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Thread: fire!

  1. #1

    Default fire!

    It's been too long...I haven't had anything burst into flames in a while....

    My Apple /// just about burst into flames...ah! Saved in the nick of time.

    I am reading a message on this board with the Apple /// running in the background (I was stress testing it) and then I smell this ...smoke...like wood burning. oh man.

    Fortunately I have a spare power supply, but I would just like to complement the designers of the Apple /// for making a metal power supply chassis that is separated from the mother board and disk drives. Another thing I noticed is that the computer continued to work even while the room filled with smoke and the top of the table surrounding the system is burned..

    and now I have another project.

    Followup: After taking the power supply out of the chassis, I determine that the capacitor (I believe) with 22 microfarad rating in position C4 split open and was burning. It still smells in the room, I hope it's not toxic.

    Bill
    Last edited by billdeg; August 17th, 2008 at 07:11 AM.
    @ BillDeg:
    Web: vintagecomputer.net
    Twitter: @billdeg
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  2. #2

    Default

    Wow. Good save.

    I never run my machines unless I am in the same room with them, but I have been thinking about dedicating an old machine as a server and the thought of a failure has crossed my mind a few times. I don't want to burn out good hardware on something silly, but I was more worried about component failure, not fire.


    Mike

  3. #3

    Default

    I have already replaced the power supply and I am in the room running a new stress test with the new power supply. I never leave a computer unattended in these situations. I am preparing for VCF East, and these machines will be powered on for many hours, that's not when you want to find out you have a problem!
    @ BillDeg:
    Web: vintagecomputer.net
    Twitter: @billdeg
    Youtube: @billdeg
    Unauthorized Bio

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    I only run the vintage stuff when I am there to watch them, the only 24/7 machine in the house is an old dual ppro server. I have seen running machines blow a power supply and turn off, have yet to have anything burn in normal operation (just a couple items I hooked up incorrectly over the last 20 years).

    Do you guys have smoke alarms in your work areas and a good electronics rated fire extinguisher? I do.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  5. #5

    Default

    A friend of mine found her VGA monitor in flames, but I personally have'nt seen anything fry up like your apple /// PSU did. Glad my XT still works without troubble.

  6. #6

    Default

    Given the nature of switching power supplies with electrolytic caps sitting on a high-voltage line-side DC bus the chance of a failure is only a matter of time, with hopefully the fuse being the only casualty. The problem is the current going into the supply may not be much more in failure modes than it is in normal operation.

    It would be useful for all of us if we created a database of repair parts for the more common switch mode power supplies. I plan on replacing the main caps inside my IBM PC and AT supplies in the next year.
    IBM 5170/5053, 2 x 5150/5051
    Sun IPC, Ultra1 and SPARCclassic with tape, disk and CD
    HP Apollo 9000/735
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
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    3,754

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by billdeg View Post
    It still smells in the room, I hope it's not toxic.

    Bill
    Aluminum oxide is the main ingredient, I believe, so, fairly, but not fatally.

    Not like when your Northstar Processor boards both caught on fire and melted into two blobs of G10 epoxy LOL (just kidding).
    Legacy Computers and Parts

    Sales of, parts for, and repairs to, Vintage and Legacy computers.

  8. #8

    Default

    lol

    bd
    @ BillDeg:
    Web: vintagecomputer.net
    Twitter: @billdeg
    Youtube: @billdeg
    Unauthorized Bio

  9. Default

    Even new stuff flames up from time to time. One typical case I'm aware of, involved electrolytic caps being installed backward due to process problems at the factory.

    Regards,
    Mike Willegal

  10. #10

    Default

    LOL Bill,

    You know that every year a computer smokes at the VCF East show. Now what are we going to do? You could have put a hex on the whole show now!

    Vince
    Briel Computers
    retro hobby kits
    http://www.brielcomputers.com

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