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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:00 pm

Using a TFX power supply for a six Pi server

Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:59 am


I'm restarting a project that I started a while ago, and then ran out of money. The current plan is to end up with a multi-use home server using an ethernet switch, two powered USB hard drives and six Raspberry Pi 3 B+, all housed in a old VCR case.

I'm trying to work out the best way to power it all. I've seen a few people use ATX PSUs. Due to my size limitation, I was thinking about using a TFX PSU (maybe this one: which I believe should be able to power the six Pis, the two hard drives and the ethernet switch without too much trouble.

Do you think a TFX PSU is a good option for me?

Do you think the alterations I'd need to make to the TFX are a) safe and b) within the abilities of someone with little hardware experience, but who's willing to learn?

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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:24 pm

Re: Using a TFX power supply for a six Pi server

Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:55 am

You may find one of these a good option to convert a PSU into a bench supply: ... apter.html

Depending on the amps available on the 5V rail, it should power multiple Pi's, there are 6 x +5V screw terminals plus ample ground terminals, there are also 4 x +12V terminals and as most small switches use 12V PSU's, you could power the 6 Pi's and a switch quite happily. There is also a connector for an external power button in case you want to put everything in a box.

I'm not sure where you are based, however I've seen similar clones on Amazon, just search for ATX to bench power adapter.

The advantage to the adapter is that you wouldn't have to hack around inside the PSU, which could either hurt you or potentially make it unsafe.

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Location: UK

Re: Using a TFX power supply for a six Pi server

Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:23 am

Rather than use a PC ATX supply - and I expect TFX would work just as well - it might be worth considering a fanless power supply specificity intended to deliver 5V at a high number of amps.

There are similar supplies which deliver multiple voltages if required. Even fanless ATX supplies but usually low wattage.

For six Pi's, a couple of drives, I would imagine 20A would cover it, 100W at 5V.

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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:22 pm

Re: Using a TFX power supply for a six Pi server

Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:13 am

To power multiple Pis from one plug socket I use a 120w 10 port USB charger as it puts out 5v / 2.4A on all 10 ports.

I went for this as I did not fancy hacking a psu and additionally it is silent. A couple of my ports power RPis fitted with WD PiDrives and there have been no power issues.

I use a USB powered gigabit mini switch but the most I have seen is a 5 port version.

I suppose you could use 2 of the mini switches which will give you 7 usable network ports (lose 2 ports to link the switches and 1 port to link to your network).

So 2 x switchs, 6 x pis, 2 x drives uses up all 10 usb charging ports.

Of course now you'd need to work out how to get all that hot air out of the case!!!

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Location: Oxford UK

Re: Using a TFX power supply for a six Pi server

Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:46 pm

check out the switching psu's as employed by cctv systems and 3d printers etc.. ... wAG8qyX1DA
(just an example pulled from ebay not a recommended seller..)

fwiw i use a small 15w version to power my pi nas server, its hdds are supplied via a separate atx psu sharing a common ground via the 7 port usb hub it powers. (+5v usb rail on the hub snipped to stop the atx psu back powering the pi. )

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