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chance

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,664 Member Since: 30/01/2011

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Jul 29 16 9:03 PM

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I have to clean my board. It;s driving me crazy. The last time I cleaned a board that I had at that time was a PM-1000 I was disappointed afterwords because all the rotary pots were too loose after cleaning. I kind of like a little resistance or tension while I turn rotary pots. I have in addition to cable and edge connectors a total of 1362 push switches, 726 rotary pots (some concentric) and 64 faders, 32 of which I was able to put in my dishwasher as recommended by my Neve tech. They are dead quiet now and work fine after the dish wash treatment. This might have been covered in the past, but rather than spray and work every switch and pot, is there any solution I could dip each channel strip in and work the switches and pots of their grime? Perhaps an ultrasonic cleaner? Man it would save a lot of time and effort.

Last Edited By: chance Jul 29 16 9:55 PM. Edited 1 time

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drknob

Gold Finger

Posts: 788 Member Since:02/02/2011

#4 [url]

Aug 2 16 7:40 AM

I would be very careful putting any faders or pots (the other kind....) in the dishwasher. Where I live, we have very high mineral content. (hard water) If you have a water softener, maybe ok.

Harold Kilianski

Music Industry Arts
Fanshawe College

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d gauss

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,252 Member Since:17/02/2011

#5 [url]

Aug 2 16 11:12 AM

ugh. if i close my eyes, i can still see dave domanich's father hunched over the disassembled trident A-range at waterfront studios in hoboken...he musta been there every day for at least a year.

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silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,732 Member Since:26/01/2011

#7 [url]

Aug 2 16 12:53 PM

Ken McKim stripped the AIR Montserrat console down to its frame and rebuilt it from scratch. Worked on it everyday for 1 whole year straight. It was only installed for about a year when Randell closed down the studio!

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Mike Rivers

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,511 Member Since:13/10/2012

#8 [url]

Aug 3 16 5:38 AM

chance wrote:
rather than spray and work every switch and pot, is there any solution I could dip each channel strip in and work the switches and pots of their grime? Perhaps an ultrasonic cleaner? Man it would save a lot of time and effort.
 


The effectiveness of cleaning pots and switches depends on the problem. Cleaning is really only a temporary fix and eventually the real problem is with wear and no amount of cleaning will make a better contact. But you can't replace everything - you won't have the patience, and more than likely, you won't be able to get all of the parts that you need. This is why it takes a year to give a big console an overhaul.

I've heard of the dishwasher trick. A friend of mine from high school had a summer job working at the local Tektronix office (when we had one) where his job was to give scopes that came in for repair or calibration a bath - literally. They had a bathtub that they filled with warm water and a half a cup of dish soap. He'd take the scope out of the case, dunk it, and let it soak for about an hour, then drain the tub and hose it off. With the exception of the Teflon insulated wiring, the insides of a tube 'scope aren't too different from a mixing console. 



For a good time, call mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com

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chance

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,664 Member Since:30/01/2011

#9 [url]

Aug 3 16 10:36 AM

The problems are the typical dirty pot and switch noises when they are rotated and depressed. I had this problem with the large faders (inline console) but they are separate modules which can be removed easily without disassembling the whole console. They too were noisy and the dish washer trick left them dead quiet and smooth. I'd be a little leery about putting the entire channel strip/module in warm soapy water. My thoughts would be dipping the strips into a small tank with an electronic cleaner solution perhaps with an ultrasonic cleaner attachment. I thought water is a bitter enemy to electronic circuits, and PCB's. The large faders that I cleaned were for the most part all mechanical with no PCB and only a pigtail molex connector.

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tim halligan

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Posts: 1,345 Member Since:04/02/2011

#10 [url]

Aug 3 16 11:10 AM

chance wrote:
I thought water is a bitter enemy to electronic circuits, and PCB's. 

It's my understanding that distilled water is fine.

The bitter enemy is salt water.

However, I am not a tech...so seek professional advice.

Cheers,
Tim

An analogue brain in a digital world

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Mike Rivers

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,511 Member Since:13/10/2012

#11 [url]

Aug 3 16 11:27 AM

tim halligan wrote:
It's my understanding that distilled water is fine.
The bitter enemy is salt water.


