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Old 17 June 2018, 14:59   #1
flaviosr
 
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Which Amiga MUST be recapped and which do not?

Dear All,

I have searched but I have not found any 3d about my curiosity/need.
My question is in the subject but I want to give more details.
It is clear that electrolytes can damage Amigas in various ways, for example the battery in A3000s.
Discussing I have also discovered (I am not a technician so I hope not to be cheated) that some electrolytes are really dangerous (the battery for example) while others cannot DAMAGE Amigas while making Amigas more or less unusable => these Amigas can be repaired simply changing the electrolyte.
I would like to prepare a list with 3 groups:
1. Amigas that does not need to be recapped. If stored and electrolyte fails they do not damage the HW;
2. Amigas that does not need to be recapped, battery apart. If stored and electrolyte fails they do not damage the HW, battery apart.
3. Amigas that MUST be recapped since, expecially when not used/stored, thay can be damaged from electrolyte leaking.
At the moment I have:
1. Amiga 500
2. Amiga 500 Plus
3. Amiga 600 / Amiga 1200

Thank you for your help/support.
 
Old 17 June 2018, 17:38   #2
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All models with a NiCd / NiMH barrel battery (A500+, A2000, A3000, early revision A4000) should be attended to as soon as possible. Battery leakage is generally a magnitude more destructive than capacitor leakage.

For all models with surface mounted capacitors (A600, A1200, A4000, CD32) capacitor replacement should be considered. Storage conditions and usage patterns will have some effect on how long the capacitors last, but at this point most systems with original caps will have leakage to some degree (at least this is my experience and I have seen lots of motherboards).

The only systems that are pretty much safe are the ones that have neither surface mount caps nor batteries. So plain A1000, A500, CDTV, but do remember that expansion boards may still have batteries.
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Old 17 June 2018, 19:15   #3
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The 500, 1000 and the cdtv might be save, but its still a good idea to replace the caps after 30 years. I recently did 2 A500's and the image and sound quality drastically improved.
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Old 17 June 2018, 19:20   #4
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So it’s safe for me to turn on my CDTV that I found in the basement yesterday? I’ve been looking for it for years.
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Old 17 June 2018, 19:33   #5
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I think so. Lowends A600/1200 are critical, and A500+.
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Old 17 June 2018, 19:40   #6
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Another point to consider is that some Panasonic floppy drives have a surface mount capacitor in them that tends to leak. I've found a few of these in A500s that otherwise would not urgently need to be recapped, but if left to carry on leaking, the PCB in the floppy drive could be badly damaged and stop the drive from working.
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Old 17 June 2018, 19:47   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajk View Post
The only systems that are pretty much safe are the ones that have neither surface mount caps nor batteries. So plain A1000, A500, CDTV, but do remember that expansion boards may still have batteries.
Good to know. What about the built-in PSU in the A1000? (or CDTV)
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Old 17 June 2018, 19:57   #8
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@clebin

Well, I have not personally seen any fail. But it is true that all of these things are pretty old at this point so no guarantees can be given.
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Old 17 June 2018, 21:06   #9
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Thank you for the help... I hoped the situation were better...
Let me make a summary:
° A1000, A500, CDTV are safe;
° A500+ is safe apart the battery;
° A2000 is critical for the battery; is for capacitors safe like the A500?
° A600, A1200 are critical for capacitors, they do not have batteries;
° A3000 and A4000 are critical for the battery; for the capacitors? Same issues as A600/A1200 (since they are of the same period);
° A4000T is safe since it has a button battery... from the capacitors point of view?

I have 1xA2000, 1xA3000, 1xA4000, 1xA4000T, 6xA1200, 1xA600, 1xA600HD, various Panasonic FDD. Plus 3xA1000, 6xA500, 1xCDTV
And I think it's gonna be a long, long time...

Now I am trying to repair an A601...

I read there are surface mounted capacitors with resin layer (if I remember well) that should defend the PCB in case of leakage... am I right? Could it be a good idea to solve the criticalness of leaking?
 
Old 17 June 2018, 22:10   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaviosr View Post
Thank you for the help... I hoped the situation were better...
Let me make a summary:
° A1000, A500, CDTV are safe;
° A500+ is safe apart the battery;
Yep.

Quote:
° A2000 is critical for the battery; is for capacitors safe like the A500?
Yep, capacitors are the same story as the A500.

Quote:
° A600, A1200 are critical for capacitors, they do not have batteries;
Yep.

Quote:
° A3000 and A4000 are critical for the battery; for the capacitors? Same issues as A600/A1200 (since they are of the same period);
Mostly. The A3000 has the older type capacitors like the 500 and 2000, so they're not as critical as the 600/1200.

Quote:
° A4000T is safe since it has a button battery... from the capacitors point of view?
I would double check the type of battery, since the schematic has provision for different types so I don't know if it's guaranteed to be a coin cell... But capacitors in the A4000T are critical, yes.

