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Re: Swollen Capacitors - I do believe!

 
 
Tony
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      01-12-2004
Here is another helpful resource for you guys:

http://www.badcaps.net/faq/

It supports my claim that a bad power supply can ruin capacitors on motherboards, contrary to what
Barry says.

Here is a sampling of the posts:

QUESTION:
Is my power supply the reason my motherboard has this problem?

ANSWER:
That's very possible! Low-end power supplies can emit what's known as 'ripple', which is caused by
poor filtration amongst the PSU's rectifier and regulation modules. Ripple is A/C oscillation
slipping through your PSU (Power Supply Unit) to your motherboard's regulation circuits.
Motherboard regulation circuits, also known as VRM's (Voltage Regulator Modules), were designed to
further regulate the clean voltages from the PSU, not filter out 'dirty power'. Dirty power thus
causes unnecessary stress on its polarized component, such as capacitors, ultimately resulting in
premature failure. With ANY computer system, I strongly recommend a sufficient power-rated and
quality brand power supply.


Tony
 
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hootnholler
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      01-12-2004
Hi Tony,

Not to be a stick in the mud, and not flaming, really, but this was a rave
story about a year and a half ago. Your tech friend is right, bad power
coming in can cause caps to malfunction, as the quote you found stated.
Here's a little reading on the subject that I believe that the others are
talking about...

http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/20...0207018535.htm

From what I remember in my readings, a lot of people thought it was faulty
power supplies that were the culprit, until there was a break in the story.
Apparently, there was an electrolyte manufacturer that decided to steal the
formula from another producer, one that produced over 80% of the world's cap
electrolytical solution. They thought they had it, but they were missing
some key components in the formula. Since they offered their formula at a
discount, a lot of the pcb (printed circuit board) manufacturers jumped onto
the bandwagon, only to find out that it was a terrible mistake. Plus, at
that time, the chip and semiconductor market was real tight (I only know
this since I work for one... we took a bit hit after 9/11/01...) so
everybody was scrambling for parts and availability.

Gigabyte seemed to be the worse hit, but after the story became public,
quite a few others found out they also bought those caps. To Gigabyte's
credit, they came out and stated what needed to be said. They made a
mistake, and were going to try and honor it, but sad to hear with Navin's
experience, they only did a 1 year warranty.

I made the same initial mistake your tech friend made. Bought a new power
supply and replaced the mobo with an exact replacement (thank goodness this
was one of my personal machines, so a customer was not affected...) only to
have it fail again. After it failed, I noticed the caps were bloated and
started to do some research, and stumbled across this story. One thing I
can say for this type of work, there is almost always an exception to the
rules! Keeps me on my toes

Hoot


"Tony" <(E-Mail Removed) > wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Here is another helpful resource for you guys:
>
> http://www.badcaps.net/faq/
>
> It supports my claim that a bad power supply can ruin capacitors on

motherboards, contrary to what
> Barry says.
>
> Here is a sampling of the posts:
>
> QUESTION:
> Is my power supply the reason my motherboard has this problem?
>
> ANSWER:
> That's very possible! Low-end power supplies can emit what's known as

'ripple', which is caused by
> poor filtration amongst the PSU's rectifier and regulation modules.

Ripple is A/C oscillation
> slipping through your PSU (Power Supply Unit) to your motherboard's

regulation circuits.
> Motherboard regulation circuits, also known as VRM's (Voltage Regulator

Modules), were designed to
> further regulate the clean voltages from the PSU, not filter out 'dirty

power'. Dirty power thus
> causes unnecessary stress on its polarized component, such as capacitors,

ultimately resulting in
> premature failure. With ANY computer system, I strongly recommend a

sufficient power-rated and
> quality brand power supply.
>
>
> Tony



 
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Tony
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-12-2004
Thanks for an informative post Hoot. I really wasnt talking about any specific brand of motherboard.
If the original poster has used a Gigabye MB that has a problem that you describe, then that is it.
Are you saying that faulty power supplies can never cause the capicitors to buldge? (I'm not being
sarcastic. I am just asking the question).

