[rescue] Dead octane?

Sheldon T. Hall shel at artell.net
Wed Dec 31 03:52:13 CST 2008

 Quoth Ethan O'Toole ...
> One word!
> They seem to be in lots of modern electronics, and dry out 
> all the time.

In my experience, when the electrolytics go, they go with a bang.  Sometimes
accompanied by flames, but always by stink.

I used to volunteer at a facility that spruced up old computers for use by
the disadvantaged, and we had so many PSUs go bang that we finally set up a
dedicated "first power up" station, complete with a fire extinguisher and a
remote power switch.

Of course, it's always possible that the electrolytics have failed, but some
other component sacrificed itself to prevent the explosion.  This would
almost always be something expensive; the Law of the Innate Perversity of
Inanimate Objects decrees that the thirty-dollar power transistor will
protect the ten-cent fuse, not the other way around.


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