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Repair/Restoration of Vintage Computer devices with Tantalum Capacitors

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I have asked my colleagues at The National Museum of Computing what the process is for dealing with tantalum capacitors when restoring machines. They said
1. Visually check for damage, replace any that have signs of physical damage
2. Do basic checks for short on psu etc
3. Power up briefly to see if anything goes bang or phut
3a repair anything that went  phut or bang.
4 Power system up and let it boot.
They said there is no need to replace tants unless they go bang.

Hope this helps.


--- Quote from: tggzzz on September 10, 2016, 02:14:20 pm ---Really?

Based on experience and having just cleaned a PCB where two electrolytics had corroded and destroyed some tracks on a PCB, your statement seems a little, um, dogmatic. They were high quality "silver" metal cased tants in military equipment, and had discharged their contents while in storage for quite a few years.

--- End quote ---
I know the type you're talking about; the hi-rel types have a sulfuric acid electrolyte, the case is solid tantalum, and they use hermetic glass frit seals. Replacing them is extremely expensive  :-\
This type does not fail by exploding, but I have also seen instances where the acid has eaten through the case and corroded traces. This is an aging related failure mode   :-[


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