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600XL capacitors


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#1 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:51 AM

With limited space and my XE setup still stored away, I've decided to look at buying a PAL 600XL to modify and use as a daily machine. I'm intending to install Ultimate 1Mb, VBXE-2, Side3 (when that eventually appears) and, a Modern replacement PSU. The modulator will be removed to fit the upgrades and as a matter of course I intend to replace the electrolytic capacitors. Looking at the service manual there are 10 electrolytic caps as follows:

C1 C6 C13 C64     22µF 16V Axial
C44                      47µF 10v Axial
C83 C101 C115     10µF 16V Radial
C95 C96               470µF 10V Axial

Does that look correct?

 

I should already have enough suitable radial caps with higher voltage ratings here but I'd need to see which axial ones I have.

Hopefully I can pick up a working board although I do have a spare parts PAL 800XL which I bought in a very poor state about 10 years ago so I might be lucky enough to at least get some working ICs from that board if needed.



#2 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:01 AM

Why not just wait until you have the machine before deciding which caps to replace?

 

Most of them aren't involved in any way with the "heavy lifting" in power conversion that takes it's toll.  I've replaced a grand total of 1 capacitor for the reason of making VBXE fit better.  Visually inspecting each machine I've got or had in the last 15 years I found no issues with caps on motherboards.



#3 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:24 AM

Why not just wait until you have the machine before deciding which caps to replace?

 

Most of them aren't involved in any way with the "heavy lifting" in power conversion that takes it's toll.  I've replaced a grand total of 1 capacitor for the reason of making VBXE fit better.  Visually inspecting each machine I've got or had in the last 15 years I found no issues with caps on motherboards.

It's just for future peace of mind really with them being 30+ years old now which should be roughly end of life for them.



#4 NISMOPC ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:28 AM

Have had my hands on at least 10 600XL's, 800XL's and even more 65XE's and 130XE's in the past 2 years and have yet to find one that needed any caps replaced. Guess it depends on personal choice, but I wouldn't bother with the tedious job unless they actually test bad.


Edited by NISMOPC, Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:29 AM.


#5 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:11 AM

I've heard people over the years saying that, if they test fine just leave them be but to me it's a failure waiting to happen in the near future. I find it quick and straight forward to replace capacitors so it seems a no-brainer to quickly swap them with fresh ones and forget about them for a few more decades.


Edited by Tezz, Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:12 AM.


#6 DrVenkman ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:17 AM

Don’t replace perfectly good caps! I have fourteen vintage A8 computers and two 5200’s. I’ve replaced ONE bad .1 uf cap in the video circuit of an 800XL. That’s it. None of the rest of them have had any issues whatsoever.

#7 Nezgar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:29 AM

I'm no expert but my brother told me that since the move to RoHS, capacitors don't last like they used to. By replacing caps with modern ones you may actually be increasing the likelihood of failure sooner in the future...?

#8 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:30 AM

Since it's easy to replace caps in the rare event that they fail, replace them when they fail. :)



#9 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:41 AM

I guess I will leave them then :)

 

I was told a couple of years back that modern capacitors have much improved manufacturing methods so for example a capacitor with a much higher voltage rating can now be produced at the same physical size and if they are used in a circuit at a lower rating they will last longer still.



#10 Nezgar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:49 AM

Derp-delete, double posted

Edited by Nezgar, Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:51 AM.


#11 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:51 PM

I have a 40 year old Realistic stereo amplifier and tuner that still have all of the original capacitors and other components, with both being used on a semi daily basis since I purchased them new in 1978. And in the early years I used to crank up the volume pretty loud, so was definitely putting some strain on the amp's power supply. I also have some 40 year old Sansui speakers with all of the original non-polarized electrolytic capacitors in their cross-overs that still sound the same as the day they were made.

#12 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:09 AM

It's one of those stories that zing around and will never die.

 

The "all magic" cap-kit story. I was in the arcade collecting circuit for about 10 years and whenever people posted a problem with any electronics there were always loads of people saying cap-kit, cap-kit....

 

Very often, very very often, the cap-kit bought was of cheap Chinese modern caps.....or sometimes they used NOS caps that had been laying in racks for 30+ years.

Both result in a much WORSE situation.

 

Cheap Chinese caps....don't.

 

30+ year old caps......are usually worse than those who are of the same age but have been in use regularly. Electrolytic caps need "exercise".

 

I've worked on loads of monitors, arcade PCBs and sure...I found bad caps. And yes I replaced those, with GOOD quality new ones. I mostly used Panasonic and sometimes Nichicon, low ESR, 105 degree caps.

Caps that go kaputt are usually small in size AND have endured heat for long periods of time.

Ever since I bought a good ESR meter I've only measured all caps on my devices. Usually, they are all fine. 

Even though the brands of caps I've found in Atari homecomputers aren't a well known brand (Atari arcade only used Nichicons) I have yet to find a bad one...the lack of heat inside A8's is one of the reasons for this.

