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Hardware Hacking The hammer and tongs school of Overclocking. (NOT for the beginner and you assume all risks)


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Old 14th November, 2003, 12:37 AM
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Soldering new caps

OK, I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to spend $20+ on having the caps replaced on my old 8k3a...

I'm trying to decide what to do with the board.... Can someone give me some idea what the work involved in replacing the caps myself would entail??? I've never done it before, so I would have to go out and buy a soldering iron, and the caps... (I also have a friend who used to do a lot of soldering... I may be able to get him to help, when he has time).

Is it a big waste of time??? I don't mind spending more this way, because I can learn and I'll have my own soldering iron for future use.

I was thinking of just buying a new board, but I kinda like the idea of fixing it myself.
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Old 14th November, 2003, 04:13 AM
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You will certainly get my vote for repairing the board yourself.. Go over to your local radio shack, buy a 15 watt (anything near 15 would be good) hand iron, some 60/40 rosin core solder, and some braided solder-wick.

1: Hand soldering iron aprox 15 watts (wattage rating= heat)
2: Thin/fine 60/40 rosin core solder (good for most general work)
3: Solder-Wick this is fine braided copper wire chemically treated to
remove solder from soldered connections.


You'll probably be best to practice before attempting the repair, an old junk PCBoard would be great to practice on. Possible sources for this board would be Childs toy, old portable radio, etc. You could also purchase a small board and a few inexpensive components from Radio Shack to practice on. Do invite your friend with soldering skill to help you out, a few hands-on tips will help.

A few things to remember:

Heat your work then apply solder to heated work, don't try to melt the solder onto the connection.... Rather get the connection hot enough to melt the solder when touched to it.

Dull blobs of solder are indicative of poor solder joints (cold solder joints) and are not acceptable. proper joints will flow smoothly onto the work area and are shiny when cool.

Large amounts of solder ARE NOT needed for a proper connection.

when working on a PCBoard, care MUST be used to NOT over-heat the board. If you get the board to hot, the bond holding the ultra-thin PCboard traces, and solder pads, can be broken. If this happens the thin traces will actually lift from the board leaving you with a repairable, but difficult situation.


A basic outline how your repair should go this assumes you've already sourced parts and tools:

1: Locate parts to be replaced, and connection locations on the PCB.
2: make note of Polarization/Orientaion of components to be replaced.
a: Electrolytic Capacitors are polarized, they are marked with a "+" or
"-" this indicates which lead is positive/negative.
b: IC's (chips) and transistors also are specific as to orientation.
3: Use the solder-wick to remove the solder from the PCB joint/s
4: Once the solder has been removed the component should be easily
removed from the board.
5: Place your replacement part/s, make sure to observe correct polarity
and/or orientation of component.
6: Resolder your connection and clip the excess wire lead flush with PCB.


I hope this helps you, even if your repair proved unsuccessfull the ability to solder is a definite bonus. Good luck, if you decide to give it a shot post your results.
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Old 14th November, 2003, 04:44 AM
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Thanks karnivore,
I appreciate all the info... almost makes me confident I can do it... I'll look into pricing on soldering irons and the other stuff I would need before I decide if it is worth the effort. Even if I don't for now, I may save the 8k3a to try later.
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Old 14th November, 2003, 06:27 AM
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If you wanna ship me the mobo I can do it for you. I've got some experiance and a piece of paper to prove it!!
Rob
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Old 14th November, 2003, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbie
If you wanna ship me the mobo I can do it for you. I've got some experiance and a piece of paper to prove it!!
Rob
Thanks robbie, but EpoxUSA offered to do it for me as well... Since it would cost $20 to ship both ways, I basically turned them down. Thanks for offering tho... On the other hand, if someone really wants a cheap 8k3a that needs new caps, I could be convinced.
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Old 14th November, 2003, 03:29 PM
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AMD or Intel?!?! I need a new INTEL board.
Rob
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Old 14th November, 2003, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbie
AMD or Intel?!?! I need a new INTEL board.
Rob
Nutz! It's an Epox 8K3A v1.0. Too bad you're 3000miles away, or I'd bring over a 6pack and let you do the repair for me.

Until the board suddenly died, it was running fine too.
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Old 14th November, 2003, 06:06 PM
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Great post karnivore! You just made our front page! ":O}

http://www.aoaforums.com/
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Old 15th November, 2003, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel ~
Great post karnivore! You just made our front page! ":O}

http://www.aoaforums.com/

Thanks, I appreciate the kind words. Always nice to be able to make a contribution.
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Old 15th November, 2003, 05:00 AM
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Old 15th November, 2003, 08:51 AM
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Karnivore covered it pretty well.
But to boost your confidence Steve, even though I have very little experience with soldering, I managed to salvage some caps from a dead Soyo board, and replace the dead ones in my KT7A. It works, and is folding strong as we speak.

The 8K3A is a great motherboard, and well worth the effort. Mine is still my primary board, and is running 204 MHz FSB with no problems.

It's a little disturbing that yours has bad caps. I didn't know I had to watch out for that with this board.
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Old 15th November, 2003, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
2: make note of Polarization/Orientaion of components to be replaced.
I can't stress this enough as well. You'll notice on the cap's one side has a "-" please do make sure that you've inserted the NEW cap in the proper orientation.

Happy fixing.
Rob
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Old 15th November, 2003, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Repo Man
...It's a little disturbing that yours has bad caps. I didn't know I had to watch out for that with this board.
It surprised me too. I still have 2 in my house and an 8rga+. The sad part is that they are all still under warrantee. However, RMA policy requires that the customer pay shipping both ways. I just can't bring myself to do it given the low cost of motherboards today. I have a friend who is an EE. I'm waiting to see if he'll do it for me.
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