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0. I need how many amps now??!

posted Jan 3, 2011, 4:02 PM by Bill Bai
Vacuum Fluorescent Display

So I got this big honkin' vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) for my senior design project from one of my professors.  This is a good news bad news situation.  Good news: I just saved about $300-$400+.  Bad news: the thing is enormous and consumes a metric fuckton of current (relative to the rest of the electronics in the project).

So I dont really care about the size at this point.  That's a problem that can always be dealt with later when I really start working on the display portion of my project.  Besides, it's a 256x64 pixel display, which is a nice big grid to work with.

A data card riveted to the back of the display

The thing is, this thing takes a whopping 4 amps of current (20 watts/5 volts = 4 amps).  So I have a wimpy little 1 Amp 5V/+12V/-12V power supply that I built as a project in another class.  Obviously that just isn't going to cut it.

So the obvious solution is to build my own high current power supply.  With a bit of research, it turns out that the easiest way to build a high current power supply is to utilize an ATX computer power supply.  So here we go...