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replacing capacitors, what tools to use?

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (Not Computer-Related)' started by trekkie28001, Aug 7, 2006.

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  1. trekkie28001

    trekkie28001 Thread Starter

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    I don't know if this is the right forum or not but I'm wanting to replace bad capacitors in my mobo but what kind of tools do I need? What temp soldering iron? I was gonna get one of those magnifyers with the light and stand and maybe a clamp or something to hold the board. Where is a good place to get capacitors besides radio shack? Thanks.
     
  2. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    You must use a temperature controlled soldering iron and a desoldering tool (a solder sucker).

    You need to realise that as well as copper tracks on the top and bottom of the motherboard, there are multiple "layers" within the thickness of board, typically 5 strata of different track layers I understand.

    So overheating when desoldering or resoldering can destroy the board. Underheating will cause mechanical damage trying to get the lead out.

    It is really straightforward, but soldering is very much a learned art, that you do not presently own the equipment means to me that you may not have done very much of it?

    Not sure where in the US you can get the capacitors, but be aware that they are not ordinary electrolytics, they are "low ESR" types and are high temperature rated.

    They must be high temperature rated (usually 105°C) and low ESR or they will not operate correctly or for very long. I very much doubt the Radio Shack capacitors will be ESR types.
     
  3. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I have to second kiwiguy, if you have to ask what kind of tools to use, you may not have the training or experience to use them safely. Also, a suitable set of tools and supplies may cost more than just buying a new motherboard.

    Unless some company is selling some type of replacement capacitor kits for a given motherboard, you will also need to track down matching replacement capacitors for all the bad ones you plan to replace. A wrong choice choice could turn the replacement capacitor into a firecracker the first time you apply power to the motherboard.

    You also need to know if you have an older board that uses tin-lead solder or a newer one that is RoHS compliant and uses a leadfree solder. The temperatures, materials and methods are a bit different between the two.

    If you should still want to take a chance on a DIY project, one possible source for tools and materials in the USA is Digi-Key (www.digikey.com).
     
  4. trekkie28001

    trekkie28001 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the replies. I guess I'll just send it in to badcaps.net. Its a compaq presario that supports athlon cpu's with 333fsb and ddr ram and a new board is $300 from tiger direct. I haven't found one cheaper thats in stock. I thought it might be fun to try to do it myself but does sound more difficult than I thought.
     
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