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First post, by ncmark

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Well the capacitor plague has finally struck home!!

Asus A7V333 (which I use to run win98) starting having random lockups and errors. Tried to reinstall CorelDraw, and installed failed. Tried to burn a CD to get files off, burn failed. Wiped drive and reinstalled windows. As soon as a started installing programs the problems started reappearing

Opened up the case, and multiple bulging/leaking capacitors. I am surprised, because they are nichicon!

Doing a search on the internet I found other threads (from this site - laughing) about problems with this board

Oh well

I also have an A7V600 which I wasn't using, so I swapped them out.

Reply 4 of 15, by myne

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Pack of 15 1500uf 6.3v caps should be around $10.
About an hour to change with the shittest iron on the planet and the worst braid you can get.

If you want it to go smoother, have a decent iron, fresh braid, decent flux and some low melt solder.

It's about the easiest board repair anyone can do.

Things I built:
Mechwarrior 2 installer for Windows 10/11 Re: A comprehensive guide to install and play MechWarrior 2 on new versions on Windows.
Dos+Windows 3.11 auto-install iso template (for vmware)
Script to backup Win9x\ME drivers from a working install

Reply 5 of 15, by Trashbytes

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myne wrote on 2024-06-17, 01:50:
Pack of 15 1500uf 6.3v caps should be around $10. About an hour to change with the shittest iron on the planet and the worst br […]
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Pack of 15 1500uf 6.3v caps should be around $10.
About an hour to change with the shittest iron on the planet and the worst braid you can get.

If you want it to go smoother, have a decent iron, fresh braid, decent flux and some low melt solder.

It's about the easiest board repair anyone can do.

And cheaper than buying another board, unless you happen to have a spare board handy that is.

Reply 6 of 15, by chinny22

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Yeh happens to us all in the end.
I've passed on a few nice rigs due to bad caps.
I've got enough projects realistically I know I'll never get around to and with my soldering skills recapping a motherboard will go behind those.

Reply 7 of 15, by ncmark

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I am already leaning towards it not being worth it 😉
I have already rebuilt the system with the A7V600 board
If I used it for anything it would probably be linux, and honestly better boards for linux. Athlon is a dead-end now.
I am not complaining - you realize that board is 20 years old now? I got it used off ebay, and got 10 years of use out of it

Reply 8 of 15, by Trashbytes

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ncmark wrote on 2024-06-17, 11:25:
I am already leaning towards it not being worth it ;) I have already rebuilt the system with the A7V600 board If I used it for […]
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I am already leaning towards it not being worth it 😉
I have already rebuilt the system with the A7V600 board
If I used it for anything it would probably be linux, and honestly better boards for linux. Athlon is a dead-end now.
I am not complaining - you realize that board is 20 years old now? I got it used off ebay, and got 10 years of use out of it

mhm all we are suggesting is that for 10 bucks and perhaps an hour of your time you could possibly get another 20 out of it, naturally the choice is yours.

Reply 9 of 15, by myne

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ncmark wrote on 2024-06-17, 11:25:

you realize that board is 20 years old now?

You... Realise where you are, right?
You'll probably sell it for more on eBay than you paid - as is.

Things I built:
Mechwarrior 2 installer for Windows 10/11 Re: A comprehensive guide to install and play MechWarrior 2 on new versions on Windows.
Dos+Windows 3.11 auto-install iso template (for vmware)
Script to backup Win9x\ME drivers from a working install

Reply 10 of 15, by Mandrew

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Trashbytes wrote on 2024-06-17, 12:05:

mhm all we are suggesting is that for 10 bucks and perhaps an hour of your time you could possibly get another 20 out of it, naturally the choice is yours.

He is right though, replacing caps on multilayer boards is not nearly as easy as some people make it out to be. It's a huge pita with only basic tools available and minimal experience in soldering caps. He'd probably overheat the new caps and make a huge mess while scratching up everything trying to transfer heat to solder joints that have a huge heatsink connected to them.

Reply 11 of 15, by iraito

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I still don't understand the randomness of life expectancy for caps, i have an amiga 1200 with old caps (i checked myself during repairs) 30+ old caps and they are still working, no bulging no nothing, then you check something way newer with so called high quality caps and they are plagued.

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If you wanna check a blue ball playing retro PC games
MIDI Devices: RA-50 (modded to MT-32) SC-55

Reply 12 of 15, by UCyborg

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Some will find recapping much more challenging than others. Especially if you have clumsiness in your genes / are slow learner.

There's really a lot of variables, the soldering iron you have, the temperature, the tip shape and size, on which spot you're applying the heat, how long you're applying it etc.

I recently managed to replace capacitors on the old router, took me forever to get old ones out, burned good chunk of solder mask off near the first and second one I attempted, some less with the last two. What worked in the end was applying some fresh solder, heating up the area well (I apparently failed countlessly at this step) and get the solder out with desoldering pump (the manual one, nothing fancy).

Getting new ones in was a bit easier, but, I was working with lead-free solder with a bit of flux mixed in. It melts at higher temperature, supposedly less nasty than lead-based one, but the flux is still nasty...seriously, those fumes are disgusting, put the fan where you work or at least wear a mask. I'd give myself a score of about 50%, oddly, the first joint I made was the nicest looking, although much bulkier than original, but the shape resembled the ideal joint. Solder is a naughty bastard, it loves going where it's not supposed to.

I didn't get the working router in the end, it has problems beyond bad caps, but at least I can say I can sort of (de)solder at the very basic level.

Is it common for bad caps on motherboards to actually not blow anything else in the process of going bad?

Anyway, if I could go back, I would watch and LISTEN to these before experimenting on my own, I previously just watched some other videos that didn't mention some important details, that and I probably got to it a bit too enthusiastically and headlessly:

Collin's Lab: Soldering
Collin’s Lab: Desoldering
Soldering Crash Course: Basic Techniques, Tips and Advice!

Also, it's probably a good idea to get some board to practice on.

Arthur Schopenhauer wrote:

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.

Reply 13 of 15, by ncmark

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Well - I decided to keep it - for now. But have no immediate plans to do anything with it.

Right now it has now CPU fan, since I cannibalized that building the replacement system. And no spare case or power supply - so it is sitting in a box

Reply 14 of 15, by myne

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Better than throwing it.
It'll sell for something if you cbfd

Things I built:
Mechwarrior 2 installer for Windows 10/11 Re: A comprehensive guide to install and play MechWarrior 2 on new versions on Windows.
Dos+Windows 3.11 auto-install iso template (for vmware)
Script to backup Win9x\ME drivers from a working install