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ISA VGA Card SMD Tantalum identification

Oloryn

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2023
Messages
24
Location
Chicago, IL
Hello all,
I recently rescued a rusting 286. I've been steadily going through testing and repairing components as necessary. I've already swapped the VGA port on the graphics card (which I can find very little about) as it was rather rusty and untrustworthy. The rest of the card looks great after a quick cleaning. However the image it produces is incredibly dim. I've tested the card in three different builds just to make sure it wasn't the test board giving me issues. In talking with a friend he recommended recapping it, which I see no issue in doing besides the fact that I am having trouble reading the values on the SMD tantalums. I've attached two photos of the two capacitor values I'm having trouble with. I've usually only dealt with electrolytics so this is new for me. As always any and all help is greatly appreciated.
~Cheers!
 

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NeXT

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Oct 22, 2008
Messages
8,056
Location
Kamloops, BC, Canada
A tantalum is going to give you far more misery than a dim image. I'm used to ATI card being pretty solid.
Are you able to see if the analog signal at the VGA port is weak or if it's strong exiting the RAMDAC?
 

Oloryn

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2023
Messages
24
Location
Chicago, IL
A tantalum is going to give you far more misery than a dim image. I'm used to ATI card being pretty solid.
Are you able to see if the analog signal at the VGA port is weak or if it's strong exiting the RAMDAC?
Thanks for the reply. I'm still learning, so I'm not sure how to go about measuring the signal.
 

NeXT

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
8,056
Location
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Tantalum in an analog or a video circuit would be a poor combination as opposed to ceramic. @glitch actually ran into a failure last week on a card where a ferrite coil in line with one of the color channels was causing problems.
 
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