Capacitor plague

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					?The capacitor plague (also renowned as awful capacitors) engaged the prevalent
premature malfunction of certain emblems of electrolytic capacitors utilised in diverse
electronics equipment, and especially in motherboards, video cards, compact
fluorescent lightweight ballasts, LCD monitors, and power provision of individual

The first flawed capacitors were glimpsed in 1999, but most of the leveraged
capacitors were made in the early to mid 2000s, and while report of their flops
(usually after a couple of years of use) has compelled most manufacturers to fix the
defects, some awful capacitors were still being swapped or integrated into concepts as
of early 2007[update].

An incorrect electrolyte equation inside a defective capacitor determinants the output
of hydrogen gas, premier to enlarging or deformation of the capacitor's case, and
eventual venting of the electrolyte. In uncommon positions, defective capacitors have
even been described to burst or blow up forcefully.

Although up to date constructing methods commonly double-check they vent securely
other than blow up, manufacturers have been renowned to omit the key security
characteristics that allow this.

A grave worth command difficulty is that good and poor worth electrolytic capacitors
will often have equal electric output when freshly fitted.

 Only comprehensive accelerated life checking engaging abnormally high ripple
currents and high functioning temperatures can identify inferior components. This
compares powerfully with most electrical devices constituents which are much less
subject to spontaneous malfunction after assembly.

Carey Holzman assertions to be the first reporter to articulate this theme to the
public's vigilance and has worked with lawyers to articulate villages from foremost

Faulty capacitors have been discovered out in motherboards as vintage as Socket 7
and have leveraged planks constructed up to the present day. The motherboard
businesses assembled and swapped Cast Resin Transformer planks with defective
caps located from other manufacturers (see below). The Apple PowerPC line of the
iMac G5 computers and some eMac computers'motherboards and power provision
were furthermore affected.
A power provide unit with failed capacitors.

While capacitor plague mostly sways desktop computer hardware, this difficulty is by
no means constrained to that area. These capacitors can furthermore be discovered in
some cameras, mesh swaps, audio equipment, storage disc players, and a kind of other

Some early emblems of exterior climb on aluminum electrolytic capacitors endured
from an manifestly alike, but actually distinct difficulty engaging electrolyte leakage.
Surface climb on soldering is generally accomplished by first computer display
announcing dabs of solder paste up on the issued circuit board, gluing the constituents
into place, and then running the board assembly through a reflow baking oven to
dissolve the solder.

In an try to double-check more dependable soldering, some manufacturers boost the
heat of the reflow, which unidentified to them, damages the rubber closures of the
capacitors, initating them to dry out or start to leak after one or two years of operation.
Compact equipment for example video camcorders are especially leveraged by this
difficulty, in most positions developing uneconomical to repair.

The most prevalent method of identifying capacitors which have failed because of
awful electrolyte is visual inspection. Such a capacitor will display one or more of
these symptoms:

 * Bulging of the vent on the peak of the capacitor. (The 'vent' is the effect marked in
the peak of the can. The effect kinds the seams of the vent. It is conceived in order
that if the capacitor becomes pressurized it will divide at the vent's seams reassuring
the force other than making it explode.)
 * In the case of Dell Optiplex GX270s often a "Thermal Event" is brandished in
white on a very dark computer display when rebooting.
 * Sitting crooked on the circuit board as the base rubber close is push out
 * Electrolyte (a crusty dark substance) leaked up on the motherboard from the
groundwork of the capacitor
 * Venting from the peak of the capacitor, evident as rust-like dark down payments, or
a evident aperture in the vent.

Note: the electrolyte is generally damp, not dry. Be very careful not to bewilder
electrolyte leakage with the petroleum-based glue (e.g. Evo-Stik) that is occasionally
utilised to protected the capacitors to the board.

This glue is a sandy yellow hue but turns darker (towards black) with heat. A dark
dark crust up the edge of a capacitor is always glue, not electrolyte. A prevalent effect
is corrosion of constituent automatic wrist watch directs enclosed by the glue, premier
to leakage present or open-circuit. The occurrence of very dark glue is a certain
pointer that the capacitor has overheated due either to interior malfunction or
insufficient ventilation.
Failed Tayeh capacitors which have vented through their aluminium tops.

As the capacitor ages, its capacitance declines while its equivalent sequence
opposition (ESR) increases. When this happens, the capacitors no longer amply assist
their cause of filtering the direct present voltages on the motherboard, and scheme
instability results. Some prevalent symptoms are:

  * Not rotating on all the time; having to hit reset or try rotating the computer on
  * Instabilities (hangs, BSODs, kernel panics, etc.), especially when symptoms get
progressively more common over time
  * CPU centre voltage or other scheme voltages fluctuating or going out of kind,
likely with an boost in CPU heat as the centre voltage rises
  * Memory errors, especially ones that get more common with time
  * Spontaneous reboots
  * In case of on-board video cards, unstable likeness in some video modes
  * Failing to entire the POST, or rebooting before it is completed
  * Never beginning the POST; followers rotate but the scheme appears dead

This failed capacitor has blew up and blown its casing off.

Unlike the personal indications which are conclusive clues the capacitors are dropping
short, many of the operational indications may be begun by other components, for
example a dropping short power provide, dirt clogging a follower, awful RAM, or
other hardware problems. Instability, one time the functioning scheme has laden, may
display a programs difficulty (such as some kinds of malware, poorly-written
apparatus drivers or software), and not a hardware difficulty at all.

If any of these symptoms are accomplished, eliminating the system's case and
inspecting the capacitors, especially those around the CPU, may directly identify
capacitors as the cause. If there are no personal indications, an oscilloscope may be
utilised to analyze the voltage on the capacitors, with unwarranted ripple voltage
being a pointer the capacitors are not doing their job.

In some positions, the origin source of the dropping short capacitors is developed
espionage gone wrong. Several Taiwanese electrolyte manufacturers begun utilising a
thieved equation that was incomplete, and needed components needed to make a
stable capacitor.(An anti-corrosion component was not documented, described in

When a defective capacitor is ascribed, the water-based electrolyte becomes unstable
and breaks down, making hydrogen gas. Since these kinds of capacitors are closed in
an aluminium casing, the force builds up inside the capacitor until either the flat iron
alloy peak of the capacitor begins to angle, or the rubber closing close is push down.

Eventually the force exceeds the power of the iron alloy casing and venting happens,
either by blowing out the rubber base of the capacitor, or bursting the tallied iron alloy
vent on the peak of the capacitor. When an electrolytic capacitor bursts, consequences
can kind from a burst and a hissing disturbance to a little explosion. Venting is
normally messy, and the acidic electrolyte should be cleansed off the motherboard to
avert farther damage.

IEEE Spectrum enclosed the issue,and subsequent approximated that the difficulty
cost US$100 million to fix.