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Where can I get a motherboard with bad caps repaired?

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FlypSyde

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2001
Location
Southern California
I've got a ECS D6VAA that I'm pretty sure has the bad cap problem. The motherboard has slowly but steadily gone from stable to flakey over the past year and several of the larger caps on the board are bulging and/or have some black ooze on the top. I was just wondering if anyone in the forums has had a board repaired for this problem and where. I did a search online and found a few places that say they'll replace the caps for ~$50-$60, but I'd feel more comfortable sending my board to a place that comes recommended.

Thanks for in advance for anyone's help! :D
 

KaHNZa

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Location
West Central MN
I guess if it where me, I would either A) replace all the necesarry capacitors myself, or B) Buy a new mobo. Because paying $50-$60 is just nuts to replace some caps. Add shipping costs and time to that and you pretty much have a new mobo. It'd probably be a little different if I could just bring it to a local shop and pay them $20 to do it in an afternoon. But $50-$60? No thanks, I'll pass. ;)
 
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FlypSyde

FlypSyde

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2001
Location
Southern California
I could replace the caps myself but I'd rather not. It's been several years since I've soldered at component level and I don't want to use this board to practice on. I'd rather not practice at all since it's not a skill I rely on anymore.

In case you didn't know, the ECS D6VAA is a dual Socket 370 motherboard. It's not like I can just order a brand new one online. So for me, the $50-$60 is well spent to get the board repaired. Looking for a similar used board online would cost about the same as getting it fixed. I'd rather just get my board repaired because I know its only problem are the capacitors. :D
 

larrymoencurly

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2002
Those capacitors aren't even surface mount parts. What could be easier, provided your iron has plenty of power (40W+)?

Let me word it this way: Even I can do it, and I'm a goat.
 

Cyrix_2k

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Location
Frederick, MD
I could even do that! I'm only 14 and am not exactly good with a soldering iron. I've done something similar with a monitor. I did the monitor with a woodburner (same as a cheap iron). Monitor just blew another cap I have to replace. I might not bother this time as it's an 8 year old 15in monitor.
 

larrymoencurly

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2002
It's a lot easier to solder a monitor circuit board because it has only two layers of copper, but mobos have at least four layers, and the internal layers are virtually big sheets of copper that are great at soaking up soldering iron heat. You need at last 40-45W to melt the solder of anything attached to those layers, as capacitors almost always are. Desoldering them can often require more, like 50W.
 

wannaoc

Member
Joined
May 6, 2003
Location
Buried in UPS packages
Let me word it this way: Even I can do it, and I'm a goat.

LOL, but seriously I would just look for a local computer or T.V. repair shop. Maybe they will do the solder work for you if you have the parts, they may even have the parts you need.

If you are worried about screwing up this board because you haven't done it for a while what do you have to lose? Its busted already right?
 

drunkmonkey

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2001
Location
Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
I would use small wire cutters to clip the legs of the caps if you can then solder on new ones. That way you have a margin of error and room to work, though it'll look like crap.

tom10167 said:


Theoretically, but if you wait about three days with the monitor unplugged it's perfectly safe, I'd know, I blew one up in my living room. :)

Monitors & TVs can hold charge for a year I've heard, and after 3 days they can still kill you. I would always go in with a grounded screwdriver beofre ever played with a monitor.
 
OP
FlypSyde

FlypSyde

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2001
Location
Southern California
Dang! I thought this thread was dead! :D

Like said, it's not that I CAN'T do the job myself. I used to be an avionics tech in the Air Force and we did component level repair on all kinds of equipment to include soldering on circuit boards and such. The standard of quality we were required to maintain is far above that of your local electronics shop. I'd just rather not do the job myself as I have no interest in doing it. To me, my money would be better spent having it repaired by a competent tech who does this kind of thing every day.

I AM concerned about screwing the board up because I definitely want the board repaired. My issue is that if I don't have this fixed I'll have two 1GHz PIII's laying around useless. Upgrading to a new duallie would cost more than the repair. Replacing the motherboard with a new or used equivalent would require more effort on my part and cost about the same as having it repaired. It comes down to the fact that this computer needs to be repaired or replaced, and repair is just cheaper.

The only advice I'm really looking for is if any of you know of a competent repair shop in the Lancaster/Palmdale, California area OR have experience with an online one. I'm probably gonna send my board to THIS place at the end of the week. They are in California and I could at least drive up there if they hassle me. :)
 

tbones1337

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Get a new board. ECS boards have given my friends problems.. One was running his processor 300mhz too low.. Get an asus.. they are only ~68 bucks for a decent one.. or so.
 

larrymoencurly

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2002
There's Homie's www.motherboardrepair.com (he also fixes broken CPU pins), who reportedly has a good reputation, and another, www.badcaps.com, which I don't know about. I've seen some really ham-fisted repairs, even by people who were supposedly real technicians, so do you really want to risk possibly getting your mobo ruined, especially for a repair that's so simple (and needs to be done before your MOSFETs fry)?

Everybody: In general, where can you take computer stuff locally for real repairs? I once asked around, but all the computer shops I called didn't repair boards, just replaced them. TV shops?
 
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FlypSyde

FlypSyde

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2001
Location
Southern California
I'd have to buy all the stuff I'd need to do the repair and I'd rather not spend money on tools I probably won't ever use again. The whole point behind my starting this thread was to find a place that came recommended so it wouldn't end up getting screwed up.
 

RoadWarrior

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Location
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Heh you sound more qualified to do it than any random iron-poker. But if you don't wanna, you don't wanna.

I was having a poke around some of the sites I could remember having cheaper duallies and the best price I could find was this one for $89.99 in case you're interested.
http://www.directron.com/ga6vtxd.html

I would say that when repair costs run around more than half to 2/3 what a new one would cost, then new is more worthwhile.

Road Warrior
 
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FlypSyde

FlypSyde

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2001
Location
Southern California
:eh?: I didn't think anyone had any new duallie PIII boards in stock anymore. Nice find RoadWarrior! I'l give it some more thought. A new board would be nice. :D
 

rogerdugans

Linux challenged Senior, not that it stops me...
Joined
Dec 28, 2001
Location
Corner of No and Where
Whn my VP-6 died :( I was in a search for a Dual P3 board as well:
The Acorp I bought for about $35 brand new overclocks about the same as the VP-6....and has been reliable for hmmmmm- 18 months I think?

Not sure if they are still available, but definitely look into other boards before you spend the cash- all you have to lose is some time! ;)
 
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FlypSyde

FlypSyde

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2001
Location
Southern California
He he he! I've also got an Acorp duallie with onboard RAID running dual PIII-733's . I've been looking for another one online but haven't found one yet. But I'll only deal with people here and at 2CPU as far as buying used hardware. :D