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Antec TruePower 480W dissection

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Want to learn about power supply anatomy? Here's your chance! I'll be dissecting an old power supply that suffered capacitor failure on the secondary leading to out-of-spec voltage.

If you have a slow connection, hit "Back" now or you'll be sitting here all week.



WARNING: Do not attempt at home unless you know what you are doing. The primary capacitors of a PSU can hold a lethal charge for several minutes after the PSU has been unplugged, and can carry a painful charge (still deadly to the weak, elderly, or small children) for a couple of days. This PSU was left unplugged on my bench for a week.

Also, exercise appropriate precautions when working with a soldering iron. Safety glasses are recommended. Some solder may contain lead, which is known to have many deleterious health effects.



Anyway, on with the dissection!




This is an old Antec TruePower 480W power supply that had bad capacitors (Fuhjyyu caps are not very reliable). I *could* recap it, but that would take too much effort, so instead I'm taking it apart to learn a bit about PSU anatomy, and also to practice my soldering/desoldering.

Note that modern Antec PSUs do not use Fuhjyyu capacitors; this was restricted to early TruePower models. Modern Antec PSUs use mainly Teapo caps and various Japanese brands such as Chemic-Con and Panasonic. Quality on that front has certainly improved a great deal.

The warranty sticker has been broken, and the screws removed. Let's see what's inside.



Open Sesame!



Looks... Old. And dusty. It looks... Like an old, dusty power supply. Strange, huh?


The PCB (Printed Circuit Board) has been removed from its cocoon. There was a lot of work here I skipped over. It's a pain getting these things out of the housing.

In the front left you have most of the transient filtering stage, then on the front right you have the two big primary capacitors from Panasonic (a good Japanese brand). Then that first heatsink has the primary transistors. Past that you have two transformers (the yellow things on black cylinders). The big one does the +12V and +5V and +3.3V, while the small one does the +5VSB. There are a few more ferrite coils and chokes there to clean up the signal before it hits the secondary transistors and diodes under that second heatsink there. Beyond that, hidden from view, are all the secondary capacitors, which are the infamous Fuhjyyu caps. There are maybe five of them that have blown, and I'd want to replace all of them if I wanted to ever use this PSU again. But I don't! So I'm just gonna rip it apart.



This is where the power cord plugs in. I don't know what all the bits do, but there are a couple of Y-capacitors and what looks like a MOV (metal-oxide varistor) which help with eliminating ripple and voltage spikes, respectively.



Glamour shot!



Nice soldering on the PCB. Too bad I'm going to ruin it. :grin:

You can see the separation between the primary and secondary stages of the PSU. The primary is on the right, the secondary is on the left, and the main transformers are in the middle where there is very little soldering.

The transient filtering stage (often grouped with the primary) takes the 115VAC/230VAC power from the mains and filters and cleans it and removes power spikes. It then sends ti to the primary itself, which converts it into DC power... And then back into AC power. This power then hits the transformer and is dropped to a lower voltage.

The power then reaches the secondary stage, where it is rectified back to direct current, and converted into the proper voltages (+12V, +5V, +3.3V, +5V stand by, -12V). This PSU may also have a -5V output, not sure. You'll notice that the secondary is much more complicated, with a lot more solder work. This is because the primary deals with just one path of electricity, as the main current from the mains is manipulated. The secondary splits the power into all the correct voltages, filters them, runs through a protections circuit, and outputs the power into the correct wires, which then exit the PSU and are bundled into cables. So there's a lot more going on there.



Here's a ferrite coil from the transient filtering stage which was the only thing I could rip off without my soldering iron.


Then I got my soldering iron! Some of the tools used in the dissection. A 30W soldering iron, 45W soldering iron (not used yet) and a multimeter (not used and probably won't be since the PSU is already dead ). There's also a couple screwdrivers that didn't make it into this picture.


More bits I've removed with the aid of my soldering iron. The two primary caps, what I believe to be a Y-capacitor from the transient filtering stage, and something that I don't know what it is. Also some molex connectors I've cut off to use for wires for misc. projects.


A Panasonic capacitor used on the primary. Panasonic is a good Japanese brand. These are 200V, 1000uF elecrolytic caps rated at 85*C. They look to be in good shape and I may find a use for them some day.


This is a view of the PSU's secondary. You can see some blown Fuhjyyu capacitors. I've counted at least five bad caps. Since the voltage was bad when I first plugged it in and then got much worse, I'm guessing that a few are recent casualties.







More pics to come as the dissection progresses!

Dissection on hold indefinitely


Further Reading
Edited by Phaedrus2129 - 12/3/10 at 10:13am
post #2 of 12
Nice.

Looks to be CWT?
    
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yup, this was one of the designs that gave CWT a bad name for a while. Good performance, but because Antec had them put in those Fuhjyyu (aka f00ky00) capacitors the platform got a reputation as garbage.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Updated!
post #5 of 12
That was a nice PSU.
I mean, I love the casing design and the *GASP ZOMG TWO FANS!*
But, not a fan of transparent fans though.


Carry on!
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
*sigh* No place in town carries solder braid or solder suckers. I've tried Radioshack, HFT, Home Depot, Walmart, Firestone auto store, and none of them have either. Nor do they have tipping solution. What the hell? If you have to solder something, it's even money you'll need to desolder something as well, thus you'll need solder braid/suckers. And you need tipping solution for any but the quickest jobs.

I guess I'll just have to order online and put up with the ridiculous shipping charges everyplace has.



Anyway, yeah, they were pretty good aside from the Fuhjjyu caps. If they used Chemi-cons or Panasonics on the secondary instead it would have been a top notch PSU, instead of a guaranteed failure.
post #7 of 12
Im still using my tp480 from the pentium 4 days. Now its powering an amd x2 and a 9800gt. This is one rock solid power supply and has never let me down. Good luck getting yours going again!
Edited by louze001 - 4/26/10 at 5:55pm
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by louze001 View Post
Im still using my tp480 from the pentium 4 days. Now its powering an amd x2 and a 9800gt. This is one rock solid power supply and has never let me down. Good luck getting yours going again!
He isn't going to revive this one.
He's using this as a specimen.
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Haven't touched it in a while, but while tidying up I noticed something... There's a lot more than just Panasonic and Fuhjyyu caps on there!



Front and center is a Teapo (a decent Taiwanese brand), and to the right is one of the infamous Fuhjyyus. Off to the left is another Teapo, then what I think is another Panasonic, then what appears to be... a Hitachi? Curiouser and curiouser.


EDIT: Apparently, Fuhjyyu's logo looks a teeny bit like Hitachi's. Completely on accident, of course. And I've confirmed the Teapos are for the +5VSB.


I desoldered the Teapo that was centered. It was after the transformers, but before the secondary rectifiers. It's 10V 1000uF 105C; pretty beefy considering that smaller transformer is for the +5VSB and such.

I was going to desolder some more caps, but I dropped my soldering iron and burned my pinky--OW. So that'll have to wait another day or two.
Edited by Phaedrus2129 - 4/30/10 at 5:07am
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129 View Post
Front and center is a Teapo (a decent Taiwanese brand)

Ewwwwww! go wash that mouth out!

I've pulled nearly as many failed Teapos off circuits as Fuhjyyus... nasty pieces of work, now that may just be a hangover from the serious capacitor epidemic of the past but like they say "fool me once shame on you... fool me twice shame on ME" thus I avoid Teapo's like the plague


Pity about the terminal nature of this dissection
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