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Old 07-16-2006, 03:40 AM   #1
Tom41
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Default Nichicon HD(M)

I've been reading a lot about the recent spate of failures of Nichicon caps. From what I understand, only certain types of Nichicons from a certain era are affected.

I looked at the WinME machine again, wiped the dust off the caps, and found the names. Next to the CPU, they're all Rubycons - but elsewhere on the board, all Nichicon HD(M). Is this a known 'bad' kind of Nichicon?

I'm about to reformat the ME machine and install XP; we'll see if that makes the system any more stable

Then again, when I opened up the PSU it was full of Teapos. No bulging or leaking yet, but Teapo is notorious for failing without any physical signs...
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Old 07-16-2006, 04:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Nichicon HD(M)

HD should be OK. Only HN and HM were affected.
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Old 07-16-2006, 06:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Nichicon HD(M)

HD doesn't have any reported premature failures - it's older and larger than comparable HM/HN, so it's probable that it is over-engineered with thicker dielectric and foils. It has excellent endurance (4000+ hours at 105c) as well as high ripple current and very low-ESR. Taicon (Nichicon Taiwan) also manufactured a HD-series with apparently the same specs., with a green sleeve instead of black or lacquer (silver). No premature failures of the Taicon HD have been reported, either.
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Old 07-16-2006, 05:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Nichicon HD(M)

The Teapos in the PSU ought to be OK. They almost inevitably fail as VRM caps on a mainboard, but newer Teapos do fine in a PSU. My Channel Well's stable as a brick and running pretty close to capacity on the +12v, all Teapo, and over a year old. The older ones might be OK in a PSU as well, I'm not sure - I have a SPI supply (AOpen barebones) with Teapos from 1998 and going strong.
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Old 07-30-2006, 05:58 AM   #5
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Red face Re: Nichicon HD(M)

While is true, that caps in PSU are nowhere near as stressed, as caps into mainboard, I still would like to say that bad caps into PSU can not only make your system unstable (as the user already experiencing), but mainly overstress and blow even good caps on the mainboard - like it was happen to my DFI LP B and Chemi-con KZG caps there...

So, in short, Teapos in PSU aren't okay and they are endangering the whole machine. I would replace them ASAP.
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Old 07-30-2006, 12:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Nichicon HD(M)

Update: PC is now running XP Pro instead of ME, and seems a lot more stable (albeit a lot slower) than under ME. Then again, I haven't yet re-installed all the software that we were using before.
On my XP machines (including this reformatted one), I've never once had a freeze so bad that I've been unable to shut down and power off. ME, on the other hand, required hard-rebooting (pulling mains lead out) on an almost daily basis!

I'm going to try and get hold of an oscilloscope and measure the ripple current coming from the PSU under load - updates will be posted here later.

Edit: For anyone who's interested, I already posted pics of the PSU in the build quality pictorial topic: http://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?p=18605
On the last page, it's the 'High Power' 300W PSU.

Last edited by Tom41; 07-30-2006 at 12:12 PM..
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Old 07-30-2006, 12:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Nichicon HD(M)

just to put the nichicon problem into perspective, we have had reports of older HM series (2002) still working fine. The widespread fails were from 2003 and failed after about a year of service. The fails were i believe in most cases that i saw were practically total, all caps or most were failing. Which leads me to conclude that there was something seriously wrong with the manufacturing of those caps.

We have not seen evidence of a new problem with nichicon yet and if you have a board working fine for 2-3 years with HM, HN on it then it does not have the issue.

Problem is that suppliers can be distributing batches of caps manufacturerd a while back so i would certainly avoid HM or HN with 2003 date codes.

Date codes are written on the caps as 0311 for instance (2003 week 11)
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Old 07-30-2006, 05:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Nichicon HD(M)

Using a date code would be interesting to find a source of company records indicating what was going on at the fabrication facility at that time.
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: Nichicon HD(M)

I have old HM(2002) good, new HM(2005) good.
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