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I'm currently using a Mastek 1803D (Adjustable Voltage and Current 0-18VDC, 0-3A). When I need an additional voltage I've been breaking out an LM317+Wall Wart supply I got started with. I'd like to move up to something with at least one output good for 30+VDC/5+A and more outputs, preferably adjustable. All that and I'd like to stay under ~$200.

The driver behind this is working with a combination of 3.3V, 5V, and Motors (and I foresee 1.8V eventually being needed to). I deal with it now using linear regulators but I'd like to have the bench supply handle it all.

So, background out of the way, what would folks recommend? I'm open to a do it all unit, or maybe buying 2 more single supply units and tying all the grounds together. The current limiting features seem to rule out most DIY/ATX Power supply approaches, maybe use those for the fixed voltages and tying it with a standalone? Should I be going with a fixed output supply for the primaries? (I've found lots of 3 supply 5/12/Variable units but no 3.3/5/Variable).

Thoughts? (Thanks in advance.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ When I bought a new bench supply 2 years ago I was looking for the same thing. The cheapest capable 3 output (2 0-32V, 1 5V fixed) supply that I could find at the time was the BK Precision 1672 for $330. It has worked perfectly for the time that i've had it. I do wish it was network controllable but otherwise its been great. I know its higher than your price range but i really don't think your going to find a dual or triple output commercial grade bench supply for < $200 unless you go used. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Mar 14 '11 at 16:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ apparently that comment got eaten but the dollar sign mathjax delimiters....do we even really need latex in comments? \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Mar 14 '11 at 16:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ The BK 1672 is nice looking, I'm not sure I want to pay that much (Looks like ~350USD) but it's tempting. \$\endgroup\$ – Olson Mar 19 '11 at 12:52
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Consider something like this kit from Apogee. It's linear, has adjustable current limit (i.e. important) and meets your budget, as long as you can live with 3A for the time being. If you go bigger, you can get 5A but you're looking at closer to $300.

You can also keep your eyes open on online auction sites for used industrial equipment like the HP6038A (60V 10A) or the 6Instek GPC-3060D (dual 30V 6A, can be paralleled).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the Apogee info, I think I'll be combing e-bay to see if I can find something before I go for it though. \$\endgroup\$ – Olson Mar 19 '11 at 12:53
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i think you can find a ton of information about building one for yourself on the internet. If youre going to use fixed values like 3V,5V,12V, i suggest you use a computer power supply. If you want it adjustable, the approach isnt all that easy as taking a pc supply and wire it up. But since you were asking for commercial ready to buy versions, here are two items that i think will suit your needs.

Suggestions for commercial versions are: Sako SK-1730SL5A à 90 €, PeakTech P-6005-D à 130 €

I hope i've answered your question.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Computer power supplies do not have adjustable current limiting, so they are not suitable for powering prototype circuits. \$\endgroup\$ – markrages Mar 14 '11 at 16:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ For sure. Adjustable current limit is essential for a bench supply. Also, operation at light or zero load while maintaining regulation is important - most PC supplies don't like zero load at all. \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Lawrence Mar 14 '11 at 16:50

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