Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« on: July 02, 2019, 08:23:01 PM »
Okay, here goes. I'm restoring an old mixing console with lots of pots, faders, switches, edge connectors, molexes, etc. that are wonky and need cleaning at the very least.

I've used CRC + Stabilant 22 in the past for just about everything, but now I'm reading that you have to be really careful, especially with pots and faders which are more delicate. Some say the no residue cleaners strip the contact surface and cause more problems in the long run. Others say no-residue cleaners or 99% isopropyl are the only thing you need and "oils" and lubes just cause problems. Others say Deoxit D5 with the lube built in is great, others say you might as well use WD40. Many folks say pots, faders, switches are all different and hence you should use different products.

What gives? I trust you guys and the folks @ EEVBlog above all else.

What product(s) do you recommend for:
- Potentiometers?
- Faders?
- Switches
- Edge connectors and molex (BTW, is it ever okay to LIGHTLY sand these?)

Thanks fellas!


CJ

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2019, 12:58:33 AM »
Deoxit,

alcohol can attract water,

sometimes mechanical force for corroded wafer switches, that silver oxide can be real tough,  gotta scrape it off, then shoot it up like a junkie in the park,

If I can't fix it, I can fix it so nobody else can!
Frank's Tube Page: www.mif.pg.gda.pl/homepages/frank/vs.html
Guitar Amps: http://bmamps.com/Tech_sch.html

shabtek

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2019, 08:46:22 AM »
there are different kinds of burnishing tool for doing mechanical cleaning of plated or metal contacts
"really fine players do not use stomp boxes or master volume, they match the amp to the room and turn it up to 11.  Stevie Ray, BB King, Albert King, Duane Allman, Dicky Betts, Louis Armstrong"
   -CJ

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2019, 04:34:04 PM »
Best cleaner is use , I always sweep the pot back and forth a few dozens of  times to see if it clears the micro spider poop on the carbon track , I second C'j's 'hard as nuts' crust on pot wipers ,that crap needs to be scraped off, Ive seen it measure Megohms .and no cleaner fluid shifts it, scrape and re polish contacts.
If you douche pots out with copious amounts of cleaner be carefull not to wash out the 'smoothness' in the shaft bearing ,always have shaft pointing up so the sticky goo isnt washed away .
Solvents may soften the track in your pot ,if its a special type pot thats not easily replacable be extra carefull to allow things to dry properly afterwards , I favour a cotton bud moistened with alcohol to remove debris from the track , get the back off the pot if you can .
Theres no one solid advice on solvents with pots ,but the less the better no matter what .

   
 

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2019, 04:48:52 PM »
Burnishing tool was common in BPO days ,plugs/patchbay was raw brass , not appropriate for chromed contacts like I/4 inch jacks/sockets in the modern day ,ladies wet and dry multi grade nail shaping tool has grits ranging up in the 1000's and makes a great contact buffer ,you can scrape off difficult crust with the gnarlier stuff ,then polish to a mirror .
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 04:55:17 PM by Tubetec »

boji

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2019, 05:12:53 PM »
Might someone shed light on the dangers of hitting P&G fader plastic with light spray of 98 iso  (they say only soap and warm water)? Because I've found low-water isopropyl works exceedingly well at removing silver tarnish as well as getting junk off restive element that has signs of tar and god knows-what-else that fell though the cracks of a 70's desk.  ;)  Maybe the iso pulls off some magic clearcoat I can't see, but it seems the warnings are excessive if using a very light touch.  Could be like crankcase sawdust in a used car, as in I'll pay for it later? 

boji

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2019, 05:19:29 PM »
I'll do ohms check on a few of these older ones that I'm putting aside.  I'll test before and after, one with soap, one with iso and report back.  All I can say is the iso makes em' look dang good, except for the obvious signs of track wear that gets revealed with any detergent, mild or otherwise.

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2019, 05:40:43 PM »
My vote is also on Deoxit.  But there's a european product called Teslanol, which I havent used but people who have used it, swear by it.

cyrano

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2019, 07:15:27 PM »
Teslanol is 99,5% pure isopropyl alcohol...

I just buy industrial isopropanol. Teslanol is 8 € per liter. The industrial version is <5 € if bought in 10 liter jugs.
Why is it people love to believe and hate to know?

