5v Power Supply

zingozingo AudiophilePosts: 11,837
edited February 2019 in Electronics
I love my NuForce wireless DAC, but it comes with a 5v 1A switching wallwart. Can you suggest something better for under $100?

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Comments

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 44,699
    zingo wrote: »
    I love my NuForce wireless DAC, but it comes with a 5v 1A switching wallwart. Can you suggest something better for under $100?

    mcsm6mutq4yk.png

    You want a linear power supply, something like this, but it's more than $100.00. If you look around you may find something cheaper.

    https://www.smallgreencomputer.com/products/5v-15v-linear-power-supply-15w
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  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 25,597
    edited February 2019
    Any one of these'd work great.

    l1kl54j2u7gb.png

    (1976 catalog scan)

    Come to think of it, with the increasing number of wall-wart powered gizmos for hifi, I think I am going to start actively looking for one (15 or 30V) at the spring ham radio and vintage radio show/sales this year.

  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 7,079
    iPower Low Noise DC Power Supply with International Travel Adapters by iFi Audio (5V)
    rpf65 wrote: »
    I’m thinking you’ve reached the point where people are afraid to open your posts.

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  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,837
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    Come to think of it, with the increasing number of wall-wart powered gizmos for hifi, I think I am going to start actively looking for one (15 or 30V) at the spring ham radio and vintage radio show/sales this year.

    You should be able to find one at a HAMfest no problem and I love those old huge chassis.

    Jake/KE7IRY
  • FTGVFTGV Posts: 3,675
    If your into DIY,http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/power/centaur.aspx Just add a suitable transformer and case you'll have a power supply/regulator that will be a big improvement over the wall wart.
  • Mikey081057Mikey081057 Posts: 7,184
    TeraDak makes some nice linear PS's for around $100
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  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,837
    edited February 2019
    I have a 5V USB battery pack rated at 13Ah and 2.1A max. Wouldn't this be a good low noise power supply? The DAC says it only draws 0.5A during use.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 25,597
    zingo wrote: »
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    Come to think of it, with the increasing number of wall-wart powered gizmos for hifi, I think I am going to start actively looking for one (15 or 30V) at the spring ham radio and vintage radio show/sales this year.

    You should be able to find one at a HAMfest no problem and I love those old huge chassis.

    Jake/KE7IRY

    Duuuuude! I didn't know this about you! :)
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,837
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 7,079
    zingo wrote: »
    I have a 5V USB battery pack rated at 13Ah and 2.1A max. Wouldn't this be a good low noise power supply? The DAC says it only draws 0.5A during use.

    Try it, you are a Hawks fan so anything is possible lol. Try it and post what you find.
    rpf65 wrote: »
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  • delkaldelkal Posts: 677
    zingo wrote: »
    I have a 5V USB battery pack rated at 13Ah and 2.1A max. Wouldn't this be a good low noise power supply? The DAC says it only draws 0.5A during use.

    A battery pack should give you the ultimate in low noise but you will have to look up the data sheet to see how it is regulated. If they start with a higher DC voltage and add a cheap switching voltage reducer it might not be any better than a wallwart.

    You should research using a computer power supply box. You will have to figure out the wiring but they can give many amps of regulated 5v current and it should be a very low noise output. The only problem is they have a certain minimum load before they turn on. 0.5 amps might be enough. If not you can add a 10 watt resistor (I forgot the exact ohms) internally so it is always on. Google it.

    You can probably scrounge an old power supply somewhere for free. Even a new "lower" watt supply (for a computer) should be under $40. That will be more power than you ever need

  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 7,079
    Hans likes these S Boosters and I like the way he talks, he sounds like a race car.
    rpf65 wrote: »
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  • delkaldelkal Posts: 677
    afterburnt wrote: »
    Hans likes these S Boosters and I like the way he talks, he sounds like a race car.

    Interesting video. I looked at his part 2 also. Unfortunately he lost me at the end where he compared the various power supplies with a $10 wallwart but then just said the $350 Sbooster "sounded better" (trust me).

    If you believe him go for it. But I still think a regulated computer power supply will give you cleaner power than any generic wallwart will. A DAC is basically a computer anyway and many are powered via the computers USB (with a switching power supply).

    I would recommend yanking that power supply you have in that old computer in your closet and trying it first. See if you can hear a difference vs a generic wallwart. If you can call it an upgrade. If you can't either your wallwart was fine in the first place or you need to spend the $350.

    If you still can't hear a difference............oh well, you tried.
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 7,079
    I got one to run on a Schiit DAC and I am impressed. I still like Hans, he sounds like a racecar.
    rpf65 wrote: »
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  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 7,079
    Oh, I do plan on changing out all of my walwarts with Ipowers, small investment.
    rpf65 wrote: »
    I’m thinking you’ve reached the point where people are afraid to open your posts.

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  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 7,079
    rpf65 wrote: »
    I’m thinking you’ve reached the point where people are afraid to open your posts.

    I disabled
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 7,079
    delkal wrote: »
    afterburnt wrote: »
    Hans likes these S Boosters and I like the way he talks, he sounds like a race car.

    Interesting video. I looked at his part 2 also. Unfortunately he lost me at the end where he compared the various power supplies with a $10 wallwart but then just said the $350 Sbooster "sounded better" (trust me).

    If you believe him go for it. But I still think a regulated computer power supply will give you cleaner power than any generic wallwart will. A DAC is basically a computer anyway and many are powered via the computers USB (with a switching power supply).

