General > General Technical Chat

1960-1970 capacitors still working?!

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wwjd1924:
I bought 22 kilo's of vintage electronics from an former Philips employee.
A lot of vintage IC's in ceramic and also a bag full of large electrolytic capacitors.

I measures a few of them and they seem fine?

Are they usable, is testing them with my Peak LCR45 and ERS meter enough to determine that?
If so, I want to sell them on Ebay but I don't want to sell bad stuff of course...

Thanks!

Siwastaja:
Usually they work but it's hit-or-miss. Slowly charging them up with a series resistor to limit current helps reform the insulating oxide layer and avoid excess leakage current leading to destruction.

Sell them "as is", with estimated manufacturing year, buyer must understand electrolytic capacitors are not eternal.

It's beyond me why anyone would like to buy them, though, shipping alone is costly. Electrolytic capacitors are not expensive when bought new.

madires:
Maybe someone restoring vintage stuff might be interested.

jonpaul:
We have boxes of parts from 1950s...60s and the lytics still are fine if well sealed and high quality.

The Philips and other EU made parts have very long shelf life.

We test and reform caps on old valve equip if the epoch is 1930s...1950s.

Test for leakage at the rated V.

Jon

rsjsouza:
You need to test leakage at or near the operating voltage. A capacitor that reads fine on, say, 2~3V of a simple tester might not have enough dielectric to sustain larger voltages.

One detail: the 12kV Cornell Dubillier is probably not electrolytic, but a full evaluation of its condition is probably required before using it at nominal voltages. 

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