Discussion:
What type of capacitor should I use?
(too old to reply)
o***@tubes.com
2017-03-10 01:01:46 UTC
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What type of capacitor would be the best match to replace the old
paper/wax caps in old tube gear?

I am not referring to the electrolytics, those I know need to be
electrolytic caps. I am referring to the inter stage caps, such as .01
.05 .1, .005 and so on.....

The object is to replace all the caps in an old tube radio, or any other
tube stuff.

Yes, I know this topic was sort of discussed a few weeks ago, and I
recall hearing that any of them would work, but that does not really
answer this question. Sure, they may all work, but what type would be
the closest match to the original paper/wax types?

From what I know, those caps were made from paper and a metal foil
rolled up and coated with wax. So, what is the nearest similar type?

From that last discussion, I know I left that thread sort of puzzled
because all caps seem tp contain "poly" (which means plastic). I am
thinking that what seems to be the closest would be whatever plastic
replaces the paper, and a foil. From what I understand, some caps do not
have a foil, but rather some sort of metallic material that is coated or
sprayed on. Those are probably not what I would want to use, because
they are not similar to the originals.

I am fully aware that the voltage MUST be the same or higher and the uf
must be close, such as .047 to replace .05. Also for tube circuits,
axial leads are preferred.

Then too, looking on ebay and other sources, I see a lot of very
expensive caps which are intended for high end audio amps. For my needs,
I will not pay $29.99 for one cap, and yes I have seen them cost that
much.

I am seeing some no-name cheap China caps selling for as little as 20
cents each. While I like to save money, I'd really rather spend $1 each
for something like the Orange Drops, which have been around a long time
and seem to be good quality, despite the fact they dont come in axial
form. But they generally can fit into most places.

I will only be replacing those paper/wax caps and the electrolytics. I
wont touch any mica or silver mica types, unless they appear to be bad
(I will probably test them though).

One that I do recall, are the so called Mylar, which I think were the
first ones that were made to replace the old paper caps. I guess they
now changed that name to something "poly" also.....

What would you recommend or use?
Web url's appreciated for lower cost AMERICAN made caps.

One last thing, I found some cap assortments on ebay. 150 or 200 caps of
assorted values, labeled as NOS (New old stock), but they are NOT the
paper/wax kind. Since I have no spare caps, and just want an assortment
on hand, I was thinking about buying one of those. I would NOT buy NOS
electrolytics, but for the interstage types, I might consider this, just
so I have an assortment of caps on hand..
Trevor Wilson
2017-03-10 01:01:42 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by o***@tubes.com
What type of capacitor would be the best match to replace the old
paper/wax caps in old tube gear?
I am not referring to the electrolytics, those I know need to be
electrolytic caps. I am referring to the inter stage caps, such as .01
.05 .1, .005 and so on.....
The object is to replace all the caps in an old tube radio, or any other
tube stuff.
Yes, I know this topic was sort of discussed a few weeks ago, and I
recall hearing that any of them would work, but that does not really
answer this question. Sure, they may all work, but what type would be
the closest match to the original paper/wax types?
From what I know, those caps were made from paper and a metal foil
rolled up and coated with wax. So, what is the nearest similar type?
From that last discussion, I know I left that thread sort of puzzled
because all caps seem tp contain "poly" (which means plastic). I am
thinking that what seems to be the closest would be whatever plastic
replaces the paper, and a foil. From what I understand, some caps do not
have a foil, but rather some sort of metallic material that is coated or
sprayed on. Those are probably not what I would want to use, because
they are not similar to the originals.
I am fully aware that the voltage MUST be the same or higher and the uf
must be close, such as .047 to replace .05. Also for tube circuits,
axial leads are preferred.
Then too, looking on ebay and other sources, I see a lot of very
expensive caps which are intended for high end audio amps. For my needs,
I will not pay $29.99 for one cap, and yes I have seen them cost that
much.
I am seeing some no-name cheap China caps selling for as little as 20
cents each. While I like to save money, I'd really rather spend $1 each
for something like the Orange Drops, which have been around a long time
and seem to be good quality, despite the fact they dont come in axial
form. But they generally can fit into most places.
I will only be replacing those paper/wax caps and the electrolytics. I
wont touch any mica or silver mica types, unless they appear to be bad
(I will probably test them though).
One that I do recall, are the so called Mylar, which I think were the
first ones that were made to replace the old paper caps. I guess they
now changed that name to something "poly" also.....
What would you recommend or use?
Web url's appreciated for lower cost AMERICAN made caps.
One last thing, I found some cap assortments on ebay. 150 or 200 caps of
assorted values, labeled as NOS (New old stock), but they are NOT the
paper/wax kind. Since I have no spare caps, and just want an assortment
on hand, I was thinking about buying one of those. I would NOT buy NOS
electrolytics, but for the interstage types, I might consider this, just
so I have an assortment of caps on hand..
**Just use a decent quality Mylar, polycarb or polyprop cap. If you try
to source PIO (Paper In Oil) types, then you'll need the national debt
of a small South American nation to pay for one. AND you'll gain
nothing. Just a plain ole plastic cap. It'll work and keep working and
there will be zero impact on sound quality.
--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au
tom
2017-03-10 02:13:51 UTC
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Post by o***@tubes.com
What type of capacitor would be the best match to replace the old
paper/wax caps in old tube gear?
One that I do recall, are the so called Mylar, which I think were the
first ones that were made to replace the old paper caps. I guess they
now changed that name to something "poly" also.....
Mylar is DuPont's brand name for a stretched PET plastic. P is for poly :)
Foxs Mercantile
2017-03-10 02:17:16 UTC
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Post by o***@tubes.com
What type of capacitor would be the best match to replace
the old paper/wax caps in old tube gear?
Were you NOT paying attention previously when we ALL told
you to use the yellow plastic caps? 630 volt.

