Hacked DSP5005 unit showing amp-hours screen

Another DPS5005 Alternative Firmware

These cheap Chinese-built programmable power supplies are nothing new, we’ve been using them for years. They’re not particularly good power supplies, since current feedback is in software, but for some tasks they’re a great fit and you can’t argue with the price. Alternative firmware projects have also been a thing for a while too, but none we’ve seen have been quite as capable and polished as this latest DPS firmware project by [Profi-max.] We’ve not come across the source code yet, but at least the binary image is freely downloadable.Battery charge screen on hacked DPS5005

The firmware has some interesting features, such as programmable pre-sets intended for battery charging applications. In fact, there is a dedicated battery charge mode screen. We want to warn, however, that charging lithium ion batteries with this might not be at all wise, not in the least because of a lack of protection hardware in place. It would be very easy to destroy the unit or overheat a battery this way! However, if you must do this, there are a few features to help you out, such as a handy ‘counters’ screen showing approximate charge delivered.

Remote programmability is, as usual, via the easily hacked in serial port, with firmware support for Bluetooth serial modules if wired USB serial doesn’t suit. For those who like to mount things differently, the screen can be rotated by holding a key on power-up, or if you hook up a MPU6050 accelerometer/gyro module it will even do it automatically!

To update a stock DPS unit, the only requirements are access to an ST-Link compatible programmer dongle, to target the STM32 SWD programming interface, and the STM32CubeProgrammer utility. Open source alternatives to that are also available, stlink comes to mind as a good option. Once you have the module PCB popped out of its plastic casing, only three wires need tacking onto a handy set of pads to complete the connection to the programmer dongle. Pretty simple stuff.

If you’re looking for a similar project, with source immediately available, then checkout the OpenDPS project we covered a few years ago, and if you’re thinking of going crazy, building a DIY open source electronics lab, we got you covered.

Continue reading “Another DPS5005 Alternative Firmware”

Review And Teardown Of Economical Programmable DC Power Supply

[Kerry Wong] isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, and is always more than willing to open things up and see what makes them tick. This time, he reviews and tears down the Topshak LW-3010EC programmable DC power supply, first putting the unit through its paces, then opens it up to see how it looks on the inside.

The Topshak LW-3010EC is in a family of reasonably economical power supplies made by a wide variety of manufacturers, which all share many of the same internals and basic construction. This one is both programmable as well as nice and compact, and [Kerry] compares and contrasts it with other power supplies in the same range as he tests the functions and  checks over the internals.

Overall, [Kerry] seems pleased with the unit. You can watch him put the device through its paces in the video embedded below, which ends with him opening it up and explaining what’s inside. If you’ve ever been curious about what’s inside one of these power supplies and how they can be expected to perform, be sure to fire up the video below the page break.

Speaking of power supplies, most of us have ready access to ATX power supplies. They are awfully capable pieces of hardware, and hackable in their own way. Our own Jenny List will tell you everything you need to know about the ATX power supply, and how to put it to new uses.

Continue reading “Review And Teardown Of Economical Programmable DC Power Supply”

Open Source Firmware For A Cheap Programmable Power Supply

A few months ago, someone clued us in on a neat little programmable power supply from the usual Chinese retailers. The DPS5005 is a programmable power supply that takes power from a big AC to DC wall wart and turns it into a tiny bench-top power supply. You can pick one of these things up for about thirty bucks, so if you already have a sufficiently large AC to DC converter you can build a nice 250 Watt power supply on the cheap.

[Johan] picked up one of these tiny programmable power supplies. His overall impression was positive, but like so many cheap products on AliExpress, there wasn’t a whole lot of polish to the interface. Additionally, the DPS5005 lacked the ability to be controlled over a serial port or WiFi.

This programmable power supply is built around an STM32, with the programming pads exposed and labeled on the PCB. The changes [Johan] wanted to make were all in software, leading him to develop OpenDPS, a firmware replacement for the DPS5005. Continue reading “Open Source Firmware For A Cheap Programmable Power Supply”