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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How can I order the PCB schematic and electronic PCB


Check your old board for bad capacitors.
Mine had one bad capacitor. 470uf and 25volts

Hard to replace capacitor because the board is seal.
But can done with some solder knowledge.
Drill hole behind bad cap, 3/4 inch wide. desolder the old and replace
with a same rating cap. Seal hole with tape and reinstall.

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Sounds like some bad electrolytic capacitors, it's easily fixed. I highly recommend reading the links at the bottom, it'll give a you a better insight into the problem and solution.

You have 2 or 3 options:

1. If it's under warranty then you could send it back to be fixed, problem is they will likely use the same rubbish brand of capacitors again, but anything else will void the warranty.

2. Pay a tv repairman or similar to fix it for you. They may still use substandard capacitors, so specify what brand you want them to use, this will probably mean waiting longer and possibly paying a little more. This way you know the job should be done right.

3. You could replace them yourself if you're comfortable with a soldering iron, or know someone who is. The capacitors themselves are quite cheap and easy to replace.



Go for the best ones you can get for the job and try to buy from reputable companies, the links below will help you chose but you can't go wrong with Rubycons. Every capacitor manufacturer has several ranges, each having different properties which make some more suitable than others




Always match the values on the original capacitors. You can actually use slightly different values for the capacitance and voltage (uf and v) but never use ones below what the originals are rated at.



The links below will explain this further.



They should look something like this:
drunknmonkey_4.jpg
As you should be able to see, the one on the left is bulging. The blue stripe with the arrow tells you that the lead on that side is the negative, the positive lead should also be longer than the negative one.

Tools needed
-----------------
1. Soldering iron. - preferably with a stand with a sponge in.
2. Solder - there's different types so make sure it's suitable for electronics
3. Phillips screwdriver
4. Flat head screwdriver
5. Wirecutters
6. De-soldering wick, or pump. - definitely recommended but not really essential.


If you haven't already got the tools then it's a good investment, as bad caps cause a lot of faults in all kinds of electronics.


Instructions
--------------
1. Unplug monitor and open case.

2. Identify power board, it should have a lot of electrolytic caps on there and obviously should be connected to where the power lead is attached.

3. Identify the bad caps, they should be bulging and/or leaking, although not always. Note down the three values for each cap (eg 220uf, 16v, 105c) and their approximate dimensions, and get new ones, preferably Rubicon or Panasonic, the link below will help you chose some good ones. If in doubt you could remove them and take them to the shop, but you'll have to remember where each one goes and which way round it was (take pics).

4. Very carefully heat up the contact on one side with the soldering iron, and rock the cap the other way, then do the other side, keep doing this until the cap comes out, if you have a de-soldering wick/pump use it to remove the solder and it should just pop out easily.

4. Replace with new cap, making sure that you observe the polarity and make sure it's securely seated and soldered in. Make sure the solder is neat, tidy and doesn't contact anything else. If there's any solder left in the holes then you'll have to heat it up or remove it before you can get the new cap's leads through. Once done properly trim the leads off so they won't cause any problems.

5. Replace casing and test. If it doesn't work then you'll have been a bit messy with the solder, tidy it up and try it again.

Here's a few links to help you:

Bad caps faq - should have pretty much everything you need to know.
http://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?t=425



Hints on soldering.

http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/solder.htm

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http://forums.whatthetech.com/DC_Jack_Laptop_t105164.html

double check your power cord! i just went thru 3 days of troubleshooting my Gateway M6318. Thought it was my dc jack.... after tearing down my laptop... finding the jack in tact, soldering in tact. testing my power cord... off and on for 3 days.. it was reading 19v.. which is what it should... but as of today began zero reading on tester. Tomorrow I will buy a new power cord to see if this was the correct problem... wish i would have found the above reference site before all the other troubleshooting i had done... tearing down my lap top, pulling, tugging, twisting my power cord to get a good charge.... etc. hope this helps!

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Capacitors look like cylinders mounted vertically on the pcb.

If you look at the printing on the board, there should be a label close to the capacitors such as C201, or XC330.

Usually a C in the label will indicate a capacitor.

They will be wrapped in a plastic jacket. The jacket will have writing on it, and usually a stripe down one side. The stripe indicates the negative lead (each cap will have two leads, negative and positive).
If the cap has a rounded top (domed) instead of a flat top, it is likely bad. You may even see that the component has split at the top, into four pie shaped wedges. This is also an indication of a bad cap. Lastly, the jacket is "heat shrunk" onto the metal cylinder. This usually causes the plastic jacket to overlap the top of the cylinder, which will show up as a donut shaped ring around the top of the cylinder. Some times if the cap is leaking, it will heat up causing the ring to shrink further so that the top of the cap will be completely exposed metal, with no plastic ring framing it. This also indicates a bad cap.

You can get the value from reading the print on the side of the cylinder. The values should be printed down the side of the cap, such as: 1000uF 16V, or 470uF 25V.

This is read as one thousand micro Farads at sixteen Volts, or four hundred seventy micro Farads at twenty five Volts (the u will actually be the Greek letter mu).

You will need a solder ****** to remove the solder from the caps on the solder side of the pcb (under $20), a soldering iron and some solder.

**** the solder after heating it with the iron, use the tip of the iron to carefully unbend the legs of the capacitors if needed.

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Make sure you get caps that are not larger physically than the originals or you may not be able to fit them into the same spot. (older capacitors are bigger than the same value newer capacitors).

Hopefully, you will only have three to six caps.

The lucky people will find only one bad cap, unlucky people will find up to ten bad caps, some in the power circuit, some in the inverter circuit, and some on the main board.

Caps on the main board can be very tough to remove. I recommend adding some solder to the legs of the caps you are going to remove, then heat one leg as you push the cap to the side to try and pull that leg out of the solder hole. Then heat the other leg and try to pull the cap completely off the pcb. Once done, you can use the solder ****** to clean the old solder out of the holes. This may be necessary because the main board is multilayer and these layers can act as a heat sink, making the solder harder to melt and harder for your solder ****** to remove. It's slightly easier once the capacitor legs have been removed.

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There are two 470uF/25V capacitors on the power supply board in the sub-woofer that are the cause of buzzing, crackling and then eventually no sound. Go to Radio Shack and buy two Catalog #272-1030 470uF/35V capacitors and change them out. They are in the middle of the Power Supply PCB and are close to the long flat aluminum heatsink. As far as installation instructions go; you have to have some soldering experience, first. You will also need some type of de-soldering device, be it a solder ****** or solder wick to remove the caps. Make note of the polarity before removing. Then it is just a matter of popping the new ones in (they are slightly larger than the originals so they might not go all the way down flush with the PCB) and soldering them back in. Make sure you do not make any solder shorts or your system will be toast! Your unit will be as good as new and will probably last forever now.

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There are two 470uF/25V capacitors on the power supply board in the sub-woofer that are the cause of buzzing, crackling and then eventually no sound. Go to Radio Shack and buy two Catalog #272-1030 470uF/35V capacitors and change them out. They are in the middle of the Power Supply PCB and are close to the long flat aluminum heatsink. As far as installation instructions go; you have to have some soldering experience, first. You will also need some type of de-soldering device, be it a solder ****** or solder wick to remove the caps. Make note of the polarity before removing. Then it is just a matter of popping the new ones in (they are slightly larger than the originals so they might not go all the way down flush with the PCB) and soldering them back in. Make sure you do not make any solder shorts or your system will be toast! Your unit will be as good as new and will probably last forever now.

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