<http://www.tuberadios.com/capacitors/>

Or are you just being stubborn?

Paper dielectric capacitors are crap. They ALL need to be
replaced. Trying to "just replace the bad ones" is a fool's
errand. They're all bad or will fail after they're "back
in service" again.

I have a Collins R-390A receiver on the bench. It's full of
paper capacitors. The IF module alone had 18 of them. They
have all been replaced.
"But it's Collins" and "Those were mil-spec" and and and
every other excuse for not changing them. Changing them made
a profound difference in how well the radio works.

These parts are bad. Anyone that tells you otherwise is
either lying to you or is delusional.
--
Jeff-1.0
wa6fwi
http://www.foxsmercantile.com
o***@tubes.com
2017-03-10 10:04:12 UTC
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Post by Foxs Mercantile
Post by o***@tubes.com
What type of capacitor would be the best match to replace
the old paper/wax caps in old tube gear?
Were you NOT paying attention previously when we ALL told
you to use the yellow plastic caps? 630 volt.
I WAS paying attention and I even contacted that seller and found out
they are made in China.
Post by Foxs Mercantile
<http://www.tuberadios.com/capacitors/>
Or are you just being stubborn?
No, not being stubborn , I just dont want caps made in China. Not much
of anything made in China is a quality item. That seller has good prices
and a fair selection, but I still dont want China caps, which will
likely contain duds, and I'll end up replacing all of them in 5 years or
less, again.

And that site dont give enough info to translate to other sites. They
are just called "Axial Film Capacitors" on that site. When I look at
other sites, I see them sold with some sort of "poly" name, and I see
the word "film" used, as well as "foil". So, what do these compare to in
the words used to sell other brands?

That word "film" bothers me, anyhow. Just what the heck is this film? Is
it just some sprayed on metalic particles? The old paper caps contained
foil, which to me means something that looks like tin foil used in the
kitchen. Maybe I'm wrong, but if my radio or (whatever) was designed for
caps made with foil, I'd prefer to use caps with foil, and whatever
plastics they used to replace the paper. In other words, I want caps
that most closely mimic the original caps, except without the paper.
Post by Foxs Mercantile
Paper dielectric capacitors are crap. They ALL need to be
replaced. Trying to "just replace the bad ones" is a fool's
errand. They're all bad or will fail after they're "back
in service" again.
Those paper caps may be crap now, but considering many of them lasted 50
years, they were not all crap, to last that long. I doubt any China made
caps will last even close to 50 years. I may be wrong, but based on
nearly all China products, I doubt any of them will last 5 years.
Everything made in China is just throw away short lived junk. Made to
fail one day after their warranty expires.
Post by Foxs Mercantile
I have a Collins R-390A receiver on the bench. It's full of
paper capacitors. The IF module alone had 18 of them. They
have all been replaced.
"But it's Collins" and "Those were mil-spec" and and and
every other excuse for not changing them. Changing them made
a profound difference in how well the radio works.
I'm sure it did make a difference to the better, but for how long?

But rather that toss out my opinion, which is based on my overall
feelings about China products, you tell me how these caps have worked
for you. (assuming they are what you have used).
What precentage of them have been duds? If you have tested them, how
accurate are they? Have you had any fail? How long have you used them?
Will they really handle the max voltage they are rated as? How do they
perform under heat and other extremes? DId your Collins work as
designed, or did you have to re-align it or do any modifications because
the caps are not the "foil" type, and thus are not what the circuit was
made to use?

Sellers (of anything), always rate their goods at "Top Quality", but
advertising is mostly all lies. I want references from you, and anyone
else who is NOT connected to the seller.
Post by Foxs Mercantile
These parts are bad. Anyone that tells you otherwise is
either lying to you or is delusional.
Although this is drifting from the topic, I just bought an old Sencor
Substitution box. It's for Resistance, Capacitors, (including lytics),
one silicone and one selenium diode, and a few other features. I took a
modern VOM with capacitor tester, and found all the paper/wax caps in
that box are still very accurate. However some of the lytics are not
even close. The resistors are all close too. Considering these parts
have seen little voltage and use, I see no reason to change any of the
small caps or the resistors. I do plan to change the electrolytics
though, because I know they deteriorate just from age, whether they are
used or not, because of the chemicals in them. (and my tests confirm
they are not even close to their rated UF values, some as much as 50%
off.

