[rescue] Bad cheap electrolytics, easily rescued LCD monitors - was Re: Trying to rescue a Sun Ultra 45

Toby Thain toby at telegraphics.com.au
Wed Jan 15 08:39:44 CST 2014

On 15/01/14 3:23 AM, Mouse wrote:
>> Interesting story, not heard of it before, have seen a few mobos with
>> blown caps (tants?) which did not impact the running of the system.
> You're lucky they didn't.  I have fixed three (out of three) dead
> flat-screen displays by opening them up, noting that caps in the power
> supply portion of the circuit have bulging tops, and replacing them.  I

I fixed about 10 out of 11 in the same way last year, enough to give 
away a few to neighbours and relatives.

One 24" needed just an 18c resistor.

http://badcaps.net/ is a good reference - they also discuss common 
faults with particular models (e.g. they helped me quickly pin down that 
resistor, as I'm an electronics noob). (When choosing replacements, 
recommended brands include Panasonic and Nichicon. More info on that site.)

<RANT> This kind of waste is criminal. There are a lot of nonrenewables 
in an LCD, and with repair they could have decades of working life, but 
they are treated like consumables and thrown out like Kleenex. There is 
just no reason why the entire complex and useful device, with all its 
nonrenewable materials, should be hostage to its cheapest and 
deliberately flakiest component. There's no reason for any of this stuff 
to be designed to fail before 5 years, as this list in particular.

There are certainly some Chinese brands that populate the cheap 
inverters who are notorious for short lifespans, and your reasons (a), 
(b1) and (b2) seem pretty plausible ones. There doesn't seem to be any 
negative feedback loop shutting down this fraud. Maybe banning tech 
imports having less than a 5 year warranty period would help. As might 
requiring proper local reprocessing (repair/recycle) of failed 
machinery. But does anyone care enough yet? </RANT>


> am not in a position to comment either way on the "industrial espionage
> gone wrong" theory except to note that what I've seen is entirely
> consistent with it - though my observations are equally consistent with
> some manufacturer just plain cutting corners and counting on (a)
> devices failing after warranty expiration and either (b1) people not
> noticing the caps failing wholesale or (b2) a business plan that
> amounts to "take profit for a couple of years and then shut down before
> the bad-reputation chickens come home to roost".
> /~\ The ASCII				  Mouse
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