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Broke off mobo capacitor - Need advice

Last response: in Motherboards
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December 8, 2009 8:42:30 PM

I was helping my friend with his computer and I swapped out our power supplies to determine that his power supply was bad. In the process of doing this, I bent over one of my capacitors on accident. When I went to straighten the cap, the legs broke off.

I was nervous to start my computer without the capacitor, but it appears to be working fine. I just really need my computer to be working this week because I have a few reports to write/finish.

I was wondering if anyone can help me find a replacement capacitor that I can solder on next week, or if you think it is ok to allow the computer to run without it.

The capacitor says "54046 100 16FB" on it. It is an all-solid cap from Gigabyte. I cannot find this capacitor anywhere and I do not know what the letters on the cap mean. Also, do you think it will be ok to not replace this cap? I have some soldering experience, but I know motherboards are very sensitive to mistakes and I could potentially make my problems worse if I mess up.

Thanks!
December 8, 2009 8:52:53 PM

I'm guessing this is a 100 uF (microfarad) electrolytic capacitor with a working voltage of 16 volts. You should be able to get one from Radio Shack or numerous online sources. They are inexpensive. Be careful to order one with the same type of leads, for ease in doing the replacement - axial vs. radial. It's OK to get one with a bit more capacitance (e.g. 125 uF), but don't skimp on the working voltage. Then get some help installing it, as poor soldering technique can damage other nearby parts.

I'm also guessing that this provides some stability for the motherboard, so it should be replaced.

Have you tested your audio system? Maybe you'll hear more noise than usual, if this capacitor is part of your audio block.
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December 8, 2009 9:15:44 PM

As you stated... it's a Gigabyte board with solid capacitors, so it's definitely NOT an electrolytic capacitor but more like a conductive polymer aluminum capacitor.

Anyway, Is any of the wire still protruding from the bottom of the cap??? You could try to extend the leads and reinstall the cap you have. Removing the remaining leads from the MB holes "could" be a little bit of a chore.

What MB do you have exactly and which cap.... I'd like to see where your working.

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December 8, 2009 9:22:06 PM

Thank you for the reply. I think the motherboard I have uses a solid capacitor instead of the electrolytic capacitor. See this article for what the solid capacitor is...
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/FileList/NewTech/2006_mother...

Would it be acceptable to place a electrolytic capacitor in place of the solid capacitor? I would assume that they serve the same function but just have different designs.

Also, the solid capacitor is a "Conductive Polymer Aluminum Solid Capacitor." Is this the same thing as an aluminum capacitor? I found this aluminum capacitor from digi-key...
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?De...
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December 8, 2009 9:48:12 PM

Trying to put new leads "in" the broken cap is not a good idea. If there was still some of the leads protruding I would say try to extend them and reuse the cap.

The capacitor location to me indicates it's probably part of the memory circuitry, just my guess. Since it's not one of the cap's located near the CPU, those are part of the CPU voltage regulation circuit, I don't think the board is in jeopardy of blowing up.

If it is part of the memory circuit it may cause memory errors causing the computer to crash.

Since I don't know the rating of the damaged cap, I recommend going here:
http://www.badcaps.net/pages.php?vid=25
and use the contact link. Let him know what your looking for and you'll get the cap you need.

I've used badcaps as a supplier for replacement capacitors in the past, to re-cap several motherboards that had defective electrolytic caps on them.
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December 8, 2009 11:17:16 PM

mazomv said:
I'm guessing this is a 100 uF (microfarad) electrolytic capacitor with a working voltage of 16 volts. You should be able to get one from Radio Shack or numerous online sources. They are inexpensive. Be careful to order one with the same type of leads, for ease in doing the replacement - axial vs. radial. It's OK to get one with a bit more capacitance (e.g. 125 uF), but don't skimp on the working voltage. Then get some help installing it, as poor soldering technique can damage other nearby parts.

I'm also guessing that this provides some stability for the motherboard, so it should be replaced.

Have you tested your audio system? Maybe you'll hear more noise than usual, if this capacitor is part of your audio block.

I would rather stick to exactly same capacity. Its true that sometimes it doesn't matter (cap used for filtering) but in other cases it can significantly change character of circuity it was part of (change frequency or voltage etc)
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December 9, 2009 6:17:08 AM

this is funny.

I haven't had a motherobard yet show any use for caps... follow the routes in the circuitry, its there as a ....hit or miss...

for real.

it may grab a vrm after awhile. and that while is with a cap or not.
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December 9, 2009 1:54:02 PM

I'm curious... is this normal for a board to still function with one of the capacitors removed?
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December 9, 2009 4:00:02 PM

rodney_ws said:
I'm curious... is this normal for a board to still function with one of the capacitors removed?


It all depends on what circuit is being affected. I'm sure the cap is being used in some sort of filtering capacity, keeping voltages cleaner and smoother, with less fluctuation. So if I'm correct that this cap is being used in the memory circuits, while it may not burn something out in the short term, I'm sure trying to replace it is the smart thing to do.

Even if all it does being missing is cause a few memory errors from time to time, as what point do those errors come back to haunt you, short of causing an immediate system crash.
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a b ) Power supply
December 11, 2009 11:54:24 PM

replace it for sure! theres a reason its there! of course, it may never be a problem if you dont, but capacitors are cheap so why not fix it?
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!