But I see no reason to change those small caps (.05 .001, etc). Not for
the brief times thay are used. and they are all very accurate in their
values.
Foxs Mercantile
2017-03-10 13:34:53 UTC
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Post by o***@tubes.com
Post by Foxs Mercantile
Or are you just being stubborn?
No, not being stubborn , I just dont want caps made in China.
Not much of anything made in China is a quality item.
That seller has good prices and a fair selection, but I still
don't want China caps, which will likely contain duds, and
I'll end up replacing all of them in 5 years or less, again.
Ok, how about willfully ignorant or xenophobic.
Post by o***@tubes.com
Maybe I'm wrong, but if my radio or (whatever) was designed
for caps made with foil, I'd prefer to use caps with foil, and
whatever plastics they used to replace the paper. In other
words, I want caps that most closely mimic the original caps,
except without the paper.
Which shows a complete and total misunderstanding of what
capacitors are.
Post by o***@tubes.com
Those paper caps may be crap now, but considering many of them
lasted 50 years, they were not all crap, to last that long.
Many? Of the billions that were produced between 1935 and 1965
Almost all of them have failed. The few that "might still be
good" are statistically zero.
Post by o***@tubes.com
I doubt any China made caps will last even close to 50 years.
I may be wrong, but based on nearly all China products, I
doubt any of them will last 5 years.
Everything made in China is just throw away short lived junk.
Made to fail one day after their warranty expires.
More willful ignorance on display.
Post by o***@tubes.com
But rather that toss out my opinion, which is based on my
overall feelings about China products, you tell me how these
caps have worked for you. (assuming they are what you have
used).
There's that magic word "feelings" again. Based on nothing.
Post by o***@tubes.com
What percentage of them have been duds? If you have tested
them, how accurate are they? Have you had any fail? How long
have you used them?
I have been using them since 1994 when I got back into vintage
radios and test equipment after retiring. 23 years now. I have
never had a failure of any of the yellow plastic capacitors.
Post by o***@tubes.com
Will they really handle the max voltage they are rated as?
How do they perform under heat and other extremes?
Yes and flawlessly.
Post by o***@tubes.com
Did yourCollins work as designed, or did you have to re-align
it or do any modifications because the caps are not the "foil"
type, and thus are not what the circuit was made to use?
Other than some expected drift due to aging components little or
no alignment, other than "touch up" was required. This was done
to make the radio "work as specified" not just "it works."

You still completely misunderstand how capacitors work.
Post by o***@tubes.com
I just bought an old Sencor Substitution box.
I took a modern VOM with capacitor tester, and found all the
paper/wax caps in that box are still very accurate.
That is NOT a comprehensive test. It says nothing about leakage
or the probability of failure with applied voltage.
Post by o***@tubes.com
But I see no reason to change those small caps (.05 .001, etc).
Not for the brief times they are used. and they are all very
accurate in their values.
More willful ignorance to justify your position.

This is like assuming your tires are safe, even though you have
to put air in them every time you wish to drive your vehicle.

If you'll pardon the pun, to recap, I've been doing this for 23
years as a source of income. I haven't had ANY radios come back
due to failures of the "cheap Chinese crap" capacitors as you
insist on calling them.
--
Jeff-1.0
wa6fwi
http://www.foxsmercantile.com
Ralph Mowery
2017-03-10 15:18:33 UTC
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Post by Foxs Mercantile
This is like assuming your tires are safe, even though you have
to put air in them every time you wish to drive your vehicle.
Speaking of unsafe tires, they do seem to have a limiated lifetime even
if not used very much. Friend jsut went through that with a tire
company. He had a tire that is starting to seperate. He talked with
the tire maker. While the tire had plenty of thread and mileage let on
it, it was over 7 years old. The company told him that after abut 5 to
6 years many tires will just go bad. In a way I wish that I had been
aware of that a year or two ago. I am retired and do not drive that
much and have a car and truck. I put some tires on them that was rated
very high in the milage thinking I would not have to worry about tires
for a long time, but seems that they may age out with over half the
thread left on them.

Speaking of China. They make some items that seem to be as good as
any,and they make a lot of junk. I have several pieces of equipmant
from China that seems to be as good as any. Friend ordered some
transistors and all of them were bad junk that did not even test on a
transistor tester.

As many power tubes are not made in the US anymore a company contractes
with a China company to make some. They seem to hold up very well.
Peter Wieck
2017-03-10 16:34:45 UTC
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Post by Ralph Mowery
Speaking of unsafe tires, they do seem to have a limiated lifetime even
if not used very much.
Back in the days of bias-ply tires and I was in Drivers' Ed (Austin, TX), we were taught: 30,000 miles or 3 years. The former as that is all tires were good for back then, the latter as there was so much ozone in heavily populated areas as it would destroy the rubber in about that time.

Today, the rule-of-thumb for an all-season tire is 5 years or low tread. Whereas ozone is still an issue, but less so (for now until the EPA is further gutted), the plasticizers in the rubber, and other volatiles outgas and cause the tire to harden and crack. Until very far advanced, this problem is almost entirely invisible.

