EBay is by far one of the largest online selections of vintage electronic components in the world. I shop here when I see a deal worth buying, usually in bulk. I am now going to begin selling tested capacitors that I am certifying are working or your money back. I will be using the Cornell Dubilier BF-50 Capacitor Analyzer along with more modern LCR and ESR meters.

This sort of certification process (or any verification of function) isn’t offered by 95% of the vintage sellers on EBay. Those that do test, rarely show both the raw numbers and the DUT (Device Under Test) in the analyzer/instrument. Most of them are using a sub $50 meter which is a joke. For the high end vintage capacitors I’ll be using a DDS function generator to send varying frequencies through the capacitor and probing the output with an oscilloscope to see if we get the expect results. Combine 3-4 known ways to test a capacitor and then you should feel confident it is, and it will, work.

Tip for Ebay seller: don’t ever show capacitors with a voltage loss of 0.0% in an ESR meter, that is nearly impossible unless we are talking about ideal conditions (non-real world). If you get a reading like that you need to test further.

While going through my collection I came across an item I have never spotted for sale nor have I ever found one in a large estate or board pull lot, an ELNA Paper in Oil (PIO) vintage capacitor!  So I immediately went to Ebay to do a worldwide search for the exact phrase: “ELNA Vintage” with capacitor trailing the exact phrase to give me only hits that have ELNA Vintage in the ad somewhere and is a capacitor. Look at what we got!


Ebay Search Exact Phrase


After doing a little research I found one explanation why it is so difficult to find vintage ELNA capacitors, the ELNA name was only established in 1968. Who knows how long before they were producing audio quality products? The company existed under a different name (unlisted on the ELNA Wiki) starting in 1937!

ELNA is most well known for their SILMIC-II series along with there Cerafine series. Both of those series are electrolytic capacitors and that is what ELNA does best. Just to find ANY ELNA vintage capacitor is challenging if you are looking for something non-electrolytic.  Sometimes you just get lucky though.

Without further ado here is the ELNA vintage paper in oil capacitor I’ll be putting up for sale soon, once I establish a general value and put the cap through its paces.


ELNA Oil Imp. Vintage Ultra Rare_sm
You can right click this image and hit view image or open in new tab to see at full resolution.

On another note, I have never seen a capacitor class given (“Class-H”) or a voltage that doesn’t end in a 0, the cap says “TV 1001 VDC” which I assume means test voltage 1001 Vdc.


ELNA Oil Imp. Vintage Ultra Rare Values Side_sm
Value side of the same ELNA cap in the 1st picture.


ELNA’s headquarters are located in Yokohama, Japan. Could that Sankosha be the same as this Sankosha? If so, who made the capacitor?

Join the discussion and let HL know what you think!

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