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Powerbook 270c recap just in time


Active member
Picked up a very nice Powerbook 270c on eBay. Gorgeous bright screen. Original scsi drive still spinning away. Appears to have been a relatively low hours unit. Everything worked perfectly. After seeing leaking caps in a number of other 68k ‘books of this era I decided to pursue a recap just for the fun of it. Good thing I did! Despite excellent cosmetic and operational condition the main electrolytics in the power supply section were leaking horribly. I can’t imagine this laptop had more than a few hours of life left in it. Had to clean a significant amount of goop off the board and thankfully it cleaned up nice. Leakage had to have been very recent after a long time in storage since the board did not get ruined.

Used Panasonic FC and FK caps. They have excellent stats for ripple current, ESR, temp, etc. the FK series matches the height of originals but leaves extra room to solder onto the pads which is nice. I only had one or two ugly blobs where the pad was a little corroded around the edges.

I went ahead and did the display inverter too, where a single electrolytic was visibly leaking. Thank goodness the million or so caps on the display itself look great. I can worry about those later. They are mostly just 6V anyway and not getting super stressed out.



Well-known member
Good save! I don’t know about the 270c’s display board, but on my 230 the grid of electrolytics were indeed leaking, which eventually started causing shorts on the display ribbon nearest to them. This caused white lines and display corruption on the lower ~1/5 or so of the screen. Unfortunately some of the cap goo got underneath where the ribbon solders to the display board. I was eventually able to get the goo out from under it, but it was pretty touchy. I’m still a little worried about any remaining goo causing corrosion or new shorts.

Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that I also waited on recapping the display, and feel like I very narrowly escaped more significant issues… 🤪

Challenger 1983

Well-known member
I’ve done the main board caps on 3 duos and each have been in various states of electrolyte damage, one had slight corrosion and others had completely eroded pads, glad you replaced these caps.