Salt water is indeed a bad thing. Distilled water is a good thing. Regular tap water might or might not be OK, depending on where it comes from and how it's processed (assuming you aren't dipping it out of a well or a creek). The amount of chlorine and fluoride that most municipalities put into potable water isn't going to hurt your electronics, but sometimes calcium or metallic impurities like iron are left in (since they don't hurt humans) and these can leave a conductive residue on unprotected circuit boards and contacts that can cause trouble, usuallly a few months to years on.

A purified water rinse is usually a good idea to clean off whatever the tap water left behind. So you can wash your console in the bath tub, just get a jug of grocery store filtered or distilled water over it afterward. Holy water might help, too.  ;)



For a good time, call mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com

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chance

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,664 Member Since:30/01/2011

#12 [url]

Aug 3 16 3:27 PM

tim halligan wrote:


However, I am not a tech...so seek professional advice.

Cheers,
Tim

That's why I ask. Perhaps I should post in the "Tech" room on PRW?
This makes me nervous, however I never use all 32 channel strips at once, I use a few for effects return. The thing is that (I think) each ch strip is assigned to a specific edge connector receiver in the console frame because the strips are numbered 1 to 32. I think it will be best to finish this project I am working on first. I don't want to open a can of worms. Any thoughts on using an ultrasonic device with the distilled water?

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chance

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,664 Member Since:30/01/2011

#14 [url]

Aug 3 16 9:57 PM

Thank you for that link Darin. That information is "exactly" what I was looking for. Their board was similar to mine with separate large and small fader modules (inline) . The small faders are part of each channel strip.
I was a little surprised that they used Fantastic to clean the pots and switches. I remember once using Fantastic or maybe it was 409 on aluminum and I didn't rinse well and it oxidized the aluminum to a white color. It seemed to me that those cleaners have some corrosive properties, which gives me discomfort using on electronic components

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oof.lucasmicrophone

Silverado

Posts: 91 Member Since:24/01/2014

#15 [url]

Aug 3 16 10:13 PM

I've had great success with the ultrasonic bath on a pair of  Primetimes. They work as they did 20 years ago. Dan Zellman here in NYC regularly dips console sections and it's quite successful. You may need to relube the pots. Good luck with it 

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chance

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,664 Member Since:30/01/2011

#16 [url]

Aug 4 16 11:07 AM

Using the technique that Zellman does as shown in the link Darin posted, it seems to not require too much skill and perhaps I could do it myself. Locating the chemical bath that Zellman uses might be a problem as well as an ultrasonic device. I can probably get a plexiglass tank

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chance

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,664 Member Since:30/01/2011

#17 [url]

Aug 4 16 11:23 AM

I located here in California, the bath/solution that Zellman uses (Valtron) They say to use deionized water. Is that the same as distilled water? Now I need to locate an ultrasonic device to do its thing.

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tb av

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Posts: 1,154 Member Since:24/04/2011

#18 [url]

Aug 4 16 10:17 PM

chance wrote:
I was a little surprised that they used Fantastic to clean the pots and switches. I remember once using Fantastic or maybe it was 409 on aluminum and I didn't rinse well and it oxidized the aluminum to a white color. It seemed to me that those cleaners have some corrosive properties, which gives me discomfort using on electronic components
 

Many of those type cleaners will etch aluminum. Simple Green can be really rough on certain finishes as well if left to sit.

You might want to use RO water instead of distilled. Distilled water can still contain volatile compounds. I think all that comes out in the RO process.

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tb av

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Posts: 1,154 Member Since:24/04/2011

#19 [url]

Aug 4 16 10:20 PM

chance wrote:
I located here in California, the bath/solution that Zellman uses (Valtron) They say to use deionized water. Is that the same as distilled water? Now I need to locate an ultrasonic device to do its thing.

Deionized water is what labs use. You get it from a Lab supply house. If you can't find any, call any environmental testing lab and ask them where they buy it.

I -think- RO water is deionized by it's nature.... ask any chemist.


here is that chemical solution.
http://www.valtechcorp.com/formulated-aqueous-detergents.html


 

Last Edited By: tb av Aug 4 16 10:27 PM. Edited 2 times.

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