My wife put about 4,000 miles per year on our very vintage Volvo XC, her tires are about done after 5 years. But still with *lots* of tread. One can start to see cracking here and there on the tread itself, but not yet on the sidewalls. And, they are getting very noisy.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
Peter Wieck
2017-03-10 13:48:46 UTC
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A few things:

Today, capacitors are commodities. Meaning that the technology involved in making them is fully established, well understood, extremely reliable and (now) very simple. Meaning, again, that the lowest-cost producer making a generic product will pretty much win the market. Meaning (a third time), that the cost of 'faking' such a device will likely approach or exceed the cost of making the proper product in the first place.

So, those capacitors that require very little technology - small-value film caps, for instance - will be cheap and plentiful. And, apart from very specific requirements - aerospace, medical, ultra-precision and similar - there is no reason to choose one item over another from one source over another as, at that level, they are all pretty much from the same place.

Electrolytics do have a greater variation, include different technologies, different chemistry, materials and such, have many different applications, and sub-categories within those applications. With that in mind, one may choose from different sources.

Specialty caps are a different matter altogether, and unless one is in the Aerospace, medical, ultra-precision or similar industries, not really relevant to vintage equipment. Russian PIO caps presently in vogue with the audio hobby are a case in point. Utterly silly indulgences but plenty of yiches.

Meaning that unless you wish to pay aerospace prices, purchase the item that meets the needs at the best price from a *RELIABLE* supplier. *RELIABLE* supplier will protect you from counterfeits - usually at a very small premium, but well worth it. And if that part happens to be from China, comfort yourself that it is due to the commoditization of the product - and your preferred suppliers simply cannot make a profit in that line. The bottom line is that your vintage item is singing again, far more reliable than it ever was in the past, and, very likely far into the future.

One example: I pay about $1.75 extra per transistor from Mouser than for the same part-number from another supplier. Why? Mouser is a major contributor and founder of anti-counterfeit parts organizations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouser_Electronics

If Mouser sells me a part, I feel pretty sure it will be as represented, whatever the country of origin. Yes, I tend to hold my nose and grumble, if that is China. But increasingly often, the alternative is nothing at all, or old-stock material no better than what is being replaced.

Does your meter test those caps and resistors at any sort of operating voltage? Before you describe them as 'very accurate', they must be tested at operating voltages.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
Terry S
2017-03-10 16:13:48 UTC
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My point proven. Opinion pre-cast, yet looking for answers. Apparently only answers that support his opinion will be accepted. Not listening to the experiences of those he seeks answers from.

Resistance is futile.
Post by o***@tubes.com
Post by Foxs Mercantile
Post by o***@tubes.com
What type of capacitor would be the best match to replace
the old paper/wax caps in old tube gear?
Were you NOT paying attention previously when we ALL told
you to use the yellow plastic caps? 630 volt.
I WAS paying attention and I even contacted that seller and found out
they are made in China.
Post by Foxs Mercantile
<http://www.tuberadios.com/capacitors/>
Or are you just being stubborn?
No, not being stubborn , I just dont want caps made in China. Not much
of anything made in China is a quality item. That seller has good prices
and a fair selection, but I still dont want China caps, which will
likely contain duds, and I'll end up replacing all of them in 5 years or
less, again.
And that site dont give enough info to translate to other sites. They
are just called "Axial Film Capacitors" on that site. When I look at
other sites, I see them sold with some sort of "poly" name, and I see
the word "film" used, as well as "foil". So, what do these compare to in
the words used to sell other brands?
That word "film" bothers me, anyhow. Just what the heck is this film? Is
it just some sprayed on metalic particles? The old paper caps contained
foil, which to me means something that looks like tin foil used in the
kitchen. Maybe I'm wrong, but if my radio or (whatever) was designed for
caps made with foil, I'd prefer to use caps with foil, and whatever
plastics they used to replace the paper. In other words, I want caps
that most closely mimic the original caps, except without the paper.
Post by Foxs Mercantile
Paper dielectric capacitors are crap. They ALL need to be
replaced. Trying to "just replace the bad ones" is a fool's
errand. They're all bad or will fail after they're "back
in service" again.
Those paper caps may be crap now, but considering many of them lasted 50
years, they were not all crap, to last that long. I doubt any China made
caps will last even close to 50 years. I may be wrong, but based on
nearly all China products, I doubt any of them will last 5 years.
Everything made in China is just throw away short lived junk. Made to
fail one day after their warranty expires.
Post by Foxs Mercantile
I have a Collins R-390A receiver on the bench. It's full of
paper capacitors. The IF module alone had 18 of them. They
have all been replaced.
"But it's Collins" and "Those were mil-spec" and and and
every other excuse for not changing them. Changing them made
a profound difference in how well the radio works.
I'm sure it did make a difference to the better, but for how long?
But rather that toss out my opinion, which is based on my overall
feelings about China products, you tell me how these caps have worked
for you. (assuming they are what you have used).
What precentage of them have been duds? If you have tested them, how
accurate are they? Have you had any fail? How long have you used them?
Will they really handle the max voltage they are rated as? How do they
perform under heat and other extremes? DId your Collins work as
designed, or did you have to re-align it or do any modifications because
the caps are not the "foil" type, and thus are not what the circuit was
made to use?
Sellers (of anything), always rate their goods at "Top Quality", but
advertising is mostly all lies. I want references from you, and anyone
else who is NOT connected to the seller.
Post by Foxs Mercantile
These parts are bad. Anyone that tells you otherwise is
either lying to you or is delusional.
Although this is drifting from the topic, I just bought an old Sencor
Substitution box. It's for Resistance, Capacitors, (including lytics),
one silicone and one selenium diode, and a few other features. I took a
modern VOM with capacitor tester, and found all the paper/wax caps in
that box are still very accurate. However some of the lytics are not
even close. The resistors are all close too. Considering these parts
have seen little voltage and use, I see no reason to change any of the
small caps or the resistors. I do plan to change the electrolytics
though, because I know they deteriorate just from age, whether they are
used or not, because of the chemicals in them. (and my tests confirm
they are not even close to their rated UF values, some as much as 50%
off.
But I see no reason to change those small caps (.05 .001, etc). Not for
the brief times thay are used. and they are all very accurate in their
values.
Tom Biasi
2017-03-10 19:49:37 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Foxs Mercantile
Were you NOT paying attention previously when we ALL told
you to use the yellow plastic caps? 630 volt.
Thanks for the reminder Jeff. I need some caps from Sal.:-)
Terry S
2017-03-10 03:18:38 UTC
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It would behoove you to read some previous posts on this topic, and your other many questions, as they all have been discussed here over the course of well over 20 years of this NG's history. And Google will also be your friend.

