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Replacing Faulty Capacitors in Vintage Power Supply Units

I’ve replaced an electrolytic cap on a PC motherboard before, but I’ve never had to open up a PSU, not to replace a part anyhow – this requires a whole another gameplan!

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Capacitors don’t last forever – an unfortunate fact of life for those who collect vintage electronics. The common electrolytic capacitor is one of the most problematic. It’s the type that looks like a little metal can, and after a couple of decades electrolytics tend to start leaking corrosive capacitor goo onto the PCB. You may recognize the strange smell of fish as an early warning sign. Eventually the goo will destroy traces on the PCB, or the changing electrical properties of the capacitor will cause the circuit to stop working. If you want to preserve your vintage equipment, that’s when it’s time for a “recap”.

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