What the heck is this part??

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What the heck is this part??

Post by tpaairman on Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:37 pm

The multi colored square thing that's blue, gray, orange, white and red


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Re: What the heck is this part??

Post by Don Cavey on Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:58 pm

First guess, an inductor, second guess, a capacitor. What would make the tie breaker is what is the tube, and what are the connections. That would help.

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Re: What the heck is this part??

Post by FM Refugee on Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:20 pm

...that is a .068F capacitor; not sure of voltage (perhaps 200V?). It's European; I'm not sure if they were made by Philips (NL) or Mullard (UK). (Philips used them extensively, but I've seen them recently identified as Mullard caps.) They are often called 'Tropical Fish' capacitors because of that coloration. Unlike the infamous 'Bumblebee' caps, these have Mylar or similar dielectric (they're not paper caps!) and they are of reasonably good quality and reliability.
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Re: What the heck is this part??

Post by tpaairman on Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:10 am

Unfortunately it's going to have to be replaced - if you look closely on the right, the end has broken away and the lead is separated. I'm guessing it is not original anyway. There's another paper cap that does not quite match the others, even though it is a .01 uF/ 400 v. That one is a silver paper tube with a plastic sleeve. This may have also been a replacement. This is on a pre war Silvertone portable.

By the way, I found the following link that tells how to decode the colors. It's a 250 volt.


Tropical Fish color codes
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Re: What the heck is this part??

Post by Johnnysan on Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:04 am

I believe the capacitance is .0068uf (6800 pf), 200 volt.

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Re: What the heck is this part??

Post by FM Refugee on Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:54 pm

tpaairman wrote:Unfortunately it's going to have to be replaced - if you look closely on the right, the end has broken away and the lead is separated. I'm guessing it is not original anyway. There's another paper cap that does not quite match the others, even though it is a .01 uF/ 400 v. That one is a silver paper tube with a plastic sleeve. This may have also been a replacement. This is on a pre war Silvertone portable.

By the way, I found the following link that tells how to decode the colors. It's a 250 volt.


Tropical Fish color codes

...ok...I stand corrected: .068F (68 000pF)/10%/250V... Embarassed Laughing ...and it's definitely not original; these were used from the 1960s into the 80s...they didn't even exist yet when your radio was built...
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Re: What the heck is this part??

Post by Don Cavey on Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:07 pm

So I guess that capacitor reads:

Blue = 6
Gray = 8
Red = 2 (zeros added to the 68 in pF)?
White = 10%? (or is it silver?)
Red = 2 (200V)

If so, now it makes sense to me. I always have to look up capacitor colors. Resistors come natural. Why is that?

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Re: What the heck is this part??

Post by exray on Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:32 pm

Don Cavey wrote:. I always have to look up capacitor colors. Resistors come natural. Why is that?

Dunno. They use the same colors. Just pretend its a resistor Smile
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Re: What the heck is this part??

Post by Don Cavey on Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:52 pm

Where I get confused is the way they use decimal points on capacitors and the conversion from F to mmF to PF to nF. Since my post above, I went to Nick's site and downloaded the conversion from each to the other.

Still, resistors are a no brainer...

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Re: What the heck is this part??

Post by exray on Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:23 pm

Just remember there's 6 decimal points from uf to pf. You'll know if you go in the wrong direction.

nf is in the middle, 3 points from either end.
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Re: What the heck is this part??

Post by FM Refugee on Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:18 pm

Don Cavey wrote:So I guess that capacitor reads:

Blue = 6
Gray = 8
Red = 2 (zeros added to the 68 in pF)?
White = 10%? (or is it silver?)
Red = 2 (200V)

If so, now it makes sense to me. I always have to look up capacitor colors. Resistors come natural. Why is that?

...you've pretty much got it, except that third band is orange, not red. Thus three zeros, not two. Problem with capacitors is that, although they used the same basic color coding, the different capacitor manufacturers often threw their own wrinkles into it, primarily odd colors for tolerances, working voltages, temperature characteristics, mil-spec indicators, and even dielectric composition. End result was a whole slew of different color coding schemes for capacitors over the years, and the need for a whole slew of color code tables for sorting them all out. According to the above link, the 'Tropical Fish' caps read like resistors (but in pF instead of ohms) with the top three bands, and used the following colors for tolerance and working voltage: fourth band either white for 10% or black for 20% tolerance; fifth band red for 250 volts (also brown for 100 volts, yellow for 400 volts, and blue for 630 volts)...
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Re: What the heck is this part??

Post by Don Cavey on Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:25 pm

Thanks! And by the way, one can change the looks of their post.

Just use the Font buttons...

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Re: What the heck is this part??

Post by Johnnysan on Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:53 pm

The third band looks red to me, but if it is orange, then the value would be .068uf.

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Re: What the heck is this part??

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