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Thread: Sometimes I love exploding capacitors

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Sometimes I love exploding capacitors

    Along with the 5170 I picked up on the weekend I also got 3 XT clones and a number of XT and 286 motherboards.
    One of the 286 clone boards has a socketed Dallas RTC, so no battery leak damage and easy to modify to use an external battery. I thought great an easy repair.

    That thought was short lived because when I powered it up the power supply went into overload shutdown. Now I'm thinking of all the effort it is going to take to find the faulty component.

    I pondered that dilemma for a few minutes and then a heard a loud crack and saw a flash of light near the motherboards power connector. It seems I had neglected to turn off the power supply.
    Shortly after that loud crack I heard a beep from the speaker, looking up at the monitor I saw the Award BIOS startup screen.

    So I switched off the power supply and examined the area of the board that seemed to be the source of that crack and flash, my short investigation revealed the remains of a tantalum capacitor.
    I had no idea what value that capacitor used to be but the 15 other tantalum cps on the board are all 10uF 16v. I ordered a bunch of new capacitors and plan to replace them all, but for now the board works happily without the caps near the power connector.

    So thank you exploding capacitor you made the repair quick and easy.

  2. #2
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    You'd change your mind if it was a glass-and steel "Vitamin Q" capacitor exploding. Had one do that and it scared the dickens out of me--while embedding steel shrapnel in the ceiling.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    while embedding steel shrapnel in the ceiling.
    Shite lol. Worst I've had is a tantalum that exploded in my fingers once when I applied power to it. It hurt.
    Bobby.

  4. #4

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    I've been hit in the face by an exploding tant before, Luckily i was wearing my specs at the time as a burning ember hit the lens. I always wear safety specs now when working on old mobo's etc.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malc View Post
    I've been hit in the face by an exploding tant before, Luckily i was wearing my specs at the time as a burning ember hit the lens. I always wear safety specs now when working on old mobo's etc.
    My old eyes.. I need glasses to see what I'm working on these days.

    Over the years I've been hit by fragments of exploding parts a few times and I'd still choose that over the hassle of finding a shorted capacitor on a board.
    Sadly my laziness trumps my fear of projectiles lol

  6. #6
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    Happened to me yesterday. I pulled down a 486 ISA/PCI mobo from the garage loft and when I applied power, it went off like a celebration. Don't think I have the time or inclination to troubleshoot the thing.

  7. #7
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    I had an electrolytic cap from a cold cathode lighting board blow in my face. I was able to close my eye in time but the metal jacket hit my eyelid with so much force it pushed my eyeball back in the socket till it had a slight rupture. They called it a hyphema. Was extremely painful. I ran to a mirror and watched as my eyeball started turning red from internal bleeding. Lost vision for two weeks but fully recovered.
    Last edited by VERAULT; August 31st, 2018 at 01:17 PM.

  8. #8
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    I wear glasses anyway but lately I take them off to do close up work. I need to get bifocals someday. Luckily for me I never had a cap blow up when I was working on something, just heard the noise of one whistle as it died.
    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
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  9. #9

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    I had a cap blow up in my face on a Paradise EGA card I was testing. Luckily nothing hit my eyes. Scared the hell out of me though!

    The card worked perfectly once I replaced the cap and is now installed in one of my IBM 5150s.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown_K View Post
    I wear glasses anyway but lately I take them off to do close up work. I need to get bifocals someday. Luckily for me I never had a cap blow up when I was working on something, just heard the noise of one whistle as it died.
    Wait'll you get cataract surgery. You'll find that aside from the single vision that the bits of plastic in your eyeball are designed for, you'll need glasses for everything else.

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