Hardware Capacitors grounded on both sides

slimh22

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Hi im new to this so i was looking for some insight iv read that sometimes a capacitor grounded on both sides is usually the chip but is there any diagrams that show what chip goes to what cap? I checked the charge amps and i get 0 amps and found a bad cap to the right of the coil by the charge port. would i be correct in thinking that the chip next to the coil is the chip that could be bad? also i will take the cap off to make sure it is not the cap.
 
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FAST6191

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Hi im new to this so i was looking for some insight iv read that sometimes a capacitor grounded on both sides is usually the chip but is there any diagrams that show what chip goes to what cap?

I am not sure what exists right now for circuit diagrams similar to what you might have seen from some Apple stuff or more old school component diagrams. There have been some people doing some stuff so it is probably better than we enjoyed for older devices while they were current but still nothing like what I expect to see in full bore rework and repair scenarios.

As far as "grounded on both sides" then that would be a failure mode, possibly quite a bad one if it is a polarised cap but not much better if it is not. "a capacitor grounded on both sides is usually the chip" is almost nonsensical.
 
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slimh22

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I am not sure what exists right now for circuit diagrams similar to what you might have seen from some Apple stuff or more old school component diagrams. There have been some people doing some stuff so it is probably better than we enjoyed for older devices while they were current but still nothing like what I expect to see in full bore rework and repair scenarios.

As far as "grounded on both sides" then that would be a failure mode, possibly quite a bad one if it is a polarised cap but not much better if it is not. "a capacitor grounded on both sides is usually the chip" is almost nonsensical.




well i know which cap it is that is bad i assume i need to check if its the cap for sure and go from there. yea sorry i read that sometimes the cap shorted on both sides is caused by the chip is all.
 
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FAST6191

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This is all still pretty abstract. Most repairs focus right now on bad battery, bad charge chip as a result of bad dock or something falling out of a dock, mainly as that is what we tend to see.

I should also note you don't necessarily know it is a cap that is bad -- it might be likely but if it is an option that the chip is bad instead the capacitor may be fine (though might be replaced as a matter of course).

A capacitor with a short to ground on both sides could mean a few things
1) The capacitor itself failed closed which is rare but whatever, not to mention easy enough to test compared to a normal failed capacitor (they normally fail the other way and their equivalent series resistance goes up and you then need an ESR meter to test properly). Here a normal multimeter will do but might need you to desolder it to test.
2) Someone spilled something and it dried as a conductive gunk underneath the cap or at least somewhere else in contact with the ground, hence both sides connecting to ground. Also an option for it to end up connected some other way (wire plugged in the wrong way, serious voltage arc...)
3) The chip upstream of the capacitor failed open and also provides a direct path to ground. This would be where most of the guides come in as they will give you various voltage levels, possibly current draws, possibly resistances and more referenced from a working board. You can measure your own working board but most people don't tend to keep a reference one around.
 
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slimh22

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This is all still pretty abstract. Most repairs focus right now on bad battery, bad charge chip as a result of bad dock or something falling out of a dock, mainly as that is what we tend to see.

I should also note you don't necessarily know it is a cap that is bad -- it might be likely but if it is an option that the chip is bad instead the capacitor may be fine (though might be replaced as a matter of course).

A capacitor with a short to ground on both sides could mean a few things
1) The capacitor itself failed closed which is rare but whatever, not to mention easy enough to test compared to a normal failed capacitor (they normally fail the other way and their equivalent series resistance goes up and you then need an ESR meter to test properly). Here a normal multimeter will do but might need you to desolder it to test.
2) Someone spilled something and it dried as a conductive gunk underneath the cap or at least somewhere else in contact with the ground, hence both sides connecting to ground. Also an option for it to end up connected some other way (wire plugged in the wrong way, serious voltage arc...)
3) The chip upstream of the capacitor failed open and also provides a direct path to ground. This would be where most of the guides come in as they will give you various voltage levels, possibly current draws, possibly resistances and more referenced from a working board. You can measure your own working board but most people don't tend to keep a reference one around.
Thank you so much this helps alot.
Now after I check the cap and determine what it is that is wrong. Would purchasing a cap or chip be difficult? Is there some good trustworthy sites that I could buy from? Also the switch wont charge anymore. It was in a house that got hit by lightning. Would a picture help to see what chip or cap I am referring to?
 
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FAST6191

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Lightning/static is always a fun one -- so many thousands of volts tends to mean arcs here, there and anywhere in the board. It could be limited to just the charge circuit (their ESD protections might have saved it) but be aware it could be way beyond economical repair, and have all sorts of weird errors the typical bad dock or basic spill type scenarios (though spills can also be fun) won't cause.

