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Modding my OCZ ZX-850 // CM Silent Pro Hybrid 850W

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

as I've already mentioned in the sleeving-thread I'm modding my OCZ ZX-850 psu at the moment.

My plans were:

- replacing the stock fan with a bequiet! 140mm Dark Wings
- cutting off the capacitors from the cables and fitting them inside the power supply
- remaking the wires (coloured cables and custom length)
- sleeving them all white


How far I've come:

- replacing the stock fan -> easy job, done
- moving the caps -> not exactly easy, but finally done



After that whole time-consuming soldering job I just tested the functionality of the psu. Well it didn't went too good.
-> After powering it (jumper-wire) with a connected 200mm fan via 4pin molex, the 200mm fan started but not the 140mm Dark Wings inside it...
Even worse: After several seconds I heard a "plop" and I'm sure that it sounded like a dying cap. But no matter how hard I look, I can't find any that looks damaged.

So I turned it on again (of course very carefully). It started alright, the 200mm fan span (so did the 140mm stock fan) but there was a strange noise coming out of the unit. It reminded me somehow of boiling plastic (which would make perfect sense) but again, it didn't even smell like something was burning.



-> Turned it off and left it where it was.


Do you guys have any recommendations how I could possibly find out what's wrong?

Here are some pics of the soldered caps (not the cleanest job but I think it should work like that)...

450
450


//edit: Alright, I was brave again and started it up. Like before, the psu worked (at least the +12V rail for the 200mm fan). In the first 20 seconds or so everything seems normal, then that strange noise appears again. I rolled up a piece of paper and tried to locate the source of the noise and I think (not very sure) that it comes from the front area where I've soldered the caps for the 24pin connector...

I then thought that it could theoretically be the sound of a tiny electric arc (dunno if that's the right word for it).
I'm going to test the voltage outputs and then probably redo the capacitors on the 24 pins.


//edit2: the voltages were okay, I've seen 3.3V, 5V, 12V and -12V on the 24pin connector... all a bit high (~12.42V on 12V rail) but I think that's okay because there was no stress on them
Edited by Furion92 - 3/15/12 at 1:29pm
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Furion92 View Post

450

Just looking at this picture I can see that the violet capacitor in the forefront (with KME 105C on the side) is blown; notice the bit of white protruding out of it (next to the toroid).

First off I'll say that some capacitors (particularly those cans) are polarity sensitive. Also they can easily fry if there's no load in parallel with them, which is why they were on the modular cables to begin with.

Note: those capacitors are primarily to act as a filter to take out any fluctuations in the DV voltage, but they aren't really necessary for normal operation.
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
@radodrill: first: thanks for your anwer smile.gif

However, that's only an optical illusion. That white stuff is way behind that capacitor and holds the black caps behind him in place.
Also these have never been used as I took the picture wink.gif That was before I tested it.

It worries me that you say that these can fry when there's no load on them. Why didn't you say that earlier frown.gif
But wouldn't it be the same as if I'd connect a 6+2pin PCIe cable to the psu and don't use it?

Polarity wise I've been very careful and triple-checked every cap (made an Excel-file with all the caps and their polarity). Wouldn't they have just popped and would now look "baggy"?

I'm gonna take them out (at least the ones for the 24pin cable) and check if there are any indications for damages.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Furion92 View Post

However, that's only an optical illusion. That white stuff is way behind that capacitor and holds the black caps behind him in place.
...
I'm gonna take them out (at least the ones for the 24pin cable) and check if there are any indications for damages.
Then it's a dang good optical illusion; wen that kind of capacitor blows the top bulges up and generally some white stuff protrudes out

And yes having the cap inside the PSU is the same as having the 6+2 pin connected without a load, but that is the point with a modular PSU it's very unlikely that a person would connect cables that aren't being used.

And a thought I just had about your strange noises, have you checked to make sure that the new fan blades aren't rubbing against anything such as the PSU housing or wires inside the PSU?
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post #5 of 16
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@radodrill: If you look at the first picture I've postet you can see the white glue that holds the black caps in place wink.gif
Was talking to a mate today (who works in electronic business) and he said that those capacitors are more than likely going to smell bad after they've blown up. And that was definitely not the case...

Well what if a pc builder already routes the cable so that his client can update his video card more easily? I can't believe yet that a capacitor would blow up because there's no load on the cable...

And it's definitely not the fan because I haven't even connected it at some tests wink.gif




edit: (quite) good news! I might have found the bad guy =)

see:

450

If everything runs smoothly, I will buy a bunch of new caps tomorrow, so the modding can go on =) The sleeve package from Nils should arrive tuesday or wednesday (also the white cables that I've ordered).
Edited by Furion92 - 3/11/12 at 8:58am
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Furion92 View Post

@radodrill: If you look at the first picture I've postet you can see the white glue that holds the black caps in place wink.gif

That picture clearly showed the glue between the black caps, but not the glue at the end (below the violet caps), which is what led to the illusion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Furion92 View Post

Was talking to a mate today (who works in electronic business) and he said that those capacitors are more than likely going to smell bad after they've blown up. And that was definitely not the case...
Those can style caps may have a slight smell, but it isn't really noticeable and dissipates very quickly. On the other hand, burnt resistors have a distinct bad smell and it only gets worse when you apply power to a burnt resistor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furion92 View Post

I can't believe yet that a capacitor would blow up because there's no load on the cable...

