In terms of specs, I was after something like this external power supply

enter image description here

But i'd like to put it inside an enclosure for a DIY project. I'd prefer a smaller cable connector at the male end, something like the barrel connector or smaller IEC type so that it's easier to pull out in case of accidentally pulling the cable and general aesthetics.

My question is, can I safely change the male connector on this type of power supply? Should I be googleing something different ("ineternal power supply")?

Failing that, any chargeable battery recommendations?

Any links / suggestions welcome.


  • \$\begingroup\$ Not a good idea to hack the PSU, but there are similar PSUs available with the smaller cloverleaf connector, which may help. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 18, 2016 at 13:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ 10 watts of heat dissipation means you ought to consider how to prevent this type of power supply overheating if you mount it inside another box. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jan 18, 2016 at 13:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ So you're just looking for a 19V 3.4A DC supply for building into an additional enclosure? \$\endgroup\$
    – user
    Jan 18, 2016 at 13:52
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Try including 'open frame' in your search terms. You should start seeing options with screw-terminals or solder pads for connections and no plastic enclosures. \$\endgroup\$
    – brhans
    Jan 18, 2016 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks. gotcha on cloverlead, open and not putting this one in a box. and yep, just a 19v power supply. \$\endgroup\$
    – Toby
    Jan 18, 2016 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


For a mains voltage connection to a piece of equipment you would be well advised to stick to a standard connector type rated for mains voltage - especially if the device will ever be used by someone else or pass out of your hands. You cannot use a barrel connector for mains!

If the circuit or the case of your project needs to be earthed (grounded), you need a 3-pin connector, and the only standard one smaller than IEC C13 is the C5 'cloverleaf' style - but it's not much smaller. If you don't need an earthed supply you can use the C7 two-pin connector. Either way, you can look for an alternative enclosed PSU with the connector you prefer, or you can use an open-frame type and wire it to your own connector - as long as you understand and follow proper practices for mains voltages. Given the choice I prefer to mount an enclosed PSU so that the mains inlet is accessible through a cutout in the equipment case.

If you don't know how to decide whether your project needs earthing or not I suggest asking a separate question.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Just do be aware that many plastic enclosed supplies are resin filled these days to conduct heat to the outer surface, where the outer plastic can get up to 65 degree C. Meaning if you build it in, you are entrapping a lot of heat that is meant to "see" room temperature, potentially causing failure of the supply or the remaining electronics. \$\endgroup\$
    – Asmyldof
    Jan 18, 2016 at 15:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Cloverleaf, you mean Mickey Mouse. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Jan 18, 2016 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. Marking as "correct" as it put me onto open-frame PSU of which I can see plenty on farrell etc. Just need to find one with similar stats and I'm set. :D \$\endgroup\$
    – Toby
    Jan 18, 2016 at 20:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Asmyldof a valid point thanks, but equally applicable to an open frame PSU? \$\endgroup\$
    – nekomatic
    Jan 19, 2016 at 8:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby 'cloverleaf' seems a popular term on supplier websites as well as the general web - try an image search - and comes without potential trademark issues ;-) \$\endgroup\$
    – nekomatic
    Jan 19, 2016 at 8:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.