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Servicing Frontech ATX Power Supply

By on February 27, 2017
no power in power supply fix











This SMPS was brought to me with the complaint that it was dead. This was removed from a computer belonging to a friend of mine. So, I gave him a standby from my stock. When I opened the top cover, just see what fell out:

 lizard in power supply

My service room got filled up with nauseating smell and I grabbed a towel to cover my nose! Look at the stain it had left on the top cover! Probably it had got stuck there and fell off when I opened the cover!


Disposed of the carcass, took the SMPS outside and cleaned the inner side of the top cover as well as the top side of the PCB using IPA. I had to repeat this a few times, until the stains were removed. Brought it back to my service table and removed the PCB. Just see another surprise that I had:

My service room got filled up (or was it my feeling?) with foul smell once again. This is the first time, I found two dead Geckos in a device! This was the culprit, who caused failure of the SMPS, as you can see; it had got stuck at the High Voltage side of the Board!  The bottom cover also had got stained!   So, I rushed outside and repeated my cleaning works thoroughly and brought back for investigating the extent of damage done!

 power supply board

The fuse was blown. When I checked the components, I found that both transistors MJE13007 were dead short! Removed the fuse. But removing the transistors was possible only after taking out  the two Filter Electrolytic Capacitors, as the mounting screws are obstructed by these.

 power supply transistor

As I observed dry solder all around, started patching it up. Remembered to take this snap before I completed:

 dry joints in power supply

Completed retouching all solder joints on the PCB. Checked for any other defective components on primary and secondary side. Could not find any.  Checked ESR of capacitors and found these to be ok. Blue Ring Test of SMPS transformer was also ok. Connected a Bulb in place of fuse and checked. The Bulb glowed for a second and got off; indicating that  no component was shorting on the Primary side of Board.

 test power supply with light bulb

Connected the fan and it worked well. Left it running for a few minutes. Then disconnected, discharged the two High Voltage Caps and assembled the PCB back to its case.

no power in power supply repair

Checked the unit once again, put back the cover and connected to mains, the Fan spun smoothly and when I checked the voltages, it was 12.20V. The other volts like 5V and 3.3V were also checked by me before putting the PCBs back.

 power supply fan repair

You will notice that this SMPS has worked from 4th September, 2012 until recently, when these two Geckos decided to put a break!

Another job completed satisfactorily, though, being a strict vegetarian, it was disgusting for me to handle the dead Geckos! In fact, I wondered amusingly, what Karmic accounts that I had created to have to handle these things! Anyhow, it could be getting over soon, with a few more numbers of ‘double’ Geckos! (LOL)


This article was prepared for you by Parasuraman Subramanian from India. He is 66 years old and has more than 30 years’ experience in handling antiques equipment Valve Radio, Amps, Reel Tape Recorders and currently studying latest techs classes conduct by Kerala State Electronics Technicians’ Association. He was a BBA graduate, retired as MD of a USA company.

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You may check on his previous repair article below:




  1. Humberto

    February 28, 2017 at 1:16 am

    Wow! I've really found some SMPS with dead lizards inside. I do not know they like to live inside these devices.

  2. Albert van Bemmelen

    February 28, 2017 at 1:39 am

    Glad that you didn't get a heart attack after the 'beasts' fell out, Parasuraman S!
    At least they weren't alive anymore and they hadn't the time to procreate themselfs (LOL).
    And I hope your good Karma will protect you from this to happen next time you open a device!

  3. Mark

    February 28, 2017 at 7:15 am

    Well done Parasuraman!
    I would imagine the smell must have been very hard to handle. It's amazing they were able to squeeze in there in the first place. Poor little things!

  4. Yogesh Panchal

    February 28, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Really horrible situation! with happy ending.

  5. suraga Electronics

    February 28, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Mr-Parasuraman Very good Repair.
    i have done this same type more Repairs.
    Thank You !

  6. Henrique Jorge Guimarães Ulbrich

    February 28, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    Indeed, maintenance works are not only composed of electronic components...

  7. Waleed Rishmawi

    March 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    these things crawl in when it is cold outside..and by going inside these power transformers looking for heat and comfort..not knowing that this source of heat is another source of death. I found these things many times in gates power controllers as well.
    thanks for sharing.

  8. Robert Calk

    March 4, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Poor geckos. Good job, Parasuraman.

  9. U.Beia

    March 7, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Good work and many thanks for the post , hope to get more tips and thanks again

  10. Parasuraman S

    March 7, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments and support!


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