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Help - Interchangability of power supplies for external HDD enclosures

Last response: in Storage
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October 18, 2009 2:52:38 AM

I just bought a pair of Vantec Nexstar CX drives, thinking they use the same 4-pin power adapter as the rest of my Vantec drives (the manual on the website says they do)...

Well, they don't. The CX drives come with a tip-ring-sleeve style adapter. Bummer... but whatever.

My question is - I also have a bunch of Western Digital drives that use AC/DC adapters with the same connector tip. The adapters both have the same polarity (positive on the inside, negative on the sleeve) and the same voltage (12 volts DC).

However, the WD adapter is labelled as "12 V 1500mA" and the Vantec adapter is labelled as "12 V 3A Max". Would it be safe to interchange these power supplies (i.e. use the Vantec power supply with the WD drives and vice-versa)? The Vantecd power supply list an output power of 36W - the WD power supply does not list wattage anywhere.

Any electrical engineers or power-supply-geeks out there?
October 18, 2009 4:42:40 AM

As long as the power supply can supply enough power, there should be no problem, as they are both the same voltage. You get the watts by multiplying volts by amps. Thus the vantec is 12*3=36 watts. So the WD is 18 W. I don't see any reason for a hard drive to need more than 18W.

They key for interchangeability is voltage. Notice the Vantec puts the word 'Max' after the amps. A component will only draw what it needs, so as longs as the amps are enough, the number doesn't matter much.
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