I need more power! You wouldn’t believe how much current six ESP8266 can draw at the same time. It was the time I would invest a little bit in a variable power supply. Today, Tenma T210480 has arrived, I was able to play with it.
Tenma T210480 – bench power supply
If you missed all the specs of Tenma T210480 I will mention the most important specs to you:
- 0-30V Voltage at 0.01 resolution
- 0-3A Current at 0.001 resolution
- Accuracy 10mV/1mA
- Over Voltage/Current/short-circuit protection
Looking at options online, Tenma T210480 is a budget power supply. Priced just under £60 it’s still what I consider a bit of money to spend on something. The build impression is good. I feel the bench power supply will last a long time.
Tenma T210480 – the bad stuff
I have to say, that you don’t get much in the box. The instructions, 2 leads (UK, EU) and the unit. I would gladly replace the EU lead with some banana clips.
The unit is heavy and sturdy. You are not going to accidentally move it by pulling the cords around. While it’s not noisy as such, a hard working fan can be heard in the background.
My last negative point is the memory interface. There are 5 memory slots, but only 4 memory buttons. To access the 5th one, select the 4th one and turn the know clockwise. Not the most elegant solution.
There is a beep, an annoying one as well, but you can turn it off and this setting is saved after the power down.
Tenma T210480 – the good stuff
Memory buttons are for sure a big one on this. Selecting values can be annoying if you have to constantly switch between 3.3V and 5V, therefore, I quickly assigned these to the M1 and M2 buttons. I liked the fact that power gets turned off once you change the memory setting. It will prevent you from frying your electronics.
Over Voltage/Current Protection is nice to have. You don’t get that on all budget models. Speaking about the current, dial shows the current draw and the voltage drop.
Apart from the power ON/OFF switch the Tenma T210480 comes with the output cut off. You don’t have to turn off the power supply to stop the power.
Lastly, the digital rotary potentiometer (read: the big white knob) is great. It comes with the digit selection keys for fine tuning. You can either select what digit you want to modify or keep adjusting the value by turning the knob left and right. If you want to go down from 3.3V to 5V you can either select the correct number row or keep increasing the values at defined increments.
There is a lock button to prevent accidental changes (got kids around?) but I find this pretty useless in my circumstances.
I took my equally budget multimeter and I quickly confirmed some readings. These are mostly on point. The 3,3V and 5V were the most interesting to me as I have other reference points. I’m glad to report that readings were 3.32V and 5.02V respectively.
I guess you have my blessing if you want to buy the Tenma T210480 power supply. I know down the line I will be looking at either another unit or a dual-channel one. Until then, this should keep my prototypes flying high! Bear in mind the design is shared and branded by several other companies. It comes with 3A and 5A flavours as well. If it looks the same as on my pictures but has a different name and model, don’t be surprised.