The word ‘Recapping’ you may have heard banded about and its not just in the Amiga world, but in fact any devices from the 80’s, 90’s and even 00’s.
Recapping is a process whereby the electrolytic capacitors on the Amiga mainboard are replaced, the reason we focus on these types of capacitors is that these are prone to leaking.
There are a couple of reasons why they will eventually leak (if not already done so) is that Commodore used the cheapest brand of capacitor possible, they do the job perfectly but are not designed to last 25 plus years, and that is the second reason, age. Even if an Amiga has not been used and in a box, the capacitors will still start leaking due to age.
Okay so what can be done? You can get your Amiga recapped where all the electrolytic capacitors are replaced. There are several capacitor brands out there, but the good ones are Panasonic, Nichicon, Wurth to name a few.
Recapping is no different to servicing your car or gas boiler, parts need replacing as a preventative measure, this is the same with recapping, recapping is a preventative measure.
What issues could you see if you don’t recap?
Floppy fails to work & then black screen
Slow to switch on
As with everything you have a choice of the type of capacitors these include:
Electrolytic – these are the standard and what Commodore used and many manufactures still use them to this day, however they are much better than what they were 25 plus years a go.
Hybrid – These ones combine 2 technologies Electrolytic and Polymer and are high quality and cost over double per capacitor comparted to the standard electrolytic ones.
Polymer – To put it simply these will never leak as there is no liquid electrolyte within the capacitor its a solid.
What about Ceramics or Tantalums?
These were never ever designed to be used in the circuits within the Amiga where electrolytic capacitors are used, they work differently and have difference tolerances. Also, unlike electrolytic capacitors that will leak with age they fail in this way, however if a ceramic or Tantalums fail they will simply pop and damage a tiny area around it. its easy to fix and repair broken tracks from leakage that ones that has burns through them.
These days its a must to have older Amiga’s recapped but it can always be difficult to find a trusted source to have the work done. AMIGArama uses a range of Commodore’s devices to help record every episode, with that in mind the show needed to find a trusted and well known Capacitor replacement service in the Amiga community. After exploring several options we were happy to discover AmigaPassion who offer a full Amiga service as well as Capacitor Replacements including Amiga 1200,600, CD32 & 4000 as well as a CD32 Laser replacment service or minor Amiga repairs. For more information please visit