Product Guide: High-Efficiency Power Supply Bundles

Product Guide: High-Efficiency Power Supply Bundles



INTRODUCTION

This guide describes how to use the Brickstuff line of high-efficiency power supplies.  There are five different versions of these supplies, and collectively we refer to them as the SEED-MV (MV stands for “multi-voltage”) product line.  The photo below shows the five versions.



All of these power supplies have several characteristics in common:

  1. Five power output connectors (four small-size or “Pico” connecting plugs, and one large-size connector for legacy Brickstuff products)
  2. The ability to provide up to 750mA of output power—enough to operate 50 lights or more, or any connected accessory that uses 750mA of power or less
  3. An onboard power indicator LED (green) showing when output power is active
  4. A small or “Pico” size connecting plug labeled “SW” for connecting an optional remote on/off switch (not included—sold separately, or solder your own power switch to the pads on the underside of the circuit board)
  5. True power off: when a switch is connected and power is switched off, the system is truly “off” with close to zero current consumption or battery drain
  6. Solder pads on the bottom side of the power supply circuit board for connecting your own 5V DC power output wires or connector

With this line of power supplies, you are able to power your lighting setups from almost any source.

The sections below describe each of the specific versions in greater detail—scroll down to find the supply you purchased and read more about its operation.



SEED-EL-9VBATT: 9V Battery Power Bundle (blue dot)


This version of the power supply is configured to operate from a standard 9V battery.  A battery snap connector is mounted to the circuit board, so all you need to supply is the battery.  When connected, the green power indicator LED light should turn on, and all five power output connectors should be active.  Connect your lights and you’re ready to go!

You can add the optional on/off switch (we have versions that include a housing built from LEGO® bricks as well as a version without a housing) to conserve battery power when your lights are not in use.



SEED-EL-ACDC: Multi-Voltage Power Bundle (yellow dot)


This version of the power supply is configured with a 2-wire terminal block and can operate on any AC or DC voltage between 7 volts and 30 volts.  This version is also compatible with the Digital Command Control (DCC) systems used on model railways, so this supply is a great way for model railroaders to make use of the Brickstuff system components.

This version of the power supply will also operate with R/C batteries (LiPo, LiFE, etc.) from 2S to 6S.
 
You will need to supply your own connecting plug, depending on the specific battery type used.
 
Because this power supply is polarity-independent, you don’t need to worry about how the positive (+) and negative (-) leads from your battery are connected—the supply will work with either polarity.

To connect your power supply wires, press down on the small tabs on the top of the white terminal block connector using a fingernail or small non-sharp object such as a flat-head/slotted screwdriver, then insert the power wire while continuing to press down on the tab.
 
When you release the tab, your wire should be held firmly in place (you should not be able to pull the wire out of the terminal block).

The terminal block is designed to accept stripped, stranded wire that has not been solder-tinned on the ends.  For best results, do not use solid-core wire.

Make sure no metal is exposed on your power wires when they are fully inserted into the terminal block.  Any exposed metal or wire strands could cause a short circuit, damaging both the power supply and also the power source, and could result in a fire or explosion.  Always double-check your wire connections to make sure there is no exposed metal or loose wire strands after inserting, and always do a “pull test” on the wires to make sure they cannot easily come loose or disconnect from the terminal block.

This version of the power supply fully exposes all bottom solder tabs, so you can use it in your setup without needing any Brickstuff connecting plugs if you desire.  The photo below shows the pads exposed on the bottom of the circuit board:


On the left side of the photo above, you see the two large pads for soldering your own power output wires or connector.  These pads provide 5 volts DC and up to 750mA of current.  The onboard switching regulator has built-in protection for over-current draw, but you should always keep the current draw of your connected components below the 750mA threshold.

On the right side of the photo above, you see two sets of solder pads:

  1. Ext. Switch: Solder a toggle switch to these pads to turn the output power on or off.
  2. DC IN: This is a polarized power connection, meaning that positive and negative leads must be connected as shown by the + and – next to each pad.  Because this version of the power supply supports power input without regard to polarity, it is recommended that you use the connections on the white terminal block mounted on the top side of the circuit board and that you NOT connect a power input directly to these bottom-side pads.  Note that using the top-side terminal block is mandatory for connecting AC power, or when using with DCC systems.

You can add the optional on/off switch (we have versions that include a housing built from LEGO® bricks as well as a version without a housing) to conserve battery power when your lights are not in use.



