For those out there who are collectors of vintage Macintosh computers, you are probably aware of the issues relating to ageing electrolytic capacitors. As electrolytic capacitors get old, they can start leaking corrosive liquid onto the circuit boards. If left untreated, the corrosion can eat through traces, pads and pins of other components, gradually destroying the computer from within.
In order to keep these vintage computers going, it is necessary to replace these old, leaky capacitors with new ones. They can either be replaced with new equivalents (that will also start leaking in a few decades) or they can be replaced with non-leaking tantalum capacitors (my recommendation). It just comes down to whether you want to try and preserve the board as close as possible to its original appearance.
Removal and replacement
If you’re reasonably handy with a soldering iron, this might be a job you’re happy to take on yourself, but it can be a little risky. Sometimes the damage from the old capacitors can be pretty bad, and may require a more expert hand.
I can remove your old capacitors, replace them with new ones, and then give your Mac’s logic board a thorough ultrasonic clean to remove any old residue or dust. And all this for just $80*. Amiga recapping services available too**.
Recapping enquiry form
Australian customers only.
*Basic recapping and clean of Macintosh logic board. Price includes new capacitors. Includes GST. Does not include postage costs. Does not include diagnostics or repair of any additional faults. Some computers may have a significantly larger amount of capacitors to be replaced, and therefore the charge will be greater. If this is the case, the customer will be advised prior to any work being commenced.
Non-functioning or faulty boards may benefit from recapping, but this cannot be guaranteed, as the fault may lie elsewhere. If recapping does not fix pre-existing faults, the recapping fee will still be charged. If further diagnostic or repair work is required, this will be charged separately. Additional work will be quoted and will not proceed unless approved by the customer.
While incredible care is always taken, some vintage computers have very brittle plastics, and simple disassembly can sometimes cause cracks and breaks, and no responsibility can be accepted if this occurs. It is preferred that customers supply just the circuit boards for recapping, but the whole computers can be accepted with prior arrangement.
Ultrasonic cleaning is very gentle, but can result in the accidental removal or discolouration of stickers or labels (such as barcodes). It can also occasionally result in the removal of screen printing on some components. This is purely aesthetic and doesn’t affect the computer’s functionality.
Replacement of capacitors involves the use of a hot air station and soldering iron. While all care is taken, the positioning of some capacitors very close to plastic components on the board can occasionally result in minor melting of some plastic during the repair process. This is extremely rare, is purely aesthetic and won’t affect the computer’s functionality.
**Due to the higher cost of replacement capacitors, Amiga recapping service is $130.