Growing up, I always had a stocked garage, full of tools and gadgets. My step dad was in the Navy, but he did handy man jobs on the side. This meant that we never called anyone when anything broke, he was there. He even had a side job for a while working at Sears as a repair man. I think that is where I inherited my troubleshooting skills and technical ability. I love to tinker. If I don't know how something works, I can easily find out. Of course, I can't do the in depth things that would require more knowledge, like schematics and circuitry, but I'm very handy at surface issues and following laid out instructions or guides. The only thing I'm lacking as an adult is that garage of gadgets like my step dad had. It's a work in progress.
A power supply is the most critical component inside a computer system. When you open up a tower and look inside, it basically boils down to a ton of electricity that has been routed in many different fashions. This often goes overlooked as we have grown complacent in the ease of use and factory built systems. Back in the day, when I started with computers, a DIYer had to manually set jumpers in the computer that would route the power differently. Wanted to set your RAM speed, CPU speed, or change the IRQ of an onboard card? You had to open your case, find a little 2 pin jumper and move it to the desired setting. At that time, there weren't that many options with retail power supplies. Most stuck with the same PSU for multiple generations of systems. With the vast variety and options out there, when shopping for power supplies, how do you know that you're buying something that isn't a lemon?
The Thermaltake Dr. Power II Universal ATX Power Supply Tester makes testing a PSU simple and easy. The Dr. Power II has been designed to support every ATX power supply available today. Dr. Power II includes an oversized LCD panel to show the values of each rail tested. There are connections for the 24-pin motherboard connector, 8 pin CPU connector, molex connector, SATA connector, and 8 pin PCI-E connector. This means that there is accurate voltage indicating for the +12V/+5V/+3.3V/5VSB/-12V rails. Inside are built-in PG alarm systems that will signal in low-voltage, high-voltage, and no voltage situations.