12V power distribution on the lab bench

I use a lot of 12V power at the lab and have used bench supplies in the past. However, the fans get a little noisy so looking for a quieter solution for long-term tests that need to stay powered up for longer periods. I have plenty of 12V wall supplies but don’t like the wiring mess they make on the bench. However, it occurred to me that one of the larger wall supplies could easily power all the systems I work with, so I ended up screwing a small piece of DIN rail and terminal blocks down to the bench close to where test systems sit. Power comes in the back from a wall supply and 4, 12V power leads come out the front.

I use Automation Direct terminal blocks:

  • 50A Large ones
    • KN-T8
    • 26-8 AWG, 50A, 300V, UL rated
    • 2, 3, 4, and 10 position jumpers are available
    • For use with jumpers KN-2J8, KN-3J8, KN-4J8 and KN-10J8.
  • 20A small ones
    • KN-T12
    • 26-12 AWG, 600V
    • Jumpers: For use with jumpers KN-2J12, KN-3J12, KN-4J12 and KN-10J12.

The above photo shows 50A blocks, but I recommend 20A for most things at this scale. The jumpers allow you to connect adjacent terminal blocks so in the above, I have 8 positive terminals connected (and same with negative).

All lab power leads terminate to a standard 2.1mm power plug, and then adapt to whatever the target needs. You can find all kinds of adapters on ebay – search on “2.1mm power plug adapter.”