Recapping a Macintosh Portable

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by WardC, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    I have been working on a project of restoring a backlit Macintosh Portable M5126 computer. This has been a daunting task...the machine I got had a broken display cable, I have installed a completely new display assembly...the hard drive was totally wasted too. I found a parts unit, which I pulled the Conner CP3045 hard drive from and installed in my unit, and the new hard drive works great! My battery was dead as well. I sent this off to NiCd Lady in California and had the battery reconditioned.

    The only issue I am having is a dysfunctional audio problem. I am getting static, crackly audio, or no audio at all. When I open the Sound control panel, if I try to play a sound or turn the volume up, the machine freezes. Sometimes it plays a distorted audio sound, and then freezes.

    I disassembled the unit completely and removed the logic board. I discovered that one of the capacitors (namely capacitor C6) near the rear of the unit, was leaking and had dried up completely.

    From what I understand, these audio issues are almost always related to a capacitor issue on the board, and can be fixed by recapping the board. I decided that I probably just need to replace this one capacitor since it looks to be the faulty one on the board.

    I've decided to take on the task myself. I've ordered some capacitors (100µf 25v Nichicon) from eBay, and a soldering kit. I am going to solder off the old capacitor and solder a new one in it's place, reinstall the board and re-assemble the machine. My hopes are that this will remedy the issue and get my machine 100% functioning. There is a chance that the capacitor failure/leakage has caused damage to the board, and there is a chance that my fixing this may not fix the problem. There is also a chance that I might mess up the installation, since I have never soldered a capacitor in my life. I've done some reading up on this, some research, and I've determined it's a job that I can do. It can probably be done in less than 5 minutes. I am praying that this will get my machine's problem fixed. I am 100% sure that this was a faulty capacitor on the board, the thing is burned up and it was covered in red-brown rust colored gunk. It's a small black capacitor about an inch wide, looks like a little battery.

    Re-capping is a common procedure with Macintosh Portables to fix various issues such as charging, power problems, audio problems, and drive spin problems. There are about 19 capacitors on the board, of various sizes, voltages, and power ratings.

    I am comfortable assembling and disassembling Macintosh Portables, they are very easy to take apart and put together. Just this task has me nervous, I don't want to screw it up, and I want to get it fixed!

    Wish me luck. I will keep you updated.
  2. MacTech68 macrumors 68020


    Mar 16, 2008
    Australia, Perth
    Good luck in your endeavors.

    One thing you may want to try is using a junk board to try out your soldering skills.

  3. Lil Chillbil macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Jan 30, 2012
  4. havokalien macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2006
    Kelso, Wa
    Got any more backlit portables?

    Would love to get one off of you. I just can't seem to get a hold of one. Thank you.
  5. SpectreGadget macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    So how did it turn out? I have a M5126 that I'm restoring. It's in pretty good shape, but had a capacitor problem. I had 'uniserver' recap my entire board. I've soldered over the years, but it was worth it to have him do it.

    Where did you get a replacement video cable? My cable is cracked on the backlighting traces, so I'm looking at fixing it through other wires, but not my preferred method.

    My M5126 has a cool 8MB memory card.


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