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Old 18 June 2018, 22:23   #21
Daedalus
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Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Leaking caps made your IDE connector "fall off"? Hmmmm sounds unlikely.
It's fairly common actually - I've replaced a few IDE connectors on A600s and A1200s due to this very issue. It's usually not particularly visible - the usual dull solder joints but that's it - but under the plastic of the IDE connector it's corroded and brittle, with the result that some time when removing a connector, a few pins just come clean away with it. Only then do you see the tell-tale corrosion that was otherwise hidden underneath the plastic base.

Yes, leaving a perfectly working machine might be safer than messing with the board if you don't have the necessary tools and equipment. But if you don't have the necessary capabilities, common sense would dictate that you don't attempt such a job. There are plenty of people around who do and could help you out, should you need their services.

The issue with the "if it aint broke" approach is that, if it is "broke", it's likely to need far more significant repairs than just replacing the capacitors. I have had to do extensive repairs on the audio section of a number of A600s where the machine was left until it started showing symptoms, some of which were missing multiple traces in that area of the board, and one where the corrosion was even causing a partial short from the 12V rail to 5V. Others have needed extensive repairs in the video section, again because they were working just fine until one day the video output was tinted pink, and as a result, most of the circuitry to the left of the IDE port had to be rebuilt from scratch with kynar wire and copper foil.

And no, I'm not trying to drum up business for myself - I'm far too busy already and have had to turn down a lot of work recently as a result. Out of dozens of A600s and A1200s I have recapped over the past few years, I'd say only 2 or 3 did not have any signs of capacitor leakage, and one of them was my own machine that had been in regular use since it was new. Chances are at this stage that most Amigas have spent a number of years in storage, so odds are if it hasn't had any leakage yet, it will do soon.

Ultimately, it's up to each Amiga owner to weigh up the risk of leaving it (and potential repair costs) versus the risk and cost from having the capacitors replaced. Personally, I would tend towards the approach of servicing my car before it dies on the side of the road, rather than not servicing it because it's running fine.
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Old 18 June 2018, 22:26   #22
Shatterhand
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Could we say the A500 is the model most unlikely to have any problems?
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Old 18 June 2018, 22:31   #23
Daedalus
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Originally Posted by Shatterhand View Post
Could we say the A500 is the model most unlikely to have any problems?
Yep, provided the battery on any fitted RAM expansion has been taken care of - if left long enough, battery leakage can reach the mainboard and damage the trapdoor connector and nearby traces. I've also heard stories of the capacitors by the video hybrid going pop, but have never seen it myself.
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