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  1. #1
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    Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    I'm having a great weekend! Medical bills and now my monitor is dead!

    Okay, so here's the issue. My monitor turns on, backlight lights up for a second, then dies. As it is 5 years old and out of warranty, I popped it open and poked around for loose cables. Wiggling the cables is often the answer and it was the answer I was hoping for. Nope. I poked my nose in at the power supply and ( cue angelic music ) found this:

    http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/caps1.jpg (Bottom right)
    http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/caps2.jpg

    So, I've contacted support saying "Hey guys...I have a problem...and I have no money...", but I'm betting on a "No money? Alright, we accept human limbs," reply.

    If that's the case, I have two options. Option A is to send it in along with my left foot (Unless they like, offer to do it for $20). UPS will take my right one. Option B is to try to fix the sucker myself.

    So, in the spirit of option B, I need to know a few things:

    -What's the easiest way to desolder capacitors? Tool recommendations are very welcomed as I can wheedle these out of my parents as gifts.

    -How do I tell what type of capacitors I need to replace these with?

    -What's the best way to solder these on? My technique is pretty bad.


    I would just replace the monitor, but my Ergotron workfit requires 2 equal sized screens under 22 inches from left to right each to be balanced...so...sorta stuck there.

    Edit: Found capacitor kit, http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=220620131178
    Last edited by Windrunner; 05-29-2011 at 07:00 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    You might want to look in local trading journal or God Forbid > Craigslist, for a talented person who does this sort of thing. I have a friend who does this because he designs PCB and builds them. There may be someone down there who is along the same lines, just have to look and see.

  3. #3
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    Re: Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    The capacitors should tell you what their specs are on the casing, if not, well, that makes it a bit harder.

    As for tools to remove the caps, there is something called a solder sucker. Example

    You press in the plunger and then heat up the solder on the contact point. Once solder is heated you hit the button and the solder is sucked up. Might have to do it 2-3 times, but it works wonders. This is what I use.

    As for the soldering techniques, Youtube. Seriously, look on youtube for some how tos. I have seen many good ones on there.

    EDIT: the only thing to be careful about is that many capacitors are polarized, meaning if you put the negative terminal in where the positive terminal was, they can blow up. So you should be sure to mark where the positive and the negative terminals are BEFORE removing them so you can put the new ones back in the correct way.

  4. #4
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    Re: Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    soder-wick is what you need to use to desolder with, the bulb is almost useless unless you hve a desoldering station....

    http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/...xvMPj5DQfDA%3d


    the wic works like a charm, mouser electronics sell it along with the caps your gonna need.

    replace all the caps while your there. might as well.
    good luck!

  5. #5
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    Re: Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter4u View Post
    soder-wick is what you need to use to desolder with, the bulb is almost useless unless you hve a desoldering station....
    I have tried the solder wick stuff and i don't find it to work as well for myself anyways. Reasons why you say solder wick over a solder sucker?

  6. #6
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    Re: Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    I have a solder sucker, it has a large nozzle at the front and the kick is such that the tip jumps about a quarter inch even if I bear down on it. I was not able to effectively use it to desolder LEDs from a board. Is this something I need to check youtube for, or should I look for a better brand solder sucker instead of the Radioshack one? (I already think I know the answer...but the good ones are $20)

    Solder wick, I hear good things about getting small parts off of boards with it as long as the wick is coated in powdered flux. Radio shack only sells uncoated copper braid now, so I hear bad things about it.

    About polarized capacitors, what's the easiest way to tell if the capacitors are polarized while they're still on the board? ( Is this like reading resistors? Or LEDs where one lead is longer than the other? or is it really obvious? )

    Specs are written on the capacitors. The ebay link has a guy giving the specs, he's also pretty helpful via messaging so I'll probably buy from him.

    I have been told to contact a repair center. I'm asking for a quote and have posted a link to this thread in the repair ticket.

    Thanks guys! This may be one of my 1337-est hardware moments if I successfully repair this monitor myself...but considering I might leave it on unattended, I'm kind of worried.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    I electrocuted myself once on a capacitor while fixing my mom's DVD player.

    It was the worst shock I've ever gotten. I yelled and shook like in the cartoons. Burned my palm too (where I touched it).

    Off topic, but, capacitors can be dangerous if you don't drain them! Think of it as a public service announcement.

    And I'm sure there are a few people on this forum who wish I would of offed myself then.

  8. #8
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    Re: Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    I've replaced monitor power board caps before. It is fairly simple imo. The bad caps should have specs and polarity marked. If polarity is not marked on the cap it may be marked on the pcb.

    My method: lightly pull on the bad cap and heat one solder. The cap will move. repeat on each side until cap is out. use wick if needed to clean up the holes. Insert new cap and solder up.

    Replace ALL the power board caps at this time. Do not want to redo this 6 months from now because another cap let go.

    I was forced to try this repair a few years ago when I accidentally kicked the plug from the wall. restoring power left me with a monitor that would come on for 5 seconds and die. Half the caps were popped so I replaced all of them on the power board and that monitor is still working great today.

    I source caps on ebay and mouser electronics and I have a local shop too, Meuniers Electronics. Meuniers takes all the guess work out of it, walk in with video card with bad caps and they grab what I need.

    Good Luck!!
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  9. #9
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    Re: Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    cwolv, I wish you wouldn't have told me about the monitor blowing caps after a power interruption like that. I had one really good lightning hit after being careful with all of my systems for years, and this showed up.

    It was on an APC surge protector though. Should I file a report with them about this and see if they pick up the tab?


    About grounding the caps, what's the best way to do that safely? Besides asking random people I don't like to "Here, touch this!"?

    (Google is going to love this thread.)
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  10. #10
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    Re: Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    With the item unplugged, press the power button a few times and hope everything discharged, just like you would on a pc before clearing cmos or swapping out parts. I can't say this is a fool-proof method but I have yet to get zapped. Blown caps should have zero charge. You can test with a dmm to be sure.

    edit: sure, see what APC says, couldn't hurt.

    Forgot about the vid card I had to fix for the same reason above, accidentally kicking the power plug from the wall (not me this time lol) popped 4 caps on the vid only, rest of box was fine...
    Last edited by cwolv; 06-01-2011 at 04:38 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain O Hair View Post
    I have tried the solder wick stuff and i don't find it to work as well for myself anyways. Reasons why you say solder wick over a solder sucker?
    lol, just the opposite for me, the solder sucker that i got from radio shack did not do the job for me, heard about the soder wick and it work great on the last few lcd i have repaired with bad caps.
    Like stated above, replace all the "like" caps anyways when working on these things.

  12. #12
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    Re: Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter4u View Post
    lol, just the opposite for me, the solder sucker that i got from radio shack did not do the job for me, heard about the soder wick and it work great on the last few lcd i have repaired with bad caps.
    Lol... guess there is no right answer to this one? I didn't get my solder sucker from Radio Shack however, so I wonder if that is part of the difference for me. I do wonder if the solder wick I had access to was just the copper braid and not the ones coated in powdered flux? Who knows...

  13. #13
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    Re: Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    Found this thread on another forum: http://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?t=6930 Plenty of information about repairing dead capacitors in monitors and such.

    Now I'm worried about getting cheapo capacitors and having to do this again in a few months. </angst>
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  14. #14
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    Re: Fixing monitor power supply/bulging capacitors

    This is kind of interesting Page 2 tells one how to short out a cap so one
    doesn't get "bit"..

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/R...acitors/4131/2

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