Installing Capacitor Kits

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This is just a quick document that I've put together to share some tips on installing cap kits.

Note about Console5 Cap Kits & Voltages

We list the caps in this wiki with the lowest-known voltage values original to the console. Frequently we provide caps that meet or exceed the original voltages. This is done for a variety of reasons, and in some cases a slightly increase in rated voltage is preferred.

For example, if the original cap is a 100uF 10v, our kits we may include a 100uF 16v.

Before installing, we recommend organizing the replacement parts. Then as each cap is replaced, choose the matching capacitance (uF) and the lowest provided voltage (V). See organization below.

Some consoles will require specialty capacitors in certain locations - audio grade, low ESR, OSCON, or bipolar. These capacitors are noted in this wiki and will be separated in the packaging or easily identifiable from the general use capacitors. For these parts, be sure not to substitute a general purpose capacitor as performance or lifespan may be compromised. That's a fancy way of saying *KERPOW*


Voltage Substitutions: Leaded Caps

These are some examples but there may be more. If you are ever unsure, please let us know and we would be happy to help!


Format is:

Kit Substitute Value
Original Device Value


1uf 50v
1uF 16v
10uF 50v
10uF 16v, 25v, 50v
22uF 50v
22uF 16v, 25v, 50v
220uF 6.3v
220uF 10v, 16v
47uF 6.3v
47uF 10v, 16v, 25v, 50v
100uF 6.3v, 16v
100uF 16v, 25v, 50v
1000uF 10v
1000uF 16v, 25v
2200uF 16v
2200uF 25v


Voltage Charts & Substitutions: Surface Mount (SMD) Caps

Some surface mount caps have capacitance & voltage clearly marked (e.g. 100 10v = 100uF, 10v). Some use voltage codes combined with capacitor series codes and the result is less intuitive. Fortunately the voltage marks are standardized.

Voltage substitutions with surface-mount are less likely than with leaded, but the substitution chart from the previous section still applies.

The majority of the time, the diameter of our replacement caps will match the diameter of the original caps or be 1mm smaller. This ensures the replacement part fits within the footprint of the original part.


SMD Cap Codes

If you encounter a part in our kits that isn't listed, please send us a message and we will add it!

X1P 10 16v (note the lack of black stripe)
10uF, 16v Non-polarized
10 CFC
10uF, 16v
100 CFK
100uF, 16v
100E CD
100uF, 25v
22V
22uF, 35v
220 AHC
220uF, 10v
33 EFT
33uF, 25v
4.7 HFK
4.7uF 50v
47C or 47CHA
47uF, 16v
68 CFP
68uF, 16v

SMD Cap Voltage Marking Chart

Panasonic & Nichicon SMD cap marking format

Expectations

An important fact: If you have a device that is behaving badly, a cap kit is not guaranteed to fix the problem. The only thing a cap kit does is ensure that your capacitors are operating within spec.

Capacitors are a frequent scapegoat. For some devices, they deserve to be so (See: Category:Bad_Capacitors). For others, they may not be to blame. That determination should be made by following proper troubleshooting procedures.


Post-install Adjustments

For certain devices, installing the cap kit may only be the first step in the process. Devices such as monitors and CD drives may require electrical adjustments once the kit has been installed.

After recapping a monitor, at the very least you shoul make sure that B+ is within spec. Leave the monitor powered up for a minimum of 30-60 minutes post installation to make sure it functions properly when warm.

For CD players, test behavior both before & after cap installation. Make sure that CDs are recognized quickly, that skipping back & forth across tracks works quickly, that the player is reasonably immune to skipping when the surface that it's sitting on is tapped, and that there are no unusual noises during playback. You probably will not have to make adjustments due to the new capacitors, but the act of disassembling & reassembling the mechanism might affect physical tolerances within the unit. For example, the suspension may become bound up if the cables are not routed properly. If the device was previously adjusted to compensate for defective caps, you may have to readjust once the new parts are installed.

Again, CD player adjustment isn't normally a concern, just a possibility to be aware of.

Luckily, for most solid-state devices, you can simply install the new caps and be done with it!


Tools

Make sure that you have the proper tools and experience necessary. Some kits are easy to install, some require quite a bit of patience and organizational skills.


Replacement Parts

Be sure that you have the correct parts for the job. Smaller devices will probably require smaller parts. Switch-type power supplies require low ESR caps. Some devices use higher heat tolerance parts, some use lower. Bipolar electrolytic capacitors look just like normal electrolytic caps except they have no orientation - don't mix & match!


Organization

Capacitors for a Commodore 1702 sorted in prep for installation.

If you've bought a pre-made cap kit, chances are that the values in the kit won't exactly match the values in the original device. This may be so for a variety of reasons, like decreasing kit cost, improving long-term reliability, or simply because an exact match is unavailable. Many times there are price breaks available on higher-voltage rated parts simply because they are more commonly used. With capacitors, you can safely go up in voltage rating.

What I like to do is take a divided hobby storage box, like the kind people use for beads, and turn it sideways so I'm looking at four columns of storage compartments.

I open the kit and organize the parts in the box. The first column is for capacitors starting with 1 (1uf, 10uf, etc.), the second column for 2 (.22uf, 220uf, etc.), and so on. I organize the rows by capacitance, and then voltage, and then size.

The result is that as old caps are removed from the device, I can easily locate the new replacement caps.


Things to Remember Before You Begin

Installing kits in monitors can be hazardous. Discharge CRTs and follow all safety precautions.

If you have a digital camera, you will not regret taking several reference photographs during the procedure. That way, if you have any doubt about what size screws go where, what order to reassemble, which cable plugs into what jack, capacitor orientation, anything of this nature, you'll have a time-saving record on hand.


Cap Replacement

One by one, I remove each old capacitor. Before removing, I note its polarity, and whether the PCB has a silkscreen marking the correct polarity. If the board is not properly screened, you may want to use a marker to make a - or + mark on the PCB to indicate polarity.

Is the old cap "axial" and the new cap "radial"? Converting from Axial to Radial Capacitors

Is the old cap surface mount and the new cap a traditional, aka "leaded" part? Converting from Surface to Leaded Capacitors

With old cap in hand, find the replacement part that is closest in voltage & size. Some kits may have the same value, say 10uF, but several different voltages, so don't just pick out the first one you find (this is where being organized helps).