PDA

View Full Version : Capacitor plague



zqwerty
30-06-2010, 02:05 AM
I know this issue has come up many times on PressF1 but not sure whether this Wikipedia entry has been posted. It seems very informative to me and not long-winded:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

pctek
30-06-2010, 09:44 AM
"which confirmed the presence of dissolved aluminum in the Taiwanese capacitors' electrolyte, but not in Japanese ones.

Major vendors such as Intel, Dell and HP were directly affected."


Quality is always a good idea.

nedkelly
30-06-2010, 09:48 AM
Oh yeah, I know much about this. My old school had a big batch of emacs with the bad capacitors in them.

KarameaDave
30-06-2010, 01:09 PM
Something relevant.

http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/06/suit-alleges-that-dell-shipped-12-million-faulty-computers.ars

the NY Times article
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/technology/29dell.html?pagewanted=1&ref=technology

wratterus
30-06-2010, 01:18 PM
The law firm that is defending Dell had 1000 PCs that were affected by the issue, and Dell didn't want to fix them. That's gold. :lol:

KarameaDave
30-06-2010, 01:20 PM
And Dell balked at fixing them!:lol::groan::lol:

And don't use their machines for complex mathematical calculations as
that will wear them out :D

wratterus
30-06-2010, 01:31 PM
Wow.
"A scientist steals a secret formula for an electrical product from his Japanese employer and takes it to China. Then it is stolen again and turns up in Taiwan. But something goes wrong - and thousands, perhaps millions, of computers and electrical goods in the West begin to burn out or explode.

"It sounds like the plot of a thriller, but it's reality. Thousands of computers have failed and nobody is sure how many more products might go wrong because their capacitors - essential components to control the power supply - were made with faulty materials."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/jun/29/dell-problems-capacitors

Agent_24
30-06-2010, 01:52 PM
I think the problem is far from resolved, there are many brands of capacitor which are cheap and do not last long.

I have repaired several LCD monitors which were only 2-3 years old and all had failed capacitors.

There seems to be some debate over if the capacitors are just old stock with the incomplete formula or new stock which are just cheap and nasty. I do not really know. All I know is if it's not Japanese made, I don't think I would trust it for use in any kind of SMPS or Motherboard\Graphics card etc.

forrest44
30-06-2010, 02:02 PM
It's a pity really, stuff should be built to last, but with these poor capacitors, you get a cheap something or rather and voila, after 3 years or so it needs re-capping.

People should really demand reliability and buy based on how long it lasts and not how cheap it is in the first place

But then again with tech advancing the way it is, who cares if your 5 year old computer fails if it's only worth $50 on Trademe anyway

Agent_24
30-06-2010, 02:24 PM
LCD Monitors and TVs will stay longer in my opinion because they don't go out of date very fast.

I would expect a motherboard to be out of date in 3 years but I would expect to keep my monitor a lot longer.

So when a 22" LCD Monitor dies in 3 years or less because of bad capacitors in the PSU that is pathetic

bevy121
30-06-2010, 03:59 PM
well I wouldn't "expect" anything at all to die in 3 years due being out of date or bad caps - whether it's a monitor or a motherboard

Agent_24
30-06-2010, 04:04 PM
I would expect it, because I've seen it. I've repaired several monitors which were faulty, nothing more than bad capacitors, and only 2-3 years old.

The same problem is prevalent in cheap LCD TVs as well

bevy121
01-07-2010, 12:25 AM
yea sorry, I didn't mean that it doesn't happen - just that it shouldn't! :)

KarameaDave
01-07-2010, 12:32 AM
Every consumer article should by default be made to withstand 50-100 years of service.
Anything less is planned obsolescence and a crime against our environment. :D

utopian201
01-07-2010, 12:04 PM
Every consumer article should by default be made to withstand 50-100 years of service.
Anything less is planned obsolescence and a crime against our environment. :D

I'm still using a TV from the early 1980s. I will have to ditch it when they stop the analog broadcast...

Agent_24
01-07-2010, 12:07 PM
I'm still using a TV from the early 1980s. I will have to ditch it when they stop the analog broadcast...

You can buy a standalone DVB receivers, that's probably what I'm going to do

GoodHour
05-07-2010, 09:23 AM
You can buy a standalone DVB receivers, that's probably what I'm going to do

With old TVs without any AV inputs there isn't any way to connect a receiver except via RF modulation. I don't think any of the DVB-T receivers for Freeview terrestrial support RF output. Please correct me if I'm wrong. If so, it means you'd have to buy a RF modulation adapter.:banana

Make sure any RF modulator you buy supports S-video or component so you can sidestep the quality degradation from composite. The sound quality from RF modulation is weak but that won't matter if you have external speakers.

There are some satellite receivers that support RF modulation.

Agent_24
05-07-2010, 01:05 PM
I use an old VCR to connect my DVD player, new VCR and PC to the TV...

Takes up more space but would probably cheaper second hand than a new standalone RF modulator.

Greven
05-07-2010, 01:19 PM
IBM weren't too forthcoming with their capacitor problems either, but if you pushed them they would replace the faulty boards.

R2x1
05-07-2010, 02:02 PM
Every consumer article should by default be made to withstand 50-100 years of service.
Anything less is planned obsolescence and a crime against our environment. :D
Good idea. Parents are going to get some flack.

(PS, Lucas years come at fifty to the milli-second, but most of their stuff would still be in the consumer court pronto. Unfortunately, ownership of an Emperor of Darkness product takes you out of the consumer class and slaps you in the lower end of the drongo squad.) ;)

wratterus
05-07-2010, 02:42 PM
With old TVs without any AV inputs there isn't any way to connect a receiver except via RF modulation. I don't think any of the DVB-T receivers for Freeview terrestrial support RF output. Please correct me if I'm wrong. If so, it means you'd have to buy a RF modulation adapter.:banana

Make sure any RF modulator you buy supports S-video or component so you can sidestep the quality degradation from composite. The sound quality from RF modulation is weak but that won't matter if you have external speakers.

There are some satellite receivers that support RF modulation.

There are plenty of DVB-S Receivers that have RF outputs, unsure of the DVB-T though. If you are keeping an old TV why not get DVB-S? You won't notice any quality difference.

Agent_24
05-07-2010, 04:23 PM
Aren't people more likely to have a UHF antenna which can be used for DVB-T though?

Then, you already have HD anyway which would make future upgrades easier and cheaper.

Otherwise you would have to invest in a dish now and then maybe an antenna later, end up paying twice.

And on the subject of the 'Capacitor Plague', I would avoid the cheap DVB receivers, unless you want to replace them every 5 minutes or replace the capacitors.

forrest44
05-07-2010, 11:18 PM
And on the subject of the 'Capacitor Plague', I would avoid the cheap DVB receivers, unless you want to replace them every 5 minutes or replace the capacitors.

Replacing the capacitors isn't really that hard if you're handy with a soldering iron and can use RS components' website to order new caps :) (they have free shipping + a good range)

Agent_24
06-07-2010, 01:52 AM
Replacing the capacitors isn't really that hard if you're handy with a soldering iron and can use RS components' website to order new caps :) (they have free shipping + a good range)

Yeah I know, I have replaced quite a few myself ;)

The hard part is making sure you get good replacement capacitors.

Cheap general purpose capacitors are not suitable, they have to be low ESR types usually (especially for switching PSUs and mainboards\graphics cards)

It's usually OK to go with a lower ESR than the orignal, but you shouldn't go higher.

The fun part is often trying to find datasheets for the lesser known brands...