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I recently purchased this 24V 15A 360W AC/DC power supplies from Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07TWW8Q73/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Notice how it has 3 output channels.

power supplies

What's the purpose of having multiple output channels when I could just use one output channel to power multiple things?

enter image description here

This may seem like an obvious question, but I'm new to the world of circuits.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Those aren't multiple output channels but simply two built-in terminal blocks with three terminals each. For your convenience so you don't need splitters if you only want to connect up to three cables. \$\endgroup\$
    – Janka
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 20:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, this makes sense to me. \$\endgroup\$
    – Evan
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 20:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can use 3 smaller wires instead of 1 big wire. (Actually you can probably get 2 wires under each terminal, though I'm not sure if it's smart) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 21:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ use spade lugs if you want to attach more than one wire to a single terminal \$\endgroup\$
    – jsotola
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 21:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ For what it's worth, I would never use a power supply purchased on Amazon. A lot of dangerous products are sold on Amazon. The particular one that you bought has no meaningful safety certifications, and if it causes severe injuries, you probably won't be able to recover any damages. If I were you, I'd return that power supply or throw it away. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 14:20

2 Answers 2

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It's a convenient place to attach multiple loads to the same supply so you don't have to splice cables, stack terminals, daisy-chain banana plugs, or clamp alligator clips onto each other.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Makes it handy as it a natural place for the star point. \$\endgroup\$
    – D Duck
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 22:03
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The multiple tabs are there because with high power supplies you could exceed the current on a connector OR the resistance through the terminal is large enough to create an issue.

For example

15A through (say) 0.030Ω of terminal and contact resistance is 0.45V of common mode voltage when going from full load to no load which could be excessive for some applications. By tripling the connectors it would be reduced to 0.15V

I know this because I've had issues with common mode voltages on sensitive analog circuits connected to a terminal power supply

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