Quote:
I have 1xA2000, 1xA3000, 1xA4000, 1xA4000T, 6xA1200, 1xA600, 1xA600HD, various Panasonic FDD. Plus 3xA1000, 6xA500, 1xCDTV
And I think it's gonna be a long, long time...
That's quite the collection! You can tell the floppy drives that need recapping - you can see the capacitor on the PCB at the front of the drive and to the right. This might be difficult to see if the floppy drive has its own fascia, as in the A2000 and A4000.

Quote:
I read there are surface mounted capacitors with resin layer (if I remember well) that should defend the PCB in case of leakage... am I right? Could it be a good idea to solve the criticalness of leaking?
Well, newer and better quality capacitors will already last much longer than the cheap, early ones used by Commodore on the Amigas, so they should be good for another 25+ years anyway... But to be really sure, there are organic polymer capacitors available which in theory should never leak. They do cost more than normal electrolytic capacitors however.
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Old 18 June 2018, 02:51   #11
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Just thought I'd chime in on the Panasonic drives - mine had two leaky caps, one near the eject button at the front, and one near the 4 pin power connector on the internal board. The model number is JU-253-033P.

I replaced both caps with SMD ceramics, and the drive works great.
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Old 18 June 2018, 08:18   #12
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You're far more likely to destroy your Amiga by replacing capacitors yourself without the skill / equipment than leaking caps
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Old 18 June 2018, 10:29   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chue View Post
Just thought I'd chime in on the Panasonic drives - mine had two leaky caps, one near the eject button at the front, and one near the 4 pin power connector on the internal board. The model number is JU-253-033P.
Hmmm, interesting... I'll have to check mine!
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Old 18 June 2018, 15:01   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
You're far more likely to destroy your Amiga by replacing capacitors yourself without the skill / equipment than leaking caps
Agreed. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The only Amigas which "MUST" be recapped are those who have developed a fault due to a bad capacitor (or if it was installed backwards from the factory).
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Old 18 June 2018, 15:22   #15
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While I agree that working on a motherboard with insufficient skills is not a good idea, just waiting is not a good idea either. It takes time for the electrolyte to corrode the PCB and by the time noticeable symptoms appear, damage may already be considerable. A close visual inspection of the board early on is important.
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Old 18 June 2018, 18:36   #16
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immaculate a600 on outside, and IDE looked fine , weeks later IDE pins fell off, yep the caps leaked and killed the header in a few days . amazing how quickly caps can leak, there are no exempt amiga.

Try re-capping broken stuff , or cheaper hardware, and then move on to the amiga's with some skill or if you can't do that, pay someone 30-40 quid at worst, cheaper if you trust /know them possibly even free.
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Old 18 June 2018, 18:48   #17
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CD32 usually needs recapping.
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Old 18 June 2018, 18:56   #18
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Immaculate a600 on outside, and IDE looked fine, weeks later IDE pins fell off, yep the caps leaked and killed the header in a few days. amazing how quickly caps can leak, there are no exempt amiga.
Leaking caps made your IDE connector "fall off"? Hmmmm sounds unlikely.
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Old 18 June 2018, 19:02   #19
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Hi,

I design high reliability equipment for a 30 year life and have spent the last 12 years grasping analogue electronics. Anything that has an electrolytic capacitor fitted has to be tested and powered every 3 years to undertake a reforming charge on the capacitors. The 3 years did not come 'out of thin air' it comes from MIL-HDBK-1131.

If your Amiga has not been powered up for more than 3 years, you are at slightly increased risk. More than 6 years, high risk. I've only re-capped one out of 4 machines I have, that failed due to not being powered up for 2.5 years and left in the workshop (which gets a bit damp) and it was the pesky AC coupling caps which have next to no voltage across them!

There's a lot more to this topic, I really should write a blog entry on it soon

If it ain't broke don't fix it. If you have a working unit or have been sold one that was genuinely in use, the risk of failure is lower.
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Old 18 June 2018, 19:10   #20
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Leaking caps made your IDE connector "fall off"? Hmmmm sounds unlikely.
Bought the amiga in Runcorn a few months before xmas, looked immaculate white case, perfect caps, no scratches. Brilliant, took it home installed a vampire. Played for weeks, then I kept getting random crashing, looked at the IDE headers and found one had already snapped in the IDE header , then touching the ide pins they fell off one by one, i was like Wait wtf , blue/green coloring all over them and near the caps i can see blue/green all over the place, so I had to reflow all the ic's and recap. Clean the pcb good and proper and put new header on , All is working stable now. couldn't believe it myself not heard anyone else have this issue but proves even the a600 is not exempt despite not having a barrel battery things can go out of hand quickly. Keep in mind when I first installed vampire I didn't see any of the issues I even took photos and it wasn't present on them photos so only took 2 weeks.

Not my amiga in the following picture (imagine that but a little less horrific, and IDE pins hit) : https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-c...213_185231.jpg

Last edited by solidcore; 18 June 2018 at 19:21.
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