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RE: [TI-99/4A] Re: Cleaning Populated Circuit Boards

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  • Andy Frueh
    I do too, for dust (why bother with an air purifier? With as much dust as my PC collects, I know I m breathing the clean stuff. HA). I m not sure that would
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 3, 2008
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      I do too, for dust (why bother with an air purifier? With as much dust as my PC collects, I know I'm breathing the clean stuff. HA).

      I'm not sure that would work against "grime" though...



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ksarul
      Denatured alcohol is what you are supposed to use to clean flux off of boards, so that won t cause too much trouble, Stewart. Generally I use what is called
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 3, 2008
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        Denatured alcohol is what you are supposed to use to clean flux off of
        boards, so that won't cause too much trouble, Stewart. Generally I use what
        is called an acid brush to do the work (it isn't acidic, though that is part
        of the name).

        Jim

        -----Original Message-----
        From: ti99-4a@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ti99-4a@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        Stuart Conner
        Sent: Monday, March 03, 2008 4:00 PM
        To: ti99-4a@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [TI-99/4A] Cleaning Populated Circuit Boards

        I've got some populated circuit boards measuring about 12 by 7 inches
        that are a bit dirty and grimy. What's a good way to clean them without
        damaging anything? I was thinking about sitting them over a tray of
        isopropyl alcohol and gently 'washing' them with a paint brush - is
        that a wise thing to do? Will it evaporate out of (for example) DIP
        switches if it gets in them and IC sockets?

        Stuart.



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      • scott zeiser
        I own a bunch of arcade games, trust me, 25+ years of caked on dust and dirt will not come off with a can of compressed air. I now put them in the dishwasher,
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 3, 2008
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          I own a bunch of arcade games, trust me, 25+ years of caked on dust and dirt will not come off with a can of compressed air. I now put them in the dishwasher, and apparently this is an acceptable method of cleaning dirty PCBs. Mild dish soap will not harm ICs, dips or sockets. I just started cleaning all my arcade game boards like this, and no problems. After taking them out, rinse with de-ionized water. After that, I take them out to the garage and blow them dry with the blow nozzle on my air compressor.

          After that, it's in the oven on low for at least a half an hour (175-200F/80-90C).

          During washing and/or the drying cycle make sure the heat is not too hot as to distort plastic components. ICs do not need to be removed from their sockets. I've heard switches can be problematic because of the grease used inside them.

          The mild alkalinity of the dish detergent will not harm copper, solder or gold components. Just make well and sure the board is completely dry before reconnecting.

          -scott

          ----- Original Message ----
          From: Andy Frueh <andyfrueh@...>
          To: ti99-4a@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Monday, March 3, 2008 4:32:11 PM
          Subject: RE: [TI-99/4A] Re: Cleaning Populated Circuit Boards

          I do too, for dust (why bother with an air purifier? With as much dust as my PC collects, I know I'm breathing the clean stuff. HA).

          I'm not sure that would work against "grime" though...

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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        • Gregg Eshelman
          ... Better than that would be a food dehydrator of the crossflow type so warm air blows horizontally across the boards.
          Message 4 of 11 , Mar 3, 2008
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            --- scott zeiser <scott@...> wrote:

            > After that, it's in the oven on low for at least a
            > half an hour (175-200F/80-90C).

            Better than that would be a food dehydrator of the
            crossflow type so warm air blows horizontally across
            the boards.


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          • Andy Frueh
            Just confirming you use dish soap as opposed to dishwashing detergent in your dishwasher when cleaning PCBs. [Non-text portions of this message have been
            Message 5 of 11 , Mar 4, 2008
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              Just confirming you use dish soap as opposed to dishwashing detergent in your dishwasher when cleaning PCBs.

