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Four Meters To Test Tank Capacitor (OL)

By on July 6, 2018
m6013 capacitor checker










In these days it is easy to watch 4726 different satellite tv channels in ones living room. One 97 cm offset Dish and 4 LNB’s to receive all FTA 13, 28.2, 19.2 satellites and one paid Dutch Canal Digital provider on Astra 23.5 channels.

And with my Dreambox DM800HDse receiver it is said that the receiver is able to add unlimited channels to its box. But although I had not found the limit yet we must question that statement.

Sadly a few days ago I suddenly noticed that my DM800HDse crashed with a beep sound before it rebooted its system. This happened that same night in total 5 times! I began to question my recently to OpenPli6.0 upgraded Dreambox receiver.

My old OpenPli4.0 too often froze after which I had to restart my receiver. So a week ago I had upgraded my old box with a Japhar SIM card which make it possible to upgrade my old box to OpenPli6.0. Which normally can’t be done on an old (clone/Sunray box) because it has a clone Dreambox SIM card which inhibits the Box to upgrade to original Dreambox upgrade Firmware.

Dreambox stopped producing this Box and new Firmware/OpenPli versions for it so upgrading with the help of the Japhar Sim replacement card to a newer OpenPli6.0 version seemed a good idea. New stable OpenPli images are available daily on the Japhar site. The Forum of the Japhar guys seems a bit complex when you are searching for answers, therefore I really appreciated the outstanding help I got from WL who explained how exactly installing the Japhar SIM procedure worked.

Today I found the cause why my Box had crashed that night. After I inspected the original 12V 3A 36W power adapter I noticed that it was quite hot and had a brown spot on its silver sticker. So I replaced the adapter with another identical Dreambox power adapter.

My receiver worked again without any problem and I decided to open the bad power adapter to see what was the culprit.

test tank capacitor

testing tank capacitor in power supply

how to fix adapter 12 volt

On previous photos the bulged primary tank 22uF 400V e-cap clearly is visible. The power board was attached with double sided tape to the bottom of the housing. Simple and cheap.

how to repair 12 volt adapter

I removed the primary e-cap to measure its ESR and Capacity value. And I didn’t believe what was displayed OL. Open Line.

mesr100 esr meter

transistor tester

bside esr02 pro

m6013 capacitor tester

I used all four of my digital meters because I at first didn’t believe that the e-cap was totally invisible, and had no value whatsovever.  And now only represented a completely open connection.

Still the very strange thing was that the adapter without any working tank capacitor left, still produced 12.33V DC on its output. So I repeated the adapter output test after I had removed the primary e-cap.

how to test dc output voltage from a power supply

Any normal working DM800HDse Dreambox needs a current of about 0.98 to about 1.15A. Which this adapter obviously wasn’t able to give anymore without that 22uF 400V capacitor. I ordered 12 of them today for about 1.44 Euro. They maybe aren’t Nichicons which cost about 6.01 Euro for 10 of them but they will do nicely. And after replacement my old adapter will be as new again.

Conclusion: NEVER trust a working adapter that still delivers its output DC voltage. Even if the secondary Led is nicely working! It may still collapse while a current is drawn!

Albert van Bemmelen, Weert, The Netherlands.

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Note: You can read his previous repair article in the below link:




  1. Parasuraman

    July 6, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Very professional touch and solution!

  2. Albert van Bemmelen

    July 6, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks Parasuraman. The 12V 3A adapter tested fine after I replaced it with a new 22uF/350V capacitor. It delivered the necessary current again afterwards. But I'll still wait for the 400V DC capacitors for safety reasons.

    So all semiconductors were still fine! The Mosfet was a P4NK60ZFP and the two transistors were S9015 PNP and S9014 NPN Silicium types.

  3. hongkong pom

    July 6, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Thank you for the great article

    I have found that Computer power supply testers, are notorious for this, as they don't present a load; so the voltages read perfect on all the lines but the power supply can't run the computer.

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      July 7, 2018 at 12:44 am

      Very true Hongkong Pom, why my dreambox receiver that was the load, barely worked because of the too limited current and therefore multiple times had crashed. Still the strange thing was that my receiver worked fine until I also was recording some programs on its internal 2.5 inch hdd. And with the active hdd my adapter couldn't deliver the extra current needed anymore.

  4. Yogesh Panchal

    July 6, 2018 at 5:13 pm


    Good Job!

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      July 7, 2018 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks Yogesh, I'm glad that my Japhar SIM/OpenPli6.0++ upgraded Dreambox satellite receiver was not the cause of the crashes and works like new again.

  5. Mark

    July 6, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    A good bit of advice Albert - thanks

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      July 7, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks Mark. I was very lucky that the tank capacitor didn't short circuit. Normally they probably do and take fuse and semiconductors with them.

  6. behzad rasteen

    July 6, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Albert
    congratulations for another successful repair.

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      July 7, 2018 at 4:04 pm

      Thanks Beh. I also tested the bad tank e-cap with the Blue ESR meter (my 5th capacitor tester) but forgot to take a photo of it. It of course gave the same result as my other meters did.

  7. Anwar Shiekh

    July 6, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    I always pay the extra for quality low ESR capacitors for a power supply output. It is just not worth it to save a few pennies compared to the work that needs to be done.

  8. Anwar Shiekh

    July 6, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    My bad... it was the primary that failed, and there is no need for low ESR there.

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      July 7, 2018 at 12:29 am

      No problem Anwar. I still could have bought the more expensive Nichicon e-caps. But in case the ordered cheaper e-caps do fail in the future, repair is easy if those capacitors turn into Open Line components too.

