I placed an order for some more tantalum bead capacitors a while back and they finally arrived in from China. 10uF, 25V so rated at a higher breakdown voltage than the originals (16V). I’m not a huge fan of tant beads but they are compact and this is preserving a moderate amount of originality.
I started removing the old capacitors and soldering in new. Three layer boards are awkward enough to work with through-hole, but this went smoothly enough.
Worked my way through, this is the multifunction card (RAM, serial, clock, parallel ports etc).
You can see where the tantalum beads are failing- they crack open in some cases and vent. The mark on the top of this one is just visible.
I also wanted to change the LED on the board. Not because it didn’t work, but because Compaq used a very pale red epoxy cased LED that looked cheap. It spoiled the look of the board.
Side by side the old one and its replacement. The replacement one is older by a few years, but it from the era where the packages were nearly clear but much darker red plastic.
It’s a better contrast to the color of the board. Lights up a very deep red compared to the newer LED.
A pointless aesthetic? Yes. But it makes me happier to look at the board.