– my stuff and reviews

11 Jun

Solderless PSU DC Charger

How to convert a PSU for your DC charger without soldering

PSU (Power Supply Unit)

PC PSU and Great Planes Triton DC Charger. I cut off the clamps and attached some banana plugs that connect to the binding posts of the PC PSU.

You don’t really need a solder iron to convert an old ATX PC power supply for your DC charger. All you need are couple of items found at your local electronics/auto shop.

** Please be careful with power supplies! Even when they are unplugged they can hold power for a few minutes. I am not responsible for any damage to you or your equipment.

Here’s what you need:

1. (1) ATX power supply (preferably 300W or more) at least 10A for the 12V line. There should be a switch on the back of the PSU.
2. (2) binding posts (red/black) can be found at Radioshack.
3. (2) ring terminals
4. (2) butt connectors aka wire splices


Here is an old ATX PSU I had lying around. It can output 25A on 12V. That’s more than enough. Cut off all the connectors (ATX power, HD power connectors, etc.) since you won’t be using them. If your ATX PSU goes by standard colour codes you should have tons of yellow +12V wires and black ground wires. There will be tons of red and orange wires too. Group all the same coloured wires together to tidy things up.

Ring terminals and butt connectors/wire splices. Most of the wires inside a PSU will be 18 gauge (18AWG). That’s how thick the wire is. So look for connectors and ring terminals designed for 18AWG.

Drill 2 holes for the binding posts.

Mount the binding posts. Most binding posts will have plastic that will shield it from touching the case. Don’t let any metal from the binding post contact the metal case or you’ll short something.


Get 2 yellow wires (these will be the +12V lines) and twist them together. You use 2 yellow wires so more current can flow through. The more the better. Then put on one of the ring terminals and crimp them together with pliers. Don’t have any of the wires exposed by crimping the ring terminal as close as possible. (In the photo I was lazy hehe)

Connect it to the red (positive binding post) and bolt it in.


Do the same with the negative terminal. (take 2 black wires)


Look for the PG/Power Good wire. In my case, it’s grey.

Look for the PS-ON/Power Supply On wire. In my case, it’s green.


Strip a black wire (negative) as well as the PS-ON wire (green). We’re going to crimp them together. This will make the PSU turn on. Since we have an on/off switch on the back of the PSU, we can just have a permanent connection.


Strip the PG wire (grey) and a +5V wire (usually red) and crimp them together with a wire splice.


Gather up all the remaining wires and cover them up with tape or heat-shrink so they don’t short anything when you close up the power supply.

Put the cover back on and use a multimeter to test out the voltage. It should read 12V or more.

I’ve converted 2 power supplies using this method and both of them power my Triton DC charger very well.

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