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Old 02-10-2008, 08:12 PM   #1
Eversor
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Default Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

Hi.
I have a broken Xbox360 here and I've been checking it. So far it really seems to be bad solder, really bad solder. Lots and lots of holes in the middle of what should be little solder dots, but I'm here for another thing.

The thing is, I was trying an extreme version of the "towel trick" and some capicitors bulged, some, but almost all of them at the same time.

The towel trick consists in wrapping a x360 in towels and turning it on while she has a RRoD, after some twenty minutes, take the towels and turn it on after it cools. It should turn on and be good for a few days, or if more measures are taken, be good for a long time, if not ever.

Since that wasn't working for me, I tried a few minutes in a oven, aware of the risk that might bring to capacitors. Still, with no hot air gun around, I gave it a go.
First time tried like two minutes, RRoD still.
Tried again, now with a proper heatsink mod, to help put things in place and a few more minutes in the oven. All was good till I heard boiling. Allowed it to cool and took it out.
Well, all of the 6.3v and 16v big caps were bulging, some more than others, most of them were also pouring liquid, hence the boiling.

The interesting bit is that there are 4 other fat caps, 4v 820uF, which are apparently ok. I took them out and two of the other ones and they all measured good for capacitante. I'm looking to buy an esr meter now.


My question is, are they supposed to bulge so easily? The bad solder points, which were a lot, all remain the same, so the temperature didn't seem enough for solder to melt, but I also don't know how much temperature it would be needed. Since most caps are good for what? 5000hours at 100șC? Are they supposed to bulge so easily? Or perhaps were they prone to failure?
They were all in some hot areas, so I'm inclined to also think that. Right, wrong?

The thing is they are Nihicons and Rubycons, so when I looked at them for the first time, I though they couldn't be accountable for anything, but now I'm in doubt. They just bulged too easily, as far as I know.

Any thoughts?
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

Caps can't tolerate the heat that's required to reflow solder. You'd have to pull out the caps, and then you still have plastic to worry about. Ideally, you should try to find a way to quickly heat the immediate area that needs to be reflowed, without getting everything else so hot.

I don't really know anything about the 360, but I've heard of that towel trick before. I don't understand how it can really work since it's not gonna get hot enough to reflow anything. If it did, the chip would probably be long since ruined anyway, ICs are more heat tolerant when they're not running.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

I have never heard of this before the only fix I've heard of is the CPU and GFX overheat trick.

A tutorial is at:

http://www.llamma.com/xbox360/repair...-clamp_fix.htm

Ovening your 360 as said prior to my post is not a good idea.

As a matter of fact one of our forum members used an oven and baked caps to judge at what temp that they would bulge and fail.

If the solder joints are cloudy thats normal since the 360 uses Lead Free Solder thats something we all have to get used to.

If the joints are just cloudy replace the bulged caps and try to power the console on if you still get the ring of death try the above fix. If not part it out.
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Last edited by Krankshaft; 02-12-2008 at 11:10 AM..
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

I may have found bad capacitors in my XBox 360.

It's an Arcade version with HDMI, manufactured around 2007.

I'm not sure if this schematic corresponds to my console:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/23509655/Diagrama-xbox360

From a casual visual inspection, capacitors C6C3 AND C7C1 look like their tops have blown, even if only slightly. They're Rubycons, too, rated at 820 uF, 6.3V

I'm waiting for the battery in my digital camera to completely charge up. Once that happens, I'll be posting pictures.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

There's many machines (360 probably among them) that run so hot that cap failures are common regardless of the brand.
I've also seen blown Rubycon MCZ in a small form factor computer. It was just too hot, and heat reduces their lifespan.
The endurance spec of high performance caps like the MCZ is 2000hrs at 105C. That doubles for every 10C reduction in temperature, so reasonable temperatures will last a very long time. But some machines don't have reasonable temperatures.

If you do recap it, polymer capacitors might be more ideal. They have a reputation for tolerating heat better than conventional caps. Either that, and/or come up with some mod to improve ventilation in the 360.
I wonder how hard it would be to mount a 360 in a bigger chassis, instead of the original shell (I've never owned or looked at one myself).
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:48 AM   #6
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

I was thinking about flipping the rear fans around to blow in and cut a hole in the side for a 120mm fan to exhaust the air, but mine's a newer one though and doesn't get hot at all.
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

I know in some 360's, if not all, the 6.3v 2700uf caps are Rubycon MFZ, which are suppose to be polymer. If they are bulging, I'd say the oven just cooked them all.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

i'm not reading this thread, i'm just gonna give some info.

the towel "trick" will trash the console.

the fault is bad cooling of the gpu because the heatsink is too small and the fan's are crippled to reduce noise.
you cant make one reliable once it fails.

also, the "x-clamp" under the pcb often causes the pcb to flex stressing the bga soldering.

all 360's are shit - designed like shit and built like shit.
i dont care if someone is an MS fanboy or the games are good - that changes none of the thing's i'v said.


back to reheat tricks - or that should be stunts.
you cant reflow solder without flux, crushing with washers as spacers etc is not fixing the problem, just pressing broken joints together for a while.

if you do one thing, pull the 2 large-ish surfacemount transistors near the fan connector and link the emitter & collector pins to make the fans run flat-out.

i deal with a guy who get's maybe 100 of these damned consoles a month - i'v seen it all.
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:54 PM   #9
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Default Pictures of the inside of my XBox 360 Arcade (HDMI)

http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/5944/xbox36005.jpg
http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/1035/xbox36004.jpg
http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/3185/xbox36003.jpg
http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/7986/xbox36002.jpg
http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/8949/xbox36001.jpg

If any of them have popped, I can't tell definitively.

