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Old 11-09-2020, 07:07 AM   #1
tomalamix
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Default Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

Hy everyone,

New around here but I've been reading a lot from several threads around here.

I have between hands an old Abit mobo, the NF7-S v2. It was working until a few years ago, but then started to start-up only sometimes and now doesnt start up at all.

The red light comes on with the PSU connected and the green light comes on too when i turn it on but no joy, it doesnt POST, no beeps, just the green led comes ON.

I've tried changing 5 capacitors so far, 5x Rubycoon 6.3V 3300uF that are around the CPU, no joy, same thing, no POST and green light comeing ON, no BEEPs

Now I don't mind to spend a few more $$ in capacitors but I really don't know where to go now, the board have lots of capacitors around.

Is there any other that i should replace? I was thinking in the Nichcon that lays near the AGP port, 6.3V 1800uF, but what else? Thanks!

Last edited by tomalamix; 11-09-2020 at 07:09 AM..
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Old 11-09-2020, 08:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

im afraid u need to show us pics of the board so we know whats bad and whats not. or else we may end up fixing things that arent really broken like the rubycon caps around the cpu and it doesnt solve or change the problem and becomes a waste of time, effort and energy.

the nichicon cap at the agp slot may also be problematic if it has 2002-2005 datecodes and its a hm, hn or hz series capacitor. also check to make sure the psu is working on another machine. could also be a bad psu not starting up the motherboard properly and we need to rule that out.

Last edited by ChaosLegionnaire; 11-09-2020 at 08:21 PM..
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

Hy ChaosLegionnaire!

Thanks for the inputs.

Unfortunally I already started doing the recap work, I already swapped those 5 capacitors.

I've attached the nichicon cap photo, is a HM(M) series and the top of it doesnt seem to be as flat as it should be.

Should I give it a go just for this one or should I try another one?

The PSU is okay, I've tried it on an old PC I have around but i cant test the DRAM power port because the old board where Ive tested the PSU doesnt need this extra power supply to the memory.

Ive attached an actual photo of my MOBO. (the nichicon is not there, Ive desolder it because it doesnt seem ok on the top as shown in the photo).

Thanks!
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Old 11-10-2020, 07:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

yeah that nichicon hm is bad. replace it with a panasonic fr 1800F 6.3v 10x16mm. im ass-u-ming that nichicon hm is 10x16 in size?

also what caps did u use as replacements for the cpu vrm? they look dodgy. make sure they are the ultra-low or very low esr type or they wont work!

it could also be that the nvidia shitset is on its way out. nvidia boards are known for dying slowly after a while which is what u experienced. but nf2 chips are known to be slightly more robust unless... did the chipset fan fail? i know abit sometimes put shitty chipset fans on their boards. my abit ic7-g p4 board is one example!
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Old 11-11-2020, 06:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

hello ChaosLegionnaire!

Ok, just bought what they had in stock, it's a Jackcon 1800F 6.3v (not panasonic unfortunately) and solder it in the board, and the board is alive and kickin

About the fan on the chipset you're right, it's a piece of sh*t, it making a lot of noise, it's on it's way down, just expecting the day to swap it.

Regarding the CPU VRM what I've got there is also a Jackcon 3300uF 6.3V, also rated from -40 to 105C. I really don't know if those are low or ultra-low ESR type, maybe there is datasheet for these?
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Old 11-11-2020, 09:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

i've been taking some photos on the MOBO, and the capacitors are indeed Jackcon, the series are not inscribed on the shell, just the info you told me about, the "Low ESR", capacity, voltage and a sequence of numbers before the "LOW ESR": 0214A LOW ESR. Don't know what that means...

The capacitors doesn't have the series to which they belong to but from the datasheets available in Jackcon web site those are LSE or LEK. The LSE series, announced as the more durable series, this capacitors I have the values doesnt fit in any of those tables. The LEK, which have an announced lifespan of 2000hrs, the capacitors are there on their table and by the sizes and photo those are the ones I've soldered in my Abit.

For now everything is working, and I guess I'll not need to keep this PC for a bunch of hours turned on like it was a few years ago, I'll just need to turn it on to take some files from there or use some software only available for Windows XP or something like that. I think I'll die before those capacitors..

Last edited by tomalamix; 11-11-2020 at 09:44 AM..
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Old 11-11-2020, 07:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

u used jackcon?! do note that jackcon is considered a bad cap brand here according to the bad caps list so u just replaced bad stuff with more bad stuff.

regarding the rubycon mbz around the cpu, i strongly suggest u solder them back on since that wasnt the problem. the jackcon wont last and will fail even without use and they may kill the motherboard when they go. u have been warned regarding the use of bad caps on motherboards!
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Old 11-11-2020, 09:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

I also see a horrible nvidia nforce chipset....I've seen lots of those die for no apparent reason..... I'd be leary of the jackcon caps you used though, they were horrible.
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

Hy Topcat and ChaosLegionnaire,

What a bummer...I've already assembled everything in the case, HDDs, AGP etc etc and a fresh windows XP install, everything is closed now.

