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New Capacitors for your Amiga motherboard

The original capacitors inside Commodore-Amiga computers are now a few decades old. After this time the electrolytic fluid inside the capacitor can start to leak. When this happens the performance of capacitor degrades. We supply packs containing new good quality capacitors from well know manufacturers such as Panasonic. Changing the capacitors can give your Amiga a new lease of life and prevent the electrolytic fluid from leaking over the motherboard and other components causing damage.

Recapping Hints and Tips

Changing old capacitors can have it's hazards and pitfalls that need to be taken into consideration.

Surface Mount capacitors are found on the Commodore-Amiga 600, 1200, CD32 and 4000, as well as CPU cards such as the A3630 / A3640.

The original capacitors installed at the Commodore factory are now many decades old, but they only have a recommended lifespan of less than twenty years. Over time the electrolytic fluid inside them degrades reducing their performance. In turn this can cause the computer to become i unstable, not work either in part such as distorted sound or corrupt video. In the worst cases, the Amiga could completely fail to boot due to the capacitor degradation.

Professional recapping packs are offered for the Amiga 600, Amiga 1200, Amiga CD32, Amiga 4000 Desktop and A3640 CPU card containing high quality brand new capacitors. These packs are great if you have the knowledge and experience of working on surface mount components. If you are hesitant, it maybe better to use a professional recapping service.

If you feel confident to replace the capacitors yourself, here are some useful hints and tips from Amiga Kit Technical Services.

Electolytic fluid can erupt or plume from the top or bottom of a capacitor. The first visible signs at the top of a capacitor are visible buldging. Eventually the top will be breached as the fluid bursts through. When there is leakage of electrolytic fluid from the bottom it can be difficult to see sometimes. This is because the capacitor base is soldered flush with the motherboard solder pads obscuring the view of the bottom. In fact it may seem that a capacitor is fine until it is removed and inspected. Slight discolouration at the base of the capacitor could be a indicator that component has degraded.

Removal of the capacitors can be performed using a fine tip, temperature controlled soldering iron or hot tweezers. Desolder one side of the pad at a time using a solder sucker and braid to clean it off. Ensure not to apply too much heat to a capacitor as it can explode- for this reason it is advisable to wear eye/face protection. Never twist capacitors off as this can lift and destroy tracks.

When handling the capacitors, wear anti-static gloves to prevent coming in contact directly with the electrolytic fluid. Thoroughly clean up the surrounding area where the fluid may have contaminated neighbouring components and tracks to prevent ongoing corrosion. Dispose of the capacitors and cleaning materials in a responsible way.