blog details
The Atari Big Blue Capacitor

The Atari Big Blue capacitor is a large, blue-colored capacitor that is commonly found in older Atari arcade games. The capacitor is used in the game’s power supply circuit to help regulate the voltage and filter out unwanted noise or interference.

Over time, the Atari Big Blue capacitor can wear out or become damaged, leading to issues with the game’s power supply circuit. Symptoms of a failing capacitor can include flickering lights, low voltage output, or a buzzing or humming sound coming from the power supply.  In practice, often when games have random reboots, it’s the big blue that is failing.

To determine if the Atari Big Blue capacitor needs to be replaced, you can use a multimeter to test its capacitance and resistance values. First, discharge the capacitor by placing a screwdriver across its terminals. Then, use the multimeter to measure the capacitance and resistance values of the capacitor. A healthy capacitor should have a capacitance value within the manufacturer’s specifications, typically around 10,000 microfarads, and a low resistance value.

If the capacitor fails these tests or shows signs of physical damage, such as bulging or leaking, it should be replaced. Replacement Atari Big Blue capacitors can be purchased from electronic component suppliers or specialty arcade parts retailers.  (We get our replacements from )

When replacing the Atari Big Blue capacitor, it’s important to use a replacement capacitor with similar specifications and ratings as the original. Failure to do so could result in damage to the game’s power supply or other components.

To replace the capacitor, first, disconnect power to the game and locate the power supply circuit board. Remove the old capacitor by simply rotating the capacitor in a circular direction and then install the new capacitor in its place the same way. Be sure to  double-check your work before reconnecting power to the game.

In conclusion, the Atari Big Blue capacitor is an essential component in many older Atari arcade games’ power supply circuitry. If it shows signs of wear or damage, it should be replaced to prevent issues with the game’s power supply. By testing its capacitance and resistance values and using a replacement capacitor with similar specifications, you can ensure the continued operation of your Atari arcade game.



Leave a Reply