Tony


On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 03:56:20 GMT, "hootnholler" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Hi Tony,
>
>Not to be a stick in the mud, and not flaming, really, but this was a rave
>story about a year and a half ago. Your tech friend is right, bad power
>coming in can cause caps to malfunction, as the quote you found stated.
>Here's a little reading on the subject that I believe that the others are
>talking about...
>
>http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/20...0207018535.htm
>
>From what I remember in my readings, a lot of people thought it was faulty
>power supplies that were the culprit, until there was a break in the story.
>Apparently, there was an electrolyte manufacturer that decided to steal the
>formula from another producer, one that produced over 80% of the world's cap
>electrolytical solution. They thought they had it, but they were missing
>some key components in the formula. Since they offered their formula at a
>discount, a lot of the pcb (printed circuit board) manufacturers jumped onto
>the bandwagon, only to find out that it was a terrible mistake. Plus, at
>that time, the chip and semiconductor market was real tight (I only know
>this since I work for one... we took a bit hit after 9/11/01...) so
>everybody was scrambling for parts and availability.
>
>Gigabyte seemed to be the worse hit, but after the story became public,
>quite a few others found out they also bought those caps. To Gigabyte's
>credit, they came out and stated what needed to be said. They made a
>mistake, and were going to try and honor it, but sad to hear with Navin's
>experience, they only did a 1 year warranty.
>
>I made the same initial mistake your tech friend made. Bought a new power
>supply and replaced the mobo with an exact replacement (thank goodness this
>was one of my personal machines, so a customer was not affected...) only to
>have it fail again. After it failed, I noticed the caps were bloated and
>started to do some research, and stumbled across this story. One thing I
>can say for this type of work, there is almost always an exception to the
>rules! Keeps me on my toes
>
>Hoot
>
>
>"Tony" <(E-Mail Removed) > wrote in message
>news:(E-Mail Removed).. .
>> Here is another helpful resource for you guys:
>>
>> http://www.badcaps.net/faq/
>>
>> It supports my claim that a bad power supply can ruin capacitors on

>motherboards, contrary to what
>> Barry says.
>>
>> Here is a sampling of the posts:
>>
>> QUESTION:
>> Is my power supply the reason my motherboard has this problem?
>>
>> ANSWER:
>> That's very possible! Low-end power supplies can emit what's known as

>'ripple', which is caused by
>> poor filtration amongst the PSU's rectifier and regulation modules.

>Ripple is A/C oscillation
>> slipping through your PSU (Power Supply Unit) to your motherboard's

>regulation circuits.
>> Motherboard regulation circuits, also known as VRM's (Voltage Regulator

>Modules), were designed to
>> further regulate the clean voltages from the PSU, not filter out 'dirty

>power'. Dirty power thus
>> causes unnecessary stress on its polarized component, such as capacitors,

>ultimately resulting in
>> premature failure. With ANY computer system, I strongly recommend a

>sufficient power-rated and
>> quality brand power supply.
>>
>>
>> Tony

>


 
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hootnholler
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-12-2004
Hi again Tony,

Not a problem. I think it was a case of misunderstanding, more than
anything. As was stated, yes, bad power supplies can cause capacitors to
bulge. BUT, there is a caveat. (isn't there always?) Most motherboard
manufacturers are aware of the problem of cheap power supplies, so they try
to use the best parts they can afford to keep a profit margin with. That is
why there was one manufacturer making about 80% of the pc's capacitors.
Their electrolytical solution held up for a much longer period of time in
'cleaning power' than all other producers of caps.

Maybe a little background on capacitors is in order. These devices work
similar to a battery, they hold a charge. They take voltage from a power
source (in our case, the power supply unit) and 'holds' that charge for an
even current into the device it powers. As we know with computers, a
constant low voltage is very necessary to keep our hardware working. If
there is too much fluctuation, we get the dreaded restarts that we all love.
The power comes from the wall outlet, hits the power supply, is transformed
from the ac voltage coming in, into dc voltage that the computer uses (for
most devices....), then follows the wires from the power supply to the
motherboard connection. After that, it follows the traces on the
motherboard and usually ends up at a cap at some point in the circuit. From
an engineering standpoint, the good mobo makers realize that there will be a
plethora of power supply units out there, and most people skimp on the cost
of the power supply. Okay, to keep our name and reputation in the pc world,
we need to have some form of checks and balances. We'll spend the extra
$.03 per cap for the ones with the better electrolytical solution (this
solution holds the charge, like the acid in a battery...). We know that
this solution will last x times longer than the other cap solutions, so
we'll be able to boost our warranty, and hopefully, boost sales. We'll just
pass some of that cost onto the consumer.

