Urgent alert to MSX2/2+ owners: suicide capacitors on HIC-1 daughterboard

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By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3675)

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19-07-2015, 00:56

Dear MSX friends,

Many MSX models had an analog daugtherboard called "HIC-1" (aka "EMC-NX0039") that feature 3 SMD electrolytic capacitors with aluminum caps that are beginning to leak. Those capacitors electrolyte is particularly corrosive and badly damages the board around it. You can see how bad it goes in this topic.

This is the list of known MSX machines that feature this board inside (but there may be others):

- Sony HB-F1XV
- Sony HB-F1XDJ
- Sony HB-F1XDmkII
- Sony HB-F1XD
- Panasonic FS-A1
- Panasonic FS-A1mkII
- Panasonic FS-A1F

If you have any of the mentioned models, you should hurry and replace the following capacitors on the HIC-1 daughterboard:

- C10=10uF/16V
- C14=10uF/16V
- C22=100uF/16V

The worst offender is the C22. In many machines our group inspected it was beginning to leak.

It's possible to replace them with either electrolytic capacitors or more modern Tantalum or Ceramic capacitors. It's very advisable to replace them with the more modern ceramic versions, so you won't have to worry about this problem ever again.

Those are the appropriate specs if you're going for Ceramic or Tantalum replacements:

- 10uF: size 3216 (1206 in imperial unit)
- 100uF Ceramic: size 4532 (1812 in imperial unit)
- 100uF Tantalum: size 6032 (only metric)

All three capacitors must be rated for 16V or more.

It doesn't matter if your machine isn't being used and is stored somewhere in the attic. If those capacitors leak, it will be very hard to fix it. If you care for the machine, replace those capacitors ASAP.


By syn

Prophet (2135)

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19-07-2015, 01:09

Thanks for sharing. Although I dont own these models, I think such information is pretty important to get out there.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (934)

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19-07-2015, 01:16

My model isn't one of the ones on that list, but it's in the same line as the last few -- I have a Panasonic FS-A1WX. How would I go about checking whether or not I have the offending capacitors in my system as well? I'm... not the most computer-savvy person in the world, and have never opened my system up (nor do I entirely know how to), so I'm hoping there's some other way to tell. Wink


By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3675)

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19-07-2015, 01:23

Panasonic and Sanyo MSX2+ machines are safe from this disease. You don't have to worry. Smile

By gdx

Enlighted (6438)

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19-07-2015, 09:24

The daughterboard in Panasonic FS-A1 is different from other models.


By meits

Scribe (6573)

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19-07-2015, 12:43

Crap, got a Sony... I can solder some big components, but small ones are far from a hobby of mine...
Why should I actually worry about the caps if the machine is in storage? The caps aren't being stressed then...
I will see to it that the caps are going to be replaced though... Thanks for mentioning...

Damn, I just got that machine... It's been on my wishlist for 25 years... The thing is not going to die on me...

By Daemos

Prophet (2170)

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19-07-2015, 13:13

Caps in storage also have the tendecy to start leaking. Better replace them before things go horror. SMD can be soldered by a skilled person with the right tools.

By yzi

Champion (444)

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19-07-2015, 13:56

Damn, I have Sony HB-F1XV. Zero experience in soldering SMD components... scary stuff! Wink

Is this a new phenomenon about these particular models, discovered just now?

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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19-07-2015, 14:02

Daemos wrote:

Caps in storage also have the tendecy to start leaking.

capacitors only, I'd say... Normally, electrolytic capacitors in storage tend to dry out (like when in use, only slower), and may benefit from a reform procedure after long storage. The latter is probably not a big issue with caps found in MSX machines - besides being too much work. Tongue

It would be nice if someone could confirm that ceramics are fine as replacement. Electrolytic caps are only chosen for low cost & capacity/size. As capacitor, they're worse in virtually every way. Ceramic caps go up to ~100 uF these days, last very long, and cost isn't an issue when replacing a few small caps like here.

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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19-07-2015, 14:18

Daemos wrote:

SMD can be soldered by a skilled person with the right tools.

The right tool here would be a pincet-like soldering iron that grips and heats a component from both sides at the same time.

Even among hardware hobbyists, few have such a tool. But what works equally well:

  • Take a sharp knife to the part, and cut through the solder itself (not the underlying pcb track!). Going 100% through isn't necessary as long as it's enough to pull the part from the board without taking pcb traces with it. This option has the advantage the pcb isn't heated at all, only when soldering in the replacement. Or
  • Use 2 soldering irons. Shocked! Most hobbyists have an old one lying around somewhere, or can borrow/buy a 2nd one for peanuts. A soldering iron on both sides of the part, and when solder on both sides has melted, you lift the part up like the Chinese grab rice with their eating sticks. LOL! Who cares where it drops or whether it sticks to the soldering iron - it's off the board, you discard it anyway, job done.

Soldering SMD parts back in, is just as easy as for through-hole components (many -including me- would say easier).

By yzi

Champion (444)

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19-07-2015, 16:38

I have watched "how to solder SMD components" videos on Youtube, and it does not seem as easy as through-hole.

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