Power Supply & Safety Discussion

Here’s a podcast-style discussion on power supplies, featuring Mike Chi, Voultar and René.  While this gets pretty nerdy and detailed at times, we wanted to openly discuss the issues with using aftermarket power supplies, as well as safe options for people interested.  As usual, these long-form chats are available on all podcast services;  Just search your favorite app for “RetroRGB Power” and you’ll find it.  Lots more details after the links:

Quality Aftermarket PSU’s:
RetroTINK Products:
Voultar’s Products:

First, you can expect the typical banter that happens when we all get together, so expect profanity and over-the-top-silliness.  That said, I think we helped clarify things for the end-user, as well as help people who might be currently working on power-related projects.  And while none of us claim to know everything there is to know about power, I think the basic warnings we discussed in detail are overall excellent advice:

  • Using bad power supplies can result in audio & video interference and in extreme cases, kill your console.
  • PSU’s that don’t have CE ratings (or fake ratings) are dangerous and most people don’t take power safety (and fires!) serious enough;  If your house burns down as a result of using unregulated products, your insurance company could fight the payout.
  • LOTS of clone products also clone the CE sticker.  That means getting rebranded Aliexpress crap that appears to be legit could also be a fire risk.
  • The debate between Linear vs Switch Mode PSU’s is irrelevant;  What’s far more important is consistent performance under total load with the consoles you’re connecting it to (which is why the Triads and Meanwell’s are great choices).
  • USB-PD solutions can be fine if BOTH the PSU and conversion circuit are properly built.  Qwertymodo posted some great thoughts on this, but our warnings should still be taken seriously:  If either end of the circuit isn’t built correctly, you can send overvoltage to a console and blow out all the chips on the board.  Need proof?  How about the thousands of Nintendo Switch’s that died as a result…from a company with a full engineering team that’s been making console accessories for over twenty years:

…and lastly, as we stated many times in the discussion, the goal of this was simply to educate.  As with all discussions that include serious warnings, we’ll be called “fearmongers” and be accused of “gatekeeping” any new products or members of the retro gaming scene.  Which is extra hilarious, considering the focus of RetroRGB has always been highlighting new developers and products in the scene.  Sigh, that’s our punishment for trying to help…

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