Capacitor Conspiracy (was: re: Got 2 "junk" X68k's)

Started by kamiboy, July 04, 2014, 09:00:31 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


I think there is a deeper story behind the early 90's electronics with known cap issues.

The caps that fail are Nichicon caps if I am not mistaken, a Japanese manufacturer of fine wares. I think that in the early 90's they must have made some sort of manufacturing mistake that caused to create a very large batch of bad caps. This explains why only certain hardware of the era brandishing Nichicon caps are known to fail and leak while other contemporaries are just fine.


Its much deeper than that...
There is no 1 brand responsible as far as the failures go, it is deeper than some mistake, it was a plan.
I will mention right now, the things Tesla made for RCA never failed.

Companies decided in order to generate more business they would create disposable electronics that coincides with the supposed "new" advances in technology.

The reasoning behind all this being that if they made it correctly with honor and dignity, it wouldnt fail.
That would mean it would only take 1 to supply the functions that device is capable of for a family.
Instead of a family constantly having to buy another 1 after it breaks.
They engineered things to fail purposefully, like pitiful fools.
1 example is mixing water with flux in the factories, that creates a cold solder joint later on...
Surface mount is the epitome of disposable electronics.

They did the same thing with cars. Cars used to be something else in the 50's and 60's. Not to mention what technologies were suppressed.

Now, I will happily go back to watching my darn Seinfeld recordings on VHS.
My cell phone is analog. My walkman is cassette. My record player is a gramophone!


Things becoming increasingly disposable is an unfortunate consequence of the rise of consumer culture. The fragility of modern hardware prolly has a lot more to do with their increasing complexity and need for decreasing manufacturing costs in order to stay competitive than any widespread conspiracy.

In the case of the failing caps though, I am fairly certain in my assumption. It is always Japanese hardware, made in that lost "made in Japan" era before everything was made in countries with cheap labour, and only in certain hardware. The Japanese were known to make solid hardware, Nichicon just dropped the ball on their caps. Maybe they were using a new faulty formula.

There is a ton of Japanese systems with caps from the same era, or even before, that are not notorious for cap leaks. It is not just the SMD's either, the cans are also expected to leak in certain known hardware.


Stick to the facts please, gentlemen.  I don't want to have to move this to 'conspiracy silliness'.  ;)


Sorry to have to be truthful, but it was completely intentional, there is no excuse. It was not for any plausible reason, it was devolution. They went out of their way to do it, to save 15 cents? Yeah (laughs)

I can also confirm it is not 1 brand, I have seen countless different brands that went. Even brand names like sanyo, phillips, etc. Again, they did not have to make them incorrectly, it was intentional.

I am unsure how an operation of that scale would have been introduced, but I imagine the brands did not want to argue much when they were presented with the idea of more money quicker.

That rarely matters because modern caps are good for now. A month or 2 ago though I got an email from mouser about a recall on some caps I got... So it still is a problem.

I could go on for a long time about how new technology upgrades were really downgrades, but I wont. (laughs)


Topic split.

Please don't clutter up useful discussions with off-topic nonsense.


 Hi Guys !

Here are my two cents on this topic.

Wikipedia: Capacitor plague

Badcaps: What causes this disaster

Badcaps Wiki: Datecode

Badcaps Wiki: Counterfeit capacitors Nichicon Caps... Good or bad?

And here is a very detailed info of the conspiracy itself.

Passive Component Industry Magazine: Low-ESR Aluminum Electrolytic Failures Linked to Taiwanese Raw Material Problems

Keep the scene alive !
X68000 personal computer is called, "X68K" or "no good good" is called, is the PC that are loved by many people today.


Electrolytic capacitors are known to fail sooner or later anyway, disregarding if they are from the '80'ies or recent products. When I worked at an TV/HiFi electronics repair shop, caps had a bad reputation in producing irritating errors, but there was no magic behind it. Please keep also in mind the different grades of heat resistance and the type of mounting.

I do not trust in conspiracies.


Its not a conspiracy when the proof is well documented and known.
Sorry, but everything I said is fact. You may believe whatever you want though...
& Yeah, when you worked there, caps had a bad reputation for a reason.
I am well aware of the vast spread of different components that caused failures through the past 40 years.

Like you said, you were unaware of any reason behind it.
The reason that it was so hit and miss is because it was purposeful.

I do not trust well documented willful dishonest shortcomings.


Guys, I don't have a problem with this particular conversation topic. I agree with Lawrence that it needed to be moved out into a general conversation thread outside of the specific topic in which it was mentioned.
But really, what's the benefit of having this discussion? We have to replace the capacitors in the equipment that we care about either way, and there's no going back in time for any purpose. We can't magically make the components better, no matter what the actual cause was.

More to the point, nobody around here is going to say 'Oh my goodness, your argument is so compelling that I must admit defeat and concede your greater wisdom!' If you're looking for that outcome then you're chasing after a prize that's not worth anything.

As moderator, I don't care if you want to have this debate. But as a guy who loves games, I'd prefer you spend your time and your keystrokes on stuff that we all might find useful. Debating willful versus careless neglect in the capacitor issue doesn't gain anybody anything, except that I will think less of you if you keep banging your drum.


 Hi Kendrick !

I fully agree with you. By the way, good news ! KEMET has invented a next generation electrolytic capacitor with up to 160,000 hours of operational life.

Full article can be found here:

Keep the scene alive !
X68000 personal computer is called, "X68K" or "no good good" is called, is the PC that are loved by many people today.