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Old 09-25-2014, 03:36 PM   #1
MajorSkeptic
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Default Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

I performed the NorCal715 (YouTube) 'freeze' test on both MC201 and MC301 sub-boards on my 2008 plasma's Power Supply board and found that MC201 needs that tiny, surface-mount capacitor replaced.

A frequent poster on that thread claimed to have removed this bad cap and run the TV for weeks without a problem. Eventually, though, he *did* install the new cap (1 uF, 50 volt, electrolytic, non-polarized).

I've done some soldering in the past and am generally a very careful person in everything I do, so I *think* I can at least successfully *remove* the existing capacitor without damaging anything.

Soldering in the new capacitor is a little trickier, however, because of the extremely small size.

So my question is: Is it possible that this cap simply needs to be removed because it has failed internally as a short circuit (possibly allowing DC voltage through)? If I don't really *have* to re-install the new cap, I'd rather not. As I said, the frequent poster on the YouTube thread ran the set without the cap for weeks. Additionally, I came across a reference in another thread that said a Panasonic Tech knew of a Service Bulletin that said the cap simply needed to be removed (but so far, no corroboration of this anywhere else that I can find).

Last edited by MajorSkeptic; 09-25-2014 at 03:38 PM..
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Old 10-16-2014, 02:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

usually helps TEA1611T replacement on module MC201
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Old 10-27-2014, 12:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

OK - It appears I've "fixed" my Panasonic TH-PZ46850U Plasma with the 10-blink problem. I just ended up removing that bad (microscopic) capacitor on MC201 (in place .. I did *not* remove the power supply board). When I powered the set up and it worked, I decided to leave well enough alone.

To get the bad cap out, I first bent the tiny MC201 sub-board on the power supply board to the left until it was perfectly perpendicular with the power supply main board. For some reason, it came from the factory bent about 30 degrees to the right of perpendicular, and with other capacitors nearby, I didn't think I could get the soldering iron in there successfully without damaging something else. Next, I put the TV on the floor standing on its left side. I did this because now the tiny MC201 sub-board would be sitting horizontal (parallel to the floor), which made it easier to work on. Next, I put a dab of solder on the cap's outer-edge connection (don't ask my why, but NorCal did this before removing his cap - maybe it spreads out the heat load from the iron???). Then I put a 90-degree angle pick on the back edge of the tiny bad cap and applied pulling pressure toward me, while also applying the 15-watt soldering iron to the cap to break it free. With the capacitor removed, the set came up and ran fine this past weekend.

Why does the set run with the capacitor removed?? Beats me. My guess is the circuit prefers an open connection here and the cap failed closed?? I dunno. Will I eventually install the replacement capacitor? I have it, but I don't think I will install it. WAY too small of a soldering job and I think I'd just end up causing another problem. If the problem comes back, it'll probably be the same capacitor failing on the MC301 board. Then I'll do the freeze test again to confirm, and remove that cap, too!
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Old 11-21-2014, 12:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

Found this explanation in the comments under the NorCal video regarding the function of the bad cap on the MC201 (and MC301) board:

Mike Powers (1 year ago):

The cap is a bypass capacitor. I assume the failure mode is toward open and that extra leakage is tanking a supply and causing the error codes. Removing it will fix the problem, but may create others down the road since the IC won't have a nice, stable supply voltage. As shown in the video, the IC is a TEA1611T.
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

Just wanted to post an update with my Panasonic TH-46PZ850U plasma (built 2008, put into service April 2009): Had the 10 blinking lights. Set would not come on. Did the "NorCal" YouTube test spraying refrigerant out of upside down can of compressed air on to MC301 then MC201. TV came up when MC201 was frozen. So I removed the *very tiny* capacitor off the MC201 board in October 2014 and did not replace it. The set is still running fine and it's been 5 months now. I *have* the replacement capacitor but don't think I can solder it in correctly due to the extremely tiny size (afraid I'll just end up bridging the two connection points) I did *not* touch the capacitor on MC301 as the "freeze test" showed the problem to be on MC201. I'm sure at some point the set will fail again and MC301 will have to be removed but I'll cross that bridge when we get to it
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

Another update: 8 months now running the set heavily with no capacitor and running fine. Starting to think this VERY TINY cap is not necessary - the hardware equivalent of dead software logic.
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Old 09-14-2016, 03:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

Hi everyone. I have a 46pz80u and I have the 10 blinking lights. I am thinking about taking the capacitors off. I would like to install new ones but my soldering skills are garbage. Any more opinions out there about just taking the capacitors off and not putting in new ones?
I may just pull the two little boards m201/301 and find a small shop to do the removal and installation of the new caps. Thanks for any replies
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Old 09-15-2016, 02:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

Do as the previous poster did and remove the cap. Break it if you have to (but don't damage the board or traces!) If you have to have the ic replaced at some point then tackle it then.

You may have replaced it with a roll out wallpaper tv by then anyway.
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmartell View Post
Do as the previous poster did and remove the cap. Break it if you have to (but don't damage the board or traces!) If you have to have the ic replaced at some point then tackle it then.

