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Voltage and PSU questions

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Dec 5, 2001
I got a few questions.

1. What's the part in the PSU that's so harmful (pics?).
2. How many volts/amps do these things hold.
3. Why do they hold such a charge/purpose?
4. How many amps does it take to really do damage?
5. How do you ground these?
hmmm, sounds like someone is thinking of doing a psu mod, which is definitaly not recomended by me or others, u can get messed up if ur not carefull. it should say on the psu how much current they handle, my not say how much they retain though, but ive heard they can keep a considerable amount of current in them for days.
The capacitors are what holds the charge.The size of the charge depends on the capacitance of the capacitor, and the applied voltage. I am told that you can sometimes drain the charge by checking them with a multimeter.
Yah, capacitors are just big cylinders... It's easy to identify one. (there should be dozens of little ones on your mobo). Once you get inside, short the two pins of each large capacitor(preferebly with a load of some sort). This will drain them.

Don't get too worried about things, It's just a PSU, It can't hurt you too bad, but be careful anyway.

This does have me wondering though... What are those monstrous Caps in a PSU for? Is it for the same reason they use them in car stereos(To momentarily put out a little extra power if needed)? Also what exactly are the things the Heatsinks are attacked to, and why are they the only thing that needs a heatsink?
*Whistles for Hoot*
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Here is a Refernce to capacitors that says way to much, but if you are interested: http://www.faradnet.com/deeley/book_toc.htm

The main purpose of caps is to regulate power. They are used in circuits that "filter" out spikes and drops to provide consistant power.

The basic cap(capacitor) is 2 plates that do not actually touch -||-
the ones we are familiar with have a material between the plates that keep them from touching and then they are rolled up to make the familiar cylinder shape. They work by having one of the plates receive a charge. Because the plates are so close the other plate also becomes charged with the opposite polarity. If one plate is + the other will be -. If the cap is disconnected both plates will keep(store) their charges, there is no place for them to go. To discharge a cap you have to connect the plates and equalize the charges.

Edit: found another useful link http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/electromag/java/capacitor/

I know I greatly simplified, but this should be close. If I goofed, feel free to correct me.
So to discharge it, I could take a wall socket plug, use the ground wire, and touch the capicator?
I think a screwdriver w/ a plastic handle would be easiest to short it. That's how I've always discharged caps... but I've never discharhed on that huge before. You have to get your hands pretty close to use a wall outlet.
get in here quick be4 we lose a member lol
i wouldnt even go messing around in a psu unless u have some volatge gloves on, or something to ground you. caps will hold the voltage for a very long time..