[rescue] Slightly OT: Bad Cap Saga

Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com
Sun Aug 17 11:21:33 CDT 2008

On Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 09:11:58AM -0700, Curious George wrote:
> I know there is talk of "capacitor plague" and some legend
> about industrial espionage gone wrong, etc.  (though none
> of that explains the 10V devices on the 12V line!  :> )
> But, the variety of manufacturers that I have been finding
> really has me doubting that -- did *10* companies share this
> stolen secret?  Are all 10 companies really the same single
> company?  Etc.

It's not a legend, it's documented fact. There have been links
to it posted on this list in the past, check the archives.

As for how wide spead it is, the capacitors found their way into almost
all consumer electronics. The company seriously undercut the compettion.

It's also common to manufacture unmarked components to be rebranded
and sold by other companies, often the competition. It makes the
whole "competative bidding process" work. 

I won't say every, but most Tiwanese companies bought capacitors 
from them.

As for 10v capacitors on the 12v line, it's not unusual. They are
often sold with a 20% "safety" rating, e.g. a 10v cap will withstand
12 volts, and quite possibly, 12.5 or 13. Since there is a big difference
in price and the units are sold from the manufacturer without warranties,
it's worth the chance.


Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm at mendelson.com  N3OWJ/4X1GM

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