Question about Gateway MX3228 Notebook

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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.




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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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Acer aspire one charging port loose

If I recall this model line uses a fixed DC power jack directly soldered to the main board. When they become loose, you can visually inspect the jack itself (without the cord plugged in), and use a pen or probe to see of the center peg is excessively loose. The common result is the solder connections have been broken between the DC jack and the main board. Often the jack itself needs to be replaced (involving complete disassemble, de-soldering old jack, cleaning, repair PCB if needed, and re-solder new jack in place.
TIP - if it is not charging, remove battery, and gently put pressure from different angles with the power cord plugged in, and try to turn it on. If it turns on with pressure from a specific angle, it would indicate the DC jack is indeed loose, and likely needs to be replaced. It works becomes the pressure is making the electrical contact that has other wise been broken. ALSO, if it turns on easily, yet losses power at certain angles, its a similar issue.
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Check the output of the AC adapter (Charger), or skip to check the DC Power Jack, first.

A) DC Power Jack:
The jack on the laptop that the AC adapter (Charger) plugs into.

IF, this is in reference to an HP Pavilion dv2000z series of Notebook PC, this is what the jack looks like not installed,

In the views of the jack, the pins and blade are on the Bottom of the jack.
They go down through the motherboard, and are soldered in place.

Scroll down to Step 5, and observe the Solder Joints.

IF, a solder joint, (Or more than one), is cracked, the DC Power jack will Not flow power to the laptop.

ALL power removed (AC adapter and Battery) see if you can gently wiggle the Center Pin, of the DC Power Jack. Using a non-metallic object is preferred.

See if the entire jack seems to move around.

ANY perceptible movement means a bad DC Power Jack, or solder joint/s.
Laptop is to be completely disassembled, down to the BARE motherboard in your hand. (No Processor, no Ram Memory, Nada )

This is a basic guide to DC Power Jack replacement,

A) You can use a 25 Watt soldering iron, with a No.2 chisel tip.
Keep a damp sponge handy, if you do not have one in a soldering iron stand. Keep the tip CLEAN, and well tinned, at all times.

B) Use Desoldering Braid. (Solder Wick)
Works MUCH better than a Desoldering Tool. (Solder S-ucker Tool)

Unroll a small length. Flatten out a small length, around 2 inches long.
Lay enough of the tip of the Desoldering Braid, across the solder joint to cover it. Then lay the tip of the soldering iron on top of the braid.

Once the braid, AND solder heat up enough, the fine twisted wires of the Desoldering Braid will pick up some solder.


If you overheat the solder joint, the copper circuit trace area under it, can lift right off of the motherboard. Bad times are ahead.

If you overheat the solder joint, the copper circuit trace area under the solder joint, can lose it's tinning, and CANNOT be re-tinned again.
Bad times ahead.

As soon as the solder starts to melt, and you see the braid has picked up some, remove the solder iron, and braid.
Allow the motherboard circuit trace area to cool down.

Then begin again with a fresh new piece of Desoldering Braid.
Cut the solder soaked section off.

Keep going back, until you have removed all of the excess solder that you can.
(Make take a few times, or more, to perform this, and allow the circuit trace area to cool down in-between )

There will be a skin coat of solder left behind. As you heat one of the pins, or the blade, pull up on the jack.

The pin, or blade, will partially come out. It will not come all the way out because of the other pins, or blade, is still soldered in.

Go to the next pin/blade, and heat it up. Pull. The pins, and blade will come out of the motherboard a little further.
Allow the circuit trace area to cool down in-between heating each pin, or the blade.

Keep going around until the jack is free.
You might have a skin coat going across the circuit trace hole.
That's OK, leave it.

When the new jack is installed, the pins, or blade goes against this skin coat. When the soldering iron touches the skin, the pins, or blade, will poke through.

Make GOOD, shiny bright solder joints. A dull, cold solder joint, will have you scratching your head.

B) If the DC Power Jack proves to be good, with the simple test of the device to see if it will wiggle, go to the AC adapter. (Charger)

The Center Hole in the plug that plugs into the DC Power Jack, is Positive. The outer cylindrical metal shell is Negative.

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Function knob set to DC Voltage. (If just a symbol, the symbol is a dotted line over a solid line. If more than one scale, set it to the 0 - 50 Volt scale )

You should be reading VERY close to 18.5 Volts.

Also have an assistant wiggle the Power Cord, and the cable from the adapter unit, TO the laptop.

An intermittent reading indicates a broken wire.

DC Power Jack, and AC adapter check out, the problem is the power controller chipset.

Chip and Chipset are slang terms for I.C.
Integrated Circuit,

The power controller chipset is a power MOSFET.
Here are two examples used in a Lot of laptops,



When bad, generally the power controller chipset will burn up, and blacken.

Note that in both examples above, that the chipsets are in a D2PAK surface mount design.

The J leads are easy to unsolder, and solder.

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