VOGONS


First post, by retardware

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Yesterday I wondered about the fishy smell an old PC mobo began to emanate when being turned on after a long time.
I got curious and put the PSU on the test bench.

Look this - 1 volt/div. (top = 12V, bottom = 5V)
Never saw such a bad ripple on a PSU with caps that were neither bulgy or leaking.
file.php?mode=view&id=120848

Well, it was a PSU definitely targeted at consumers, not at techies.
file.php?mode=view&id=120849

Black case, sleeved cables.
Shiny brand label, even with foil to protect its brillant beauty. (half pulled off to demonstrate)
file.php?mode=view&id=120850

Even the PCB dyed black - (almost) sure proof it is not professional quality, but consumer-grade garbage.
file.php?mode=view&id=120851

With such power supplies bulging and leaking caps on mobo and peripherals are inevitable consequence.
I always wonder what "working" PSUs people use and don't think about the consequences of doing so.
This nice mobo with very unhappy caps, which has been posted just a moment ago is a brillant example of what happens with such PSUs.

Post your PSU gems also 😀
Let this thread become a bad PCU p*rn thread 😀

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Reply 1 of 18, by pan069

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According to this [1], Be Quiet! (a.k.a. Listan) PSU's are manufactured either by Topower or FSP. However, this source is about ~10 years old and there is no visible E number in any of your photos, so it's difficult to tell. Also not sure what that says about the potential quality.

It would be nice if there was some sort of PSU calculator. I.e. you can put in the brand (E number), model, specs etc and it gives you some sort of rating.

[1] https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/psu-manu … oem,2729-4.html

Reply 2 of 18, by Horun

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Hmmm That is not good ! Very small transformers and minimal caps for a 450watt.
My cheap 5-10 year old Antec Basiq 350 has two 470uF (not one 330uF) on primary and 7 large caps on secondary (I see only 4 on yours but could be more hidden under wiring like mine)
and the main tranny in mine is about 1/2 again bigger plus the case is "packed" compared to the sparse stuff in yours but is more common parts......
Maybe bad caps is causing the major bad ripple 😀. Tried to get the pictures to match to compare better...

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Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 3 of 18, by Byrd

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Just chucked an AOpen ~ 300W ATX unit - last night it started smoking, cracked it open filled with Teapo caps. All of which appeared to have decided to commit mass exodus taking out some voltage regulators. Binned.

Reply 4 of 18, by canthearu

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Heh, I replaced the caps in my Aopen 300W unit before they started doing that 😀 Probably dodged a bullet.

I really need to get myself an oscilloscope. But pretty expensive to get a decent one, even for the cheap ebay ones. (but admittedly, way cheaper than the bad old days)

Reply 5 of 18, by Eep386

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Those thin, frail heatsinks and "mark whatever voltage we're selling this at" checkbox group on the PCB are sure-fire guarantees of 'quality'. Also gotta love those empty silkscreens. Who needs resistors, ceramic capacitors and film capacitors?
When new, regardless of whatever voltage was marked, this PSU might have pushed all of 225W before its performance seriously nosedives. In the be quiet! PSU's defense, at least it didn't use the four-diode treatment, I see a bridge rectifier.

DASH on the transformers is often an indicator that FSP had something to do with it Though relatively well-regarded, FSP made some really wretched units in their time, and they too dabbled with Fuhjyyu caps during the cap plague days. Oh, and burning out dummy load resistors too when the caps inevitably shart. That's always fun.

Teapo capacitors can and do fail silently. Cap looks fine but they become high ESR or dry out.

Last edited by Eep386 on 2021-10-04, 14:50. Edited 1 time in total.

Life isn't long enough to re-enable every hidden option in every BIOS on every board... 🙁

Reply 6 of 18, by canthearu

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Eep386 wrote on 2021-10-04, 03:40:

Teapo capacitors can and do fail silently. Cap looks fine but they become high ESR or dry out.

I frequently see caps that the ESR reading seems fine on, but capacitance reading is too high for the marked capacitor.

This is a sign that these capacitors are leaking charge internally, which means the cap is on its way to overheating and cooking itself, or shorting itself out. These need to be replaced too when you are examining a PSU.

I normally remove caps to test them, with the right soldering iron and tips, it isn't hard at all. At best, you are half-way to replacing them, at worst, you can just put them pack in.

Reply 7 of 18, by Eep386

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Wow, good to know about that failure mode. Guess it makes sense, as the cap would normally test fine by all other means without a capacitance meter.

Life isn't long enough to re-enable every hidden option in every BIOS on every board... 🙁

Reply 8 of 18, by canthearu

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Eep386 wrote on 2021-10-04, 03:58:

Wow, good to know about that failure mode. Guess it makes sense, as the cap would normally test fine by all other means without a capacitance meter.

I use the purple ESR tester:

https://www.digikey.com.au/en/products/detail … d/ESR70/9687220

It also measures capacitance at the same time.

Reply 9 of 18, by darry

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According to this, https://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page1354.htm , that BeQuiet unit is by FSP .

Not too long ago, I bought a BeQuiet Gold rated unit, by a different OEM. That supposedly has Japanese caps and good reviews/teardowns (including actual output tests, AFAICR). Hopefully, it fares better than the one in this post .

I really need to get a meter that measure ripple (or a very compact scope).

Reply 10 of 18, by Tetrium

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Byrd wrote on 2021-10-04, 03:00:

Just chucked an AOpen ~ 300W ATX unit - last night it started smoking, cracked it open filled with Teapo caps. All of which appeared to have decided to commit mass exodus taking out some voltage regulators. Binned.

