Question about Gateway MX3228 Notebook

1 Answer

Lost a Cap, MX3228

When I de-soldered the power jack from the little PCB, capacitor C2 fell off. I am going to pick one up tomorrow, but I have no idea what the capacitance is. I can remeber the size since I can look at the pads on the PCB, but I don't want to put the wrong in. I phoned tech support, but they would want to charge me for their help. If someone knows where I can find a schematicn for my gateway laptop, model # MX3228, I would be most appreciative

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  • jozef_de_bee Dec 30, 2008

    Hi Geekman:



    Thanks, but the cap in question is a tiny suface mounted block shaped thing. Although I lost the cap, I did find it, so the cap is no longer missing. There is no writing on the cap that is visible to the naked eye. I have trouble-shot many PCB's in my life, however, never a mother board. In my experience once the block shaped cap is under a certain size there is no polarization. It is close to the power source and probably runs to ground in parallel, but I cannot see the trace or have not seen a schematic so there is no way to be sure. There is two other caps that are right beside them so I would assume the same. One is about three times larger. The lost cap in question is about as thick of two of the lines one my thumb (that you would see in a fingerprint) and three of those same lines long. I don't own calipers, so I can't give an exact measurement. I know that the tolerance on most caps is the sh**'s, by about 50% and ohming the pads it lay on out it reads as an open so, I am fine to leave it. My computer still malfucntions all the same, since the charging is intermittent, a component in the power circuit must be loose, the batter seems to run the computer fine and it will charge after about two days. Thanks for your input, your feed back tells me that I should have explained myself better to begin with. I have never asked for tech help online before.



    I don't have a temperature control dial on my soldering iron, so I will just save up for a new computer in a couple of months.



    Cheers,



    Jozef

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  • Gateway Master
  • 32,281 Answers

The capacitor is most likely an electrolytic type, these are a round cyclinder device and they are polarised. From its location near the power jack it is most lkely more than 50uF and more than 20V. The information on the capactance and voltage of the capacitor is printed on the capacitor. If you are going to purchase a new one, make sure you get an exact replacement because if it is bigger in value eg. microfarad and voltage it will be too big to fit on the motherbard and if it is a lesser value, it will fail and not perform as required.
The capacitor is polarised eg + & - legs on the capacitor and these must be soldered in the correct direction on the motherboard, the white stripe on the capacitor marks the negative lead of the capacitor.
If the capacitor fell off during de-soldering of the power jack, you must have applied too much heat for this capacitor to fall off. If the capacitor is not damaged you could solder it back on the motherboard.
You should be using a temoerature controlled soldering iron, applying excessive heat to a motherboard can damage the motherboard as these boards are multilayer boards, there are circuit tracks on top, below and in the middle of the board. make sure you don't put solder across printed circuit tracks, carefully check the motherboard under a magnifying glass.


Posted on Dec 29, 2008

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