is to take the ends out of the Futaba J connector.


    Then slide the ends onto the pins as marked... the "S" marks the short pin.


    Here is how it looks with them slid into place.

    At this point, if you do not want to solder; route the wires somewhere on the PSP that they will be out of the way. Cut the connector off, strip all three wires enough to twist them together, shrink the exposed wires together, and tape them down to the PSP to secure them.


    This shows the clips for my 206B on the proper tabs. The plastic type material surrounding the tabs should be cut away in order for the clips to get a firm grasp. This can be done with a sharp knife, but it is easier to do it with a cut off wheel and a Dremel.
    Last edited by Jimmie Neutron; 10-03-2012 at 12:59 PM.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  3. #3
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    The next few pictures will show the steps I took to solder these three pins together:
    This is completely optional... but I feel this also makes for a more secure connection, one that is less likely to get pulled on.


    Hold a piece of paper up to mark the spacing out.


    Now you know the spacing needed.


    Cut all three connectors as shown.


    Tin the connectors, being careful to not let solder flow into the area the pin slides into. Then solder the tinned solid core wire to the end of the connector.


    Mark where the other connectors go. Be sure to solder quick as to not desolder the other connectors that have already been soldered on. I left the extra solid core wire on to have something to hang on to. This was cut off after all connectors where securely soldered on.


    This shows the clips for my 206B on the proper tabs. The plastic type material surrounding the tabs should be cut away in order for the clips to get a firm grasp. This can be done with a sharp knife, but it is easier to do it with a cut off wheel and a Dremel.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  4. #4
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    After these steps, you will have a SPS that will deliver 12.3 volts and up to 41 amps!

    I hope this thread helps people step up to a better charge system by making a power supply much more affordable.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  5. #5
    RC Turnbuckle Jr.
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    Nice write up Jimmie!
    Mine is similar I have two 12v 47a for 1000 watts and an icharger 3010b
    Never know if I will need that much down the road!

  6. #6
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Thanks 50!
    If you have them hooked in series, you actually have a 24v/47a/1128w unit...
    If they are in parallel, you have a 12v/94a/564w unit...
    If they are simply single units, you have a 12v/47a/564w unit.


    I think I should add that the 4 tabs on the left are all in parallel... same as the 4 tabs on the right.
    This means you can clamp onto all 4 tabs with the negative and positive clamp.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  7. #7
    RC Turnbuckle Jr.
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    that's true i just call it 1000!

  8. #8
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    I only clarified for the reader that may get a little confused when the numbers just don't add up.


    I even messed up!
    If they are in parallel, you have a 12v/94a/1128w unit... not a 564w.
    Sheesh!
    Last edited by Jimmie Neutron; 10-03-2012 at 07:12 PM.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  9. #9
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. harry697's Avatar
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    You, sir, are a certified knower!

    For those who are not familiar, among my group of friends, a knower is exactly what it sounds like: A person who knows stuff at an impressive level.

    I don't have a need for all that power at the moment. But when I do, I will be digging up your PSU threads.


    One more thing. Those pants just scream KNOWIN'!

  10. #10
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    I just cannot leave well enough alone...
    If you want to solder, I actually found this method to be easier.



    The first step is to bend the pins that are not used back and forth until they break off.
    Be sure to leave the three pins you need to turn on the SPS!!
    I used a jewelers screwdriver.

    The next step is to bend the pins that are used toward each other. The center pin that hung way over I cut off so that it would not have a chance of touching one of the broke off nubs of the other pins.

    Then I slathered some flux on the pins, heated up the soldering iron, put a good size ball of solder on the tip of the iron, and then touched the pins... permanently soldering them together.

    I like how recessed they are... and how solid the connection is.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  11. #11
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    I finished them how I would normally build one up this morning.

    This is going to require another part, a Binding Post, as well has some heavy-duty soldering equipment. I used a Weller 260/200 soldering gun as a LOT of heat is needed so as not to heat up the circuitry within the SPS. A few Dremel bits are needed as well.

    I forgot to take pictures of the holes the Dremel made in the plastic material... sorry!


    Where to cut the posts.


    Here is one soldered and one that is tinned and ready to solder.


    Here are both finished and beefed up to be sure that they will handle the amperage.


    All hooked up and working... putting out 12.31v.

    This is by far the quietest SPS I have converted.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  12. #12
    RC Champion
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    nice finishing off.
    Guide books aren't part of the packaging.

  13. #13
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    What would one of these ready-to-go supplies be worth?
    Or possibly the service of converting for those that want a soldered unit?

    To clear this post up, I am not trying to sell anything here... just trying to get an idea of value/worth.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  14. #14
    RC Champion
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    difficult to put a price to it. All the info thats needed is here or elsewhere, you'd only be selling too people who wouldn't attempt it.
    I was thinking the same with the playstation supplies.
    Maybe fleebay auctions would be best and let the people decide.
    Guide books aren't part of the packaging.

  15. #15
    Marshal ksb51rl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie Neutron View Post
    What would one of these ready-to-go supplies be worth?
    Or possibly the service of converting for those that want a soldered unit?
    To clear this post up, I am not trying to sell anything here... just trying to get an idea of value/worth.
    You can find the answer easily on rctech.net or feathermerchantrc.com.
    Alt-248 on the number pad =

  16. #16
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Now why didn't I think of that...
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  17. #17
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    I'm just getting ready to get the same SPS going for a charger, but it seems some of your pictures have gone missing from this write-up. Any chance of getting you to put them back up?

  18. #18
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    They are all showing for me?
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie Neutron View Post
    They are all showing for me?
    Not for me.

  20. #20
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    I'm only seeing 3 pictures, all in Post two. The fan side of the SPS, the knife and servo end, and the pinout diagram.

    It seems there should be pictures with your original comments listed below:

    "These grounding tabs can be popped off.

    Here is how it looks with them slid into place.This shows the clips for my 206B on the proper tabs...."

    There are no pictures for post three.

    Could it be that since I'm a new member, I don't get to see everything?

  21. #21
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    No viewing limitations are implied on new members.

    It seems you are correct... I was expecting a blank image where pictures are missing.
    I don't see those either... and no longer have them, sorry!
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

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