Smoke on the Horizon... oh s**t!

From: Patrick Rigney <>
Date: Mon Feb 16 13:17:34 2004

> Then something (it used to be a tantalum cap) caught fire.
> Unplug again.

Evidently there are two types of tantalum caps: those that have failed, and
those that are about to. Age is apparently not their friend, although some
go on forever without a hitch.

As they say in home brewing, "relax, don't worry, have a homebrew." Replace
your caps, replace your regulator, reverify your supply voltages, and take a
pass over all of your boards with a meter (*including* the motherboard) for
more shorts before you power up again. As Dwight (IIRC) has often pointed
out, not all cap failures are evident with power off, so when I'm really
concerned about a board, I have a three-voltage bench power supply with
adjustable current-regulated outputs that I rig to an S-100
connector--shorts are immediately shown on the LEDs, and I can poke around
without frying anything (more). Cost on ePay: just $30 plus shipping; peace
of mind: priceless.

FWIW, this has happened to both of my Horizons and all but one of my H-89s.
No long-term ill effects to any.

The answer I can never keep straight in my mind is, replace them with WHAT?
Attention gurus: what is the preferred replacement material for these
flaming miscreants?

Received on Mon Feb 16 2004 - 13:17:34 GMT

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