Do you think with those capacitors, even if I use this PC from time to time it's worth to take all out and change those again? And swap the AGP one with the suggested Panasonic? It will take hours doing all that again...

At least Jackcon have a website, while other crappy brands doesn't.. lool
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

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Originally Posted by tomalamix View Post
Do you think with those capacitors, even if I use this PC from time to time it's worth to take all out and change those again? And swap the AGP one with the suggested Panasonic? It will take hours doing all that again...
Yes, you should swap out those Junk-con caps regardless of how often the board is used. Many cheap caps can fail even if they are just sitting on the shelf. A lot of them simply have unstable electrolyte or impure aluminum that eventually leads to breakdown leakage.

If you still haven't thrown away the old Rubycon caps from around the CPU, you should put those back in as they are still probably good. I think Abit used Rubycon for the CPU VRM almost exclusively on most of their boards, so you're unlikely to find those fail.

Really probably only that Nichicon HM cap needed replacing. And perhaps the chipset fan/heatsink too. Rather than replace the fan only, I think it may be cheaper to just replace the whole cooler. Here's one option:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Aluminium-A.../271953403238?
I personally have not used these ^ myself (not yet anyways, but it's in the plans), though I've used similar cheap China fans that these coolers come with... and generally, they do quite OK if you run them at a lower voltage. Just splice in a 50-100 Ohm resistor in series with the red (12V) cable to get somewhere around 7-8V (so may need to experiment a bit with a few resistors), and that will make the fan both quiet, yet still push enough air to cool the chipset down very well. I do this all the time on hot chipsets. It's a bit more work, but at least I don't have to worry about the chipset overheating or the fan being loud and seizing up after xx hours of use.

Very nice motherboard otherwise, by the way.

Last edited by momaka; 11-14-2020 at 09:26 PM..
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Old 11-15-2020, 03:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

Hello momaka!

Yes, it's really a nice board but nowadays it's not worth $5 for any standard user

I've pushed my Athlon at the time from 2500 to 3200 without a glintch, memory voltages tweaked and so on and so on. It's a power horse for OC

Ok then, I'm going to disassemble the mobo from the case and put back the Rubycon capacitors there, I still have them here.

About the AGP capacitor I'll stick with the suggested Panasonic, I'll do this job when i get this one too.

For the fan I was thinking if there is anything passive that could be used instead. I've taken out this original fan and heat-sink and this set doesnt seem to be able to dissipate a lot of heat, the heat-sink is a little bit more than a plate with all the contour bended up. Surely does something but also surely is not very effective. I'm giving a 2nd thought about a good quality passive cooler.
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Old 11-15-2020, 04:29 AM   #12
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

Just as a peace of mind you could buy one of the cheap "component testers" to check the ESR of the Rubycon capacitors before you re-install them.
Be warned that it can turn into a bit of an addiction though :P
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Old 11-15-2020, 02:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

Hy Per Hansson,

What is a component tester? Ive got a multimeter...is that enough?
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Old 11-15-2020, 05:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

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Originally Posted by tomalamix View Post
For the fan I was thinking if there is anything passive that could be used instead.
See the eBay link to the heatsink I posted above. Although that heatsink does have a fan, the heatsink itself is actually fairly big and probably will be enough to cool the nForce 2 Northbridge, since those aren't actually that hot-running (and probably the last fairly-reliable nVidia chipset.)

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I've taken out this original fan and heat-sink and this set doesnt seem to be able to dissipate a lot of heat, the heat-sink is a little bit more than a plate with all the contour bended up. Surely does something but also surely is not very effective.
Yeah, I dislike those "plate" heatsinks with just a few "fins" on the side (basically a big flat piece folded over, like you noted.) They are very ineffective for cooling chips with an exposed die/core. However, for Southbridge duty, they are actually OK - at least for bare SBs that don't have any heatsink at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomalamix View Post
Yes, it's really a nice board but nowadays it's not worth $5 for any standard user
For everyday use, you're right, it's nearly impossible, considering how much processing power most modern websites require nowadays.

But as these old motherboards are becoming more rare, their price will eventually go up a bit (or more than a bit, if it's something really rare.) I've been keeping an eye on the "retro PC" market in the last few years, and some things that I could find 10-20 years ago on eBay for scrap prices now sell for considerable prices. I personally wouldn't spend that much on some of this old stuff... but surprisingly some people do.

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What is a component tester? Ive got a multimeter...is that enough?
They are basically "universal" -component- testers... and as the name implies, you use it to measure the parameters of common components (out of circuit), like transistors, diodes, inductors, and most importantly - capacitors. Unlike a multimeter, which can only do resistance and diode forward voltage drop (and maybe capacitance if it's a more "fancy" model), these component testers show a lot more parameters about the component. For capacitors, you get capacitance *and* ESR. For transistors, it maps all of the terminals for you and can even tell you what it is most of the time (i.e. BJT, MOSFET, IGBT, TRIAC, and etc.) Basically if you do any kind of electronics repair (whether for a hobby or as a business), having one of these is actually pretty useful.

