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testing power supply

earth2011earth2011 Member Posts: 131

Is there a safe way to test a power supply using a multi metter 

in my case this is what i have

http://lasertools.co.uk/item.aspx?item=883

and my power supply is corsair 650TX

Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    Testing a power supply properly takes quite a bit of expensive equipment:

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2007/02/25/hard_look_at_power_supplies/3

    The SunMoon SM-8800 alone costs several thousand dollars.

    The multimeter you have might let you test the voltage on various rails, but that's about it--and it might not even let you do that, either.  I'm not sure how to operate the equipment.

  • earth2011earth2011 Member Posts: 131

    by test i only mean if it works cos my build dosent turn on and i only want a way to see if it works and its not the power up cable

  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768

    Does your local computer store have a return policy on power supplies? 

    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

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  • grimmiergrimmier Member Posts: 5

    you can test voltages with a multimeter, if you have an inline setup you can even check amperage on the lines as well.

    You could also buy a small tester for power supplies that will check all your voltages at the same time, they usually have connectors for every type of connection built into them. You just have to plug in your plugs and see which lights turn on, or if its digital it should spit out all your voltages on the display. I know the computer shop where i used to work sold those for about $20.

    As stated before though, even with proper voltages across all the rails, your power supply might not have enough push to power everything in your rig (Low Amperage).

    a simple test to see if the power supply even powers on is on the 20 / 24 pin plug, take a paper clip and bridge the green and any black wire together, this should cause the power supply to go live, ie the fans will spin up.

  • earth2011earth2011 Member Posts: 131

    Originally posted by grimmier

    you can test voltages with a multimeter, if you have an inline setup you can even check amperage on the lines as well.

    You could also buy a small tester for power supplies that will check all your voltages at the same time, they usually have connectors for every type of connection built into them. You just have to plug in your plugs and see which lights turn on, or if its digital it should spit out all your voltages on the display. I know the computer shop where i used to work sold those for about $20.

    As stated before though, even with proper voltages across all the rails, your power supply might not have enough push to power everything in your rig (Low Amperage).

    a simple test to see if the power supply even powers on is on the 20 / 24 pin plug, take a paper clip and bridge the green and any black wire together, this should cause the power supply to go live, ie the fans will spin up.

     yep i found tutorial that  give info about the paper clip and the geen wire but i tried to avoit  it but i think that is the way i will follow

  • DracheSCDracheSC Member Posts: 83

    When you say your build doesn't turn on, do you mean nothing at all powers on? (including your fans?) or are your fans powering on, but nothing else?

    True mages don't die. They strategically miscalculate.

  • earth2011earth2011 Member Posts: 131

    Originally posted by DracheSC

    When you say your build doesn't turn on, do you mean nothing at all powers on? (including your fans?) or are your fans powering on, but nothing else?

     i tested the psu with the paper clip and it works -  the led on the motherboard works  so at the moment i  will repleace the power sw and see what happens

    at the moment nothing turns on

  • DracheSCDracheSC Member Posts: 83

    Originally posted by earth2011

    Originally posted by DracheSC

    When you say your build doesn't turn on, do you mean nothing at all powers on? (including your fans?) or are your fans powering on, but nothing else?

     i tested the psu with the paper clip and it works -  the led on the motherboard works  so at the moment i  will repleace the power sw and see what happens

    at the moment nothing turns on

    I think you're on the right track with replacing the power switch. Do you have another case handy that you can try building the same hardware into?

    True mages don't die. They strategically miscalculate.

  • earth2011earth2011 Member Posts: 131

    Originally posted by DracheSC

    Originally posted by earth2011


    Originally posted by DracheSC

    When you say your build doesn't turn on, do you mean nothing at all powers on? (including your fans?) or are your fans powering on, but nothing else?

     i tested the psu with the paper clip and it works -  the led on the motherboard works  so at the moment i  will repleace the power sw and see what happens

    at the moment nothing turns on

    I think you're on the right track with replacing the power switch. Do you have another case handy that you can try building the same hardware into?

    i was testing it in a benmark case with it own power and reset button - i will see if i manage to find a power switch or i need to buy a proper case -  my country is very bad with electronics and amazon dosent ship cases  and also if they did you never now if it will be damage and my motherboard is ATX so i need a full tower  -  if i find a proper case  here i will buy it