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • scott zeiser
              Correct, I did use dish soap as opposed to dishwashing detergent. I guess the milder alkalinity is a better choice than dishwashing detergent which can be
              Message 6 of 11 , Mar 4, 2008
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                Correct, I did use dish soap as opposed to dishwashing detergent. I guess the milder alkalinity is a better choice than dishwashing detergent which can be abrasive and very alkaline (lemon juice I guess?). The dish soap so far has done a great job. Boards have come out looking shiny and new for me. Use a modest amount of liquid - not too much, not too little. (How's that for vague?) I'm guessing a couple teaspoons per board, so it would depend on how many boards you wash at once. I've since talked to a friend that used to work at a company that had an electronics design division - I guess they had a dishwasher in the break room that was just used for washing dirty circuit boards. I never would have imagined.

                I tell you one thing - there's nothing like seeing a filthy dirty 30-year old circuit board look brand spanking new again. Sometimes it's the little things that really make a hobby enjoyable!

                ----- Original Message ----
                From: Andy Frueh <andyfrueh@...>
                To: ti99-4a@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tuesday, March 4, 2008 9:27:13 AM
                Subject: RE: [TI-99/4A] Re: Cleaning Populated Circuit Boards

                Just confirming you use dish soap as opposed to dishwashing detergent in your dishwasher when cleaning PCBs.

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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              • Andy Frueh
                Well partly because you don t want soap residue, but also because too much hand dishwashing soap will cause quite a sudsy mess. :) Some dishwasher detergents
                Message 7 of 11 , Mar 4, 2008
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                  Well partly because you don't want soap residue, but also because too much hand dishwashing soap will cause quite a sudsy mess. :) Some dishwasher detergents also contain bleach, which is why I was asking. I figured bleach would be detrimental to some components/boards.

                  I'm sure that 30 year old board runs MUCH faster without all that dirt, just as cars run better when clean. ;-) (I know about the heat problems too much dust can cause, I just couldn't resist the joke).



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                • scott zeiser
                  I couldn t agree more! :-) I m sure that 30 year old board runs MUCH faster without all that dirt, just as cars run better when clean. ;-) (I know about the
                  Message 8 of 11 , Mar 4, 2008
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                    I couldn't agree more! :-)

                    I'm sure that 30 year old board runs MUCH faster without all that dirt, just as cars run better when clean. ;-) (I know about the heat problems too much dust can cause, I just couldn't resist the joke).





                    .




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                  • Gregg Eshelman
                    ... If you use liquid dish soap in a dishwasher you want to use just a tiny drop or you ll have a flood of bubbles! Some dishwashers don t have a perfect seal
                    Message 9 of 11 , Mar 4, 2008
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                      --- Andy Frueh <andyfrueh@...> wrote:

                      > Just confirming you use dish soap as opposed to
                      > dishwashing detergent in your dishwasher when
                      > cleaning PCBs.

                      If you use liquid dish soap in a dishwasher you want
                      to use just a tiny drop or you'll have a flood of
                      bubbles! Some dishwashers don't have a perfect seal
                      along the bottom of the door, relying instead on an
                      overlapping lip and spray direction to not push water
                      out there.

                      Bubbles will build up and ooze out.


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                    • kchula_rrit
                      Hahahahaha! We found-out the hard way. In a new apartment, we had no dishwasher (no-bubbles) soap so we filled the thing with dish (bubbles) soap. That
                      Message 10 of 11 , Mar 5, 2008
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                        Hahahahaha! We found-out the hard way. In a new apartment, we had no
                        "dishwasher" (no-bubbles) soap so we filled the thing with "dish"
                        (bubbles) soap. That poor thing frothed for days! Reminded me of the
                        exploding washer scene in the movie "Mr. Roberts." 8-)

                        --- In ti99-4a@yahoogroups.com, Gregg Eshelman <g_alan_e@...> wrote:

                        > --- Andy Frueh <andyfrueh@...> wrote:

                        > > Just confirming you use dish soap as opposed to
                        > > dishwashing detergent in your dishwasher when
                        > > cleaning PCBs.

                        > If you use liquid dish soap in a dishwasher you want
                        > to use just a tiny drop or you'll have a flood of
                        > bubbles!
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