I bought one a few years ago and only wish I bought it earlier. It's been one of the most useful tools (besides my multimeters) when troubleshooting electronics. In particular, I use it almost exclusively for testing electrolytic capacitors. When it comes to repairing power supplies and also many budget audio devices, having a tool to be able to test not just the capacitance, but also the ESR of an electrolytic capacitor, is quite handy. I can't tell you how many times I've ran into a device with e-caps that look "fine", but actually tested bad (either high ESR or high leakage current.)

Last edited by momaka; 11-15-2020 at 05:48 PM..
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:29 AM   #15
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomalamix View Post
Yes, it's really a nice board but nowadays it's not worth $5 for any standard user
Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
For everyday use, you're right, it's nearly impossible, considering how much processing power most modern websites require nowadays.
Ironically, a board like this still has plenty of power to run a web server.
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:21 PM   #16
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

Hy everyone!

I wasn't expecting so many people to come by to participate in this humble thread, but I'm glad everyone is enjoying and have always something constructive to say!

@momaka

Regarding the test, do you think something like this is what I need?

https://www.amazon.es/SODIAL-amarill...5511575&sr=8-1

(sorry if it's considered PUB, not my intention)

About the heatsink I'm thinking in a Zalman heatsink, don't remember the model at the moment but I've found something a few days ago about how good it fits this chipset.

@Per Hansson

I think I'm already addicted

And is not just because of this Abit mobo, surprisingly I'm actively trying to find some universal chip programmer, something like a X-Prog or Orange5 but it must be a clone because the prices of the originals are not for an hobbiest like me, but i'm having an hard time to understand a reliable place to buy an unit like, that can offer some warranties

A part from that I'm also checking some reviews about a resoldering station, so at the moment I think that I'm already addicted

Thanks everyone for the inputs!
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Old 11-19-2020, 02:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

Yup, something like that, that one is the cheapest version.
I would recommend something a little more expensive if you like to tinker.
They both do basically the same thing though!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Transistor-...e/313281187096
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Old 11-20-2020, 11:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomalamix View Post
@momaka

Regarding the test, do you think something like this is what I need?

https://www.amazon.es/SODIAL-amarill...5511575&sr=8-1
Yeah, that one should do too.

There really are many different versions. Depending on how much you want to upgrade it, you may or may not want to get a better / pricer / more mod-friendly version.

TBH, I didn't look too much when I got mine (I have a GM328 variant that looks somewhat similar to yours.) I then thought about modding it / adding more features... but I've needed to use it so often when fixing things (checking caps on faulty devices) that I haven't really bothered anymore.

That said, you may also want to look in this thread to get an idea of what is possible to do with these component testers in terms of modding:
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?t=50720

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomalamix View Post
A part from that I'm also checking some reviews about a resoldering station, so at the moment I think that I'm already addicted
Ah! Looks like the repair / electronics hobby bug has bitten you too.
It's not necessarily a bad thing, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ribcage View Post
Ironically, a board like this still has plenty of power to run a web server.
Yup.

In fact, my home file storage / torrent box used to run on an old Pentium 3 PC up until a few years ago. I finally retired it when I just got a bunch of portable HDDs and also wasn't doing much torrenting anymore.
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Old 11-21-2020, 06:59 AM   #19
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

The hobby bitten me for sure..

So, I've been looking at the thread you pointed me out and I've managed to pull out a this two units:

TC1
GM328

Both seems to do the job perfectly but i can find very low prices for any of those as I can find a lot of higher prices, I'm really not getting what makes that huge difference in terms of selling price. is there a various versions ?

I like the TC1, have color display but it seems not very "up-gradable";
The GSM328 seems more rough and ready to make some upgrades;

So, between this two, which version (if this exists, various versions of the same unit) should I get and which one can be modded to the get the maximum capabilities as possible? Any of those can work as an oscilloscope?

What about the chip programmer, do you think of the X-prog and Orange5? Anyone have a clone of any of those that can give me some feedback?

Thanks everyone
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:23 AM   #20
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Default Re: Abit NF7-S v2 Recap - Not posting

The TC1 is a bit annoying because it has a small MCU for power control.
So if you wish to reprogram the firmware this gets in the way (needs to be reprogrammed or swapped out)
Usually you can find the answer about the "best" meter in the last 10 or so pages of the eevblog thread I linked in my post #12, also quoted here below.
The point is that they all have their downsides, if you like soldering you can find the GM328R as a "build it yourself" thing, the "R" at the end adds an encoder.
Or you can add it yourself like stj does in the thread here on badcaps about these meters that momaka linked in the post above yours.
There also exists some nice versions with cases, called ESR02 Pro.
And the most feautre rich version is called Hiland M644.
This has an Atmega M644 instead of M328 that has more flash memory and can therefore run with allot more features enabled in the firmware.
But it is SMD so if you do not like that...
And the caveats go on like this forever, i.e. there is no "perfect" version, that you would have to build yourself
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