I have rescued many retro computers from the hazards of leaky batteries, and occasionally replaced capacitors that were suspicious. Except for one still unusable Mac SE/30, all my repairs were done before the leakage created any serious damage to the traces on the motherboard.
After supporting this project to recreate the Amiga 4000 motherboard schematics and build files, I got to thinking about what other options are available for amateurs trying to repair damaged motherboards like the A4000 or my SE/30. The typical damage I'm aware of would be one of these:
- Corrosion of traces from a leaky battery or capacitor.
- Corrosion of traces from really bad storage conditions.
- Lifted solder pads from attempted repairs (probably re-capping) gone bad.
There are probably other cases that an experienced tech could add to my list. For these types of repairs, what are the best ways to proceed in making a reliable repair? Also how do you know when a board is "beyond repair"?