  • DracheSCDracheSC Member Posts: 83

    Originally posted by earth2011

    Originally posted by DracheSC


    Originally posted by earth2011


    Originally posted by DracheSC

    When you say your build doesn't turn on, do you mean nothing at all powers on? (including your fans?) or are your fans powering on, but nothing else?

     i tested the psu with the paper clip and it works -  the led on the motherboard works  so at the moment i  will repleace the power sw and see what happens

    at the moment nothing turns on

    I think you're on the right track with replacing the power switch. Do you have another case handy that you can try building the same hardware into?

    i was testing it in a benmark case with it own power and reset button - i will see if i manage to find a power switch or i need to buy a proper case -  my country is very bad with electronics and amazon dosent ship cases  and also if they did you never now if it will be damage and my motherboard is ATX so i need a full tower  -  if i find a proper case  here i will buy it

    Where do you live? Does NewEgg.com not ship to your country?

    True mages don't die. They strategically miscalculate.

  • ValerienValerien Member Posts: 26

    buy a new PSU and test it. either it does not work and you know it's not the power supply and just have to return it on your next trip...or it works and you use the new one while you RMA or return the bad one.

     

    edit: read the OP posted he was already getting a new PSU. if the flea light is on and nothing else works with the new PSU... it is most likely the mobo. you'd get some loud arse POST beeping if the processor was completely dead etc..

     

     

    read manual for mobo and make sure you correctly plugged everything in before returning or you will just waste time. easy to make mistakes with new versions of hardware if you've only built older comps.

  • DracheSCDracheSC Member Posts: 83

    Originally posted by Valerien

    edit: read the OP posted he was already getting a new PSU. if the flea light is on and nothing else works with the new PSU... it is most likely the mobo...

    It 'could' be the motherboard. But I would not claim "most likely" until other possibilities are eliminated. At this point, further testing is still needed to be certain.

    True mages don't die. They strategically miscalculate.

  • earth2011earth2011 Member Posts: 131

    Originally posted by DracheSC

    Originally posted by earth2011


    Originally posted by DracheSC


    Originally posted by earth2011


    Originally posted by DracheSC

    When you say your build doesn't turn on, do you mean nothing at all powers on? (including your fans?) or are your fans powering on, but nothing else?

     i tested the psu with the paper clip and it works -  the led on the motherboard works  so at the moment i  will repleace the power sw and see what happens

    at the moment nothing turns on

    I think you're on the right track with replacing the power switch. Do you have another case handy that you can try building the same hardware into?

    i was testing it in a benmark case with it own power and reset button - i will see if i manage to find a power switch or i need to buy a proper case -  my country is very bad with electronics and amazon dosent ship cases  and also if they did you never now if it will be damage and my motherboard is ATX so i need a full tower  -  if i find a proper case  here i will buy it

    Where do you live? Does NewEgg.com not ship to your country? . listen i bought the stuff from amazon.com  i sent them  here http://www.shipito.com/

    i live about 10 hours by  air  very far  . what i did is i bought the build from amazon.com sent the stuff to shipido and shipido sent them to my country all with the betchmark case - a proper case will add $150 dollars more to the cost of sending but now that i think it will a lot better to go with it cos i am stuck with the bm case , but anyway it depents if i clean it and take care of it in the long run

    amazon.com is the only company  that accepts a card from europe

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,234

    A multimeter will only tell you line voltages and load amps. Those are useful numbers, but aside from voltage droop during load, won't tell you much about if your power supply is providing good power or not. It will more or less be a go-nogo check to make sure the power supply is providing ~some~ kind of power, and honestly, you can glean the same information by just plugging in a case fan and seeing if it spins or not.

    To really check if a power supply is putting out clean power, you need an oscilloscope. These will print out the waveform of the power, and let you see the "ripple" that you hear about in high end power supply reviews. DC power should be a solid straight voltage, but since it's being converted from AC power, and the loads change (hard drives spin up and down, CPU's throttle up and down, loads change), it won't be exactly a single voltage, it will have some variance over time, and that's what an oscope will show you.

    For most people, using an oscope will be impractical. They are fairly expensive (even used), and can be difficult to get setup and interrpret (depending on the make and model). It's usually easier (and cheaper) to just swap out the power supply if it's in question.

  • NaowutNaowut Member UncommonPosts: 663

    Stab it with a spoon, if you get hurt it works.

