Re-Capping

ByRubin Binder

Re-Capping

So what is re-capping? No, it’s not the normal repeating-yourself-again summary of what was just said – it’s a solution to perhaps the #1 killer of electronics: failed capacitors. “Re-capping” is a term that you’ll hear when a technician replaces all of the old, leaking or failed capacitors in an electronic device.

This was a very common problem in older and vintage electronics, for example a jukebox that I’m working on right now has a dozen or more capacitors. Especially the paper variety from the 50’s and 60’s don’t last very long at all, a few years is a long time for those. Modern capacitors can last a lot longer.

Here is a unique "computer" from a Jukebox.  It selects which record to play.  Looks harmless enough.

Here is a unique “computer” from a Jukebox. It selects which record to play. Looks harmless enough.

Until you flip it over and see a dozen of large brown paper capacitors, leaking and dried out.

Until you flip it over and see a dozen of large brown paper capacitors, leaking and dried out.

Capacitors now replaced with modern, smaller capacitors.

Capacitors now replaced with modern, smaller capacitors.

As we can see on the lab bench, this is still a problem in much newer electronics using electrolytic capacitors in the 90’s. I just recently revived a Dell computer that was completely dead, and revived simply by replacing the electrolytic capacitors.

This burst capacitor should be 1800uF, it's barely reading 100uF!

This burst capacitor should be 1800uF, it’s barely reading 100uF!

More tales from the workbench to come…

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