As far as buying them then I don't tend to see surface mount capacitors for sale in the real world so much -- if you are in the US then what remains of Radioshack or somewhere like Frys might sell you a traditional through hole capacitor (or selection thereof) but I rarely see anything surface mount. You might find a retail/dispatch location for electronics vendor or a university with an electrical engineering department you can hit up. You could try finding an equivalent/suitable replacement on an existing board but eh.
Online vendors are of course a thing CPC/farnell, element14, mouser, digikey.... for some of the more US focused ones (my list is more Europe/UK but those are worldwide and/or very well known ones). The trouble is they will tend to nail you with shipping and often have something like minimum orders. You might find a bag someone split up and put up on the likes of amazon and ebay.

Equally as we are playing with surface mount you should know most such things exist on so called reels for use with pick and place machines. You can buy a reel if you want, some places will offer a partial reel (though probably not for something as cheap as capacitors) and you will probably want something called cut tape (CT being the abbreviation many will use). I would also suggest buying 10+ even if you only need one, mainly as they are so cheap but when you see how small and annoying it is then it gets even more annoying if you get stung for shipping a second time as you toasted one or sent it flying.
 
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slimh22

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Onhe might show you in some of his nintendo switch diagnostic the same cap you look you found and what might be the issue.
Thank you I will check him out!

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Lightning/static is always a fun one -- so many thousands of volts tends to mean arcs here, there and anywhere in the board. It could be limited to just the charge circuit (their ESD protections might have saved it) but be aware it could be way beyond economical repair, and have all sorts of weird errors the typical bad dock or basic spill type scenarios (though spills can also be fun) won't cause.

As far as buying them then I don't tend to see surface mount capacitors for sale in the real world so much -- if you are in the US then what remains of Radioshack or somewhere like Frys might sell you a traditional through hole capacitor (or selection thereof) but I rarely see anything surface mount. You might find a retail/dispatch location for electronics vendor or a university with an electrical engineering department you can hit up. You could try finding an equivalent/suitable replacement on an existing board but eh.
Online vendors are of course a thing CPC/farnell, element14, mouser, digikey.... for some of the more US focused ones (my list is more Europe/UK but those are worldwide and/or very well known ones). The trouble is they will tend to nail you with shipping and often have something like minimum orders. You might find a bag someone split up and put up on the likes of amazon and ebay.

Equally as we are playing with surface mount you should know most such things exist on so called reels for use with pick and place machines. You can buy a reel if you want, some places will offer a partial reel (though probably not for something as cheap as capacitors) and you will probably want something called cut tape (CT being the abbreviation many will use). I would also suggest buying 10+ even if you only need one, mainly as they are so cheap but when you see how small and annoying it is then it gets even more annoying if you get stung for shipping a second time as you toasted one or sent it flying.
Appreciate all the info I will look into all of that and see what i can find.
And if i got what you were saying it might not be worth the hassle to fix lightning damage? I will prob just check to see what's bad and see if I can go from there. It might not be worth it if it can be as bad as you said.
 

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Yeah it is one thing for a fuse to blow or a polarity protection diode to fail because someone plugged in something backwards or got a staple in the charge port, or for you to have to run a bit of wire if the trace gets pulled off with the connector being tweaked. However lightning/static can and is often shown to jump all over the board and burning out (or causing to fail prematurely) components, traces and sometimes creating new paths (the nice black sooty marks tend to be conductive), which is made even more fun in modern electronics when you have many layers of copper/PCB all doing their own thing.

By all means check -- static electricity is a known and common concept so charge controllers/external connectors will often have some amount of mitigation for it and lightning is still just static in the end (and voltage wise can even be less than you can make with some choice materials for clothes and/or carpet) but also be aware it can be losing game.
 
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Any diagnostic on the forums should start with a photo of the component, as high quality as you can produce. I can't imagine why a capacitor would be connected to ground on both sides, that doesn't make sense to me, which makes me suspect that it's not a capacitor at all.
 
