For big projects with big power needs, an AT or ATX power supply is a handy place to grab 5V or 12VDC. The only problem is that these supplies have connectors that only plug into motherboards or hard drives. That’s where this cable comes in. It has a matching 4-pin Molex connector to the hard drive/CD-ROM power cables that come out of a power supply so you can use this to grab 5V or 12V. Heck, you can even use this cable while your computer is powered, say to decorate your hard drive with LEDs or VFD/LCD displays, etc.
Note that in some older drives, the 12V supply is ‘unstable’ unless there’s a lot of current draw on the 5V line. In these cases, if you need to use the 12V line without also loading the 5V line, you can solder a 10 ohm 10 Watt power resistor between ground and 5V to load it enough to stabilize the 12V line.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.