Ahhhh, you may be thinking this is where the electrolyte scandal came into
play, and you are right. Since there was a dip in sales in the pc market in
2002, makers of pcb's were looking for a way to cut corners. Some
scandalous cap maker 'thought' they had the solution that company xyz had,
and marketed it as such. Well, they gambled, and they lost. They also made
a huge mess in the market. I don't know for sure, but would be willing to
bet that the company that tried this coup is no longer with us. It was a
sad time for hardware manufacturers, especially the ones that used these
caps. It's bad enough that sales were down, now that this information got
out, gee, I think I'll wait to buy that new motherboard I've been wanting...
sales continued to drop.

To sum this up, your friend and Barry are both correct. In this particular
instance, I would agree with Barry's and the other's original statement,
that it's the bad cap syndrome that Navin got caught up in. But, from an
overall standpoint, your friend is also correct. If the capacitors are
constantly having to hold and dischage power (which a bad power supply will
cause), it will eventually cause a breakdown in the electrolyte, and that
can also cause a capacitor to bulge. Your friend seems to work on various
electronics, and in that sense, he is more correct if this were in, say, a
t.v. or a radio. The design aspects are slightly different.

Tony, I'm like your friend. I'm an industrial electrician, and work mainly
with robotics and controls (controls engineer is another title...) and see
this all the time. On top of that, I work for a pcb manufacturer (mostly
networking components and phone switches, etc...) and have a first hand
knowledge of how this stuff gets built and designed. The engineers design
the piece, I make sure that the equipment can build it correctly. One thing
that I have learned is that the pc world is, for the most part, a seperate
entity. Design, parts, etc... are usually top notch and held to very
stringent standards. This is one reason why people like me cannot take the
A+ test cold, we need to study, just like everyone else

Hope this helps in your quest for knowledge!

Hoot

"Tony" <(E-Mail Removed) > wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Thanks for an informative post Hoot. I really wasnt talking about any

specific brand of motherboard.
> If the original poster has used a Gigabye MB that has a problem that you

describe, then that is it.
> Are you saying that faulty power supplies can never cause the capicitors

to buldge? (I'm not being
> sarcastic. I am just asking the question).
>
> Tony
>
>
> On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 03:56:20 GMT, "hootnholler" <(E-Mail Removed)>

wrote:
>
> >Hi Tony,
> >
> >Not to be a stick in the mud, and not flaming, really, but this was a

rave
> >story about a year and a half ago. Your tech friend is right, bad power
> >coming in can cause caps to malfunction, as the quote you found stated.
> >Here's a little reading on the subject that I believe that the others are
> >talking about...
> >
> >http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/20...0207018535.htm
> >
> >From what I remember in my readings, a lot of people thought it was

faulty
> >power supplies that were the culprit, until there was a break in the

story.
> >Apparently, there was an electrolyte manufacturer that decided to steal

the
> >formula from another producer, one that produced over 80% of the world's

cap
> >electrolytical solution. They thought they had it, but they were missing
> >some key components in the formula. Since they offered their formula at

a
> >discount, a lot of the pcb (printed circuit board) manufacturers jumped

onto
> >the bandwagon, only to find out that it was a terrible mistake. Plus, at
> >that time, the chip and semiconductor market was real tight (I only know
> >this since I work for one... we took a bit hit after 9/11/01...) so
> >everybody was scrambling for parts and availability.
> >
> >Gigabyte seemed to be the worse hit, but after the story became public,
> >quite a few others found out they also bought those caps. To Gigabyte's
> >credit, they came out and stated what needed to be said. They made a
> >mistake, and were going to try and honor it, but sad to hear with Navin's
> >experience, they only did a 1 year warranty.
> >
> >I made the same initial mistake your tech friend made. Bought a new

