Hacked Gadgets Forum

July 31, 2010

How to Replace a Capacitor

at 6:37 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Afrotech has put together a great video that demonstrates the basics of replacing a capacitor. This is normally only important when repairing old electronics, however recently there have been many cases where faulty capacitors fail after only a few years (or less) and need to be replaced to keep the device operational. Dell is one of the computer manufacturers who had a bad issue with defective capacitors. In this case replacing a dollars worth of capacitors could bring your dead computer back to life. The one piece of good news is that the capacitors we are talking about here are the large electrolytic type which are almost always through hole soldered so they are simple to replace with minimal tools and experience.

We have featured the work of Afrotech here before, remember those cool hard drive speakers? His speakers were a big inspiration for the Hard Drive Oscilloscope that I built back in 2006. Once you are done watching the above instructional video be sure to watch the video of magic smoke being let out of lots of capacitors and other components.


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9 Responses to “How to Replace a Capacitor”

  1. Pouncer Says:

    Imagine the stink after burning up all those components. makes my nose hurt just thinking about it.

  2. MIKHEIL Says:

    nice vid simple and funny could use more such vids

  3. electronica Says:

    thanks for sharing this video, can i post it in my blog? of course whit a linkback

  4. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hey Electronica,

    I didn’t make the videos, they were made by Afrotech but there is no need to ask him for permission as long as you give him a link back. Nice thing about Youtube videos is that you can click on the video and go directly to the creators Youtube page.

  5. electronica Says:

    ok, thanks for the answer

  6. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Pouncer,

    I was thinking the same thing when I watched the video. It reminded me of what me and a co-worker did many years ago. We came back to the shop very late at night after doing some work that needed to be done in the evening and decided to blow up some caps. We just used an extension cord and 110 VAC.

    The stink was a bit overwhelming even after the doors were left open for an hour.

    The next day when asked what the smell was we just said it was a repair that went bad. 🙂

  7. George Johnson Says:

    Put the capacitor in the end of a plastic tube, and you have a mini canon. We went through a BUNCH of small caps.

    But I don’t like his soldering technique. you don’t put the solder down, and touch the iron tip to the solder. You heat the joint and then apply the solder to the joint, not the iron tip.

    jus sayin…..

  8. Pingu Says:

    I seriously doubt that a quick 200v across your fingertip will kill you, but it’ll sting and come as a bit of a surprise, so still apply caution 🙂

  9. Whatnot Says:

    It is not correct that reversing a capacitor will always blow it up, what exactly will happen depends on the capacitor’s design but blowing up when it’s within the voltage range is not likely.

    And incidentally, not all capacitors have a polarity and it’s silly to suggest they do.

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