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Old 09-11-2021, 02:20 PM   #1
Retrogator
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Default Big Blue -- What is this component?

Found this big blue balloon component in a power supply that went bad. Clearly leaked and likely burned out another component (a diode)? Markings appear capacitor-like, but have never seen one like this. And what does "W. Germ" mean? Guessing it means it's a West German manufacturer, since I've never heard of a germanium capacitor.

Finally if it's indeed a capacitor, what type of capacitor would I replace this with?
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Old 09-11-2021, 03:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Big Blue -- What is this component?

220uF 10v Tantalum capacitor made in West Germany. Replace with polymer. You might want to replace the silver axial caps as well.
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Old 09-11-2021, 03:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Big Blue -- What is this component?

Speaking of tantalum caps, there are both cylindrical tantalum and then those gumdrop tantalum, are they any different?

Thought the cylindrical tantalum had liquid electrolyte but the gumdrop ones are hermetically sealed and dry? Anyone know for sure?

Usually the dry tantalum caps, when they fail, they fail spectacularly due to internal short. No liquid, all smoke from VČ/R heating.
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Old 09-12-2021, 06:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Big Blue -- What is this component?

I don't know of liquid electrolyte tantalums indeed, I was surprised to see that corrosion under it, perhaps it's from something else?

And yes, Tantalum capacitors absolutely love to go up in smoke. Sometimes with flames too! POOF.
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Old 09-13-2021, 05:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Big Blue -- What is this component?

That one rectifier or ?? seems to have a chunk missing.

One of the rectifiers has "7912" marked on it. 12th week of 1979?

Dry tantalums sometimes catch fire or get really hot, burning PCBs and such.

There are wet tantalums "out there", and the electrolyte in at least some is quite corrosive. They are loud when they blow and can corrode PCB traces.
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