Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2010.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

Capacitor soldering

Posted 27 July 2010 in work

Last week my boss gave me a PC he had received with a bad motherboard. "There are some blown capacitors," he said, "but maybe you can use some of the other parts." I decided immediately to use it as a learning experience: it was time to learn how to replace capacitors!

I ordered the replacement capacitors from digikey.com, and as soon as they arrived I soldered them in. I plugged in the PC and heard a piercing, high-pitched whine from the power supply, which told me there was a third blown capacitor - awesome - but a quick switch with a known-good power supply demonstrated that my soldering job had worked.

Today, feeling very empowered, I grabbed every old, broken motherboard I could find and checked for bad capacitors. There are about a dozen capacitors now in the mail, destined to fix two PCs and a power supply and gain me a lot more practice.