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 Capacitors.....

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MikeInCzechRep
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MikeInCzechRep


Call Sign : 329-CT-007 G7SWR
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QTH or Location : Prague.
Equipment Used : Stalker 9FDX, York JCB863 ADI AT-200
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PostSubject: Capacitors.....    Capacitors.....  Icon_minitimeSat Sep 03, 2022 11:37 am

I thought a thread about Capacitors could be fun, (I know I am odd that way but that could be the subject for another thread exploring if this hobby attracts more people who are neurodivergent  than those that are not you know kind of are people on the spectrum more intereasted in the spectrum)

Anyway back to capacitors as most of you know know they come in many flavours and the ones of the polarised electrolytic variety seem to come in for a lot of flack and misunderstanding. Is it possible to have a discussion here that does not lead to the taking up of arms? Ill express my knowledge/opinion and lets see where this goes... 


Aluminiuim Electrolytic Polaised Capacitors
did you know that there is leaking and leaking? leaking1 the electrolyte is leaking out, leaking2 there is electrical leakage not visible to the human eye. 

There are countless YT vids with comment sections full of people shouting to re-cap the item personally I shy away from "shotgunning" in a bunch of new electrolytics and start first with a visual inspection as if a component looks messed up it probably is messed up, for example it is visibly leaking looks over inflated or has smoke coming out of it or is on fire. Then I move on to electrical testing, now a device to really test a capacitor is an expensive bit of kit but by checking to ensure DC is not passing through it its not getting hot and in the case of smoothing applications is there a loud audiable hum? 



but what about all the other capacotors we see and use in our hobby?

Ceramic Disc, low capacitance value often wide tollerance but pretty stable 

Mulitlayer ceramic, now these i think are seen more in tuned circuits and come in a number of Dailectric types with different characteristics and tollerances some are more or less stable with temp or frequency but it can be hard to spot these details just looking at one. 

there is also a ton of other types and the move to SMT SMD types really has made the hobby harder for those of us with less than perfect vision.



Currently I have a box of capactors set aside for a Tesla Echo II radio I bought non working that has sat gathering dust for a couple of years while I get round to waving a volt meter and soldering iron at it in a slightly menacing manner. that and trying to work out how the heck i can re tune the fm to the non russian/sobiet one that is not in use now.

Do the forum rules allow for discussion on where we buy electronic parts from? kind of a thread of where to get what from and why we like that particular company?


Last edited by MikeInCzechRep on Sat Sep 03, 2022 1:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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GaryWilson
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PostSubject: Re: Capacitors.....    Capacitors.....  Icon_minitimeSat Sep 03, 2022 12:52 pm

Hello Mike, welcome to the forum.

Capacitor's without them we'd be a lesser hobby!!!

All discussion is allowed and welcome as long as due respect is shown to eachother.

Discussion about suppliers is okay as long as it doesn't drift into the realms of advertising, self promotion or spam.

Whilst here, I'm returning from holiday today so all call signs including yours will be issued over the weekend.

73's Gary.

C.T. Admin.

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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: Capacitors.....    Capacitors.....  Icon_minitimeSat Sep 03, 2022 5:26 pm

Hi Mike,

As Gary has already mentioned anything that's respectful of each other and doesn't break the forum rules is all good.

Charlie Tango forum rules


Capacitors are always an interesting one in that there always seems to be a bone of contention regards them.

The can of worms for the radio interest is capacitors and antennas, for the guitar community capacitors and strings, (OK pickups etc. too but still wire windings!) and with 'audiophiles' capacitors and 'oxygen free copper wire' amongst other things......

So basically caps and bits of wire. Wink


My view on electrolytics is basically the same as any well intended electronics engineer and the following link provides some insight :-

https://resources.altium.com/p/electrolytic-capacitor-lifespan


(Ignore the fact that it's a commercial establishment as I'm not endorsing them in any way, just an interesting article provided.)


You get similar stories with other types of capacitors too, the Ham digging through the silver-mica capacitors at rallies, are high voltage modern ceramics any good or not and in the other community interests such novel notions as the colour of the capacitor casing. (Orange dips anyone? Wink )

So long as everyone is enjoying themselves who are we to argue? I just dislike it when it's a snake-oil con to rip people off monetary wise.


Your 'Echo II' radio sounds interesting. Would that be an Echo/Praha/Bratislava valve type of affair?