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2019, 07:22:34 PM »
Another good one is if you have an ultrasonic cleaner, you can add distiled water with some drops of Deoxit, works great for smaller things like pots and faders.


boji

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2019, 07:33:12 PM »
Teslanol is 99,5% pure isopropyl alcohol...
Quote


Ah!  Well then, that's a nice confirmation. 
Kept thinking with the warnings-- there must be a catch...

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2019, 08:26:48 PM »
I've found someone locally with a large ultrasonic cleaner. I could simply drop each channel strip in the cleaner, with all the PCB's and components fully immersed, but pot shafts and everything above the front face NOT immersed. I'm thinking distilled/de-ionized water + electrical safe cleaning solution, with a followup bath with only water (no cleaning solution), then finish everything off with Deoxit d5 or fader lube on pots, switches and faders. Watcha think?

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2019, 08:52:53 PM »
It's conceivable that an ultrasonic cleaner could cause vibration stresses and degrade the bond out wires on semiconductors and cause them to fail. Given the flaky nature of semiconductors from the '70s in general, I would be wary to expose them to anything potentially stressful at all. However, for more modern parts, e.g. from the mid 80s and more modern, this probably will not be an issue - the bondout wires are encapsulated anyway, and all the molding compounds used these days seem to work better than they did in the 'dark ages'.

It's always seemed very attractive to do this, but it could cause more problems than it solves, so I'd be wary.

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2019, 08:56:42 PM »
For ultrasonic cleaning of small parts I found a glass jar filled with the appropriate  solvents  ,opperated inside a 20buck mini ultrasonic water bath type cleaner to work well, 'bain marie' style ,you can kick start things by adding hot water , more like something you do to small engine parts than electronics really ,might cause more harm than good to electronics if your not carefull

just read the update , unless you have builders dust in there that kind of treatment shouldnt be required ,usage kills 7/10 pot gremlins ,theres a bunch of skin cells and spider mite crap in your controls ,audition and apply remedial action  to pots as required ,dont blanket bomb every component on the board  with a needless treatment if you can help it . 
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 09:05:48 PM by Tubetec »

boji

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2019, 09:26:30 PM »
Quote
Another good one is if you have an ultrasonic cleaner, you can add distilled water with some drops of Deoxit, works great for smaller things like pots and faders.

Wince:  but I put a few P&G wiper assemblies in a sonic cleaner to see what would happen.   Didn't improve the patina of the assembly, but the tiny brushes, they came out shiny... and a bit splayed!!  :o  (likely ruined) :'(.

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2019, 09:30:37 PM »
Wince:  but I put a few P&G wiper assemblies in a sonic cleaner to see what would happen.   Didn't improve the patina of the assembly, but the tiny brushes, they came out shiny... and a bit splayed!!  :o  (likely ruined) :'(.

Really? I've used it a ton of times with out any problems, pots, even sealed pots usually benefit from this

boji

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2019, 09:46:11 PM »
Quote
[Ultrasonic cleaning] could cause more problems than it solves.

+1 
If you decide to try, be sure to do a test run! Put that lab rat through its musical paces for a day or so afterwards before going all in... But my instincts say the meticulous and demanding  work of an all-discrete scrubadub will reward you in time/pride.
These 3220's have been my afterwork project for a week now.  Almost enjoying the repetition...almost.  ;)

Quote
Really? I've used it a ton of times with out any problem
I'll grant you I might be doing it wrong!   I prefer the sound of cleaning that is at the frequency of a toothbrush bristle. 

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2019, 12:00:57 AM »
40khz'ish whistle off sonic scale ,my dogs do not like it ,its beyond my ears recognition apparently but I can percive the tone

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2019, 12:13:21 AM »

I prefer the sound of cleaning that is at the frequency of a toothbrush bristle.

LOL, I believe it also depends on the cleaner, i've used a relatively good cleaner, there are some cheap jewlery cleaners, havent tried those.

Newmarket

Re: Best pot cleaner? Fader cleaner? Contact cleaner?
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2019, 04:48:26 AM »
I see lots of discussion wrt fader track cleaning but don't forget there are guide rod(s) too which affect the feel and possibly the wiper / track interface if they are dirty / contaminated. There may be lubricated (eg Kilopoise) and that may age. And beware that lubricant applied there may migrate to the track and cause problems. With P&G 'Nyebar' barrier product is (guessing still the case) used to prevent this.


 

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