Repairing a charger by a Newbie!

Thread Starter

Roxx.R

Joined Mar 14, 2023
47
Hello everyone, i am new here and i don't have any education about electronics. I have just learnt very basic things from internet and by breaking, modifying and damaging electronics..!! I have done assembling computers and repairing motorcycles.. i love fiddling with electronics..

Anyways, coming to the point, i have this 6 usb port charger and one day it started becoming too much hot and a bulge/swelling started to appear... I feared that it would blow up so i stopped using it..

Finally, today i opened it up and found a component to be a bit swollen, i wish to repair and use it if possible..

So what would be your advice for it? Check the pictures!

- Should i just change the component? Please help me identify name/model of that damaged part...
- is it worth repairing it?
- what if some other thing is damaged?

Well, that's it... Dont know what else to say.. thanks friends.. hope to explore and learn many electronic stuff here... Take care.
 

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Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
4,001
Welcome to AAC.

Its a an electrolytic capacitor with a value of 1000 microFarads and a voltage rating of 10volts.

Its a relatively cheap part so it might be worth replacing it and seeing if the charger is resurrected. If it doesn't work afterwards there is little value in trying to go further.
 

Thread Starter

Roxx.R

Joined Mar 14, 2023
47
Thanks for the reply.. i can surely solder that component... I will check if i can get it here or i will buy online.. i will update here once i repair it... Thanks again..
(I really need to learn whats electrolytic and micro farads )
 

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
4,001
Thanks for the reply.. i can surely solder that component... I will check if i can get it here or i will buy online.. i will update here once i repair it... Thanks again..
(I really need to learn whats electrolytic and micro farads )
An electrolytic capacitor uses a insulating electrolyte gel as the dielectric between the capacitor's plates rather than a solid. A capacitor's value is measured in Farads, representing the amount of electric charge the capacitor can store. The Farad is too big a unit for general use so capacitors usually have values measured in microFarads (uF, one millionth or \( 10^{-6}F \)), nanoFarads (nF, \( 10^{-9}F \)), or picoFarads (pF,\( 10^{-12}F \))

See: https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/textbook/direct-current/chpt-13/
 

Thread Starter

Roxx.R

Joined Mar 14, 2023
47
Thanks for the efforts.. still its too much complicated for me. It will take time for me to understand .. i will get to it. I have some pending projects, things i had started to build but left unfinished. Moreover i have plenty broken electronic parts which could be useful if i knew all this stuff.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,237
A capacitor is two metal plates with an insulator between them called the dielectric. This can be air, a vacuum, something solid, or in the case of an electrolytic capacitor, a liquid. Your cap is swollen because the liquid heated up and expanded.

A capacitor stores a charge. It is used to “fill in the gaps” when power isn’t constant for some reason. This could be because it is AC from the wall converted to DC (which is not, initially, a smooth DC current). The capacitor wants to keep the voltage the same and so it will charge up like a very short lived battery to a particular voltage and when the voltage dips it will discharge to make up the difference. This smooths out a fluctuating DC and makes it more like something from a battery.

The capacitors ability to hold a charge is measured in Farads (F). A Farad is quite large. Supercapacitors are measured in large fractional or whole Farads while more ordinary capacitors have so little capacity, relatively, that they are measured in microfarads (0.000001F), nanofarads(0.000000001F), and picofarads (0.000000000001F)—very tiny fractions of a Farad.

Your 1000µF cap is relatively large in terms of capacity (the Greek mu "µ" is the abbreviation for “mirco”, don’t use “m” which is “milli”—very different). It is a very typical value for a smoothing capacitor in a power supply circuit. Capacitor are also rated for voltage. This is important because a 10V 1000µF capacitor will be considerably smaller than a 100V version and the 10V cap would become a projectile in a 100V circuit.

As was pointed out by @Jon Chandler electrolytic caps are polarized so be sure it is in the right orientation when you replace it. By convention, can-style caps have a black stripe down the side of the negative lead on the heatshrink insulation. Not all caps are polarized and some non-electrolytic caps are. Always check if you aren’t sure.

I hope this gives you a little insight into electrolytic caps and Farads. It is incomplete and like almost all electronics topics mostly a convenient way to think about how it works. Going to fundamentals makes things a lot less clear for practical applications, though you can certainly go much deeper than this before that starts to be a problem.

Good luck and do learn as much as you can about the fundamentals, they make the practical stuff fit together better.
 

Thread Starter

Roxx.R

Joined Mar 14, 2023
47
Wow...!! That was very helpful to understand... I go mad when i read or see video and they have those formulas with symbols, diagrams and then they explain it.. there should be a super-like for you.. thank you very much.. i just read once and i understood capacitors.. but still Farads seems complicating.. i mean those numbers... Thanks again..

