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which macs need recap

ArmorAlley

Well-known member
How about Mac II series and compact Macs?
My Mac IIfx needed a recap back in 2014.

The advice that I have been given since is to use the machine until a cap goes and then get it fully recapped. Be sure to replace the 30 year old batteries, however, with either none (if possible) or new ones.

 

joshc

Well-known member
The advice that I have been given since is to use the machine until a cap goes and then get it fully recapped.
Capacitors can start leaking but still work for some time, and this capacitor leakage can start to damage the board. I've had several boards which visually look great, and even work, but when I removed the capacitors they had started to leak. I would say it's best to take preventative measures at this point, with any pre-1997 machines. Capacitors are cheap enough if you're just doing a couple of boards, and could prevent  substantial logic board repairs.

 
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valejacobo

Active member
For the machines that I can't get to re-capping right away, I make a diagram of what caps (mf, V and type - size if I know it) went where (I don't usually include orientation, since it is marked on the board) then I un-cap the board, wash it and set it aside (usually reassembled back into the computer is the safest place), with the documentation attached. That way it can't get any worse, until I get to it.

I currently have only about 3 in queue right now (un-capped, waiting for me to get around to it), but I'm thinking that I should get around to re-capping my cube. I've never had it open and its in perfect shape, being boxed up for years, but I have read that others had to re-cap theirs. I also have other computers, like my Tandy and other brand laptops that need it as well.

I too have mostly re-capped oldest to newer; I've never yet had to re-cap an SE.
That's a clever approach. Unfortunately I'm still too shy to water-wash any motherboard, even tho I know that's a fairly common practice. Maybe when I get a g3 PowerMac I'll test it on it first before commiting on my Quadra or any more valuable model I'll come across.
 

jessenator

Well-known member
I can understand the hesitation with water washing a board. I have fairly hard water, so I used distilled and some mild, MILD dishsoap (not a lot, but 'enough'). I know it's a hotly-debated topic, but I, and others, will strongly dissuade anyone from doing the dishwasher run. Just don't.

But the most important aspect of this (perhaps aside from ESD considerations) is allowing the board to fully DRY before you plug it into anything. I double check by blasting compressed air under board components to see if any moisture spots show up on the other side or if there's still water.

Your mileage may vary / attempt at your own risk: I use a preheated, TURNED-OFF oven to do some drying. 170ºF is pretty low and as long as you're not contacting plastic with the racks (I put mine on a rack that's ambient room temp, not heated in the oven), there shouldn't be any deformation. Plus, if you're cleaning before a re-cap, there shouldn't be any issues with caps. I've done it with other boards I've just cleaned and not recapped. But, as I say, YMMV.
 

Byrd

Well-known member
The biggest issue I have with cleaning electronics in a dishwasher is it's not a smart thing to wash toxic, leaking chemicals off electronics where you also put food grade cutlery and plates .... be good to your family! :)

Same goes with using your family oven to dry items. I've been using a bench top oven for ghetto style reflows, drying that I also use outdoors on a dry day :D
 

DracheMitch

Well-known member
If you're a YouTuber, even 2021 Macs need recapped, because that's how you create an hourlong video that basically has no content.
 

davidg5678

Well-known member
The biggest issue I have with cleaning electronics in a dishwasher is it's not a smart thing to wash toxic, leaking chemicals off electronics where you also put food grade cutlery and plates .... be good to your family!
I think this is a fantastic reason why the dishwasher method should be avoided. Presumably, similar results could be achieved in a utility sink using a high-pressure stream of water through a hose anyway. (In a pinch, I'd bet that my garden hose set to "Jet" would certainly blast lots of dirt away too.:) ) I never want to accidentally eat leaded solder, flux, or any of the other fairly nasty/toxic chemicals that make up a Macintosh circuit board.

I have cleaned many dirty logic boards using nothing but an ESD brush and a plastic bin filled with some distilled water and isopropyl alcohol. The results have been quite good. I recently bought an ultrasonic cleaner to deal with harder-to-reach dirt, but I am certain that the jets of water in a dishwasher would be ineffective at cleaning most ultrasonic-worthy dirt anyway.
 
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