In theory they shouldn't, but I've blown a few while I was building/testing a PWM fan controller with no load applied
Quote:
Originally Posted by Furion92 View Post

edit: (quite) good news! I might have found the bad guy =)
see:
450

yes there's certainly a bulge in the top and it looks like the top is cracked at the center as well
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post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yep, bought new ones today wink.gif Luckily they're VERY cheap.
I'm on the train atm, so I'll update this thread after I've finished soldering in the evening.

Hopefully everything's gonna work like it should, even the fan (might be poled wrong).
If my mind isn't totally wrong this dark wing fan should spin up from 3.5V upwards. I don't think that the crappy stock model runs with even lower voltages.


//update: after 3 hours of soldering, I replaced all the capacitors that were originally on the cables with new ones from the store
I found out, that I've misread my own sketches about the layout of the capacitors and they were completely wrong biggrin.gif

However, I made new sketches and soldered them in.

Just tried to start the psu, but it's rather unspectacular. After the first soldering action I heard that "plop" you know? But this time there's just nothing happening. The only thing that's doing anything is some part of the power supply that's ticking like a clock, but double the frequency.
The stock fan doesn't spin and the connected one over molex doesn't even twitch. After pulling tha cable or swithing it off, the ticking goes on for about half a minute (-> at least some capacitors of the original ones still do their job... xD)

Does anyone know where that ticking could come from?

I'm just pretty disappointed right now after spending that much money and time for "just" a power supply (...that doesn't even work right now).
Might smash it in the trash and sell the sleeve from Nils before I spend another 150€ for a brand new psu.
Edited by Furion92 - 3/12/12 at 4:52pm
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Furion92 View Post

I'm just pretty disappointed right now after spending that much money and time for "just" a power supply (...that doesn't even work right now). Might smash it in the trash and sell the sleeve from Nils before I spend another 150€ for a brand new psu.

Please don't give up, sometimes lessons are hard, but you learn more from continuing.

I think the issue is that you gave yourself a difficult job with various skills needed. If the job was just to move one cap, then you would have succeeded. So break the job up into smaller steps. Since the caps aren't needed for basic operation, perhaps it's possible to restore the PSU to the original situation? Then add one cap each time and test before adding the next.

I don't even want to guess about the ticking sound.
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post #9 of 16
As WiSK mentioned, those capacitors are not a necessity; as such, I probably would have just eliminated them all together.

Have you tried taking them out to see if there's any difference? Also, did you make sure the replacement caps had the same ratings?

Have you located the capacitor(s) that blew on your second attempt? Checked the PSU for any other blown chips?

Also, be sure that you don't have a short anywhere in the wiring.

Not sure what would be causing the ticking; what frequency is it at? The power in the AC mains is 50/60 Hz (cycles per second).
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post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the nice words WiSK wink.gif
And also thanks to radodrill for all the information that you provide wink.gif


I didn't take 'em out yet, didn't have the time for it. The replacement caps had definitely the exact same capacities and voltage ratings. I bought some low ESR ones (because they should be better for the stability..? ). I don't think that anything blew up at the second attempt, there was no plop, no buzzing and no smell, just that clicking (~2Hz, 120bpm). I checked all the other caps but didn't notice any faulty ones.
I was so damn carefully watching out that I wouldn't create any short in there that I'm 99.9% sure that it can't be the problem.

I might take the time to take all of them out again and try it then, but it might be hopeless 'cause I don't even notice the "power switch sound" when I short the green wire with one of the ground ones (which I clearly heard before soldering and also at my first attempt). It just seems to be dead.


@radodrill: As you seem really informed about all the electronics stuff, I've got a question for you:

If I go out and buy a new psu with standard 24 - 23 pinout. (24 wires on the psu side and 23 (well, technically 24 with the doubled sense pin) wires on the mainboard side), is it a wrong idea to just remove the sense wire and solder the accordant pins in the psu together? Thanks in advance.



//correction: I don't know what I heard there but it's definitely more like 3 or 4 Hz.

I just tested the voltages while the psu is turned "on". And oh lord I've got to have done something VERY wrong.

+12V line: going very very slow (~2mins) up to 3V (and I mean 3.0 not 3.3)
+5V SB line: fluctuating wildly around +5V
-12V line: fluctuating wildly around +5V
+3.3V line: no voltage at all
+5V line: no voltage at all

fan headers in the psu: no voltage

I've taken those cables out several times in order to access the pins for the main ATX plug:
450

I wonder if I've replugged them in the wrong way O.o


Also: please take a look at this picture:
450

You can see that there's a foot of a capacitor going right into the big rail on the left. I soldered it right there because it was easier to access for me. It originally had to go onto the pin that's closest to the pcb on the back, which is connected with its neighbour-pin and also the complete big fat metal rail. You can see that the current/voltage is going over it because in the back there are the labels at the holes where the rail goes in.

The capacitor on there is a big one (1000µF 16V). It shouldn't make any difference whether I solder it onto this rail or directly on the pin, should it?! Hope that I was thinking right there.

The only thing where I'm a little bit unconfident about are those little white wires that you can see in the first picture. There are 2 of them and you can't really see how they're routed in all the pictures from the reviews online.



Oh yeah: I'm so sorry for the horrible picture quality but the battery of my Panasonic camera died (well it ran out of juice and I didn't come to charge it yet^^).
Edited by Furion92 - 3/13/12 at 2:36pm
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