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AC to DC power transformer

DVP-1212 DC Power Supply Review

The Nippon America DVP-1212 is a 12 Volt DC power supply unit, which means that it is designed to power devices rated at 12 Volts DC. It converts 120 Volts AC to 12 Volts DC. To be specific, it is 13.8 Volts if nothing is connected to it (open circuit voltage).

The DVP-1212 can supply 10 Amps of current continuously or 12 Amps temporarily for brief periods. This means it should not be operated continuously at 12 Amps, otherwise the unit could overheat.

Held together with common, easily accessible screws, the DVP-1212 power supply has a sturdy steel chassis with air vents designed to limit the amount of dust entering the unit. The partly shrouded vents combined with its use of passive cooling (meaning there is no fan drawing air into it) should reduce dust buildup inside the unit.

Rear heatsink on the Nippon America DVP-1212 power supply cooling two 2n3055 transistors. Image credit: Kompulsa.

The fanless design also results in quieter operation. The DVP-1212 is advertised as a low-ripple power supply, which means that its current output is relatively steady (better power quality). The unit is equipped with a backlit toggle switch and an external fuse holder at the back.

The switch appears to be of a standard, replaceable design, and the fuse can be replaced without dismantling the unit (you would simply unscrew it). Two of the power transistors are located at the back of the unit and are screwed down for easy replacement. Note that the thermal paste must be replaced when installing a new transistor.

The transistors mentioned above are externally mounted and can therefore be replaced without dismantling the unit. The transistors are also widely available because they are 2n3055 bipolar junction transistors (BJT). These aren’t the most efficient transistors. However, they are easy to find and replace.

The single-transformer design of the DVP-1212 is not the most cost-efficient in the short term, nor is it lightweight or compact. However, such designs have shown they are capable of lasting many years. They are also quite easy to repair.

All things considered, it is a desktop power supply unit with a small 120V plug on it, so that means there is no ‘wall wart’ that covers two power outlets at the same time when plugging it in. The highly repairable design of the DVP-1212 is also complimented by the inclusion of a schematic that tells you the part numbers.

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