    I would recommend yanking that power supply you have in that old computer in your closet and trying it first. See if you can hear a difference vs a generic wallwart. If you can call it an upgrade. If you can't either your wallwart was fine in the first place or you need to spend the $350.

    If you still can't hear a difference............oh well, you tried.

    :#
    rpf65 wrote: »
    I’m thinking you’ve reached the point where people are afraid to open your posts.

    I disabled
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 7,079
    so young, so angry
    rpf65 wrote: »
    I’m thinking you’ve reached the point where people are afraid to open your posts.

    I disabled
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 7,079
    delkal wrote: »
    afterburnt wrote: »
    Hans likes these S Boosters and I like the way he talks, he sounds like a race car.

    Interesting video. I looked at his part 2 also. Unfortunately he lost me at the end where he compared the various power supplies with a $10 wallwart but then just said the $350 Sbooster "sounded better" (trust me).

    If you believe him go for it. But I still think a regulated computer power supply will give you cleaner power than any generic wallwart will. A DAC is basically a computer anyway and many are powered via the computers USB (with a switching power supply).

    I would recommend yanking that power supply you have in that old computer in your closet and trying it first. See if you can hear a difference vs a generic wallwart. If you can call it an upgrade. If you can't either your wallwart was fine in the first place or you need to spend the $350.

    If you still can't hear a difference............oh well, you tried.

    I only have skeletons in my closet, over and out.
    rpf65 wrote: »
    I’m thinking you’ve reached the point where people are afraid to open your posts.

    I disabled
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 7,079
    and I got money to burn, so thanks but no thanks
    rpf65 wrote: »
    I’m thinking you’ve reached the point where people are afraid to open your posts.

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  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 7,079
    rpf65 wrote: »
    I’m thinking you’ve reached the point where people are afraid to open your posts.

    I disabled
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,837
    I ordered a USB to 5.5mm DC plug which should arrive Monday, so I'll try a battery pack and compare it to the wallwart.
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 677
    zingo wrote: »
    I ordered a USB to 5.5mm DC plug which should arrive Monday, so I'll try a battery pack and compare it to the wallwart.

    That will be a good experiment and I would like to know what happens.

    The only reason I mentioned you might not hear a big difference is I don't know what how much thought the engineers on your DAC did to the power supply after the power comes in to the unit. They can add circuitry that can smooth out crappy voltage out of a cheap wallwart. But that adds costs.

    If they did their job you might not hear as much improvement as you are expecting.

    If they went cheap it will sound better.

  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,837
    The manual states: When used with the NuForce STA200 amplifier,
    the WDC200 can be powered from the STA200’s DC output via the
    umbilical cord (supplied with the STA200) and thus benefits from
    the latter’s high quality linear power supply design.


    I would think this would apply to any improved power supply over the stock one, which is unbranded; surprising for an audiophile unit with an original MSRP of $800.
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,837
    edited February 2019
    I connected a fully charged USB battery to my DAC and the sound was very jittery and distorted. I then tried plugging it into a high quality USB charger and got the same audible distortion. So obviously that route doesn’t work for audio equipment, but I’m not sure why? 🧐

    I didn’t assume a phone charger would be great power, but why would a battery sound no better, and neither work well enough to use? They can supply 5v @ 0.45mA as spec’ed, so what gives? I’ve used batteries before with 12v equipment and it was the ultimate in quiet, AC free power, so it should have worked?

    Thoughts?
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 677
    I mentioned this might be a problem. There is no 5 volt battery equivalent. Li ion batteries go from 4.2 max to 3 volt minimum. So they use multiple batteries in packs then lower the voltage to 5 volts. To save money and keep things small they probably use the cheapest switching reducer they can find. Is this one of the power packs just used to charge other phone? If so they just need 5 volts any way they can get it. Dirty power is OK.

    For 12 volts it is easier. Just use a lead acid battery. Even though it gives over 13 volts fully charged it works perfectly.

    I saw a lot of negative posts scoffing at my idea to use a computer power supply. Not really sure why but I guess that means your only option is to spend the $350 and buy something "Hi end Audio" grade". After all there is a video that said it works and is expensive. It has to sound better.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 25,597
    How many amps does one need @ 5VDC for this?
    If not too much total power, I think something like this (vintage or new) would be just the ticket :)

    This is merely a serving suggestion.
    Many other options old and new; this one is pretty generic and is sold under many names at many different prices :p


    https://www.jameco.com/z/HY3005C-Mastech-Power-Supply-Bench-Top-Analog-30VDC-5A-150W_207618.html

    2wwsj7knasfp.png
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,837
    Filtering the 5V USB Power Supply Line

    A good read on the subject of 5V USB power. I'm not going to go this direction, and will probably just purchase an iFi iPower DC Power Supply.

    "I’m currently working on a new project that contains sensitive analogue components and have rediscovered what many before me already know, that is that the VUSB 5V line that comes out from your computer’s USB hub is noisy. In fact I was surprised at just how noisy it is. There’s random noise at high and low frequencies. There’s persistent ripple and some mightily impressive spikes that sail through at seemingly random time intervals. If you’re running a sensitive component such as an ADC or DAC then you need a clean power supply and all this noise will really ruin your day.

    Anyway I thought I’d provide a practical example of how to clean up the power supply and eliminate all that noise. The result is a nice and stable VBUS line that you can use to feed your sensitive circuits."

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 25,597
    This chatter has given me a focus (well, a quest) for the spring electronics fleamarketing in New England -- I am going to be looking for a robust linear (and ideally adjustable) low voltage, high-est current power supply.
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