View Full Version : Sun Ultra 10 Creator 3D 440MHz... Bad Caps! cross-post from badcaps forums.

June 2nd, 2015, 05:51 AM
Just thought I'd share this with the masses, since it happened to me. This is a cross-post of the badcaps forum post I made this morning here. (http://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?t=46763)

Got a few systems from a friend moving to Europe, including a Sun Ultra 10, an SGI Indy and an SGI Octane. the Indy and Octane are still currently untested, but when i opened the Ultra 10 to pop in a USB card before my first boot of it, I was welcomed with the unsightly bulge of capacitors next to the UltraSPARC IIi CPU card. it seems the fan siezed and the caps went puffy. and one that would have otherwise gone puffy went and pooped its pants! (picture 1.)


The CPU for reference is an UltraSPARC IIi 440MHz, the fastest they shipped with it seems Sun has used quite a few different vendors for caps for these Ultra 5 and 10's. The ones I had were IQ, but I've also seen an older Teapo style capacitor and Panasonic-Matsushita caps in various pictures of the same area on the internet-- so it doesn't surprise me that some cheaper capacitors made its way into these. I replaced the entirety of the capacitors next to the CPU module with some recovered Rubycons from a mid-2003 MSI S478 motherboard saved for just this sort of occasion. the pitch of the legs was off so I did have to bend the legs weird to get them in the holes and soldered up, but they're all in now (picture 2) and the machine works as it should.


So just a warning to anyone browsing the forums here, if you have almost-vintage Sun equipment from the turn of the century, I suggest you check your capacitors. I want to say this may also be the same case for any other Sun Ultra series computer after the 5/10 and onwards to before they went x86. just give them a check and see how cruddy they are. I got lucky... some others may not be so lucky.
as an added bonus, I'll also say this-- I replaced the power supply with a third-party one. these use a standard ATX v1.3 power supply spec, and the 6-pin power otherwise used for power for a PIII or otherwise is used to power the card in the UPA slot, in which case mine was originally filled with a Creator 3D card and now no longer is since I have no use for a Creator3D card in mine. with this removed and nothing in that slot, you can use whatever ATX power supply under the sun so long as it's 20-pin... to my knowledge.