[Coco] Powering up our retro systems

wrcooke at wrcooke.net wrcooke at wrcooke.net
Mon Jan 27 07:56:28 EST 2020

   On January 27, 2020 at 6:48 AM Dave Philipsen < [1]dave at davebiz.com>

   Yes, I well know that electrolytic caps can degrade and leak over time.

   I have repaired a number of devices over the years whose caps have

   failed. I just think that "reforming" is more of a process reserved for

   big old caps that have failed and would be difficult and/or expensive

   source replacements. For the kind of caps that we find in our Color

   Computer (low voltage and relatively low capacitance), I say it's

   to just see if they fail and replace them if they do. It is doubtful

   that even a shorted cap in the Color Computer will cause any damage to

   the rest of the power supply unless you're the type of person who turns

   on the computer, sees that it's not working, and then decides to just

   leave it powered up for a long time anyway.


   To each his own.  My experience is different.  The experience of other
   people I've known / talked to, as well as videos I've seen, is also
   different.  A shorted cap will draw max current from a transformer,
   limited only by the inherent resistance of the transformer/rectifier
   combination.  It doesn't take long of ten amps through a two amp
   transformer to burn it out.  I personally prefer to use a bit of
   precaution up front rather than try to source an identical custom
   transformer that hasn't been made in 30 years.  But that's just me.

   Good luck.


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