Then when you find actual unanswered questions, feel free to post your well reasoned questions here.... but please do your due diligence first. And if you pose your questions with your mind already fixated on a specific answer, or if you believe you already know the answer, you may find that you will not get the answers you want here, as we all have our own opinions....

Terry
Dan
2017-03-10 16:31:11 UTC
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Give this site a try.

https://www.tedss.com/LearnMore/American-Made-Capacitors
Post by o***@tubes.com
What type of capacitor would be the best match to replace the old
paper/wax caps in old tube gear?
I am not referring to the electrolytics, those I know need to be
electrolytic caps. I am referring to the inter stage caps, such as .01
.05 .1, .005 and so on.....
The object is to replace all the caps in an old tube radio, or any other
tube stuff.
Yes, I know this topic was sort of discussed a few weeks ago, and I
recall hearing that any of them would work, but that does not really
answer this question. Sure, they may all work, but what type would be
the closest match to the original paper/wax types?
From what I know, those caps were made from paper and a metal foil
rolled up and coated with wax. So, what is the nearest similar type?
From that last discussion, I know I left that thread sort of puzzled
because all caps seem tp contain "poly" (which means plastic). I am
thinking that what seems to be the closest would be whatever plastic
replaces the paper, and a foil. From what I understand, some caps do not
have a foil, but rather some sort of metallic material that is coated or
sprayed on. Those are probably not what I would want to use, because
they are not similar to the originals.
I am fully aware that the voltage MUST be the same or higher and the uf
must be close, such as .047 to replace .05. Also for tube circuits,
axial leads are preferred.
Then too, looking on ebay and other sources, I see a lot of very
expensive caps which are intended for high end audio amps. For my needs,
I will not pay $29.99 for one cap, and yes I have seen them cost that
much.
I am seeing some no-name cheap China caps selling for as little as 20
cents each. While I like to save money, I'd really rather spend $1 each
for something like the Orange Drops, which have been around a long time
and seem to be good quality, despite the fact they dont come in axial
form. But they generally can fit into most places.
I will only be replacing those paper/wax caps and the electrolytics. I
wont touch any mica or silver mica types, unless they appear to be bad
(I will probably test them though).
One that I do recall, are the so called Mylar, which I think were the
first ones that were made to replace the old paper caps. I guess they
now changed that name to something "poly" also.....
What would you recommend or use?
Web url's appreciated for lower cost AMERICAN made caps.
One last thing, I found some cap assortments on ebay. 150 or 200 caps of
assorted values, labeled as NOS (New old stock), but they are NOT the
paper/wax kind. Since I have no spare caps, and just want an assortment
on hand, I was thinking about buying one of those. I would NOT buy NOS
electrolytics, but for the interstage types, I might consider this, just
so I have an assortment of caps on hand..
Peter Wieck
2017-03-10 16:43:37 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Dan
Give this site a try.
https://www.tedss.com/LearnMore/American-Made-Capacitors
Until you go into their product list and find all of the 'usual suspects' from the 'usual sources'.

https://www.tedss.com/Catalog/Browse?searchString=NIC&inCategory=ALUMINUM%20ELECTROLYTIC%20%3E%20AXIAL%20%3E%20HIGH%20TEMP

The (very, very) few US-origin film caps offered are either extremely expensive, low-voltage, of unusual values (5.5 uF film? Really?) or all three.