The staggered row of six has the two "strongest" culprits. The tops felt like they have popped a little.

I'm planning to get the ESR-Micro capacitor meter. I'm just not sure whether to buy 3.1 or 4.0
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

Direct uploads of the same pictures.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg XBox360_05.jpg (1.50 MB, 102 views)
File Type: jpg XBox360_03.jpg (1.09 MB, 110 views)
File Type: jpg XBox360_01_SM.jpg (2.12 MB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg XBox360_02_SM.jpg (2.11 MB, 106 views)
File Type: jpg XBox360_04_SM.jpg (1.16 MB, 97 views)
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

In the two last pics, all of the rubycon caps look like they are bulging. I would recommend poly-modding that unles you want the replacments to fail also.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

I'm trying to identify a cheap (enough) source for polymer capacitors. I found this site:
http://thecapking.com/nich63le820.html

I'm only planning to buy as few as possible, but I think I'm looking at ten, maybe more.

I'm also researching cooling methods, conventional and otherwise.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:18 PM   #13
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

external the dvd,
replace the toy gpu heatsink with a cpu one from a second box and jack the fans up.
then just mod the white-plastic air-shield for the new heatsink.
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

Hi everyone ,
I too have issues with Xbox360 caps , i have ordered my self some new 2200uf 6.3v caps to replace around 10 that have popped when i failed to properly protect them while reflowing my 360.
My question is : i also have some other popped caps on the board and finding them in the UK is quite hard, these are 820uf 4v caps, can these be replaced with higher rated caps? could i use the 2200uf 6.3v ones i have just ordered or does the Voltage have to be the same ?

I have read this thread with interest and would like to know a bit more about fitting the polymer capacitors are they the same general shape/size as the original ? i ask because when i shop for them i dont want to buy the wrong ones and visual cues are pretty helpful

I considered buying a Reballing machine to fix the tons of 360's i could buy on fleabay and make a few quid .... but then i found out the $900 price tag of them !

Thanks
Steve
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:56 AM   #15
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

Quote:
Originally Posted by slimwadey
My question is : i also have some other popped caps on the board and finding them in the UK is quite hard, these are 820uf 4v caps, can these be replaced with higher rated caps? could i use the 2200uf 6.3v ones i have just ordered or does the Voltage have to be the same ?
To be safe, it's best to keep the capacitance (uF) the same, but you can use caps with higher voltage rating without any problem, if they fits physically. The 4v caps are probably on VRM, so use caps with same or better ESR. For sourcing caps:
http://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?t=613
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:27 AM   #16
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

Quote:
Originally Posted by slimwadey
I have read this thread with interest and would like to know a bit more about fitting the polymer capacitors are they the same general shape/size as the original ?
Forgot this question.

Polys are often the same or smaller than the 'lytics ones. If you are replacing VRM-caps, you can go down in uF, as the important factor here is ESR. I've not recaped Xbox', but usually you can replace an 820uF VRM 'lytic cap, with a 560uF poly cap.

If you are unsure, post the manufacturer, series, capacitance, voltage and physical size of the original caps, and someone will recommend you suitable replacements.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

Ok i have taken a few pics and i will post them up

I have replacements for the 2200uf caps coming, they are identical to the ones on the board , i just need to ID and get the yellow ones

Check out the two in the background of pic 1 ... slight melt issue on the casing

Nearly all the caps have a brown residue on the top and the tops are swollen quite badly

Sorry for quality , i lost my camera while out on Halloween last year so i have to use my Iphone at the moment !

Steve

www.3araceway.co.uk/images/cap1.jpg
www.3araceway.co.uk/images/cap3.jpg
www.3araceway.co.uk/images/cap4.jpg
www.3araceway.co.uk/images/cap5.jpg
www.3araceway.co.uk/images/cap6.jpg

Sorry but i cannot post the pics directly , i tried
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

Oops forget to ask another question
I am quite experienced in soldering and have been doing so for around 15 years now, mainly Automotive and R/C stuff, this is the first time i have ever tried to Recap any kind of electronics
I use a butane soldering iron at home with various tips and have never had a problem with it .... until i tried to De solder one of these Caps, it wont heat up the solder to release the cap
I have a soldering kit at work , please click pic to see it
www.3araceway.co.uk/images/solder.jpg
If i bring this home will this do the job
It has a sucker and and pick and two types of iron , the STD type and the other Gun type
Which would be the best to use or better to go and splash out on a decent iron
If so could anyone recommend a decent one ?
And a decent tutorial on how to .. hold on i better search this site for that now i think of it

Bye ... Steve
And thanks a lot

Last edited by slimwadey; 04-02-2010 at 08:20 PM.. Reason: dodgy spelling
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:28 AM   #19
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

If the one pen looking orange handle piece is a soldering iron, then that should work, but do not use the biggest gun style soldering gun (the one with the loop end). that one will heat too much up and will most likely damage the board around it. you will want something with more of a point type of head.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:41 AM   #20
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Default Re: Identifying badcaps in a Xbox360

Some of the electrolytics near the heatsinks are too close for comfort.
I also recommend solid polymer units throughout. A lot of modern motherboards have them, especially those close to the CPU.
As I said elsewhere, even the best electrolytics are not immune from failure...
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