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Thread: Microchip Power Bricks
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Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:
> I have had two of the Microchip 9 volt power bricks die on me in the last 6
> months.  These are the ones used for most of Microchips dev tools, the Pic
> Start Plus, ICD etc.  Microchip have replaced them but I was just wondering
> if anyone else has seen this problem?  I did take one apart "just to see
> what was inside" and it's a tiny switch mode supply.  A non-functional one
> had nothing visibly burnt etc. but I didn't get time for a full analysis.
> Mike

Yes, they're badly designed and run very warm
(at least mine does on 240vac). I pulled mine apart
when I first got it and inspected it. They use
a cheap mains SMPS. Don't like it at all. The
only benefit it might have over a "real" power
supply is the reduced shipping costs...

I think it should be marked with a duty-cycle
for usage time, as it gets much too hot when
operated continuously even if the picstart
is not running. Pretty disgusting really as
it doesn't have a power switch and you have
to go crawling around behind computer desks
to unplug the pathetic thing! Mine hasn't
failed yet but I try to only run it for a few
minutes at a time.

Maybe they work ok with 110vac but I'm not
impressed with it at all. The first picstart
I bought had a proper plugpack (wall-wart).

PS. If you wan't to fix them try replacing
all the electro caps. Or just throw it in the
bin with the rest of the trash.

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See also: www.piclist.com/techref/power.htm?key=power
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