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So I have four computers all using these little pico itx power supplies and was wondering rather than have 4 power bricks attached to these power supplies could I just use an Power-Bright-PW900-12-Inverter.

To me it seems like a better and more power efficient solution unless I am missing something. Also if I were to do this what is the best way to slap DC wires from four different power supplies into this thing?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Al Katawazi: the output of Power-Bright-PW900-12-Inverter is 110 V (AC). Where do you plan to connect this high voltage? The input to PICOPSU-160-XT is 12 V (DC). \$\endgroup\$ Oct 8, 2010 at 20:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Doesn't the unit invert 110 to 12vdc?? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 8, 2010 at 20:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ No, that's the opposite. An inverter converts 12Vdc or whatever to 110Vac or whatever. The important part is the DC to AC conversion. Something converting from AC to DC is known as rectification, and the stepping down is sometimes called regulation or just conversion. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas O
    Oct 8, 2010 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting, nice catch I didn't see that, I assumed it was bi-directional. Are there cheap bulk 12vdc inverters out there? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 8, 2010 at 22:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Al K - Do you still mean 'inverter' afte reading Thomas' correct comment? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 8, 2010 at 23:10

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There are two components to powering a computer: The rectification from AC to DC, and the regulation from one DC voltage to another, like 3.3 or 5.5V.

The PICOPSU-160-XT is a tiny form-factor device that regulates 12V DC down to the +3.3, +5.5, -12V, and other voltages required by the ATX Power Supply Specification. It requires a 12V input from a male plug into a "Female, panel mount, 2.5*5.5*10 mm" jack according to Page 4 of the (brief) manual. This jack would presumably be attached to your computer case.

The easiest solution would be to buy four AC-to-DC desktop wall warts, like the kind used to charge laptop batteries. However, the biggest one on the store you used only delivered about 8.5A, which is just over half of the 16A maximum (13A continuous) that the PICOPSU supports. You would need to know how much current your computers will be drawing, but this may be OK.

Another alternative would be to purchase a desktop ATX power supply of sufficient amperage (600-1000W), and run ATX power supply cabling into your four computers. Similarly, four small PSUs could be used to the same effect. Visit newegg for a good selection of power supplies. We'd have to know more about your setup to determine whether this is a viable solution. - Would bulky, short cables going into your computers be OK? Would they be located within a few feet of each other? Would a (relatively) bulky ATX power supply fit into the case?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the simplest solution that is also the safest is to go with 4 wall warts, thanks for the great info. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 9, 2010 at 1:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Al N - Before you go that route, take a look at this photo. I hope your PSUs have better quality than that! \$\endgroup\$ Oct 9, 2010 at 23:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ That is really concerning. Would [this][newegg.com/Product/…-17-129-006--Product] be a better solution than the pico itx boards with bad soldering. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10, 2010 at 13:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know. If you look at the authors' comments, he was trying to get in touch with the manufacturer. You might ask him, or call them. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 12, 2010 at 20:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, to do URLs in comments, use [link text](url) like this: comment markdown \$\endgroup\$ Oct 12, 2010 at 20:13

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