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I'm trying to convert an old ATX PSU into a workbench supply. I saw there are many safety warnings about discharging the internal capacitors before opening the PSU. I'm not really concerned with it as I managed to cut the wires directly outside the box.

What I didn't find is if it's actually safe to work with the external wires (so the 'output' low-voltage side of the PSU). Up to now, the PSU has been disconnected for several years, but what if I want to test it? Will I then risk something by touching/soldering the wires after shutting it down again?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "Will I then risk something by touching/soldering the wires after shutting it down again?" No. The outputs are all safe low voltages. Just don't open the case and poke your fingers inside. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon B Mar 18 at 11:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Got it, thank you \$\endgroup\$ – Mon7a Mar 18 at 13:36
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Will I then risk something by touching/soldering the wires after shutting it down again?

Hm, the output side of your supply should generally be safe for touching, because it's low voltage.

But:

When cutting multiple wires at once, you might create a short on the output, which might discharged a charged capacitor in very short time. That can damage tools (think welded "holes" in cutter blades), can cause arcs (and thus possibly cause eye damage or fire). Nothing too criticial, just be a bit careful when cutting without making sure capacitors are discharged first.

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