Is a Dell 1100W Server 12V Power Supply Useful for anything else?

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2[H]4U
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I have a chance to get These 1100W Dell server power supplies for around $2 - $5 each but they have what looks to be a giant card edge connector 2 big traces which I assume is +12V and ground and some smaller ones which I assume are for control and signals to the server.
Can I use these for anything else? I can solder 2 wires for the +12 and ground but I'm lost for the controls and how to make it turn on as no green wire or any DC output wires other then the card edge type thing.
 

Zepher

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I guess grab them and try to mod one, if it doesn't work, sell them for $30-50 each.
 

GiGaBiTe

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The edge connector on the right side is going to have two pins you short together for it to turn on, you just need to figure out which two.

Use a multimeter on the right edge connector to the PSU housing and find a ground pin. Once you find a ground pin, plug the PSU in and probe from that pin to the other pins. There's probably going to be a couple of standby rails, in addition to a power good signal, which will be around 5v. The power on pin will likely be 2-5v, you can try shorting this pin to ground and see if it turns on.

You may want to attach a load to the power supply though, some PSUs can be damaged if powered up with no load.

Those high wattage server PSUs can be made into a bench power supply with variable voltage using a buck, boost or buck-boost converter. You can even add some cheap volt/amp displays to see the load on the psu.

If I could find one of those for $5, I'd be all over it.
 

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2[H]4U
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You may want to attach a load
Is an old car head light enough 55/65W replaced because the 55W low beam filament is broken
Those high wattage server PSUs can be made into a bench power supply with variable voltage using a buck, boost or buck-boost converter. You can even add some cheap volt/amp displays to see the load on the psu.
Link to said project? 12VDC is the maximum though 24VDC would be nice though
 

GiGaBiTe

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Link to said project? 12VDC is the maximum though 24VDC would be nice though

It's DIY. I can tell you what to get if you need 24V, but you'll have to rig it up.

300W buck-boost module, you can hang multiples of these off the 12v rail(s)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/254638586927?hash=item3b49a47c2f:g:5WoAAOSwx5pfcTfE

or a 1500w version:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/352910171328?epid=23047277319&hash=item522b15dcc0:g:jocAAOSwE91eBsNa

LCD volt/amp panel:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/282085879021

You'll also need some good copper wire, probably 14 or 12 AWG to wire it all up. if you plan on using 1100W.

If you don't want to screwdriver the tiny pots on the buck-boost modules, you can find their values and get larger panel mount types with knobs.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/334172813736?hash=item4dce4079a8:g:E44AAOSwRpVfCsCC

Just make sure you match the values from the existing board mounted one, remove it and solder wires to the panel mount one with a knob.

You'll also need some sort of output lugs and a project box to hold it all in.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/313690549187

I've used smaller 12v supplies to repair monitors with blown power boards, and using a buck/boost module makes it easy to get the other power rails. They just look silly with a big power brick hanging off the back, but who cares since they work.
 

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You'll also need some good copper wire, probably 14 or 12 AWG to wire it all up. if you plan on using 1100W.
Is sold wire OK? I have a bunch of 'extra' THHN and some scraps from Romex cables both black white red and the bare copper ground wire.
 

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Solid conductors are fine if you aren't moving things around a lot.
I guess I can use that for the internal wiring for this then.
I also got 'extra' primary (Low voltage) wire in 14AWG used for car stereo installation back in my high school days! No sub or power amps just a standard head unit in an older car. Needed a constant 12V for a modern head unit the older car lacked that.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Is sold wire OK? I have a bunch of 'extra' THHN and some scraps from Romex cables both black white red and the bare copper ground wire.

Yeah, solid will be fine like cpufrost said. It's just harder to work with due to being stiff.


Cool, didn't know those existed. Even if you don't need it, it shows you where the power on pins are on the edge connector.

It'd definitely be a cleaner solution though instead of soldering directly to the edge connector.
 

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Cool, didn't know those existed. Even if you don't need it, it shows you where the power on pins are on the edge connector.

It'd definitely be a cleaner solution though instead of soldering directly to the edge connector.

Me neither I guess that is one good thing to come from this "cyrpto miner" craze!

Unfortunately there looks to be no compatible breakout for the one I could get also someone beat me to it I went back and they were all gone!
Kind of overkill for me anyway I was going to use this to power a single car stereo head unit (it has a 10A fuse in the back) so 1100W is overkill also I looked at them and you don't get the full 1100W output with a 120VAC input

As seen Here

Screenshot 2021-10-16 at 17-38-41 Breakout Board Compatibility List With Server Power Supplies...png
 

BlueLineSwinger

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If you or anyone you know is into RC vehicles, old server PSUs can usually be modded to make great sources for battery chargers.
 

michalrz

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I would pounce on a few if I only had the opportunity. So much power at such nice efficiency levels and quality... You might not need it now, but you're bound to at some point in the future.
 

cpufrost

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If you or anyone you know is into RC vehicles, old server PSUs can usually be modded to make great sources for battery chargers.
Single rail large units (100+ A) are good for a lot of things where 12V is needed. RV converters, bench supply for car audio, CB, Ham, linear amps, et-al.
Good regulation with very low ripple/noise. To get similar specs with a real bench supply costs a hell of lot more.
 

zandor

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Just one comment on those -- 40mm server fan. Probably loud as hell. Also good chance you can get rid of it in favor of something larger and quieter if you ditch the cover and put it in a larger box to make an RC vehicle battery charger, etc. Just something to think about when coming up with applications for these things.
 

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40mm server fan.
Not a server but I have an old DVD/Tuner Home Theater (Denon S-301) the fan failed so I bought a cheap fan well damn that is loud!
I can hear it even over the music (This is my desk system so that might be why) I took it out and bought an OEM (AKA $$$) fan the replacement was only $5 OEM was $43 but it is a 12V fan!

PC speakers have not been used for me since I discovered I can hook my PC up to a "real" stereo so like 20 years ago LoL
 

zandor

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Not a server but I have an old DVD/Tuner Home Theater (Denon S-301) the fan failed so I bought a cheap fan well damn that is loud!
I can hear it even over the music (This is my desk system so that might be why) I took it out and bought an OEM (AKA $$$) fan the replacement was only $5 OEM was $43 but it is a 12V fan!
You have to watch what you're buying with 40mm fans. There are "chipset" fans that are really quiet and other not too loud models, but a lot of the cheap and easy to get ones are basically server fans... screaming 3-pin 40mm high rpm Delta.
 

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You have to watch what you're buying with 40mm fans. There are "chipset" fans that are really quiet and other not too loud models, but a lot of the cheap and easy to get ones are basically server fans... screaming 3-pin 40mm high rpm Delta.
THe OEM fan was 10MM thick the replacement was 20MM it fit but barely as 1MM more and it would have hit the heat sink!
 

GiGaBiTe

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Me neither I guess that is one good thing to come from this "cyrpto miner" craze!

Unfortunately there looks to be no compatible breakout for the one I could get also someone beat me to it I went back and they were all gone!

You can still manually figure out the pinout of the edge connector using the multimeter, it won't be too difficult to do.
 
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