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Cap replacement

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
A capacitor got torn out and I replaced it with a slightly bigger one. I'll be honest, I have never really soldered anything before, so I'm not 100% sure how well it turned out, but what I'm wondering is how can one tell if a capacitor is working or not? It was a part of the cpu vrm, so it's not the only one, and so I'm not sure of how it should affect the vrm if it didn't work properly. My understanding is that the power delivery could even remain unaffected even if I hadn't replaced it, or is that so?

The mobo is since up and working as usual, but I'm still slightly concerned for my 300€ cpu.
Edited by Fulvin - 8/1/13 at 3:09am
post #2 of 9
Bad Idea to solder on a random capacitor, you need one that is exactly the same as the one that got ripped off.
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Piledriver Reborn
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
The guy at the store I got the capacitor from told me that it's ok to have a slightly bigger one opposed to too small one, and I explained to him that it was from a motherboard and a part of the cpu's power delivery. They didn't have an exact match so I went with that.

I'm pretty sure he wasn't entirely full of BS?
post #4 of 9
Its fine. The tolerances for electrolytic caps is usually 20% anyway, so the figure on the label is generally little better than a ballpark. When you're dealing with power supply stuff, it doesn't matter that much- its just to smooth the voltage, and more capacitance can only help that.

The voltage has to be equal or more, though it doesn't matter how much more.

Anyway, back to your question, there's no easy way to tell that the cap is working. Just look it over real good and make sure both leads are connected.

If you want to know the hard way, you'd have to use an oscilloscope to compare the ripple with it connected and then disconnected. Which is not worth it.
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
If the leads weren't connected at all, then I guess the board would have just said 'No' at start up? Not sure of how much of the solder got into the connection holes, but it isn't wiggling anywhere, so I'm assuming it's connected properly.
post #6 of 9
Probably not, it may have continued to run without it. Like I said, the caps are just to smooth things out. If one goes bad, it just gets bumpier. wink.gif

You did read how to solder beforehand, right? You did heat the joint with the iron,then melt the solder with the hot joint, and not the iron, right? But really, if it won't wiggle lose then its probably OK.
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I did some reading, but I also read that with capacitors, you mustn't heat the joints, and it could damage it?
post #8 of 9
You either read bad advice or misunderstood it.

When soldering, you should try to complete the solder joint quickly as possible. What happens is that the heat conducts from the leads into the capacitor body, heating it from the inside out. LEDs, capacitors, diodes and transistors all are sensitive to heat, so keeping the soldering iron on too long can damage them.

In the real world, however, its better to be sure that your solder joint is correctly heated than the to be too quick. I've personally never damaged a device soldering it in place, and I've done some terrible things with a soldering iron. tongue.gif

If you do not heat the parts being soldered to above the melting point of the solder, the result is a called a "Cold solder joint." The solder just sits on top of the parts rather then wicking into them, freezing before it works its way into the microscopic nooks and crannies in the materials. Cold solder joints are typically dull looking but can be hard to tell apart from a normal joint. But what will happen is that it will eventually fail.

If you want, snap a photo and let us look at it. But really, if its working I wouldn't worry too much.
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I meant leads, not joints sorry. Either way, by that definition, what I have accomplished here is a cold joint as I didn't heat the leads properly, in fear of damaging the capacitor.

I will leave it as it is, if it truly is not something to be worried about in the first place. Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it.
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