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Reviews For: Radio Shack Switching 13.8 Volt 25 Amp Supply

Category: Power Supplies

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Review Summary For : Radio Shack Switching 13.8 Volt 25 Amp Supply
Reviews: 59MSRP: 110 on sale 60
Compact , lightweight 13.8 Volt 25 Amp Power Supply.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K1CJS Rating: 2013-03-29
Still going strong Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've concluded that the noise and other complaints are because of the name 'Radio Shack' on this supply. Yes, you can hear the fan, but it isn't any louder than most other high rate fans. It's quiet! Second, I have no noise at all from mine, and I've had it now about ten years. Still going strong.

It's absurd that the complaints about this supply keep coming, the supply is MADE BY SAMLEX, and is almost identical to their model 1223! The only difference is the case and the name. If Radio Shack were still marketing these, I buy another in a heartbeat.
N0CPT Rating: 2013-01-22
Very Good Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought mine in May of 08. I have never had any RFI problems. My vhf/uhf sits on top on the PS and my hf is right next to it. I did have a problem with fan noise but I corrected that by adjusting the tension of the four screws that hold the fan housing to the PS case.
W9VER Rating: 2010-12-27
Excellent Value w/ some improvements Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After you do the KB1OEY "mod" this is a Five star product.

KB1OEY's instructions dealing with the noise worked well for me as well. In fact makes you wonder why this was not done at the factory, for a product advertised for "CB/ham" that hash before the mod was unacceptable, strange how RadioShack also carries RF chokes, AND the microfarad capcitor that I needed, which is what I used. Conspiracy? ;)
KF4LVC Rating: 2010-01-30
Good switcher, but very loud. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned a few switching power supplies that were very similar to this one. I wouldn't be surprised if several of the manufacturers of these actually are "resellers", i.e., they just stamp their names/logos onto the case. Overall, this power supply is quite good. I have owned it for over two years, but I do not use it regularly. It is my "go" supply whenever I travel or if I need to set up for a radio event. I suppose I got one that was made on a good day, as I do not have any hash or birdies on any of the HF bands at all. I have used the supply with a number of rigs, and have had no issues. It provides plenty of power for HF at 100 watts. Only once did I have it "power cycle", but that was due to high RF from a random wire antenna that was laying about 4 inches away from the power supply (stupid me).
I have checked it with a meter and a scope, idle and under load, and the DC profile is pretty good for a switching supply. The ripple is fairly low and the voltage doesn't appreciably drop under a load from a 100 watt CW (even FM) HF rig. Pretty stable, overall. Years ago, I owned an identical power supply with SEC stamped onto the front instead of Radio Shack. It did produce some birdies and the DC profile was not as good as the RS. I did purchase my supply new from a Radio Shack store.
However, the cooling fan is extremely loud. Using a VU meter, the fan noise is an average of 72dB at 6 inches from the fan. This is too loud to comfortably work HF is the power supply is not placed far away from the radio (or external speaker). I will eventually change out the fan. The supply has never run hot for me, even under heavy usage.
The new price for this unit is good (if RS still carries it) at around $130-$150. The only thing that I would suggest to anyone planning to purchase one is to make sure that the binding posts for the DC connections are tightened up before using the supply. When I took mine out of the box, the posts were secure, but a little loose where they mount onto the chassis and needed a gentle "snugging-up" with a pair of pliers. After that, I have not seen them loosen again...even with quite a lot of connecting/disconnecting of various DC cables. For reference, the DC binding posts are the type with metal threaded studs and plastic screw-type connectors. The metal studs do have holes through them, and also can accept banana plugs at the ends. The plastic "thumb-screws" are hex-head shaped, so a small wrench or pliers can be used to snug them down onto your DC cables better than just hand-tight.
Again, overall a great power supply for the money, but the fan is sooooooooo loud.
K9JDK Rating: 2009-03-22
Working (silently) just fine Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This a follow up from my first (day) impressions.

Have been using this P.S. for a few weeks now. No problems. Quiet. I can hardly hear it when its on and it's just a foot or 2 away.

For those who have fan noise problems, I can sympathize. If bought at R.S. perhaps it should have been returned/exchanged/money back. If bought at a Ham Fest or equivalent, sorry about that. Buyer beware. Perhaps the fan can be easily obtained and replaced.

To close, 2 thumbs up here.

Earlier 4-star review posted by K9JDK on 2009-03-11

Just bought this PS yesterday. Read the "loud fan" comments here. Plugged in the PS and the fan was almost wispher quiet. If I would have noticed a loud fan, back it would have gone and either another (tested for quiet) or a refund for me, in that order.
JULIO Rating: 2009-03-11
Good product Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I read all the reviews about how noisey the fan was and other complaints. Maybe i'm deaf but I can't hear the fan. I was picking up a little white noise so i added a ground wire off one of the case screws and that fixed it.
W4UDX Rating: 2009-02-22
Can you say LOUD? Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Powers radio gear OK but the fan is loud enough to be very annoying. My shack is in the bedroom, and I can hear the fan in my living room... with the bedroom door closed. When the supply is on the desk and you sit in front of it, it's like... having a dirt devil vacuum running in the next room loud. Someone should find a better fan unit to mount in these things, maybe Mouser has one?
K9ZF Rating: 2008-12-28
Good Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Wow, a 3.9 average. That is lower than I would expect. I wonder if it has anything to do with the Radio Shack logo?

I've never had a problem with mine. It has been working great for around 3 or 4 years now.

I would give it a 5, but the fan noise is excessive. From reading the comments, I would guess the noise level must vary from unit to unit. Mine is clearly the loudest fan in the shack. I usually try to conceal it on the bottom shelf of the desk to keep the noise down.

I've never found any RFI problems from mine, even with no mods.

For the price, I would buy one again. Sure, I would prefer a nice Astron RS35, but they are in a completely different league.

Good luck,

Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark County Indiana.
K9ZF /R no budget Rover ***QRP-l #1269 Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Mailing list!

KC8AON Rating: 2008-12-28
It works Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Had mine for about 4 years and use it as backup and for travel. Never notice the fan and it does some RF hash but not too bad. Voltage holds super steady. I like the size for travel - its a winner. OH, and the guy that said he would rather have the Samlex supply - its the same supply but with a different name - the Radio Shack model is made by Samlex !
K6PH Rating: 2008-11-01
Crapped out after a year Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this as my 1st PS for my 1st 100w HF rig, as it was easily available at the local Radio Sh*t. Worked OK for a couple of months, no problems, no noise, birdies or anything else. Then scored an Astron 35M, so the R/S went to backup. Pulled it out to use on a portable station about 15 mos after purchase, and it was deader than a doornail...

If you can wait for it to arrive at your door, buy an Astron!! Sme money +/- a few bucks for an equivalent switching PS, but more dependable!!