SEED-EL-L9V: LEGO® 9V Power Bundle (red dot)



This version of the power supply is designed to connect to the LEGO® 9V power system, which was used by the company in several product lines from 1986 to 2006.  A LEGO® power connector is attached to the power supply that has a Power Functions plug on the top side of the connector and a LEGO® 9V connector on the bottom.

Because it has the LEGO® 9V connector on the bottom, this power supply will not work with a Power Functions power source (even though it has a Power Functions connector on the top side of the plug).  It will only connect to the LEGO® 9V power connector, shown in the photo below:

If using this power supply in conjunction with other LEGO® 9V elements such as motors or lights, connect the power supply plug on TOP of all other plugs.  If there is not enough space inside your model to accommodate a taller plug stack, you will need to modify the LEGO® design to make more space for the taller stack.

When connected to a LEGO® 9V power source, this supply operates in an “on-off-on” configuration:
  1. When the LEGO® power is set to “forward” or “reverse” (as on the 9V train speed regulator), the power supply is ON and lights are active.
  2. When the LEGO® power is set to “center” (as on the 9V train speed regulator), the power supply is OFF and lights are off.
 
This behavior means, for example, that when installed inside a 9V LEGO® train, all lights will be OFF when the train is stopped.  To show this in action, here's a quick demo video:



You can add the optional on/off switch (we have versions that include a housing built from LEGO® bricks as well as a version without a housing) to conserve battery power when your lights are not in use.



SEED-EL-PFF: Power Functions Fixed Voltage Power Bundle (green dot)



This version of the power supply is designed to work with LEGO® Power Functions power supplies.  It has a Power Functions plug on both the top and bottom sides of the connector which is attached to the power supply circuit board.

This power supply is also fully compatible with 3rd-party power sources that use a Power Functions-style connector, including but not limited to products made by SBrick, BuWizz, and Fx Bricks.

When connected to a Power Functions power source, this supply operates in a fixed, or “always on” configuration, meaning that lights will be on whenever Power Functions power is turned on.
 
Here is a short demo video showing the operational behavior:


Because of the “always on” nature of power for this supply, you can connect it anywhere in a stack of Power Functions components.  For example, you can connect it directly to the power source (as the first connector in a stack, as a connector in the middle of a stack, or on the top of a stack), to a speed controller such as the Power Functions IR Receiver, or to a Power Functions motor or servo.
 
Power will be supplied as long as the main Power Functions power is switched on.

You can add the optional on/off switch (we have versions that include a housing built from LEGO® bricks as well as a version without a housing) to conserve battery power when your lights are not in use.



SEED-EL-PFV: Power Functions Variable Voltage Power Bundle (orange dot)

This version of the power supply is designed to work with LEGO® Power Functions power supplies.  It has a Power Functions plug on both the top and bottom sides of the connector which is attached to the power supply circuit board.

This power supply is also fully compatible with 3rd-party power sources that use a Power Functions-style connector, including but not limited to products made by SBrick, BuWizz, and Fx Bricks.

When connected to a Power Functions channel, this supply operates in an “on-off-on” configuration:
  1. When the Power Functions channel is set to “forward” or “reverse” (motors running forward or backward, or servo out of center position), the power supply is ON and lights are active.
  2. When the Power Functions channel is set to “center” (motors stopped or servo in center position), the power supply is OFF and lights are off.
 
This behavior means, for example, that when installed inside a Power Functions train, all lights will be OFF when the train is stopped.  Here is a short video demonstrating that behavior:



You can add the optional on/off switch (we have versions that include a housing built from LEGO® bricks as well as a version without a housing) to conserve battery power when your lights are not in use.



THANK YOU

Thank you for purchasing this Brickstuff product!  Your support means a lot to our small family business, and it allows us to wake up every day and continue doing the work we love: making really cool things to take your models to the next level!

If you have any questions or problems with this product, please send us an e-mail and let us know how we can help.  You can also comment directly about this guide below.

If you make something really cool with this product, please share on social media and tag us (@brickstuff on most platforms) so we can see your awesome work!


DISCLAIMERS

These are not LEGO® products. Some variants of these power supplies use LEGO® elements that have been repackaged or altered from their original form. LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse any Brickstuff product.

SBrick, BuWizz, and Fx Bricks are trademarks of their respective companies.  The mention of these marks on this site is for informational purposes only, and does not imply any connection, sponsorship, or endorsement between these companies and Enthusiast Enterprises, LLC, or Brickstuff.