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Monitor PSU problem - faulty capacitor/s?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So I need some advice from people who know what they're talking about when it comes to electronics.

TL;DR: a 450v 100uF capacitor only holds ~90-91uF, so could it cause the problems described below?

I have a Dell E173FPc monitor works for a while, and then turns off and won't turn on: the power lights turns green for a second and turns off (the picture does not come on), in an endless cycle. After some time, it would turn on again and work for a few more hours.

Earlier, the problem was with backlighting (the screen would turn off completely after 3 seconds), and I replaced the four transistors known to cause problems, and it now works as described above.

I have pretty much soldered out all of the capacitors on the PSU board and all but 3 are pretty much perfect. Two 16v 470uF capacitors only hold ~440uF, and a 450v 100uF one holds just 90-91uF. Could they be the problem?

Pic of the board attached.

Thanks in advance!
    
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post #2 of 10
It's normal.

I should think so.
Just like with resistors, they can never fully uphold the stated capacitance due to tolerance levels.
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post #3 of 10
The tolerance on electrolytic caps is usually +/-20% so they're fine in that respect. I've found that the only reliable indicator of a failed capacitor without visual signs (bulging, electrolyte leakage) is an ESR test. Unfortunately, such a test requires a special meter like this one.

If you've already replaced 4 transistors it is possible that their failure was caused by another failure within the power supply circuit, or their failure might have caused issues on their own.

I wouldn't be surprised if the caps are bad. I've seen similar problems on a Vizio monitor that had bad caps. And "Hermei"? Really? Dell, you disappoint me once again...
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMD20x6;11906674 
The tolerance on electrolytic caps is usually +/-20% so they're fine in that respect. I've found that the only reliable indicator of a failed capacitor without visual signs (bulging, electrolyte leakage) is an ESR test. Unfortunately, such a test requires a special meter like this one.

If you've already replaced 4 transistors it is possible that their failure was caused by another failure within the power supply circuit, or their failure might have caused issues on their own.

I wouldn't be surprised if the caps are bad. I've seen similar problems on a Vizio monitor that had bad caps. And "Hermei"? Really? Dell, you disappoint me once again...

Hmm, that does make sense. Well, I could replace the 16v 470uF ones, as well as the 16v 1000uF ones, as I have some around. I don't have spare 450v caps though...

None of the caps are bulged out/leaking.

The only other area that looks a bit suspicious are the four pairs of resistors around the transistors I replaced: the PCB is dark around them, indicating a good deal of heat.

Anything else that could cause the symptoms described?
    
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post #5 of 10
I would check the value of the four resistor pairs- each resistor should be within 5% of 1k. And although unlikely to be the problem I would check the value of the two what appear to be film capacitors- the bright blue things near the resistor pairs.

This is about the extent of the advice I can give you- I'm in school to become a CprE but I've only taken the intro to EE course so far. Sorry. redface.gif
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Can I replace 16v 470uF capacitors rated for 105C with ones rated for 85C? 85C ones are all I have.

Thanks to all for the help so far. I know this monitor has little value (esp. when it is standing next to my Dell U2410), but it's a fun project and learning experience for me.

EDIT: Also, can I check the resistors without soldering them out?
EDIT2: Desoldered one of the resistors, and it's right at 1kohm. Soldered in they all read the same .25kohm
Edited by ymetushe - 1/5/11 at 7:54pm
    
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post #7 of 10
You're most welcome!

As you've found resistors can't usually be tested for an absolute value in-circuit but can be tested for relative values. If they all test the same you should be fine.

An 85C cap should be fine for the short term. If you are able to revive the monitor I would put in an order for some 105C Panasonic FC series or similar quality low ESR capacitors. Capacitors are rated for a certain lifetime at their maximum temperature. This is usually 1k-5k hours from the datasheets I've read and the lifetime goes up as you reduce the temperature.
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
The good news is, the monitor still works after my soldering adventures! Yey!

Now I just have to wait and see how long that joy lasts. Will post updates.

On a side note, the panel seems to be brighter now, after replacing the caps. Caps replaced: 2x 16v 1000uF, 2x 16v 470uF (replaced with 85C ones).
    
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post #9 of 10
Does it turn on and stay on, or do you still have to deal with the problem you described in your first post? If the former, this is great news indeed!

Kudos for trying to fix a broken piece of hardware instead of tossing it in the trash like most.

Edit: NVM, you still need time to assess it.
Edited by AMD20x6 - 1/5/11 at 8:59pm
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post #10 of 10
Hot areas?

Dump a heatsink there.
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