That's too bad. I always kinda liked those older AOpen 300W PSUs. Could you tell us what the exact model numver was? There were many different AOpen 300W PSUs (basically FSP designs, as many PSUs from other brands tend to be apparently) if only because the shift from predominantly 5V to predominantly 12V happened. Some 300W AOpen PSUs have powerful 5V rails.

And I'd be very interested in hearing if any PC parts were damaged when your AOpen PSU started smoking.

EDIT: And people should keep in mind that all of these PSUs are old units by now and should definitely get a health check before usage.

Last edited by Tetrium on 2021-10-04, 13:20. Edited 1 time in total.

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 11 of 18, by Tetrium

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darry wrote on 2021-10-04, 11:43:

According to this, https://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page1354.htm , that BeQuiet unit is by FSP .

Not too long ago, I bought a BeQuiet Gold rated unit, by a different OEM. That supposedly has Japanese caps and good reviews/teardowns (including actual output tests, AFAICR). Hopefully, it fares better than the one in this post .

I really need to get a meter that measure ripple (or a very compact scope).

I've always seen BeQuiet as a reasonable PSU brand, but the unit in the OP is really kinda disappointing.

Same thing about the meter thing. I've been thinking of getting several items that could be of use to me now, like for instance an EEPROM programmer.

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 12 of 18, by Eep386

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It could have the best capacitors on the market, but if the rest of the PSU is shoddy and underbuilt, it really won't matter much.
I generally try to find PSUs that don't have a lot of missing parts and have reasonable sized components for the wattage the supply is rated at.
Cap brands are strictly secondary to me when looking at PSUs, but they are an important part of determining how much the company making the PSU really cared about their product.

On that note, I have an old 300W-rated FSP unit where the Fuhjyyu caps puked mightily in, but the rest of the unit is built like a brick $#!7house so I can completely believe that it will deliver 300W without requiring outside help beyond the recap.

Life isn't long enough to re-enable every hidden option in every BIOS on every board... 🙁

Reply 14 of 18, by darry

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I took a gamble and ordered a clone of one of these :
Mustool MDS120M

Review/teardown here (spoiler: 120MHz bandwidth is over optimistic, duh ) :

https://mysku-ru.translate.goog/blog/china-st … to=ajax,sc#mcut

Any thoughts/opinions from people here who, unlike myself, actually know what they are doing ? 😉 (I have not touched anything resembling a scope since the mid-90s).

Reply 15 of 18, by Doornkaat

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My recent addition.
The PSU was in an Intel Atom based system that was still running fine. I changed the motherboard and it wouldn't do anything. Even bridging the green PS ON wire to ground wouldn't make the system start. Switched the Atom board back in, system works fine again. Tested new board with another PSU, all good. Tested Atom board with another PSU, all good. Opened the TFX PSU and see this mess.
Turns out the Atom board had decent caps on the input side that were able to substitute for the obviously broken +5VSB capacitor in the PSU, allowing it to turn on. All CapXon KF Series 1000uF 16V caps in the PSU are failing. The most this PSU has ever had to push was an Atom230 ITX board with a DVD drive and a single HDD. It was always well ventilated. The PSU has no excuse. 😁

Edited spelling.

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Reply 17 of 18, by ODwilly

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2021-10-04, 19:01:

even seeing the word Fuhjyyu makes me violently angry

Amen.

Main pc: Asus ROG laptop. I7-6700HQ, GTX 960M 4gb, 16gb DDR4.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 18 of 18, by retardware

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pan069 wrote on 2021-10-03, 22:03:

According to this [1], Be Quiet! (a.k.a. Listan) PSU's are manufactured either by Topower or FSP. However, this source is about ~10 years old and there is no visible E number in any of your photos, so it's difficult to tell.
[...]
[1] https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/psu-manu … oem,2729-4.html

The link is really bookmark-worthy!
According to this, it is from Topower.
There is no E-number, but the print on the board helped identification.
file.php?mode=view&id=121802

Horun wrote on 2021-10-04, 02:26:

Maybe bad caps is causing the major bad ripple 😀

I guess so, too. But I didn't care about recapping, the thing is already in the e-trash can. 😀

Eep386 wrote on 2021-10-04, 03:40:

...capacitors can and do fail silently. Cap looks fine but they become high ESR or dry out.

I am afraid that this is already the case on the mobo the be-quiet thing powered.
I can not explain its fishy smell otherwise than some cap liquid evaporating.
Guess I need to recap or get a replacement board 😿

darry wrote on 2021-10-04, 11:43:

According to this, https://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page1354.htm , that BeQuiet unit is by FSP .

This PSU info page is absolutely great!
Definitely bookmark-worthy!
Yes, it could well be a FSP thing.
The placement of the cooler near the secondary, (almost) touching the case, is so FSP typical.
The mains lytic also is characteristically placed in the corner with the least airflow.

Tetrium wrote on 2021-10-04, 13:17:

And people should keep in mind that all of these PSUs are old units by now and should definitely get a health check before usage.

Absolutely agree!
Imho using an old PSU just because it (seemingly) "works", is like taking a car from the scrap lot, and using it because the motor works, without checking the brakes.

darry wrote on 2021-10-08, 04:03:

Any thoughts/opinions from people here who, unlike myself, actually know what they are doing ? 😉

Well, I actually don't know what I am doing 😀
But I think that the Mustech is probably better than my ancient CRT scope!

Doornkaat wrote on 2021-10-16, 16:43:

The PSU has no excuse. 😁

I'd love to put that onto the test bench 😀
That thing must have wonderful ripple, maybe even "better" than the be quiet in the OP...

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