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Thread: SPARCstation IPC Capacitor Carnage

  1. #1
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    Default SPARCstation IPC Capacitor Carnage

    album: https://imgur.com/a/OTZiH0y

    I opened a SPARCstation IPC to find this:



    The main caps had leaked so bad that the goop dripped onto the motherboard:



    Now, I know capacitor leakage can cause a lot of damage, and that SPARCstation IPCs seem to be more prone to leaking main caps than other Sun machines (see writeup here), but this made a real mess! Inside, electrolyte goop is literally pooled on the ends of the main filter caps:



    I guess it's fortunate that the power supply in the IPC is mounted as it is: upside-down when the case is closed and sitting normally. The goop didn't spend too much time on the power supply circuit board, instead dripping down and attacking the plating on the power supply cage. That probably reduced its corrosiveness and limited the damage to the motherboard. After a good scrubbing with hot soapy water and a recap of the power supply, this machine is fully functional again!

    Do check the caps in your machines, especially if you have something that's known to leak!

  2. #2

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    Does anyone know if the power supply in the SPARCclassic (X) is the same?

    I recently got my first one. It looks absolutely clean inside, but probably I should recap this thing before this happens to me as well.

  3. #3

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    It's the same form factor but a different internal design. You need to open it up and note the capacitor values. I changed the EMI and DC output caps and on both my IPC and Classic a few years back and it was definitely not too soon.

  4. #4

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    That is good to know! I will check my power supply as soon as possible.

  5. #5
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    Note that I've only observed cap issues with the IPC. I've been through probably a dozen lunchbox systems this year, and none of the others (IPX, Classic, LX) have had cap issues. But, every single IPC has, and I've had a few people mail their IPCs to me for recapping. I've opened the others up, and a bunch of pizzaboxes as well, and inspected, just to make sure. I'd definitely recommend that everyone open their supplies up and have a look, but if there's no leakage evidence, and if the machine is not an IPC, I wouldn't recap.

  6. #6
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    I got lucky, my IPC has a dead power supply but at least it's not leaking like that...

  7. #7

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    I opened up my power supply today and luckily there is no leaking or bulging.

    Just for the record: This is out of a SPARCclassic. It is made by FDK (Fuji) and has the model number PEX643-30.

    I will recap it anyway with some high-quality caps.

  8. #8

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    I noticed the MB has several LSI Logic chips on it. Used to work there...

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mediasponge View Post
    I noticed the MB has several LSI Logic chips on it. Used to work there...
    the parts are in LSI's short form catalog http://bitsavers.org/components/lsiL...rm_Catalog.pdf

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabian View Post
    I opened up my power supply today and luckily there is no leaking or bulging.

    Just for the record: This is out of a SPARCclassic. It is made by FDK (Fuji) and has the model number PEX643-30.

    I will recap it anyway with some high-quality caps.
    I've had no issues out of other lunchbox sized machines, including the IPX which uses a very similar Sony power supply board. Dunno if it was just a bad run that only spanned the IPCs or what.

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