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I m not an engineer so dealing with chips and everything I not much help but I ve watch a ton of switch and other tech repair videos and u start to put A the issue and B the cause together after seeing enough of it. so out of interest what the issue with the switch? what does it do?

thanks
 
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slimh22

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Any diagnostic on the forums should start with a photo of the component, as high quality as you can produce. I can't imagine why a capacitor would be connected to ground on both sides, that doesn't make sense to me, which makes me suspect that it's not a capacitor at all.
I am still a newcomer so I ca t post links but I will try when I can.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Some of the problems are some charge chips and even video chips when some capacitors grounds on both sides
Yea so I was going to try getting to cap off and testing to ground on both sides of the solder joint if both of those are grounded it's the chip if not tits the cap.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

I m not an engineer so dealing with chips and everything I not much help but I ve watch a ton of switch and other tech repair videos and u start to put A the issue and B the cause together after seeing enough of it. so out of interest what the issue with the switch? what does it do?

thanks
It doesnt charge at all. I put on a amp tester and volt tester and I get voltage but not maps which means the battery isn't charging. I found a cap that is grounded on both sides so I'm curious if it is the cap or the chip that is grounded.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Any diagnostic on the forums should start with a photo of the component, as high quality as you can produce. I can't imagine why a capacitor would be connected to ground on both sides, that doesn't make sense to me, which makes me suspect that it's not a capacitor at all.

1.jpg
the part that I circled is the grounded cap so I'm curious if it's that cap or if it's the chip located next to it.
 

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Hi im new to this so i was looking for some insight iv read that sometimes a capacitor grounded on both sides is usually the chip but is there any diagrams that show what chip goes to what cap? I checked the charge amps and i get 0 amps and found a bad cap to the right of the coil by the charge port. would i be correct in thinking that the chip next to the coil is the chip that could be bad? also i will take the cap off to make sure it is not the cap.
You need to be able to absolutely trust your diagram.

Your certain the battery isn't completely dead?
 

slimh22

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I am still a newcomer so I ca t post links but I will try when I can.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------


Yea so I was going to try getting to cap off and testing to ground on both sides of the solder joint if both of those are grounded it's the chip if not tits the cap.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------


It doesnt charge at all. I put on a amp tester and volt tester and I get voltage but not maps which means the battery isn't charging. I found a cap that is grounded on both sides so I'm curious if it is the cap or the chip that is grounded.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------



1.jpg
the part that I circled is the grounded cap so I'm curious if it's that cap or if it's the chip located next to it.
 

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The Real Jdbye

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Hi im new to this so i was looking for some insight iv read that sometimes a capacitor grounded on both sides is usually the chip but is there any diagrams that show what chip goes to what cap? I checked the charge amps and i get 0 amps and found a bad cap to the right of the coil by the charge port. would i be correct in thinking that the chip next to the coil is the chip that could be bad? also i will take the cap off to make sure it is not the cap.
A single shorted cap could be a bad cap. Could be the chip next to it, could be another chip on the board that's tied to that chip. But usually there's more than one shorted cap if a chip has failed.
 
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pcwizard7

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I It doesnt charge at all. I put on a amp tester and volt tester and I get voltage but not maps which means the battery isn't charging. I found a cap that is grounded on both sides so I'm curious if it is the cap or the chip that is grounded.

well you can desolder the cap and see if the short is still there on the chip and if it is would be the chip? and if you have another battery for the switch try powering it with the other battery

if its the battery you might need to do a slow charge method I m not sure what's called but it slowly charges the battery to bring it back to life and should be able to charge on its own again
 
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Foxi4

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well you can desolder the cap and see if the short is still there on the chip and if it is would be the chip? and if you have another battery for the switch try powering it with the other battery

if its the battery you might need to do a slow charge method I m not sure what's called but it slowly charges the battery to bring it back to life and should be able to charge on its own again
Most battery management IC's have a built-in recovery mode where they will attempt to slowly charge the battery with a small current, in the whereabouts of 100mA, and if the battery returns to a minimum acceptable voltage (usually +/-2.6V per cell in pack for lithium batteries) they will give it the full hot supper. To be fair though, chances are that it's easier to just check battery voltage with a meter, it's not something you need to guess - if it's well below what you expect to see, there's your problem. Since in this case the circuit is shorting to ground, I can only guess that there's another problem that needs to be addressed first. The best practice is to have two identical daughterboards, one confirmed working and one suspect, and measure components until you find the culprits. It is not uncommon to see those battery management IC's bite the dust on the Switch, for whatever reason, but with some luck it's something small and easily replaceable.

The process you're describing usually applies to very old batteries which either don't have this mode or refuse to activate it because they deem the cell too far gone to recover. Here's how it looks like in practice, with an old PSP battery and a smart charger, explosion containment dish and all. Yes, I have Mario coasters.

_20191025_114612.JPG

Fortunately the Switch battery has a more conveniently exposed battery terminals, so such unwise surgery probably wouldn't be required, although admittedly I haven't opened one yet. I generally wouldn't recommend this method - it's not for the feint of heart and requires some additional hardware and know-how, and even then it's dangerous. As a general rule you shouldn't slice your batteries open - it's not particularly safe. :P
 
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