Today i bought a multimeter and learning to use it from YouTube videos... I will be checking all 18650 cells i have.
 

twohats

Joined Oct 28, 2015
453
Hi, Nice pictures.
Replace C6 & C7.
You don't have to understand. The capacitors are swollen and leaking. Get it fixed, then you can work on the understanding later.
Please report back when you have fixed it.
Good luck...........
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,237
Wow...!! That was very helpful to understand... I go mad when i read or see video and they have those formulas with symbols, diagrams and then they explain it.. there should be a super-like for you.. thank you very much.. i just read once and i understood capacitors.. but still Farads seems complicating.. i mean those numbers... Thanks again..

Today i bought a multimeter and learning to use it from YouTube videos... I will be checking all 18650 cells i have.
Farads are just a unit of measure describing the ability of a capacitor to store charge. The bigger the number the more it will store. This is not the same as voltage. A tiny 1pF (picofarad, often pronounced “puff”) 10V cap stores the same voltage as a 1F cap—just a lot less of it. If you imagine the voltage as a sort of pressure, the charge is like a reservoir of fluid at that pressure. The 10pF cap will only have a tiny droplet while the 1F cap will be like a swimming pool full.’

So the 1pF cap wouldn’t be used in a circuit that needs to make up for a large deficit, it has other purposes. The 1F cap would be used where you actually need to power something for a while, or where there are sudden demands by the load of great magnitude and beyond the main power supply’s capacity.

While it is not rigorous at all, thinking of caps as little storage tanks for charge is practical for basic purposes and F could be something like Liters or Gallons.
 

Jon Chandler

Joined Jun 12, 2008
1,073
Today i bought a multimeter and learning to use it from YouTube videos... I will be checking all 18650 cells i have.

Some quick advice:


NEVER set your meter to measure CURRENT and connect it directly across a battery or other source. At best, this will blow the fuse in the meter. At worst, it will destroy your meter.

When measuring current, you're measuring current drawn by a load. The meter must be connected in series between the source and load to measure current drawn by the load.
 

Thread Starter

Roxx.R

Joined Mar 14, 2023
47
Yes Jon, i checked few videos on YouTube on how to use multimeter and then only i tried checking my 18650 cells.. for other functions i will watch it again to be extra sure that i dont make mistakes while using multimeter... Thanks.

I have got the capacitor for 5 indian rupees from a local shop nearby.. that is $0.06 ..
Now, I will solder it and check if the charger works.. also i will keep in mind about the positive and negative connections as per photos in above posts...
 

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Thread Starter

Roxx.R

Joined Mar 14, 2023
47
Hello friends, i have soldered the capacitor, but i haven't tested it yet.. i have came up with a new problem actually.. the cover doesn't close/fit.. the new capacitor is same size like the old and i havent left any gap between board and capacitor, still it touches the inner surface of plastic cover. I think it needs about 2-3mm clearance. I have no choice but to cut a hole in the cover and let the capacitor be visible from outside, it may pop outside about 3mm maximum. Well, i can cover it with something later..

With this new capacitor soldered, now i will check if the charger works or not, does it heat up again or not, then i will make a hole in the cover.

check the pictures attached. Let me know what are your thoughts about popping out the capacitor out of the box.
 

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Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,237
It seems that the manufacturer omitted a cap (C7) to save money It is probably supposed to be a twin to the one they populated. If the traces make C7 in parallel with C6 you might be able to extend the life of the capacitors by adding it.

By the way, the new cap is clearly just a little taller than the old one. I didn’t mention that capacitors of the same value in F and V can have different dimensions. This is important to account for when replacing them. Sometimes it doesn’t matter at all but then sometimes it does, as in your case.
 

Thread Starter

Roxx.R

Joined Mar 14, 2023
47
Why didn't i thought it earlier!! .. i have cut it and already soldered it.. dont have extra capacitor.. i had bought only one.. so now i will go forward to check if its working and then make a hole...
 

Thread Starter

Roxx.R

Joined Mar 14, 2023
47
It seems that the manufacturer omitted a cap (C7) to save money It is probably supposed to be a twin to the one they populated. If the traces make C7 in parallel with C6 you might be able to extend the life of the capacitors by adding it.

By the way, the new cap is clearly just a little taller than the old one. I didn’t mention that capacitors of the same value in F and V can have different dimensions. This is important to account for when replacing them. Sometimes it doesn’t matter at all but then sometimes it does, as in your case.
Yes, they are in parallel.. i will buy another capacitor tomorrow and add it.
I am just replacing the damaged capacitor with same F and V .. so as previously it was damaged, again it could get damaged.. so its better to add 2nd capacitor..
 

Thread Starter

Roxx.R

Joined Mar 14, 2023
47
I have decided to keep the soldered capacitor and add another capacitor in parallel of same F and V .. lets see how it looks when they pop out..!!
 
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