Beginning Electrical Board Repairs


Josh B

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Couldn't really find a definite spot to land this, so if it needs moved have at it :)
I looked for awhile but not even the Non RBV Tech seemed to be a good fit

There's been a number of threads addressing vehicle computer boards and replacing the Capacitors, something any of us might find useful. I've seen it in other forums as well, particularly computer and monitor boards. I've also wanted to inspect my vehicles computer boards but was in no way prepared to address any issues there so hadn't even opened one up to check them.

Well, I was recently awakened to the challenge when the worst of all scenarios occurred, yep, it was the demise of my digital TV :/

It wasn't long before I had another w/ the same size screen, but it has no base, no frame, and no body, not nearly the connectors I had on the other one, nor near the ability to maneuver through the ins and outs of every day use as I had grown accustomed to. It also sits a full 6" lower than the other one, nowhere near filling the hole it left.
I removed the rear cover and sure enough found a swollen capacitor.

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So I decided to take the plunge, and try to figure this out. I've seen lots of people saying how easy it was. Watched U-tubes which were somewhat informative, and also make it look fairly simple and easy, but I still had to break through the ice.

Looked at capacitor sets on Amazon and Ebay, which in itself can be daunting, I know nothing about faurads or any the other terms so many had used, picked out several sets of likely candidates, several times over. Picked one set with 100 pcs, another with 180, another with 240, still confused so decided on one, then realized $2 more I could double it, and $2 more could double it again. I got a 500piece for $14 plus shipping roughly $20,and waited.

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After receiving it was rather surprised at how small they all were, not at all what had been expected, figured I'd have a decent arsenal to address any issues in anything. Not so, the biggest one of these wasn't even as large as the small one I needed.
Before pulling the one off the board I had no idea what numbers were on it, but it was a 1200 farad(I guess it's called), and the largest, strongest one in the set was 1000.

I had read on one of the many reviews I'd studied that someone had tested a bunch of them, and their numbers were inaccurate, and often much more than specified, so figured for the 20% difference I'd give it a go anyway.

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Circled the spots on back of the board with a sharpie, warmed up the $10 special, 30 watt, soldering "iron", and managed eventually to pluck it on out of there

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The soldering "thing" didn't work nearly well as the ones I'd seen them use on videos, but I kept plugging away until getting it secured in there somehow

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That little thing just isn't nearly warm enough or something, to get enough heat into the point to make it do like I'm sure it should, but it's replaced, and seems relatively secure

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I plugged it up, went and got the remote, and it fired right up :)

Tomorrow, or (later) today I should say now, I'll put it all back together and back in it's place, and IF I can get that other one back in its' box will likely return it. Having to use it over a week is what really got me going into doing this, as it only 14 days to return.
Maybe I can use some of the money to get a better soldering iron and a set of larger capacity capacitors to cover addressing issues such as vehicle computers and such
 


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ericbphoto

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Congratulations on getting it working. The size of the capacitor does matter for proper operation. There are also different types of capacitors and some are polarity sensitive meaning the positive side and negative side must be connected properly.

The farad is the unit of capacitance. The capacities on that board are rated in microfarads (mf) or picofarads (pf) which are tiny fractions of a farad. Capacitors are used to smooth waveforms or filter “noise” or unwanted signals from a circuit. So putting a capacitor of a smaller size in the circuit will allow the circuit to work. But there will be signal quality issues that you may or may not notice.

Good luck with it.

3B91E2D3-4F44-43AD-9A9D-4C06F261B6EF.jpeg
 

Josh B

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Thanks Eric, good thing I had some photographs because going back together couldn't be sure where the Neg side went before checking them out once more.

I'm not electric illiterate, just totally elec. malnourished

My brother bought me an early Radio Shack metal detector kit in about 8th grade(just reminded me, I've got a soldering gun around somewhere) which I got together almost, but into the main part, about a dozen legged main chip, I really boogered it up. Think he spent about half the night trying to get it straightened up. We had a lot of fun with that thing

In school I took wood shop and drafting as electives, but one year took a trip to USAF to find what they'd do with me if I signed up. After the physical and written exams got a letter saying they would be putting me in electronics(very early 70s), very early also in the electrical knowledge mushroom.

Not long after got a postcard saying they'd changed my draft classification from 1H to 1A, meant ready to go. I was still in high school and before I'd graduated they'd pulled out of VN, dropped the draft. and were basically getting rid of massive numbers.

Early 80s I was offshore oilfields and even tho on drill crew helped wire up early computer programing of the drilling rig.

Later 80s I worked on trucks and we had to install computers(tripmasters I believe they were called) into the trucks, about 800 of them. During that time I even went to a USPS maintenance entry exam just for the hek of it on my 2 days off, an all day, 2 day exam, more than half about electrical. Scored an 82, which woulda been good, if I'd had Vet perks(extra points) and such to go with it.

I didn't even get into personal computer until after Y2K, then about near drowned in them the next decade or so.

The things I never stepped off in to are the very things you're talking about there, and the fact that I never learned anything about soldering ;)
 

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Last edited:

Josh B

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Thanks RonD, I'm trying to decide now on one of those kits, w/ 60w iron(instead of 30) adjustable temp, desoldering pump and iron holding stand, around $20. Not sure they'll return the one I've already used, but that would take $11 off of it
 

Josh B

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Ahh, and BTW, is sure good to have my TV back :)
 

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Yes, 50 or 60watt would better for circuit board work
The 20-30watt cool off too fast, and take longer to get temp back

Soldering gun wouldn't be good, can be too hot and you can damage the circuit board, they are usually 100watts+
But some do have adjustable temp
Benefit of the gun is that they heat up very fast, pull the trigger and in 10seconds you have enough heat from cold, fewer than 5 seconds if its already warm

I have a butane soldering iron I used for years, but been awhile since I needed it
 

DeathRanger

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desolder pump is a must. for resoldering you also need flux paste to help keep the solder from balling up. Cheap soldering irons sucks too but can do good enough. I recommend getting a blank circuit board and just practice soldering and desoldering the same pieces as much as possible and your not risking anything important. Doesn't take long to get pretty decent at it. don't be scared to try.
 

scotts90ranger

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Just repaired the motherboard on an older Windows XP computer at work today, I started it up for the first time in a while yesterday and it froze up solid after about 3 minutes... turns out two of the capacitors on the motherboard had swelled (one far enough to leak). It's been acting up over the last year, new motherboard is unobtanium, new software running the dyno is like $750 plus a new computer (files are backed up close enough) so was worth the hour screwing around... Anywho, found another motherboard (no loose capacitors on hand) that wasn't fried and stole the 1200uf caps and put them in place of the fried 1000uf caps and it works! We have a $50 amazon special soldering station at work, works very well but had a heck of a time keeping the tip the right temperature to melt the solder and stay tinned, kept burning it off and wicking away from the tip... probably fighting two different types of solder...
 

Josh B

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That's cool Scott. Picking this up could be mentally and financially beneficial in a lot of home and auto circumstances. Including being plum fun
One thing I just thought is the effect of the smoke and such, guess I better check into that before going too much farther eh?
 

scotts90ranger

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yeah, don't breathe it... do in a well ventilated area, I know it's hard not to be right over what you are soldering sometimes when it's awkward... not as bad as welding I don't think but still not good.
 


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