 

I own a 1971 Seeburg jukebox. It has all caps of two brands: Sprague and Siemens. I have measure them all. NONE were bad, actually, they all showed specs well over there indicated capacitance and low ESR values.

 

I HAVE found leaking caps in Atari Lynxes though (definitly check those, I only noticed the leak after removing a cap). And I have some doubts about the caps in my Mega STE PSU...they seem to be "just" in spec.

I also recently bought a early 90's midi-module (Korg). It showed NO output on both Jack terminals and very low output on the 3.5mm connector, the left channel being slightly better than the right one, but even with my amp fully cranked up, the volume was very low. So I got out my ESR meter and started testing the SMD caps. About ALL of them were defective. To my amazement some even showed "infinite" ESR values....which explained why there was no sound on the jack terminals. 

I replaced them all (my first ever SMD cap job) and now it rund 100% again. To be honest, the Korg doesn't get hot inside, but I read that early 90's SMD caps are known to be bad...

 

Anyway....the story is that there is never one solution to this. And you have to decide for your own.... I personally check the A8 caps visually and with my meter and then leave them.



#13 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:31 AM

It's one of those stories that zing around and will never die.

 

The "all magic" cap-kit story. I was in the arcade collecting circuit for about 10 years and whenever people posted a problem with any electronics there were always loads of people saying cap-kit, cap-kit....

 

Very often, very very often, the cap-kit bought was of cheap Chinese modern caps.....or sometimes they used NOS caps that had been laying in racks for 30+ years.

Both result in a much WORSE situation.

 

Cheap Chinese caps....don't.

 

Just to be clear I'm not one of those idiots that think replacing old caps magically solves all problems and should always be undertaken. I'm well aware of lots of annoyed electronics people in recent years pissed off talking about this "unnecessary recapping trend". In hindsight I should have realised that any talk of replacing capacitors for the sake of it could annoy the many hardware guys here. Sorry about that. Programming is what I enjoy, electronics is something that I only touch when nessasary :) However many hardware tasks I've done over the years I am just an amature following instructions and guides and listening to experts. The main reason I want to replace capacitors like I said is just for personal peace of mind. A guy I know working full time in electrical engineering for decades told me years ago that "the reliability of decades old electrolitics cannot be trusted regardless of whether they are currently functional".

 

I never buy cheap sub standard components, I try to only ever buy Panasonic capacitors which most mention as being up there with the best quality manufacture.

 

30+ year old caps......are usually worse than those who are of the same age but have been in use regularly. Electrolytic caps need "exercise".

 

I've worked on loads of monitors, arcade PCBs and sure...I found bad caps. And yes I replaced those, with GOOD quality new ones. I mostly used Panasonic and sometimes Nichicon, low ESR, 105 degree caps.

Caps that go kaputt are usually small in size AND have endured heat for long periods of time.

Ever since I bought a good ESR meter I've only measured all caps on my devices. Usually, they are all fine. 

Even though the brands of caps I've found in Atari homecomputers aren't a well known brand (Atari arcade only used Nichicons) I have yet to find a bad one...the lack of heat inside A8's is one of the reasons for this.

 

I own a 1971 Seeburg jukebox. It has all caps of two brands: Sprague and Siemens. I have measure them all. NONE were bad, actually, they all showed specs well over there indicated capacitance and low ESR values.

 

I HAVE found leaking caps in Atari Lynxes though (definitly check those, I only noticed the leak after removing a cap). And I have some doubts about the caps in my Mega STE PSU...they seem to be "just" in spec.

I also recently bought a early 90's midi-module (Korg). It showed NO output on both Jack terminals and very low output on the 3.5mm connector, the left channel being slightly better than the right one, but even with my amp fully cranked up, the volume was very low. So I got out my ESR meter and started testing the SMD caps. About ALL of them were defective. To my amazement some even showed "infinite" ESR values....which explained why there was no sound on the jack terminals. 

I replaced them all (my first ever SMD cap job) and now it rund 100% again. To be honest, the Korg doesn't get hot inside, but I read that early 90's SMD caps are known to be bad...

 

Anyway....the story is that there is never one solution to this. And you have to decide for your own.... I personally check the A8 caps visually and with my meter and then leave them.

That's interesting regarding early 90's SMD caps. A couple of years ago an Amiga 600 that I bought tested as having four bad SMD caps, I replaced the full board with new Panasonic SMD capacitors after removal and cleaning. I later sent my A1200 to someone else to replace the capacitors. I own a Korg 05r/w midi module that I bought in the mid 90's, I haven't used any of my music rack equipment in over 15 years, hopefully they haven't gone the same way :(

Edited by Tezz, Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:33 AM.


#14 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:22 PM

 

 

Just to be clear I'm not one of those idiots that think replacing old caps magically solves all problems and should always be undertaken. I'm well aware of lots of annoyed electronics people in recent years pissed off talking about this "unnecessary recapping trend". In hindsight I should have realised that any talk of replacing capacitors for the sake of it could annoy the many hardware guys here. Sorry about that. Programming is what I enjoy, electronics is something that I only touch when nessasary :) However many hardware tasks I've done over the years I am just an amature following instructions and guides and listening to experts. The main reason I want to replace capacitors like I said is just for personal peace of mind. A guy I know working full time in electrical engineering for decades told me years ago that "the reliability of decades old electrolitics cannot be trusted regardless of whether they are currently functional".

