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Thread: Non Polar Electrolytic Capacitor
picon face BY : Russell McMahon email (remove spam text)

>     Hi,  I have a trouble finding a replacement part in our area..
>     Does anyone know how to built a non polar electrolytic capacitor
>      from two polar electrolytic capacitors,
>        i need a value of 4.7 uF/ 80 volts to be used in a power amp..
>        I remember reading it elsewhere but I cant remember the details.

1.    While you CAN do this you are probably better off using a range of
various plastic capacitor types at this voltage rating and/or "motor start"
capacitors of about this value but with much higher voltage ratings. Both
should work well in your application.

If you MUST use polarised caps, try this.

2.    Connect two capacitors, each of the desired capacitance, positive to
ACROSS each capacitor connect a diode (one diode for each capacitor) with
the anode connected to the capacitor negative terminal and the cathode
(stripe on diode) connected to the capacitor positive terminal. That is, the
diode will conduct when the REVERSE polarity is applied to the capacitor.

Each capacitor should be the required initial; capacitance and NOT double
the value as would be the case when placing capacitors in series in a normal
In your case use 2 x 4.7 uF caps rated at 100 volts or more.

Leaving out the diodes will destroy the capacitors in a power application.


             Russell McMahon

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