I have (had) an old valve Jubilee II built in a similar vein as a universal unit that a manufacturer could house in multiple style casings. I utilised the poor-man's-variac when I first fired it up with series incandescent light bulbs after some brief low cycle power-ups to reform the capacitors. (Another point of contention. Wink )

I did have to replace the missing valve rectifier with modern day semiconductor types but it sounded sweet as anything when fully working. Every one of the capacitors were all original and still functioning after all that time. (70 years!) Unfortunately something I'm known for is stripping stuff apart for spares if it has no real intrinsic value....the Jubilee was pumped out in their thousands so as I needed a valve for an old oscilloscope amongst some other choice parts she now languishes as a stripped carcass. Embarassed

I'm still in the middle of making a receiver out of what's left of her though for some 'Ham' fun. Capacitors.....  1f44d


You shouldn't have too much trouble scouring the internet for information on it but as obvious from stripping mine for spares I'm not sure about vintage component suppliers. We used to have a good open market style economy where you could buy vintage components or even whole equipment from market stalls. That's seems to have been relegated to Ham radio rallies nowadays and often with over the top collector style prices! There used to be such an economy in Europe with open market style electronic fares but not sure if they still run? It used to be a popular Russian pastime and many former communist states ran them too.

As for any other type of modern electronic component supplies I usually plump for whoever has it but without an overinflated price. You'd be amazed at how many buy cheap Eastern/Oriental made components and resell at huge profits!

(Recently I bought 10 SPDT toggle switches from abroad for the same price as a single one in the UK! Including shipping!!)

Otherwise I hunt down the usual places like eBay but even then come across surprises like bagging three vintage triple air spaced variable capacitors recently.....for 99p! (OK plus £5 shipping but what a bargain!)


Back in the day I'd pick up the phone and put it on account or stick it on the company AmEx. (Multinationals, Semiconductor manufacture, R&D etc.) Those industries change as quick as anything else though fleeing to cheaper labour markets and once you're apparently 'old' and definitely when you're crippled you're pretty much worthless to society.

Thank God I've got my radio interests. Wink


Great posting there Mike, let's hope it doesn't fall into dissent in any way.

All the best,
Victor

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MikeInCzechRep
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PostSubject: Re: Capacitors.....    Capacitors.....  Icon_minitimeSat Sep 03, 2022 6:38 pm

you are correct the echo was made in bratislava I have a am rondo made in Prague also.

I worked in electronic component distribution for many years in the UK and breifly here for a US distributor that was a dream job as tech support for folks bying components sadly the pay location and office atmosphere lead to me quitting
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Call Sign : 329-CT-007 G7SWR
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Equipment Used : Stalker 9FDX, York JCB863 ADI AT-200
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PostSubject: Re: Capacitors.....    Capacitors.....  Icon_minitimeSun Sep 04, 2022 8:45 am

Victor wrote:

Back in the day I'd pick up the phone and put it on account or stick it on the company AmEx. (Multinationals, Semiconductor manufacture, R&D etc.) Those industries change as quick as anything else though fleeing to cheaper labour markets and once you're apparently 'old' and definitely when you're crippled you're pretty much worthless to society.

Thank God I've got my radio interests. Wink

I have been pondering on this part of your post, There are a couple of hobby electronics stores in Prague so If i need something quick ill jump on a tram and go there to pick up. 

I used RS a few years ago to get some leds wire crock clips and such for a summer camp i was running, we ran a pocket calculator of a potatoe.

My last order for capacitors i placed with my former employer probably as i knew their website pretty well and i really like the search filtering options only pain with them is all the stock is in texas so deliver is a few days.

I think i heard Maplin was no more and to be honest im not comfortable buying from places like ali or ebay 

With regards to age and being less mobile. I am not exactly a spring chicken anymore and found myself working for a multinational in a totally new field for me a few years back, now been with them 4 years and the move to remote working pushed by the pandomonium and with how much work is now just done on a PC with an internet connection  I would hope there are more opportunities for folks who are less mobile. Just wish the wages allowed for more than just the basics.

When I was looking for employment at 49 i did worry my age would work against me and as the years move on i am painfully aware that retirement is getting closer and with little to no pension plan in place i suspect i may have to work till I drop if i can find employement.   I dont think i will be any worse off here than in UK and as i keep abreast of UK news anyone requiring financial support or disibility allowance is really treated badly.
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PostSubject: Re: Capacitors.....    Capacitors.....  Icon_minitimeTue Sep 06, 2022 5:41 pm

Recapping

In general I feel that people who think they know electronics claim this has to be done on all old electronic equipment.

My feeling is it very much depends on
How old they are
How often will you use that item
The type of construction
The brand used
The application.

For example I have a pair of Riga radios Soviet era broadcast receivers the electrolytics in these were all pretty bad and out of spec, so replaced.

The valve radios I have I want to replace the smoothing caps as these appear to have become incontinent and I think they fail as a short.

I am more for looking at physical condition then checking if there is DC leakage and if the capacitance is in spec and the application, how hard of a life did they have?

There are electrolytics that last for many years based on application and the quality being good.

The early SMD electrolytics did seem to have a much higher failure rate than radials made at the same time. I suspect in part due to the stress on the leads where they exit the can and are bent around the plastic shoe that makes them smd
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