Battery power supply for Destop PC (as audio server)

By don.j.byrd ·
I am using a desktop PC as an audio server for a high-end audio system. It begins to be clear that one of the limitations is that ac sources are very grungy, and that power supplies are both physically noisy (fans, etc) and generate still more grunge that causes problem with very sensitive digital to audio converters and preamps.

I suppose the need to run desktops on dc direct from SLA batteries is not common, but surely there are other applications that needed to do this.

I have googled everything I can think of and have found any leads. What is there out there?

thanks, db

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

power conditioner

by rahouseholder In reply to Battery power supply for ...

Perhaps using a power conditioner along with a top quality power supply will suit your needs. Here is an example of each.


Collapse -

None that I've ever run across

by OH Smeg In reply to Battery power supply for ...

But as far as Physical Noise is concerned this can be stopped by using a Fan-less Power Supply. Zalman has a option which may be useful to you look here

If you have a lot of Electrical Noise from the mains you can always chose isolate the unit from the mains by using a good UPS that Isolates the mains by only allowing the Mains to charge the Battery/s and the Inverter side of the UPS is the only supply for the computer. Though there may still be some Noise from the Switch Mode Power Supply.

If you want to make up a Battery Power Supply you would need 3 Volt, 5 Volt and 12 Volt DC Take offs and a lot of messing around.


Collapse -

Switching Power Supply

by TheChas In reply to Battery power supply for ...

Having worked in a past life for a high end audio retailer, I can attest that their are many things in a PC that will add noise and other colorations to music reproduced through a PC.

Going back to my audio modification days, what you need to do is "pooge" your PC.

I presume since you are working with an audio shop that you can get appropriate assistance from the service technicians for this project. Both electronics design and rework skills will be required.

Start by replacing the switch mode power supply in the PC with with linear supplies. They will not fit in the case, and you will need at least 2 different linear supplies to cover all the voltages and currents needed to run a PC.

If you end up mounting the power supplies in an external case, be sure to install bypass capacitors at the motherboard power connector and at the drive power connectors.

Use high quality supplies like those from Lambda or Accopian.

While you are wiring up the power supplies, replace the connectors with gold plated pins and as large a gauge wire as will properly crimp in the pins.

Next, either switch to liquid cooling, or externally mounted AC fans. AC fan motors do not have the commutation noise that a DC fan has.

Find some old copies of "Audio Amateur" magazine and read through the "pooge" articles. Then, go through the sound card and apply the "pooge" principles to the audio circuit capacitors and output amplifiers.

In fact, if you are using a "standard" sound card, you might want to start by switching to a dedicated audio D/A converter card.

The next step would be to "pooge" the power supply capacitors on the motherboard.

You might also experiment with Faraday shields around the D/A card or the CPU and clock circuits.

Don't neglect clock jitter. It will take some design work. But, replacing the software controlled CPU and PCI bus clocks with stable crystal controlled oscillators might be where you will get the biggest gains. Especially if you are streaming digital audio data.

One place you might contact for advice or assistance is Audio Advisor in Grand Rapids Michigan. They used to perform modifications to high end audio equipment. And still sell tube and other high end gear.

Experiment and enjoy.


Related Discussions

Related Forums