You may have replaced it with a roll out wallpaper tv by then anyway.
Haha thanks. I am a total noob in regards to this repair stuff. I may just do what you mentioned and see what happens. I did see from reading another forum that instead of using a solder iron...this person used tweezers to break off the little capacitor from that little board. I will see what I can do after I take the back cover off and get a better look. Thanks
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

I'm back! It'll be TWO YEARS next month and the TV is running fine without the capacitor. Take off the back panel, turn the TV on its short side and lean it up against a wall. This positions the tiny board with the bad capacitor horizontally (or parallel to the floor). Then while applying a little pressure to the back side of the tiny capacitor with a pick (small $1 hand tool I bought at Harbor Freight), heat the capacitor with a 15-watt soldering iron until the solder weakens enough to break the cap free.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

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Originally Posted by MajorSkeptic View Post
I'm back! It'll be TWO YEARS next month and the TV is running fine without the capacitor. Take off the back panel, turn the TV on its short side and lean it up against a wall. This positions the tiny board with the bad capacitor horizontally (or parallel to the floor). Then while applying a little pressure to the back side of the tiny capacitor with a pick (small $1 hand tool I bought at Harbor Freight), heat the capacitor with a 15-watt soldering iron until the solder weakens enough to break the cap free.
Approaching FIVE years without that MC201 capacitor! Never touched the capacitor on MC301. Still running fine - almost 10.5 years total now! Just broke the cap off that tiny board - right in place! Read my older posts here or on AVSforum.

Last edited by MajorSkeptic; 08-15-2019 at 08:25 PM..
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Old 03-18-2023, 05:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

Well ... it's 2023 and the TV is still running fine without the capacitor! So - we've reach 8.5 years! Yahoo!

And this TV gets very regular use ... so it's not like it's just sitting there doing nothing! I should check the Maintenance screens to see hours of use since purchased new, but I'd bet it's *at least* 10,000 hours!
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Old 03-19-2023, 01:39 PM   #13
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

Nice!

Thanks for coming to report back all of these years. Really puts confidence on the repair. Normally, removing components without replacing them is a no-no... but I guess there can always be exceptions, depending on the circuit.

At over 8 years with this repair, that TV owes nothing to nobody anymore, LOL.
These days, it seems most electronics rarely make it past 5 (or people replace them by then, because they replace them with something newer and "better".)
I suppose this also speaks volumes about the quality of Panasonic plasma panels. 8 years with high usage is pretty good, IMO.

I've acquired a few old Samsung plasma TVs recently, but wonder if I should keep them or not and how long they would last. I've heard some like to blow the drivers after some time.
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Old 03-21-2023, 02:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post

I've acquired a few old Samsung plasma TVs recently, but wonder if I should keep them or not and how long they would last. I've heard some like to blow the drivers after some time.
As a rule, I don't save the 720's, only 1080's.....

Modern TV's aren't even worth fixing when they die @ 2~3yrs old.... I see them frequently. Bad strips or bad panels usually.
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Old 03-26-2023, 04:33 PM   #15
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Default Re: Panasonic TH-46PZ850u Bad MC201 Capacitor

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As a rule, I don't save the 720's, only 1080's.....
Yeah, understandable.
People hear 720p and instantly run away... unless it's free, of course.

In that regard, I actually gave away a "720p" Samsung 42" plasma about 3 weeks ago. Nothing wrong with it, though I'm not sure how the original SamWha caps had lasted this long. It was a pretty old plasma from 2005 and a hot-runner @ 380 Watts with passive cooling only. Also, it wasn't even a true 720p TV. Native panel resolution is 1024x768 despite the set being 16:9 aspect ratio ( Samsung: )... and yes, I tested this and double-checked the manual too - anything higher than 1024x768 over VGA would make the TV downscale and blur.

It still looked wonderful for old DVDs and PS2/PS3 games, though. And I happened to find an original remote for it for free too. Probably could have made $10-20 on the TV if I waited long enough... but 2 winter seasons here was literally enough to fill just about every room in the house with a TV or two (and these are just TVs I randomly found on trash days and not from CL or elsewhere online.) So I needed to clear it out... thus, away it went on Craigslist for free. The guy that picked it up was surprised how nice it looked. I gave it a good cleaning, just the same as I do with most of my other stuff that enter the house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Modern TV's aren't even worth fixing when they die @ 2~3yrs old.... I see them frequently. Bad strips or bad panels usually.
Yup.
At best, you might break even for the amount of time you spend on one. The problem is not that parts are expensive or hard to find or that they take too long to fix, but rather how cheap new TVs are. Even if you fix a 50-60" set, it's hard to sell for more than $100-150 used, if even that. And below that, it's probably not worth fixing, unless it's something really trivial.

In my case, I found a 55" TCL a while back with a single bad LED in the backlight. Didn't have a proper replacement, so I put together a "hackery" with a regular 5 mm LED and some resistors in series/parallel combo to not overdrive the 5 mm LED and mimic the voltage drop of the bad LED that I was replacing. Overall, a simple repair (minus the part about taking the screen apart - felt like I was going to break it, but I managed.) But time will tell how long before another LED somewhere fails.

Shame, because it's a newer smart ROKU TV from 2019. I found it in late 2021, IIRC. Barely lasted 2 years, so it doesn't inspire much confidence. But perhaps the backlight being set to maximum from the factory might have something to do with this. As soon as I got a good picture on the TV, I set the backlight to the 2nd to lowest setting. Hopefully, that will extend the life of the LEDs a bit. I also bought a remote for it for $11 on eBay. Now I'm not sure how much I should sell it for or keep it (to give away to parents or friends, as I don't watch TV.)
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