As long as there's a MOSFET in between, can I supply 24 V bed/extruder heat from an ATX power supply using -12 V and +12 V and ignoring the common rail?

I assume so, I can't think of a reason why not, but want to check.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice question, I had wondered the same. However, without wishing to sound daft, why would you need the MOSFET transistor? To act as a switch, I presume? $\endgroup$
    – Greenonline
    Jul 26, 2018 at 20:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Greenonline Yeah, to switch the bed on and off. In other words, the original heated bed wires from the controller would switch a MOSFET, and the 24v would be isolated. That's assuming the controller can't be run at 24v. $\endgroup$ Jul 26, 2018 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ Did the answer helped you to get an answer on your question or helped you come to your own conclusions then please do vote and accept the answer. This helps us reduce the unanswered questions list. Found an other answer (then the already posted) yourself? Please add that answer (and accept after 48 hours) to share your experience with the community. If you have not been able to address the problem please update your question. $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Sep 7, 2018 at 6:19

1 Answer 1


No, this is not possible with most ATX power supplies. While in principle you can get a 24V supply by combining the +12V and -12V supplies, the rails are not symmetric, and the negative 12V supply is usually designed for a much lower load than the positive supply. In the example in the following picture, there are two positive 12V rails, capable of sourcing respectively 12A and 15A each, but the -12V rail is only good for sinking 0.5A. If you tried doing what you're proposing, using this supply, you'd be limited to only 0.5A from your "24V" supply.

ATX Power Supply Label, with 15+12=27A rating for the 12V rails, but only a 0.5A rating for the -12V rail

It is very unlikely that you'll find an ATX power supply with a negative 12V rail capable of sinking significant current since computers don't need such large amounts of current from their negative supplies.

There are also issues with using a MOSFET as you describe. I assume that by MOSFET you are referring to a complete board with various support components, and not just a bare MOSFET by itself. Usually these boards have optocouplers and thus they will probably work correctly, but using just a MOSFET by itself this would not work, as the gate needs to be driven below GND (namely: to below -12V plus the gate threshold) to turn the MOSFET off.


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