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Internet Down From Bad Cap

September 3rd, 2013

I noticed some websites loading way slow, and I used speedtest to find out that I was getting 2mbits instead of my usual 15.  I called up support and they said everything was fine, and it looked my router was problematic.  After I hung up, nothing worked and bypassing the router didn’t help.  I called back and another 45 minutes of debugging later, the support guy said he had no clue. 

I suspected the modem at this point, got off the phone, but couldn’t get online to order a replacement.  So I cracked it open, and instantly saw a swollen cap next to a big inductor.  In my experience, power supply electrolytic caps are the biggest point of failure.

2013-09-03 15.27.21

I found a replacement quickly in my caps drawer and 5 minutes later..


2013-09-03 15.30.54

It was a bit tall for the space so I had to mount it sideways.  Plugged it back in and everything is humming along just fine.  Annoying how quickly a single point of failure will make a bunch of electronics obsolete, ending up in the waste dump.  But it would cost $1 more if they used parts that were less-prone to failure, and we are so driven by the cost of goods…

In my polymers class I learned that it would cost $0.03 more to make diapers biodegradable, but that’s too much for the market to bear.  So rather we have to deal with giant mounds of shitty diapers. 


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