 

I never buy cheap sub standard components, I try to only ever buy Panasonic capacitors which most mention as being up there with the best quality manufacture.

 

 

 

That's interesting regarding early 90's SMD caps. A couple of years ago an Amiga 600 that I bought tested as having four bad SMD caps, I replaced the full board with new Panasonic SMD capacitors after removal and cleaning. I later sent my A1200 to someone else to replace the capacitors. I own a Korg 05r/w midi module that I bought in the mid 90's, I haven't used any of my music rack equipment in over 15 years, hopefully they haven't gone the same way :(

 

 

Well that's funny.

 

That is EXACTLY the same Korg module as I have here..... ;)


Beter open it up soon....I didn't notice any leaking but there seemed to be a strange "film" over the PCB. I wasn't sure so I cleaned it with alcohol and a cloth anyway....

 

I can give you the cap-kit list for it........that is.....I thought I saves it somewhere.... :D



#15 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:33 AM

Well that's funny.

 

That is EXACTLY the same Korg module as I have here..... ;)

Beter open it up soon....

 

Thanks, I will check that out. No doubt it won't be the only one in the rack with issues now.



#16 tjlazer OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:18 PM

Only the surface mounted caps really should be replaced, I haven't replaced any on any older machines that don't use those, unless it's clearly failed.

#17 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:34 AM

I was able to find a nice condition PAL 600XL earlier this week which I've now bought to setup and use during game development along side Altirra rather than my XE. It was described as working and all keys tested although I'm still waiting for it to arrive to see if this is the case. Aside from the "1" key which doesn't look to be sitting correctly, it looks in the photo to be in good condition and the case and keyboard should hopefully just need a good clean. I haven't yet ordered the U1Mb and VBXE for this machine, I sent a message to Lotharek asking about the current status of the SIDE3 cartidge but I didn't get a reply. It would be preferable to have all 3 shipped together but it looks likely that I'll have to order the SIDE later.

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#18 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:33 AM

The 600XL arrived this morning. All tested fine apart from the "3" key. The keyboard looks to be a type 2 or 3 refering to Beatles old XL keyboard guide thread. The XL is not quite as good as the photo suggested, it's pretty dirty and slightly yellowed and has a few marks on the console keys but otherwise it's ok. I'll take it apart next and start cleaning everything.



#19 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:49 AM

With some free time today I was able to strip down the XL for cleaning and then eventually retr0brighting. The sun was shinning for hours today from the morning but with sods law by the time I got to the stage of putting it in the sun it became cloudy.  Bad weather is forecast into the foreseeable future so I'll have to continue whenever it does eventually return. I don't really want to go to the trouble of building a UV light box.

 

The keyboard turned out to be the AWC type, referred to by Beatle as a "type 2". I'll make sure to buy a keycap puller before sorting that out as it's all too easy even being careful to break keycaps.


Edited by Tezz, Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:49 AM.


#20 tjlazer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:50 AM

I use a butter knife wrapped in a thin cloth to wedge under the key cap and with fingers on the opposite side wiggle the key cap off. No issues. I just repaired a non working key switch and a few others that had cold solder joints. It's a nice keyboard and easy to repair with no need for expensive mylars.

#21 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:28 PM

I use a butter knife wrapped in a thin cloth to wedge under the key cap and with fingers on the opposite side wiggle the key cap off. No issues. I just repaired a non working key switch and a few others that had cold solder joints. It's a nice keyboard and easy to repair with no need for expensive mylars.

There's actually a dry residue inbetween the "3" "W" and "E" keys so something is likely to have been spilled there at some point in the past. It doesn't look like a large spill but the residue suggests a sugary drink so that may have corroded the switch or caused a short there. I'll try carefully popping those keycaps off tomorrow to investigate.



#22 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:41 PM

Let me know if you need a spare switch. I have a couple of donor boards here.

#23 Sugarland OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:07 AM

The 600XL arrived this morning. All tested fine apart from the "3" key. The keyboard looks to be a type 2 or 3 refering to Beatles old XL keyboard guide thread.

 

From my experience, type 3's are rare. Easily visible difference between type 2 and 3 is that type 3 has the bigger font with round letter O while type 2 has the thinner font with an oval O.



#24 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:04 AM

Let me know if you need a spare switch. I have a couple of donor boards here.

Thanks Jon, much appreciated :thumbsup:



#25 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:54 AM

I've now carefully removed all of the keycaps for cleaning apart from the spacebar and long shift key. There was definately residue around the base of the "3" key switch. I've never removed the switches before, It looks like the white plunger part of the switch clips into the base. Do I just need to press in the clips on the side of the plunger to release it? Or, do I leave them alone and take the board apart to get to the switches beneath?






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