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Capacitors marked "NP" can flow in both directions and are called Bi-Polar or Non-Polarized.
Unfortunately most Direct Current "DC" NonPolarized caps are big and don't fit "artfully" into your machine. Notice that these Blue Non-polarized capacitors are much bigger than polarized capacitors.
The over-all physical size is determined by the V (Volt) rating (which is the maximum voltage it can stand without failing) and the storage capacity, mf, the amount it will store. We never run 50 Volts in a machine so a 50 Volt maximum is overkill. Unfortunately DC NPs are not so available in smaller overall sizes but the polarized type are. The literature indicates that large value Voltage does not adversely effect performance. However, for the tattoo machine you may notice some differences. For safety, Unimax installs Bi-Polar capacitors in all Unimax Branded standard machines.
Soldering capacitors without using a heat sink is likely to ruin a capacitor before you even use it. If you install a capacitor and it is sparking, it may already be bad from getting too much heat. Try again putting a heat sink between the capacitor and the soldering iron.
Knowing the problem with heat and soldering capacitors, in the early 90s, Unimax began making and introduced commercially available pre-soldered capacitors with forked ends for easy replacements.
It is also a good way to experiment and see how different value capacitors effect performance. You should try it.
capacitors fail they can explode and cause injury.
It is generally reported that
capacitor failures can be attributed to:
Before using a new capacitor run your machine putting your finger on the capacitor and feeling if it starts to get hot. You will know within a few seconds. "Hot" is excess heat. Capacitors should not feel hot to the touch.
Do not run your machine if the capacitor feels hot to the touch.
You can though run a coil machine with a lot of sparking.
Before the late 80's there were no capacitors used and all machines sparked. They eat a hole through the front spring where the sparking is.
The first silver "contact points" (I believe by Spaulding) were put in a hole made in the front spring so that the sparking would eat the contact point and then you would replace the silver contact point instead of eating the spring up.
Capacitors then became the standard way to deal with reverse voltage.
Your power supply has (-) Black and (+) Red output
terminals (and sometimes a ground-green).
Hook up your machine and run it keeping your finger on the capacitor.
We have both Polarized and Non-Polarized Capacitors in stock and can fit your new machine with any size or type of capacitor.
If you use a Tattanator power supply capacitors are obsolete for your coil machine because it has built in diodes to prevent the reverse voltage.