Powering the Single Board Computer, the Raspberry Pi (RBPi) is always simple using the wall-wart type power supply and the micro-USB cable. However, there is always the possibility of accidentally shutting off power to the RBPi without going through the proper shutdown sequence. As the RBPi relies on its micro SD card to store its Operating System and working files, a sudden loss of power is sure to corrupt them and render the RBPi incapable of rebooting in the next session.
Additionally, you may be powering other boards or HATs along with the RBPi. Having a wall-wart for each of your projects not only makes the arrangement look ugly, but it is also more prone to accidents. However, a PiRyte Mini ATX power supply unit can take care of powering your RBPi and other additional project boards. Apart from being an inexpensive desktop power supply, the ATX PSU sends out a controlled shutdown command, which the operating system of the RBPi understands, and it can close down without any damage to the disk files.
The inexpensive off the shelf ATX desktop power supply unit works with both 20 pin as well as 24 pin connectors, to enable operating systems to perform shutdowns and reboots under controlled conditions—this minimizes disk file corruption.
While offering a dedicated and regulated 5 VDC supply line for back powering the RBPi, the ATX PSU has screw terminals for +12 VDC and +5 VDC for powering external user projects. The tiny PSU also provides additional prototyping area and you can access +12 VDC, -12 VDC, +5 VDC, +3.3 VDC, and Ground for any circuit you may want to assemble there.
Most importantly, the PiRyte Mini ATX PSU conforms to the HAT footprint of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. What this means is you can simply plug it on the top of your RBPi, using the 40-pin GPIO stacking header to power your RBPi and, at the same time, use other HAT compliant boards as well. The ATX PSU comes as a DIY kit, so that costs remain low.
While operating, you can see the green LED on the ATX PSU pulsate slowly during power up and reboot. It continues to pulsate slowly until the boot up script ends. If you have shut down the RBPi from the operating system, the red LED will pulse rapidly for 10 seconds before the PSU shuts the power to the RBPi. A push button is available on the PSU for forcing a hard shutdown. The red LED dims for the entire time you keep the push button in depressed state, and turns off the power to the RBPi after 10 seconds.
Electronic projects often need multiple voltages in addition to the 5 VDC and the 3.3 VDC usually available for the RBPi. The PiRyte Mini ATX PSU supplies the type of power these project use. In addition, being a HAT compliant board, it is easy to build controller stacks using additional boards on top of the ATX PSU, as stacked configurations are physically and electrically more robust.