power
> >supply and replaced the mobo with an exact replacement (thank goodness

this
> >was one of my personal machines, so a customer was not affected...) only

to
> >have it fail again. After it failed, I noticed the caps were bloated and
> >started to do some research, and stumbled across this story. One thing I
> >can say for this type of work, there is almost always an exception to the
> >rules! Keeps me on my toes
> >
> >Hoot
> >
> >
> >"Tony" <(E-Mail Removed) > wrote in message
> >news:(E-Mail Removed).. .
> >> Here is another helpful resource for you guys:
> >>
> >> http://www.badcaps.net/faq/
> >>
> >> It supports my claim that a bad power supply can ruin capacitors on

> >motherboards, contrary to what
> >> Barry says.
> >>
> >> Here is a sampling of the posts:
> >>
> >> QUESTION:
> >> Is my power supply the reason my motherboard has this problem?
> >>
> >> ANSWER:
> >> That's very possible! Low-end power supplies can emit what's known as

> >'ripple', which is caused by
> >> poor filtration amongst the PSU's rectifier and regulation modules.

> >Ripple is A/C oscillation
> >> slipping through your PSU (Power Supply Unit) to your motherboard's

> >regulation circuits.
> >> Motherboard regulation circuits, also known as VRM's (Voltage Regulator

> >Modules), were designed to
> >> further regulate the clean voltages from the PSU, not filter out 'dirty

> >power'. Dirty power thus
> >> causes unnecessary stress on its polarized component, such as

capacitors,
> >ultimately resulting in
> >> premature failure. With ANY computer system, I strongly recommend a

> >sufficient power-rated and
> >> quality brand power supply.
> >>
> >>
> >> Tony

> >

>



 
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Tom MacIntyre
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-12-2004
On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 02:33:50 GMT, Tony <(E-Mail Removed) > wrote:

>Here is another helpful resource for you guys:
>
>http://www.badcaps.net/faq/
>
>It supports my claim that a bad power supply can ruin capacitors on motherboards, contrary to what
>Barry says.
>
>Here is a sampling of the posts:
>
>QUESTION:
>Is my power supply the reason my motherboard has this problem?
>
>ANSWER:
>That's very possible! Low-end power supplies can emit what's known as 'ripple', which is caused by
>poor filtration amongst the PSU's rectifier and regulation modules. Ripple is A/C oscillation
>slipping through your PSU (Power Supply Unit) to your motherboard's regulation circuits.
>Motherboard regulation circuits, also known as VRM's (Voltage Regulator Modules), were designed to
>further regulate the clean voltages from the PSU, not filter out 'dirty power'. Dirty power thus
>causes unnecessary stress on its polarized component, such as capacitors, ultimately resulting in
>premature failure. With ANY computer system, I strongly recommend a sufficient power-rated and
>quality brand power supply.
>


Electrolytic capacitors are designed to filter "dirty power"...it is
their raison d'etre.

Tom

>
>Tony


 
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Jonathan Miles
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-13-2004
I'm no expert when it comes to capacitors, but I was an electronics
technician for 2 years in a factory that made controllers for DC motors for
electric vehicles. I worked with caps every day. The *only* times I ever saw
electrolytic caps be the first point of failure in a system was when they
were put in the wrong way round.
I saw *that* plenty of times, though......lol.....makes a hell of a mess
when a coke can sized cap empties its nuts.......

JM

> I've been in this business 26 years and have never heard anything like
> this before. The caps he's talking about are typically rated at 6 volts.
> The only way I know of to stress them is to exceed that rating.
> NRJ



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RussS
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      01-13-2004
Barry is right about that company - we had a local manufacturer that went
bust after all of the issues arising from those caps. I actually had a GA7
board come in today with about 7 blown - similar vintage to Navins one. The
PS and everything else checks out well within specs so I am putting it down
to electrolyte.


 
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