In general, the newer power supplies only come on when power is applied to one of the pins. Look at this article here about how to turn a standard ATX power supply into a lab power supply. That might help you figure out how to modify the Dell supply or convince you to go buy a standard power supply for this.
Also, follow the warnings in the article. Opening a power supply can be very dangerous.
Thank you for your timely response and for pointing me in the right direction. While the DA-2 AC adapter is anything but a standard ATX power supply...
...it is a power supply that was manufactured to sit removed from the computer's chaise; thus, many of the same basic principles from the article you recommended "how to turn a standard ATX power supply into a lab power supply" should apply. After reading the article, it got me thinking as to how I might apply the same concepts to the DA-2 adapter.
The DA-2 adapter has 8 pins on the DC output end of the cable. Pin 1 is Vo (Reserved), Pins 2, 3, 4 are Vo, Pin 5 is Vo (Remote), and Pins 6, 7, 8 are GND. In the ATX howto, it suggests shorting the green wire (power on) and one of the black wires (ground) to get power to the outputs. Using the same principle, I eventually discovered that the combination of shorting Pin 5 (Vo - Remote) and Pin 6 (GND) did the trick for the DA-2 adapter. So, with Pin 5 and Pin 6 shorted, I was able to read the suggested output voltage from any of the Pins 2, 3, 4 (Vo) and Pins 6, 7, 8 (GND) positive to ground combinations.
Now all I need is to figure out if anyone manufactures an 8 pin DC power connector that will fit the DC end of the DA-2 adapter (as to not have to sacrifice the original cable).
Thank you, again, for leading me in the right direction.
They referenced the magic word, "Molex" somewhere. I looked at the URL you included and if I'm reading it correctly, the mating connector would look something like this. They also state a standard ATX connector fits which means you might be able to get one from an old motherboard.
There are a whole host of suppliers for these connectors. You're problem will most likely be coming up with the minimum order.
Once again, thank you for your informative response. The female end of the Dell DA-2 adapter does not look like the pattern will fit the 10pin male ATX Molex power connector you referenced, but will fit a 20pin male ATX Molex power connector (in two places). I'll probably just go down to the local Salvation Army and pickup an old ATX motherboard with appropriate Molex connector. Although, if I did that I would still have to track down some crimp terminals for it. We'll see what happens.
Regardless... Thank you for your great help.
There are a couple of companies that sell the Molex connectors. Ones I think of are Digikey and Newark. If you're in a major city, look for electronics stores. Since it's the standard ATX connector, crimp connectors may be available over-the-counter. I've also seen some of these connectors at the local Fry's Electronics.
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