Seriously, there is no 'there' there.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
analogdial
2017-03-10 18:04:32 UTC
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Post by Dan
Give this site a try.
https://www.tedss.com/LearnMore/American-Made-Capacitors
Right on the first page:

"Think all capacitors made in the Far East are cheap, noisy, low
quality."

'If you are looking for quality components, then TEDSS.com is for YOU.'

"Americans put a man on the moon in 1969 with American-made capacitors.
The greatest military power in the world was made by using High Quality
American Made apacitors."


Wow. I suppose the grammar and spelling are about what you'd expect
from a Usenet loon, but subpar for a vendor trying to sell quality.

And, for what it's worth, I DON'T think ALL capacitors made in the Far
East are cheap, noisy, low quality. And as soon as I hear that the
Chinese have mastered the art of making "High Quality apacitors.", I'll
be doubling up on my Mandarin lessons.
Jim Mueller
2017-03-11 06:02:30 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by analogdial
Post by Dan
Give this site a try.
https://www.tedss.com/LearnMore/American-Made-Capacitors
"Think all capacitors made in the Far East are cheap, noisy, low
quality."
'If you are looking for quality components, then TEDSS.com is for YOU.'
"Americans put a man on the moon in 1969 with American-made capacitors.
The greatest military power in the world was made by using High Quality
American Made apacitors."
Wow. I suppose the grammar and spelling are about what you'd expect
from a Usenet loon, but subpar for a vendor trying to sell quality.
And, for what it's worth, I DON'T think ALL capacitors made in the Far
East are cheap, noisy, low quality. And as soon as I hear that the
Chinese have mastered the art of making "High Quality apacitors.", I'll
be doubling up on my Mandarin lessons.
And if you look at their listings, the capacitors are made by a mix of
manufacturers, some that I've heard of, some not. It appears that they
are a surplus house.
--
Jim Mueller ***@nospam.com

To get my real email address, replace wrongname with dadoheadman.
Then replace nospam with fastmail. Lastly, replace com with us.
analogdial
2017-03-10 17:01:51 UTC
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Just for now, I'll assume you aren't trolling and are still not clear on
the situation.

Paper caps are crummy. The engineers of 50 years ago knew how crummy
they were but, for most consumer products, they were the CHEAPEST parts
that would get the job done. It was known that they would drift out of
their leakage spec within a few years. Considering the rapid rate that
improved radios and TVs were coming along at the time, there was a
excellent chance the original buyer would buy a new product before a
failed paper cap caused a breakdown. But if the manufacturers could
have used inexpensive, reliable metalized mylar caps instead of cheap
crummy paper caps, they would have done so gladly.

By the way, "out of their leakage spec" does not guarantee a complete
breakdown. There is still some old consumer electronics limping along
on detiorated original paper caps. That in no way implies that those
are good caps.

I've tested old mylar caps from the 60s and 70s and they still test as
new. You don't have to worry about which plastic film is better than
paper, They are all MUCH better than paper.

For nearly all applications, metalized foil caps are just as good as
foil and film caps. Metalized foil caps are more compact and less
expensive. Foil and film caps can handle higher currents, which is
irrelevant in consumer electronics vacuum tube circuits.

I've read that Orange Drops are made in China. I haven't confirmed
it but I have no reason not to believe it. I'm not certain that there
are any affordable film caps being mass produced in the US now. Like
alot of things. Ask the vendors if country of origin is an important
issue for you.

Orange Drops aren't Sprague anymore. I think the Orange
Drop brand is on it's third owner now.

There are some "boutique" paper caps being made in the
US for the audiophile crowd but, aside from the very high price, paper
is a generally inferior dielectric and I'm skeptical that very small
runs of parts can be consistantly made without quality issues.

Politics and trade policies aside, I'll take modern film caps, even if
they are made in China, over genuine original spec paper caps, even if
those paper caps were made in the US. Every time.
Michael A. Terrell
2017-03-10 19:59:34 UTC
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Post by analogdial
Just for now, I'll assume you aren't trolling and are still not clear on
the situation.
Paper caps are crummy. The engineers of 50 years ago knew how crummy
they were but, for most consumer products, they were the CHEAPEST parts
that would get the job done. It was known that they would drift out of
their leakage spec within a few years. Considering the rapid rate that
improved radios and TVs were coming along at the time, there was a
excellent chance the original buyer would buy a new product before a
failed paper cap caused a breakdown. But if the manufacturers could
have used inexpensive, reliable metalized mylar caps instead of cheap
crummy paper caps, they would have done so gladly.
By the way, "out of their leakage spec" does not guarantee a complete
breakdown. There is still some old consumer electronics limping along
on detiorated original paper caps. That in no way implies that those
are good caps.
I've tested old mylar caps from the 60s and 70s and they still test as
new. You don't have to worry about which plastic film is better than
paper, They are all MUCH better than paper.
For nearly all applications, metalized foil caps are just as good as
foil and film caps. Metalized foil caps are more compact and less
expensive. Foil and film caps can handle higher currents, which is
irrelevant in consumer electronics vacuum tube circuits.
I've read that Orange Drops are made in China. I haven't confirmed
it but I have no reason not to believe it. I'm not certain that there
are any affordable film caps being mass produced in the US now. Like
alot of things. Ask the vendors if country of origin is an important
issue for you.
Orange Drops aren't Sprague anymore. I think the Orange
Drop brand is on it's third owner now.
There are some "boutique" paper caps being made in the
US for the audiophile crowd but, aside from the very high price, paper
is a generally inferior dielectric and I'm skeptical that very small
runs of parts can be consistantly made without quality issues.
Politics and trade policies aside, I'll take modern film caps, even if
they are made in China, over genuine original spec paper caps, even if
those paper caps were made in the US. Every time.
I didn't think they still made paper capacitors, but I found this.
These are the capacitors that fail in the AC line filters ina lot of
test equipment.

