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A reminder that leaking caps kill more than Macs


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I've got a Centris 650 that today started to claim that any CD I put in its CD-ROM drive was unreadable.

 

A quick google and a sniff of the inside of the drive and it's clear that the capacitors inside are probably the cause of the problem. I haven't got the tools to fix it for a couple of months but I've added it to the recapping to do list!

 

Just worth remembering that it's not just logic boards and analogue boards that need looking after!

 

Here's the cap list info already existing here on our brilliant forum: https://mac68k.info/wiki/display/mac68k/Capacitor+List#CapacitorList-SonyCDU561-25CDROM

 

:)

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CD drives, GPS units, video editing decks, KVM switches, video cards.....

Basically any device that used SMD lytics between their introduction in the 80's and 2000 (and I'm willing to bet it's going to continue for many years after as stuff now 15 years old begins to drop dead) have a 100% failure rate. Some items however you really gotta stop and think about how much it is worth to you. I have a JVC GY-X2 professional SVHS television camera. It clearly needs a recap but there are over 150 smd caps needing to be replaced. That could easily be $150 in components and many hours of work.

Edited by CelGen
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The earliest known instance of failed SMD caps that I can recall is the old Sony Handycam 8MM decks. Those things were dropping dead from bad and leaky caps as early as the late 90s. 

 

The latest known instance of failed SMD caps that I can recall is the Mitsubishi DLP Television, First generation from the early to mid 2000s. Those things were dropping like flies as early as 2009 or thereabouts. Blinking power light of death. There was a fix for that, but as time went on, the colors would get bad, picture would get grainy and then fall back to the blinking light of death. 

 

The board stack has 3, to 4 boards depending on the model and they are full of SMD caps. hundreds of them. I have recapped 2 of those beasts back to normal operation, and voted never again considering not only is it a pain in the ass to change them all, but disassembly of the unit to get that board stack out is basically tearing it all the way down to the plastic base. Its bad.. 

 

The high-hour late model CRT projection sets are just now starting to die off from bad capacitors. Mostly through-hole radial stuff though. 

Edited by techknight
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I've got a Model 2 Sega CD that kinda acts funny so I'm hoping it's not caps, because just taking the thing apart to get at the motherboard seems like a complete nightmare.

 

IIRC the lasers on those things would fail too. I only ever played a handful of games on mine, only Snatcher, so my usage was never taxing. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yep. Though caps may not be the only problem: I have a couple of these CD drives (Quadra 650 caddy loaders), both partly malfunctioning with leaky caps. Replacing the caps, surprisingly, didn't make much difference (see this thread). There may be optical issues on these drives as well.

Thanks for the link and info apm, I'll try both when I get the time to

 

Not looking forward to dealing with my Sega Mega CD and Multimega either (Sega CD and CDX in US IIRC)

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Mac IIci's were dying from bad caps in the mid-90s.   There was a little bit of discussion in the comp.sys.mac.*** hierarchy on Usenet, which is what these forums looked like before there were web fora...   :)

 

I've replaced caps in my Sprinkler System Controller, VCR, LCD monitor, and a network switch.   They're everywhere.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm pretty sure it was caps that killed the ABS computer in my Volvo 850. The mechanic I saw for that car had me send it to a guy in Idaho who repaired them. My guess is he's a re-cap guy like some of the folks around these parts.

I would assume you need somebody reputable to fix an ABS computer for a car else insurance won't cover you anymore.
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I would assume you need somebody reputable to fix an ABS computer for a car else insurance won't cover you anymore.

 

Interesting thought on that, since there are cars out there without ABS. It's basically like the ABS system is broken if the computer is out. This may vary by company and state, but I lucked out and went out of town myself while this car was getting it fixed. We paid for expedited shipping so the computer would be back by the time I came back.

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I assume if the ABS system fails you can still drive but the computer won't pump the breaks to stop a lockup of the wheels. Was wondering if a badly repaired system would lockup the brakes or keep you from stopping in an emergency.

Yes, I think that's correct. Unless it malfunctions in some weird way, like pumping the brakes spuriously or preventing a safe stop, which I suppose could be caused by a badly repaired ABS computer, which isn't good.

 

I think it's best not to fool around with such things, unless you know *exactly* what your doing. Either send it off to be repaired, or just simply go out and buy a new or reconditioned one. The problem with older cars, though, is that these computer modules may no longer be available in working condition, in which case one may have no other choice but to attempt a repair themselves.\

 

Be that as it may, while ABS is nice and all, if the system breaks down and can't be repaired right away, it might be best for those who may be particularly paranoid to simply disconnect the ABS computer, or even remove it altogether, if it's no too difficult. That way, a malfunction can't cause drive-ability problems, as on a fair amount of cars (as far as I know), the ABS system, I would think, should be inert without a computer to activate it.

 

PCMs are also a problem. In fact, I have that Ford Windstar that seems determined to remain broken. We've had it checked numerous times, and every time, the PCM diagnostics have shown nothing. Can it be that the programming is correct, but some caps being out of tolerance is causing it to receive false sensor data and/or send false control signals?

 

Being as a reconditioned PCM is only about $50, I might as well get one and see what happens when I install it. The worst is that it'll behave as it is now, which would disprove my hunch.

 

c

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