  9. Robert Calk Jr.

    July 7, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Good job, Albert. I also include an Insulation tester to the list of capacitor testers. Sometimes a cap will look fine when a tester uses low voltage. My BK Precision VOM is a good 3V/12V insulation tester.

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      July 7, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      Thanks Robert, my 400V tank capacitor was already completely OL and beyond testable. But in case I would have to test its 400V insulation capability I would need a 400V voltage tester. Sadly both my AR907A+ (100V,250V,500V,1000V,2500V) and my DY294 (200V,1000V ...1600V) testers do not have such a 400V test. And most tank e-caps are at max 460V. I do not know if your BK Precision qualifies for such a test?

    • Robert Calk Jr.

      July 7, 2018 at 11:05 pm

      I thought you had a Duoyi DY-294 Tester. It is a good Insulation Tester.

      • Albert van Bemmelen

        July 8, 2018 at 4:27 pm

        Yes I even did buy tree DY-294 meters Robert, of which I had repaired one and gave that away to a good friend. So I have still two of those meters left. They probably are safe to test the 400V capacitors on the 1000V scale. Because the Dy-294 meter limits the avalanche current at the point of break-down. E-caps and semiconductors are both measured likewise until breakdown-voltage. If I want to test my 400V polarized capacitor I must test it on the 1000V scale and stop pressing the button when the 400V charge voltage is reached. The same goes for e-caps with max working voltages of 16V or 25V but at the max 200V scale.
        And to protect other components for overvoltages a parallel resistor may be needed to protect them like explained in Jestine's review of this great meter.

        • Robert Calk Jr.

          July 9, 2018 at 11:06 pm

          Hi Albert,

          I was referring to having an insulation tester included among our capacitor test meters, not necessarily for that 400V e-cap. My Smart Sensor AR907+ has 250V and 500V test voltages.
          Most e-caps that I question would just be replaced straightaway if they aren't expensive.
          My BK VOM is only good to 12V for an insulation tester.

          • Albert van Bemmelen

            July 10, 2018 at 2:51 pm

            Understood Robert. Sadly the danger with testing e-caps on our HV insulation testers is that when our e-caps are bad they likely may explode with a big bang before the given max capacitor working voltage is reached. And it may harm our meters and our health in the process! This will happen especially if the polarization on a lower test voltage on the e-cap plus and min poles is wrong. So replacing them straightaway like you said is always safer. In the past a colleague who worked like me at the Philips Medical Systems plant was covered one day by yellow electrolyte caused by multi wrong placed power e-caps that had exploded. The women at that plant must have placed the e-caps wrong in the mainboards he had to test which had caused this. He had to use a lot of washing machine soap to be able to remove the (carcinogenic) electrolyte from his skin! I do not think green environmentfriendly safe electrolyte exists yet?

            • Robert Calk Jr.

              July 10, 2018 at 11:59 pm

              Ouch! I'm glad the guy is ok. That's why I always recommend wearing hand and eye protection because you never know. I should also wear long sleeve shirts, but I hate long sleeves.

              • Albert van Bemmelen

                July 11, 2018 at 11:34 am

                I sure do hope the guy is okay! He was a younger man about 20 years ago. It is good of you to mention these safety protections Robert. I left Philips in December 2002 because my project stopped including the free Philips passenger bus. And he was one of the passengers of our (Vipre) bus. I know that Philips made an official rapport of what had happened that day, because it may concern health issues in years to come. The policy of Philips was very strict in these matters but it didn't prevent what had happened. And I'm sure that everywhere where people are at work mistakes are made, big or small! Always better safe than sorry.

  10. Mihai

    July 7, 2018 at 1:09 am

    Hats off ! Good job !

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      July 7, 2018 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you Mihai. I'm glad it was fixable and that my satellite reciever was okay!

  11. James

    July 7, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Very interesting'

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      July 8, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      Thank you James. May all our bad tank capacitors turn into non existing open connections, this way preventing blowing up fuse and semiconductors!


    July 7, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Good job Albert, everything explained as habitual. My congratulations.

  13. Albert van Bemmelen

    July 8, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Thank you Hicham. Glad that the problem was easy fixable and that my Dreambox DM800HDse v1 (v3-v5) wasn't destroyed by the bad functioning power adapter!

  14. Justice

    July 9, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Nice information thanks Albert--12V and 3A

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      July 10, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      Thank you Justice. In case both my 3A adapters are not capable in delivering the current for the internal 2.5 inch hdd 1TB drive in the future anymore, or if they are beyond repair, I recently bought a 12V 5A power adapter (new just 8.25 euro on Aliexpress) to replace the old original 12V 3A Dreambox power adapters safely. The power plug exactly fits the dreambox powerinput jack. With compatible plug 5.5mm x 2.1mm.

  15. Andrea Del Corso

    July 12, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    An other bright reparation and interesting discussion on E-capacitor.Thank you !!

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      July 13, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Thank you Andrea. My OpenPli6.0 upgraded Dreambox now works like a sunshine. EPG timed TV recordings finally work without crashing in the middle of a program. OpenPli6.0 is about 15MB bigger than the old OpenPli4.0 about 45MB size version. Thanks to the mentioned Japhar SIM card it is possible to load much bigger firmware Images into the old model Dreambox.

  16. adam mohamed

    July 18, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    hi Sir

    Thanks for this wonderful demonstration. my question is out of these four testers, which is the best one for testing capacitors?

  17. Albert van Bemmelen

    October 11, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    It depends on what functions you want extra on your tester Adam. The Transistor testers BSIDE BSR-02 and the other similar tester are able in testing semiconductors and coils too which the capacitor testers simply can't because they only test capacitors!


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