<http://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/passive-components/capacitors/paper-capacitors/>
--
Never piss off an Engineer!

They don't get mad.

They don't get even.

They go for over unity! ;-)
analogdial
2017-03-10 20:24:34 UTC
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Post by Michael A. Terrell
I didn't think they still made paper capacitors, but I found this.
These are the capacitors that fail in the AC line filters ina lot of
test equipment.
<http://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/passive-components/capacitors/paper-capacitors/>
Yeah, I've heard that paper dielectric caps are making something of a
comeback in safety caps. If I recall, the justification is something
like cellulose has a bit less carbon than mylar and leaves a less
conductive residue after internal arcing. jeez, just use thicker mylar.

Maybe they've found some whizbang method of stopping the moisture
related deteration in paper dielectrics. Or maybe they don't expect any
of this stuff will be around in 30 years.

But putting a paper cap across the power line gives me the
heebie-jeebies.
Peter Wieck
2017-03-10 20:49:28 UTC
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Post by analogdial
Post by Michael A. Terrell
I didn't think they still made paper capacitors, but I found this.
These are the capacitors that fail in the AC line filters ina lot of
test equipment.
But putting a paper cap across the power line gives me the
heebie-jeebies.
That is NOT your father's paper cap. That is sealed-in-plastic, highly treated paper with other cautions and designed for a very specific purpose - hence the cost.

Other common "paper" caps type are the various mostly Russian PIO offerings becoming popular in certain aspects of the audio hobby. Again, neither is any more related to a wax-&-paper cap than an Aardvark is related to a Zebra.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
analogdial
2017-03-11 14:55:17 UTC
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Post by Peter Wieck
Post by analogdial
Post by Michael A. Terrell
I didn't think they still made paper capacitors, but I found this.
These are the capacitors that fail in the AC line filters ina lot of
test equipment.
But putting a paper cap across the power line gives me the
heebie-jeebies.
That is NOT your father's paper cap. That is sealed-in-plastic, highly treated paper with other cautions and designed for a very specific purpose - hence the cost.
Other common "paper" caps type are the various mostly Russian PIO offerings becoming popular in certain aspects of the audio hobby. Again, neither is any more related to a wax-&-paper cap than an Aardvark is related to a Zebra.
Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
My emotional side says some things are so awful that they should be
gone, gone forever. Paper caps are the thalidomide of the electronics
world.
Michael A. Terrell
2017-03-11 01:36:09 UTC
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Post by analogdial
Post by Michael A. Terrell
I didn't think they still made paper capacitors, but I found this.
These are the capacitors that fail in the AC line filters ina lot of
test equipment.
<http://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/passive-components/capacitors/paper-capacitors/>
Yeah, I've heard that paper dielectric caps are making something of a
comeback in safety caps. If I recall, the justification is something
like cellulose has a bit less carbon than Mylar and leaves a less
conductive residue after internal arcing. jeez, just use thicker
Mylar.
The original paper caps were made of the same high acid paper they
printed books on. The ones that crumble, with age. It was used, because
for both, because it was the cheapest paper available.
Post by analogdial
Maybe they've found some whizbang method of stopping the moisture
related deterioration in paper dielectrics. Or maybe they don't
expect any of this stuff will be around in 30 years.
They can't eliminate all the moisture already in the paper.

They don't expect modern electronics to last ten year, and some of
it, under five years. Much like the old radios, which are full of bad
capacitors. The high failure rate in paper caps led to the development
of the plastic film caps. The thickness of the Mylar determines the
voltage rating.
Post by analogdial
But putting a paper cap across the power line gives me the
heebie-jeebies.
I agree.
--
Never piss off an Engineer!

They don't get mad.

They don't get even.

They go for over unity! ;-)
Terry S
2017-03-11 02:28:27 UTC
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Post by Michael A. Terrell
The thickness of the Mylar determines the
voltage rating.
It also determines, in part, the capacitance and leakage. So it's not as simple as just increasing the dielectric thickness. Capacitor engineering is far more complicated and full of subtleties than most understand. I've had the opportunity to work with application engineers from several capacitor vendors over the years, and this is a complex combination of science, art, materials, and packaging. Modern materials and processes account for the very dramatic decrease in size and increase in reliability of today's capacitors.

