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Modding Small PSU for CCFLs

Discussion in 'Modding' started by highgeere, 6 Sep 2006.

  1. highgeere

    highgeere Not quite there.

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    Howdy there everyone. I'm working on a little project right now that will use one or two CCFLs outside of my case. By outside I mean that this is not necessarily a PC related project. It will actually be a lamp of some kind, haven't quite worked that part out yet. My ccfls have 4-pin molex connectors and i was originally thinking of extending the wires and connecting them(the CCFls) to my PCs PSU. However, I was hoping to make this project slightly more portable.

    I was wondering if there is a small PSU(possibly for mini-itx?) with a 4-pin molex that I could put in the base of the lamp, and that way it could have it's own power cord and could be unplugged and moved to a different room, etc. I am just trying to find a way to not have this thing tethered to my PC.

    TIA
    Highgeere
     
  2. r4tch3t

    r4tch3t hmmmm....

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    Just get a 12V mains adaptor, then wire that up.
     
  3. stevie1556

    stevie1556 What's a Dremel?

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    Search ebay, you can get the PSU's pretty cheap on there. You will need the smallest PSU you can find for it though, as the current/voltage they will draw will be minimal.
     
  4. mcg1sean

    mcg1sean What's a Dremel?

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    I did reletively of what youre thinking of doing. I used 2 ccfls for lighting behind my monitor. I just took an old 200 watt psu from my OLD OLD computer and rigged a switch to turn it on and off. rather simple really. works beautifully and I can use it for any other lighting or what-not that I may need.
     
  5. Theftbot

    Theftbot What's a Dremel?

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    Might try a 12 volt wall wart-for portability
     
  6. Navig

    Navig What's a Dremel?

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    The 4 white ccfls in my system here are all run from an independent wall adaptor (which is nice as the system will light up even if the computer is off).

    You can pick up a 12V wall adaptor from many online electronics stores--a decent 800 mA will run you US$4.

    1) You should make sure the 12V adaptor can provide enough power for your cathodes (check their specs). >800mA should be sufficient.

    2) Then you need to splice the wires into a molex connector for easy hookup to your inverter.

    Example of 1A power supply.

    navig
     
  7. highgeere

    highgeere Not quite there.

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    Thanks for all the replies. I don't suppose anyone could direct me to a thread or other reference that would help me splice a molex onto something like Navig is talking about? I'm an ubernoob when it comes to any kind of electrical work.
     
  8. Navig

    Navig What's a Dremel?

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    The players:

    1) From the CCFL inverter the power-in is typically a 4 pin molex connector. The 4 wires are: yellow 12V, black ground, black ground, red 5V. CCFLs take power from the 12V, so the second ground and red wires can be discarded, if they are even present.

    2) Most wall adaptors terminate in a coaxial connector, meaning the middle post is one thing, and the outer shell is another. Which is +V (12V as it is a 12V adaptor) and which is the ground varies from adaptor and should be printed right onto the adaptor.



    The blunt method: Cut all the wires with plenty of slack away from the molex housing and the coaxial terminal, then strip away some insulation. Entwine the +wire from the wall adaptor with the 12V yellow wire of the CCFL inverter, then wrap with electrical tape. Entwine the ground wire from the wall adaptor with the ground of the CCFL inverter, then wrap with electrical tape.


    The classy method: Build a coaxial plug to molex housing adaptor. If you can't do it yourself, any of a number of modders can build one for you (if you live in the US you can PM me). The necessary information would be: 1) size of coaxial plug of the adaptor you wish to get 2) polarity of the coaxial plug 3) What the molex cables of your ccfl invertor look like.


    navig
     
  9. highgeere

    highgeere Not quite there.

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    Thanks a lot Navig. I spent a little while searching the forums yesterday and had a pretty good idea of what I need to do, but you explained it in a very clear and concise way. I think I will try to wire up my own molex connecter to the adapter, that is if I still have one around here somewhere. I'm running out to get some other parts for this project today, so I'll post again with some pictures when it's finished. Thanks again.

    highgeere
     
  10. Navig

    Navig What's a Dremel?

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    Pictures are worth a thousand words, so I might post back with some pictures of your stuff before hooking up. Invertors, CCFLs, and adaptors run enough power to potentially fry/burn, so make sure everything is proper before firing it up.

    navig
     
  11. hydro_electric_655

    hydro_electric_655 Dremelly Dude

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    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :search: <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    This isn't a new question.
     
  12. highgeere

    highgeere Not quite there.

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    @hydro_electric_655

    I actually read through like 10 pages of search results without finding an answer. Maybe if you know of a specific thread it would be more productive to point me to it than to insult me. I hate to get defensive, but i really wish you wouldn't assume that I'm an idiot just because I'm new around here. I know that you're fairly active on these forums and an accomplished modder, but implying that I don't know how to use the search function is insulting, and makes me less likely to be a regular contributer to the forums. I just thought you should realize that by responding negatively to new members, you are weakening the community, not making it better.
     
  13. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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  14. highgeere

    highgeere Not quite there.

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    Thanks for pointing that out cpemma. Clearly you are better at composing effective search strings than I am.
     
  15. hydro_electric_655

    hydro_electric_655 Dremelly Dude

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    Just saying that it has been done but I think maybe that should be a topic under mod's stickies for every standard thing you can imagine to due. Iono. Wasn't trying to insult you or anything I myself have helped a few people pick out small PS's for that stuff.
     

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