My ancient (2005!) Philips DVP642 DVD player failed, with the power light flashing. I was ready to abandon it and buy a new one.

Instead, I googled for "DVP642 flashing light". That took me to: http://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?p=323699

Many people had a similar problem with the same product, and had good luck with replacing C316, a 1000uF 10V capacitor in the switching power supply. I unsoldered the old TBOR brand (?) capacitor, measured it at 110uF (which shows just how bad things can get before they fail) and replaced it with an old 920uF 12V (measured at 1020uF) from my random capacitor stash. It works!

My venerable (and region free) player is ready to play more foreign DVDs that Hollywood does not approve of.

The interesting part of the story is that in the late 1980s, a friend brought me his broken Sun workstation, which also turned out to have a failed electrolytic capacitor on the 5v supply. I posted a detailed description of the diagnosis and repair on the usenet group sci.electronics. This was a few years before the world wide web. From there my writeup was archived, reposted, diced sliced and ripple cut, with people emailing me for almost twenty years afterwards asking me for help (one may have been a Russian technician repairing some gizmo on a nuclear submarine).

Soon after that original repair, my friend helped me prepare my own PC based CAD workstation, which I used to design router chips for a startup I participated in. Those chips were used by the fledgling Cisco to build some of the first backbone routers for the internet. This was the infrastructure that supported the early explosive growth of the web. Leading eventually to helpful web communities like badcaps.net .

So, what goes around comes around. I may have posted one the first descriptions on the internet describing how to fix a switching power supply. Now there are whole websites devoted to the activity, partly because of ripple effects from that one weekend afternoon of fixing and posting the results. And one of those websites helped me fix my own gear, decades later.



P.S. I don't remember what kind of capacitor I used on that old Sun workstation, but it may have been from the same stash.

P.P.S. In the long run, one of the most self-serving things you can do is help others. Cast your bread upon the waters, etc ...

Switcher (last edited 2013-03-20 04:53:15 by KeithLofstrom)