What you get out of China are capacitors largely cloned from the previous generation of technology. That's true in almost every product coming from China. It take them a few years to clone current products and get their processes and materials down to match state of the art. By then the real innovators have moved on to the next gen.

Eventually they develop their own engineering capabilities and succeed without stealing. This is the same way the Koreans developed their booming auto industry. For many years, for instance, Hyundai cars were based on previous generation Mitsubishi designs.

So Chinese parts are often of very high quality, based on well proven designs. But that is not always the case of course.

Terry
Jim Mueller
2017-03-11 20:53:15 UTC
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On Fri, 10 Mar 2017 17:01:51 +0000, analogdial wrote:

snip
Post by analogdial
But if the manufacturers could
have used inexpensive, reliable metalized mylar caps instead of cheap
crummy paper caps, they would have done so gladly.
And that is exactly what they did when the plastic film capacitors became
available in the early '60s.
--
Jim Mueller ***@nospam.com

To get my real email address, replace wrongname with dadoheadman.
Then replace nospam with fastmail. Lastly, replace com with us.
retiredinprescott
2017-03-10 20:03:53 UTC
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Post by o***@tubes.com
What type of capacitor would be the best match to replace the old
paper/wax caps in old tube gear?
I am not referring to the electrolytics, those I know need to be
electrolytic caps. I am referring to the inter stage caps, such as .01
.05 .1, .005 and so on.....
The object is to replace all the caps in an old tube radio, or any other
tube stuff.
Yes, I know this topic was sort of discussed a few weeks ago, and I
recall hearing that any of them would work, but that does not really
answer this question. Sure, they may all work, but what type would be
the closest match to the original paper/wax types?
From what I know, those caps were made from paper and a metal foil
rolled up and coated with wax. So, what is the nearest similar type?
From that last discussion, I know I left that thread sort of puzzled
because all caps seem tp contain "poly" (which means plastic). I am
thinking that what seems to be the closest would be whatever plastic
replaces the paper, and a foil. From what I understand, some caps do not
have a foil, but rather some sort of metallic material that is coated or
sprayed on. Those are probably not what I would want to use, because
they are not similar to the originals.
I am fully aware that the voltage MUST be the same or higher and the uf
must be close, such as .047 to replace .05. Also for tube circuits,
axial leads are preferred.
Then too, looking on ebay and other sources, I see a lot of very
expensive caps which are intended for high end audio amps. For my needs,
I will not pay $29.99 for one cap, and yes I have seen them cost that
much.
I am seeing some no-name cheap China caps selling for as little as 20
cents each. While I like to save money, I'd really rather spend $1 each
for something like the Orange Drops, which have been around a long time
and seem to be good quality, despite the fact they dont come in axial
form. But they generally can fit into most places.
I will only be replacing those paper/wax caps and the electrolytics. I
wont touch any mica or silver mica types, unless they appear to be bad
(I will probably test them though).
One that I do recall, are the so called Mylar, which I think were the
first ones that were made to replace the old paper caps. I guess they
now changed that name to something "poly" also.....
What would you recommend or use?
Web url's appreciated for lower cost AMERICAN made caps.
One last thing, I found some cap assortments on ebay. 150 or 200 caps of
assorted values, labeled as NOS (New old stock), but they are NOT the
paper/wax kind. Since I have no spare caps, and just want an assortment
on hand, I was thinking about buying one of those. I would NOT buy NOS
electrolytics, but for the interstage types, I might consider this, just
so I have an assortment of caps on hand..
Can small round ceramic caps be used in place of the lower value paper caps?
I have a bunch of ceramics at 0.01uF and below, and I think they are rated at 500V.
Jim Mueller
2017-03-11 06:21:09 UTC
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On Fri, 10 Mar 2017 12:03:53 -0800, retiredinprescott wrote:

snip
Post by retiredinprescott
Can small round ceramic caps be used in place of the lower value paper caps?
I have a bunch of ceramics at 0.01uF and below, and I think they are rated at 500V.
It depends on the type of ceramic they used. Those made from C0G
material are among the best capacitors you can easily get. The Z5U types
are terrible. They change value (drastically) with temperature, voltage,
frequency, and just about everything else. They are also frequently
microphonic. They are small and cheap and are great for power supply
bypassing but they aren't good for much else. The X5R types are in
between, a great deal better than Z5U but not as stable as C0G. It is
hard to find 0.01 uF C0G capacitors, especially in the higher voltage
ratings. They are large and expensive.

There are also many other ceramic grades, including ones that change
capacitance in a predictable manner with temperature and are used for
compensating temperature changes in other components. Go to your
favorite ceramic capacitor manufacturer's web site. It will show you all
of this and more for the ones they make. Another manufacturer will show
you other types.

For antique radio use, C0G or X5R and similar types can be used in place
of paper capacitors.
--
Jim Mueller ***@nospam.com

To get my real email address, replace wrongname with dadoheadman.
Then replace nospam with fastmail. Lastly, replace com with us.
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