  • duelkoreduelkore Member Posts: 228

    As stated earlier, there are cheap power supply testers.  If you suspect the button on the case or, more likely, the connection to that button is broke, there is a very simple test for that aswell.

    All you need to do it press a metal object against the two pins on the motherboard that serve as the connection point to the power button.  This will "short" the board and turn the computer on. 

    I would recommend just using  a screw driver and press it against the pins.   Trust me, this is safe.  Most of my old work computers were simply motherboards with a hard drive and PSU connected to it.  I would turn them on daily just by shorting the connection.

  • ValerienValerien Member Posts: 26

    Originally posted by DracheSC

    Originally posted by Valerien

    edit: read the OP posted he was already getting a new PSU. if the flea light is on and nothing else works with the new PSU... it is most likely the mobo...

    It 'could' be the motherboard. But I would not claim "most likely" until other possibilities are eliminated. At this point, further testing is still needed to be certain.

     not sure why you quoted one line from my entire post that was after I recommended he verify the PSU first and then advise that further testing is required... maybe you skimmed my post or are mistaken. As I said, once the PSU is verified, if you have a flea light and no activity after that. it's the motherboard or it would let you know via POST that the processor or some other critical component (like RAM) that is preventing it from booting properly is DOA.

  • ShinamiShinami Member UncommonPosts: 825

    I've tested power supplies, but there are some things to consider: 

     

    1) Buying an 80 PLUS power supply not only is smart, but necessary. I am not talking about "less power consumption" but reducing entropy. 

     

    "Entropy" means "Energy a system can not use for work (but exists)" This energy in our power supply current is what we call "heat." What this means is as follows. If your power supply is 80% it means for every 100 watts of power needed, the system itself uses 125w. (100/.8) Naturally these 25 Watts left over is "Entropy" and has nowhere to go, so these 25 watts get discharged on the system itself. You want a higher efficiency supply not just to save money on your electric bill, but to have a supply that can last for a very long time (and even save itself when the time comes)

     

    2) The 80-PLUS power supply site 

    http://www.plugloadsolutions.com/80PlusPowerSupplies.aspx

     

    This site has links leading to the testing data to power supplies which have passed certification. ONLY the power supplies on this list have passed 80 PLUS CERTIFICATION. Anything not on this list which has an 80 PLUS label on the box should be reported to the authorities. 

     

    The links on these sites link to part of the testing sheet. A normal power supply testing sheet is five pages in length. This is a shorted version but has some important data you will find.

     

    What you really want to look at is the Waveform and the currents. The waveform itself shows the stability of the unit itself on how well it can maintain current closest to the listed currents. Just because a power supply has a higher efficiency does not mean that it is a better supply. If you look at 80 PLUS PLATINUM waveforms you will find that they are further out in comparison to the 80 PLUS GOLDs. I own a 80 PLUS GOLD by Corsair (1200W) which I chose because its Waveform was extremely good compared to the others. 

     

    Why so much on waveform? 

     

    As technology becomes stronger and stronger, we demand as a population to reduce its power consumption and increase its efficiency. Computers tend to be minituarlized. What occurs is that the operating voltage of a computer part goes down, it means slighter changes on voltage have a greater impact on the actual electronic itself. 

     

    Example, a processor with a vcore of say.....1.0v, which deals with old supplies which can have overcurrent protection +/- 10% means that at times the processor may operate as high as 1.1v meaning you get same performance as though it were overclocked, consuming power as it were at 1.1v. Of course the processor can operate at times at .9v which means if enough voltage is not supplied, your system will freeze and reboot...

     

    Rather than handling all the testing yourself as it is quite dangerous....Look at the actual 80 PLUS site. 

     

    I believe in this day and age.....80 PLUS is extremely important not just for the power it saves, but for the fact they literally save your system from crashing and your parts from blowing out too...

     

    If you buy a unit formally for testing power  supplies, there is a reason why most people are certified to use such equipment and its because it can cost you permament injury or your life...It has the same dangers as opening up old CRT monitors or CRT television sets in their level of dangers when dealing with testing and repairs.

     

    If you do ever decide on doing a very heavy test by actually opening up power supplies....Remember as in all electronics, to make sure that the Capacitors are 100% drained before even daring to try any open-box test. ^_^

     

    Well, good luck. ^_^ 

     

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