Question (Solved)Replacing Rocker Switch On Desktop

michael diemer

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I need to replace a broken rocker switch on the back of my computer. The PSU is an Antec VP450. It has a rocker switch which I turn off when opening the computer. The switch has four terminals, to which two blue and two brown wires attach. I am having trouble figuring out exactly what type of switch this is.

I see switches that are SPST (one pole); SPDT (3 terminals); and DPDT (6 terminals). My switch has four terminals. So what is it, and what should I get to replace it?

Mike
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
Just some advice. Be VERY careful when mucking around inside a PSU. You can get hurt if you don't take the proper precautions. Most users have no business inside a PSU.

Personally, I would recommend you get a new PSU.
 
I need to replace a broken rocker switch on the back of my computer. The PSU is an Antec VP450. It has a rocker switch which I turn off when opening the computer. The switch has four terminals, to which two blue and two brown wires attach. I am having trouble figuring out exactly what type of switch this is.

I see switches that are SPST (one pole); SPDT (3 terminals); and DPDT (6 terminals). My switch has four terminals. So what is it, and what should I get to replace it?

Mike
Most likely it is a double pole single throw DPST switch with 4 terminals.
The brown wires are generally "hot" and the blue wires are generally "neutral".
 

michael diemer

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Just some advice. Be VERY careful when mucking around inside a PSU. You can get hurt if you don't take the proper precautions. Most users have no business inside a PSU.

Personally, I would recommend you get a new PSU.
I appreciate your concern and advice. I am not very knowledgeable about electricity, but I always check things out first. The PSU actually "died" several months ago, and I set it aside, waiting until it is safe to deal with. And I stay away from the capacitors. all I've done is open it up to get at the switch.

I just need to hook up the right kind of switch, once I determine what that is. I'm pretty sure that's the problem, since the switch doesn't work, it's like a dummy switch, nothing happens when you toggle it, it's just kind of limp.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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I appreciate your concern and advice. I am not very knowledgeable about electricity, but I always check things out first. The PSU actually "died" several months ago, and I set it aside, waiting until it is safe to deal with. And I stay away from the capacitors. all I've done is open it up to get at the switch.

I just need to hook up the right kind of switch, once I determine what that is. I'm pretty sure that's the problem, since the switch doesn't work, it's like a dummy switch, nothing happens when you toggle it, it's just kind of limp.
How did it "die" ?
Unlikely it was the switch.
 

michael diemer

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Most likely it is a double pole single throw DPST switch with 4 terminals.
The brown wires are generally "hot" and the blue wires are generally "neutral".
Thanks for that. I would have guessed the blue wires were hot, but as I said I'm not that savvy about electricity. And I wasn't going to proceed with any experiments until I knew for sure. But if I just hook up everything on the new switch the way it is on the old I should be OK.

I will look for a double pole single throw DPST switch with 4 terminals. Hopefully I can find something at the hardware store, if not I guess either an electronics store like Radio shack or online.
 

michael diemer

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How did it "die" ?
Unlikely it was the switch.
It did not turn on after I had the computer open, and tried to restart. I turned the switch to on, but it did not do anything. not only did it not turn the machine on (or allow the front power switch to do so, to be clear); the switch was clearly not working right. you could tell it wasn't doing its job. No circuit was closed, in other words. So I think it is likely that is the problem. I could be wrong, but a cheap switch will confirm it. Or not, in which case the repair would be beyond me.
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator
It did not turn on after I had the computer open, and tried to restart. I turned the switch to on, but it did not do anything. not only did it not turn the machine on (or allow the front power switch to do so, to be clear); the switch was clearly not working right. you could tell it wasn't doing its job. No circuit was closed, in other words. So I think it is likely that is the problem. I could be wrong, but a cheap switch will confirm it. Or not, in which case the repair would be beyond me.
Sorry to be blunt, but this is a safety issue. If this is your diagnosis, you have zero business opening up and working on a power supply. You can't "tell it wasn't doing its job" unless you're a sentient multimeter with the ability to ask questions on an internet forum; you don't test for continuity with your eyes.

This would be a highly unusual thing to go wrong in a power supply. Most catastrophic failures will end up with the switch not doing anything to the naked eye. And a catastrophic failure isn't unlikely because this is a really cheap, low-quality PSU.

You wouldn't be risking fire and/or injury to save a child from a burning building, you'd be risking fire and/or injury to save a junky power supply. This is like jumping on a hand grenade to save a roast beef sandwich. Just buy a new -- and hopefully higher quality -- power supply.
 

michael diemer

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Sorry to be blunt, but this is a safety issue. If this is your diagnosis, you have zero business opening up and working on a power supply. You can't "tell it wasn't doing its job" unless you're a sentient multimeter with the ability to ask questions on an internet forum; you don't test for continuity with your eyes.

This would be a highly unusual thing to go wrong in a power supply. Most catastrophic failures will end up with the switch not doing anything to the naked eye. And a catastrophic failure isn't unlikely because this is a really cheap, low-quality PSU.

You wouldn't be risking fire and/or injury to save a child from a burning building, you'd be risking fire and/or injury to save a junky power supply. This is like jumping on a hand grenade to save a roast beef sandwich. Just buy a new -- and hopefully higher quality -- power supply.
Ok, you've convinced me. I'll take it to the dump.

Would it be worthwhile to salvage the fan?

Meanwhile I'll continue using the original 300W psu that came with the computer. These Gateway machines were decent; that rascal is still going strong. I don't know if it's enough to power two hard drives, a SSD, plus a video card, though. Guess I'll need to do some research on that. For now I just have two drives hooked (that's all I can connect it to, unless I get a molex adapter). And I'm using on-board graphics, as my video card also died awhile back. Reluctant to put too much money into such an old machine.
 

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