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otari MX80 audio card caps
Old 15th November 2009
  #1
otari MX80 audio card caps

I just bought an MX80...I was wondering if anyone has felt the need to recap their audio cards. I know its probably not old enough (or is it?) but the reason I ask is that there are these orange caps on the audio boards that appear to be changing shape. I bought some spare audio cards from another machine and the caps look the same. So I am figuring at this point probably all of the machines need it done or they all don't....I'm not sure if these caps are in the signal path and if they can go bad or what...just wondering if anyone has any experience with this. There are like 20-25 of these things on 24 channels so it will be a mission to say the least.
Old 15th November 2009
  #2
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Any time caps are changing shape or leaking is a sign that they should be changed. There are two primary uses for electrolytic capacitors, coupling the audio between stages and decoupling power supplies. The two functions impose different requirements on caps. For power supply decoupling the caps always have a reasonable voltage across them. In audio coupling in opamp circuits the caps often have very little d.c across them, and this does mean they tend to fail quicker. Anywhere you have heat will dry caps out over time.
As a general principle, using audio caps in the audio path is bad design, because they will affect the long term stability of the circuit.
You need to find the circuits for your Otari, and work out what the caps do.
See if there are some in the audio pathe you can remove. If the machine is more than 10 years old, and has been run for a lot of hours, then recapping may be necessary.
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