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How unsafe is it to mod a PSU?

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Old 08-07-02, 12:00 PM Thread Starter   #1
jadams
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How unsafe is it to mod a PSU?


Do you guys think it would be save to open up a powersupply in order to put in a second fan? Is it even possible? If I was to put in a second fan, would it blow into the psu or out into the case?

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Old 08-07-02, 12:04 PM   #2
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Yes, it's possible, and yes, it's a little bit dangerous. There are capacitors inside the PSU that hold a lot of charge, so you have to be careful what you touch in there. If you decide to do it, unplug the PSU and let it sit for a good long while, so it loses the charge. If you add a second fan, it should suck air out of your system. If you put it blowing in, then it only fights the original fan and blows hot air from the PSU onto the CPU.
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Old 08-07-02, 12:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ridenow
One of the things I do is to plug the power cord into the PSU, then put a screwdriver across the contacts where it plugs into the wall. This should discharge the caps. It is possible that it will not discharge all of them, so you still need to be careful.
Quote:
Originally posted by Penguin4x4


MAKE SURE THE POWER SUPPLY SWITCH IS ON WHEN YOU DO THIS, OTHER WISE THE CAP'S WON'T DISCHARGE!

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Old 08-07-02, 12:11 PM   #4
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It all depends on how much experience and knowledge you have. I've taken apart a couple PSUs and have never been shocked, but there are people around here who have been.
If you know enough about electronics to discharge a capacitor, you'll probably be OK. Just make sure that you leave the PSU off for at least a minute before diving in.
If you don't know what a capacitor is, then you should either do some more research or find another mod.

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Old 08-07-02, 12:44 PM   #5
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i just took mine apart and it was easy.

i got a lot of help from another thread in general hardware,
you should check that out.

i discharged the caps, but sure as hell never touched em,
just to be safe

just be careful and not careless, and it shouldbe fine!

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Old 08-07-02, 12:46 PM   #6
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just to tell you, if you do something wrong, and you touch the capacitors while they're still charged, IT HAS ENOUGH VOLTAGE TO KILL YOU.

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Old 08-07-02, 01:09 PM   #7
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Power supplies are one of the things that I'm a bit nervous with, and I had an electrician work with me yesterday to check out a dead one that I had. After seeing the inside of a PSU, I'm confident enough to work with them in the futur, but just be careful not to touch the capacitors, even if you think they've been discharged. I've set off a few smaller ones in a few of my "toys" when I thought I had discharged everything, and there was still enough of a shock to feel it.

As I read elsewhere, if you don't know what a capacitor is, you are probably best off leaving the power supply sealed, otherwise just be careful and you should be fine.

If you insist on trying to set off the capacitors with your hand, I would suggest having paramedics on hand first
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Old 08-07-02, 01:48 PM   #8
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I re-wired the fans in my PSU, and didn't have a problem. I don't know too much about electronics and didn't know if there was a large charge left in it, so I just didn't touch anything that I didn't need to.

Can some one explain how to discharge the charge from the capacitors so that it is safe to work in the PSU?
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Old 08-07-02, 01:50 PM   #9
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sigma, who's that in your avatar? Is that carmen electra?

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Old 08-07-02, 01:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Penguin4x4
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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Ridenow
One of the things I do is to plug the power cord into the PSU, then put a screwdriver across the contacts where it plugs into the wall. This should discharge the caps. It is possible that it will not discharge all of them, so you still need to be careful.


quote:

Originally posted by Penguin4x4


MAKE SURE THE POWER SUPPLY SWITCH IS ON WHEN YOU DO THIS, OTHER WISE THE CAP'S WON'T DISCHARGE!



Quote:
Originally posted by SiGmA_X
Can some one explain how to discharge the charge from the capacitors so that it is safe to work in the PSU?

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Old 08-07-02, 02:05 PM   #11
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Thx
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Old 08-07-02, 02:25 PM   #12
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sigma? IS that carmen electra in your avatar?

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Old 08-07-02, 02:36 PM   #13
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yup.

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Old 08-07-02, 03:32 PM Thread Starter   #14
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So when I put the screwdriver across the contacts where the cord plugs into the wall, do I touch it to all three prongs? Also, do I leave the screwdriver on them while I work, or is just touching them enough? I suppose anything that is metal would work to discharge them? Will it spark or anything when I do this?

Thanks for all the info everyone! So if I discharge the capasitors, it should be safe to remove the insides so that I can cut a hole in the side of the psu casing?

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Old 08-07-02, 03:46 PM   #15
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Touch all three of them at once. Doing this will ground the capacitors and in effect discharging them. There will STILL be charge in them, though.

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Old 08-07-02, 04:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
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sigma? IS that carmen electra in your avatar?
Yup I'm going to put a new logo there tonight...
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Old 08-08-02, 01:44 AM   #17
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Well I guess I can consider myself lucky! I thought that leaving a PSU unplugged overnight was enuff then I would just handle them like any other piece of hardware. I'll be more cautious from now on , and put those old PSU parts in safer place then on my desk
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Old 08-08-02, 02:47 AM   #18
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The safest way to discharge the caps, is to connect a light bulb to the PSU "pins" (the three at the back, actually 2 ;-) ) and wait to discharge them. If you connect all three of them , you run the risk of *zapping* yourself rather than emptying them. The charge will NOT be grounded since there is no Earth wire connected ;-).


Hint to keep you safe : Keep one of your hands in your pocket. trust me , I know about getting *ZAPPED* by AC %-).

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