Saturday, May 25, 2013

Replaced the Capacitors on a XFX Geforce 8600 GT

I bought three of these at the computer bonanza yard sale last year. One didn’t work. I threw it in a box and forgot about it. Then I needed a graphics card. They aren’t bad cards for general use. I figured it was worth half an hour and a couple of bucks worth of capacitors* to see if I could get it working.

This is why it didn’t work. Exploded FZ brand capacitors. They are known to go bad and many people took advantage of XFX’s lifetime warranty on these cards. I don’t have that option. Notice also that they are through-hole capacitors on a card that could have taken higher quality solid surface mount capacitors (the PCB had both options). Likely a bean counter at XFX saved the company 30 cents, then lost tens of dollars on the warranty.

These FZ caps look ok but I’ll replace them as well.

Bye-bye. I did the standard heat, glob some solder on and wiggle method of removal.

I ordered new caps (1000, 1500 and 470 mF, 6.3V for the first two and 16V for the last) from Mouser and had a few already from Jameco. 105 deg. C, low ESR. The black ones are Panasonic.

Caps in place.

Soldered them in. The card works, at least for the last 12 hours it has.


*It always ends up being around $20, because you buy a bunch of other crap at the same time, just because. In my case I ordered extra capacitors and a bunch of Attiny 45 microcontrollers.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

75 Cent Surge Protector

I bought this surge protector/power strip at a yard sale for 75 cents. You can never have too many…unless you do. Unfortunately when plugged in, the two switched outlets didn’t work, nor did the little green light come on.
I opened it up and checked the fuses on the phone jacks, they were fine.
Checked the plug/buss (?) bars. They were fine.
Checked continuity between the middle pad with the black wire and the lower pad with the black wire. These are connected by the power switch. No continuity in either switch position!
Looked at the switch.
It wiggles. I don’t think it’s supposed to do that.
Ah, the leads from the switch are loose and the solder around them has cracked.
I just pulled the switch out (from the other side), leaving gaping holes.
I cleaned and tinned the switch leads, flowed some new solder around and mixed with the old. Got the switch leads hot from the other side as well in hopes of drawing solder up the via a bit. Wiped off a lot of the nasty flux mess.
Easiest way to test, and the switched outlets, switch.