Safely power up old hardware using the ATX2AT Smart Converter

ATX2AT Smart Converter

An advanced ATX to AT PSU converter, designed to replace old power supplies and fully protect retro-computers from catastrophic failures and been launched via Kickstarter and is now available to back with earlybird pledges available from €39 or roughly £34. Worldwide shipping is expected to take place during March 2020.

“The ATX2AT Smart Converter plugs on a standard 24-pin ATX PC Power Supply and acts as an intelligent protection device for old retro-hardware. It can be seen as a couple of programmable fuses with monitoring capabilities. You can set the current limits and define how quickly it will react to an overpower condition. It was originally designed for vintage PCs (with AT-Style power supply), but it can also work with old Macintosh as well as many other 70s/80s/90s computers, consoles, etc. The ATX2AT Smart Converter is dedicated to anyone who repairs or just want to protect their precious old hardware from disasters. It offers much more advanced and useful capacities than a standard passive adapter cable. “

Features of the ATX2AT Smart Converter :

– +5V/+12V Programmable Over-Current Protection: Almost all pre-Socket 5 motherboard (from 8088 to early Pentium) drawn 90% of their power on +5V. But there is also some dramatic failures on the +12V rail, finding its way to the +5V and burning everything. The ATX2AT Smart Converter monitors the current drawn on both rail in real time. 8 different limits can be set with the dip switches. For example, 486 boards usually work fine with the default settings: 4.00A max for +5V and 500 mA (0.5A) for +12V. But you can also choose 1.50A/0.20A or up to 9A/5A.
– Configurable reaction time: both integrated “virtual fuses” can act as slow-blow or extremely fast-acting fuses. At 350 ms (still much faster than you), the “slow” option is usually enough to prevent any damage without false-positive triggering, but sometimes, the ultra-fast option may be useful. We’ll discuss that later
– Integrated -5V Converter: the ATX2AT Smart Converter uses a 79M05 regulator to generate the missing -5V rail on modern ATX power supplies. It can be used with your nice AWE32 Upgrade Card or any other card that requires -5V.
– -12V/-5V Protection: Negative voltages are sometimes used by some old extension cards and may also fail. Two 200 mA PTC (resettable fuses) prevent damage in case of shorts on negative rails.
– Current monitoring: real-time current monitoring is displayed on a small 0.96″ OLED display. It also shows the actual current limits and warn you if an overcurrent is detected (also telling on which rail it occurred). The overall precision is ~2%. The PCB includes a 0.5% voltage reference.
– Failure-proof: sh*t happens! If, for some very unlikely reasons, the embedded micro-controller or the current sensor fails, the ATX2AT Smart Converter also includes two very fast acting fuses (10A on +5V and 5A on +12V) as a last-resort protection. They’re mounted on fuse holders and are easy to replace if needed.
– Current filtering: All four power rails are filtered with long life low ripple tantalum capacitors.
– Versatile: Outputs are located on a common 14-pins Molex MINI-FIT connector (same family than the 24-pin ATX connector). You can easily build your own cable to power other retro-hardware.
– Firmware Upgradeable: the ATX2AT Smart Converter uses a standard MicroUSB connector and its firmware can be easily updated without special equipment. It uses the standard Arduino bootloader and can be used with the Arduino IDE.
– Open-Source/Open-Hardware: Schematics, PCB Gerbers and firmware source code are available on Git.

Source: Kickstarter

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