Blackdawg

PCB Cleaner machine
« on: November 04, 2019, 03:06:00 AM »
Hey all,

So as I get more and more into DIY I find the only part I don't like is cleaning the PCBs. Mainly because I can't ever get them totally clean no matter how much I scrub. Especially on the component side of things.

And now that Im building a lot of pieces including smaller pieces like op amps, I have to clean multiple things often.

So I've been looking into parts cleaners and found this guy: https://www.amazon.com/Tek-Motion-Stainless-Ultrasonic-Jewelry/dp/B01HBDUM74/ref=asc_df_B01HBDUM74/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312135717511&hvpos=1o5&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1691504925649357716&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9021095&hvtargid=pla-569454476562&psc=1

Doing the math it would fit an 11 slot 500 rack PCB which is good for me.

Curious if anyone has used something like this and what they have used in it to clean parts as in the agent?

Thanks!


cyrano

Re: PCB Cleaner machine
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2019, 05:25:04 AM »
I've used an ultrasonic cleaner for years. The thing you need to know is the frequency(s) it works with. Some are single frequency, others use multiple frequencies and others sweep between two frequencies.

I used to have one that destroyed boards. Gave that one to a friend who uses it to clean carburetors. The one I have now cleans very well and I can get plug-in boards from the manufacturer to change frequencies. The brand is "Powertronic". The ultrasonic transducer is big, heavy, machined out of copper and has around 50W power. The real cheap ones use a 1W piezo.

SMD boards will lose a component occasionally, but that's good, cause it means that component wasn't soldered properly anyways.

The liquid you use is also important. I use demi water with up to 10% alcohol. Around 10 minutes per board cleans them enough to require very little manual touch-up,
Why is it people love to believe and hate to know?

Re: PCB Cleaner machine
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2019, 06:27:54 AM »
I got a friend to run a laptop keypad with a few bad keys on it in his ultrasonic bath  ,
He just bought the machine from a German manufacturer .

Long and short of the experiment  was board cleaning fluid isnt suitable for cleaning a laptop keypad ,
it disolved all the conductive ink connecting keys ,  in this case there was no loss as the part is destined to be replaced anyway.
There was a list of ingredients on the cleaning solution but it was in German so wasnt instantly recognisable ,
It was one of several kinds available from the manufacturer destined for various cleaning jobs ,2% solution ,so about a small cupfull in an 8 liter tank . 

To clean  pots ,faders or other circuit boards with conductive inks such as IR remotes ,I suggest something much more gentle than board cleaning solution .

I have a smaller .5 liter sonic tank , often a small amount of detergent or maybe window cleaner and  a few drops of iso propyl added to the water works great on all kinds of stuff . Sometimes for dirtier jobs I'll run something in a small glass jar containing  what ever solvent I want inside the water bath .
Best bet is if your trying to clean something important take the time to research the most appropriate mix of solvent and chemicals to use .



 


Blackdawg

Re: PCB Cleaner machine
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 03:21:50 AM »
I've used an ultrasonic cleaner for years. The thing you need to know is the frequency(s) it works with. Some are single frequency, others use multiple frequencies and others sweep between two frequencies.

I used to have one that destroyed boards. Gave that one to a friend who uses it to clean carburetors. The one I have now cleans very well and I can get plug-in boards from the manufacturer to change frequencies. The brand is "Powertronic". The ultrasonic transducer is big, heavy, machined out of copper and has around 50W power. The real cheap ones use a 1W piezo.

SMD boards will lose a component occasionally, but that's good, cause it means that component wasn't soldered properly anyways.

The liquid you use is also important. I use demi water with up to 10% alcohol. Around 10 minutes per board cleans them enough to require very little manual touch-up,

Thanks! Great to hear! Do you think that unit I posted would work well? I can't find anything under Powertronic...

This one is the following specs:

40kHz freq
360w Ultrasonic power(6 x 60w transducers)
400w heating power

seems like it would be kind of over killer really but I just want the tank size for larger PCBs and batches of op amps and such.




I got a friend to run a laptop keypad with a few bad keys on it in his ultrasonic bath  ,
He just bought the machine from a German manufacturer .

Long and short of the experiment  was board cleaning fluid isnt suitable for cleaning a laptop keypad ,
it disolved all the conductive ink connecting keys ,  in this case there was no loss as the part is destined to be replaced anyway.
There was a list of ingredients on the cleaning solution but it was in German so wasnt instantly recognisable ,
It was one of several kinds available from the manufacturer destined for various cleaning jobs ,2% solution ,so about a small cupfull in an 8 liter tank . 

To clean  pots ,faders or other circuit boards with conductive inks such as IR remotes ,I suggest something much more gentle than board cleaning solution .

I have a smaller .5 liter sonic tank , often a small amount of detergent or maybe window cleaner and  a few drops of iso propyl added to the water works great on all kinds of stuff . Sometimes for dirtier jobs I'll run something in a small glass jar containing  what ever solvent I want inside the water bath .
Best bet is if your trying to clean something important take the time to research the most appropriate mix of solvent and chemicals to use .

Very interesting. Good to know! I think I'd just use alcohol and distilled water likely.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 03:28:48 AM by Blackdawg »

cyrano

Re: PCB Cleaner machine
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 11:30:04 PM »
Thanks! Great to hear! Do you think that unit I posted would work well? I can't find anything under Powertronic...

Powertronic is a small German brand. They sell directly to all kinds of small industries, like jewelers. I don't think they even have a website.

Quote
This one is the following specs:

40kHz freq
360w Ultrasonic power(6 x 60w transducers)
400w heating power

seems like it would be kind of over killer really but I just want the tank size for larger PCBs and batches of op amps and such.

360 W seems a lot. One of the pics even mentions 760 W. Seems dodgy, especially since it's only 15 l. Mine is 10 l and 50 "real" watts. The one in you link states 400 W for heating. Mine is 200 W for heating, but I only use lukewarm water, otherwise the alcohol evaporates too quickly.


Quote
Very interesting. Good to know! I think I'd just use alcohol and distilled water likely.

Demineralised water is cheaper and just as good. Besides, a lot of the so called distilled water is demi, filtered with a reverse osmosis system. I was in that business for a few years.

If I was to buy a new one, I'd look for a longer one, not a bigger one. Mine's too short for big boards...
Why is it people love to believe and hate to know?

Blackdawg

Re: PCB Cleaner machine
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 01:43:55 AM »
Powertronic is a small German brand. They sell directly to all kinds of small industries, like jewelers. I don't think they even have a website.

360 W seems a lot. One of the pics even mentions 760 W. Seems dodgy, especially since it's only 15 l. Mine is 10 l and 50 "real" watts. The one in you link states 400 W for heating. Mine is 200 W for heating, but I only use lukewarm water, otherwise the alcohol evaporates too quickly.


Demineralised water is cheaper and just as good. Besides, a lot of the so called distilled water is demi, filtered with a reverse osmosis system. I was in that business for a few years.

If I was to buy a new one, I'd look for a longer one, not a bigger one. Mine's too short for big boards...

seems a bit high powered..or overly speced out and isn't that powerful.


I went for this 15L one due to the length of the tank. A 11 slot 500 series back plane pcb should fit in it at an angle. Really was my first search criteria.


 

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