Hi 2 all,
I have had serious olfactory problems, at least, due to
acquirement of vintage gear. In my special case an ELKA OMB-5 .
Seems that leaking caps containing PCB* got roasted. (Thanks 2 Jojjelito)
This is really nasty stuff !
So as here around are pretty clever folks, I wanted all to list up stuff they do know about
containing these caps, just as a safety advice 2 vintage gear buyers.
As I understood it they can get leaking only by aging or caused by shocks or a combination of both
These are real time-bombs !

*brought 2 you by Monsanto

Electrolytic caps don’t live forever, engineers rule is approx 10 years or 7000 hrs in use.
So its a good idea to have a look at your VintageGear Caps and change them after 10-15 years to avoid leaking, explosion,fire, roasting, toxic smell and acid electrolytics on your PCB.

Welcome to your worst nightmare, the MSDS sheet

So, use gloves, Desolder, clean up… Or something…

fcd72 That's why this is alarming, as I guess here are a lot of people around like me who maybe aren't informed about what they are buying, in my case here the same applies to the seller, as I haven't been informed before myself. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polychlorinated_biphenyl The worldwide ban is only 12 years old.V*cent after this horrific experience I was thinking,
at getting this unit to the "special-waste-depository"
w/o opening the case, as I don’t want 2 smell that again…

To be fair, MSDS sheets are quite… Uhm… sensational, the one for plain dihydrogen monoxide reads like something that would instantly kill you… Never mind that dihydrogen monoxide is just plain tap water…

I don’t think your plain vanilla Electrolytic cap contains polychlorinated biphenyl, just because PCBs is an isolator and as the word electrolytic implies the sluggish matter inside the cap must be conductive. While it is true PCBs could be used as Dielectricum, the influence in a Standard electrolytic cap Design would be negligible.

I only knew of big huge high voltage Caps using PCB for cooling, but you wont find these in your Synth, more likely in Transformers or alongside big big biiiig stationary electric motors.

Old caps can be suspect, new caps contains less nasty stuff. But anyway, better stay safe.

The worst offenders I’ve seen were some rotary couplings that contained Mercury - but it was a good fit for the very specialized application. Those parts were extremely clearly labelled.

Well, the mellotron apparently contained PCBs… So ehh, if you found a mellotron… good for you ! :wink: