Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

amplifiers, receivers and loudspeakers
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georgesgiralt
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Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by georgesgiralt » 14 Dec 2019 06:21

Hello,
I'm in the process of restoring a very nice HIFI system made in France in the late 1970. This is an Optima TD amplifier made and designed by R. Brault which was a pioneer in it's time (Two channels plus a bass woofer each fed with a separate amplifier and a rather special amplifier design).
The electronic cards never had the solder flux removed and as my brother and his wife smoked a lot, all cards are ... smoked...
I own an ultrasonic bath to clean my records. So I wonder if I can use it to clean the electronic cards without destroying them ?
What are your experiences on that matter and with what result ?
Many thanks in advance for your help and answer.

cafe latte
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by cafe latte » 14 Dec 2019 07:28

I would not, maybe isopropyl alcohol and a tooth brush would be safer.
Chris

georgesgiralt
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by georgesgiralt » 14 Dec 2019 09:54

OK. But a friend of mine just told me he put old electronics in the dish washer and use a strong program on it ! Funny he is single, because I bet my miss won't allow that.
He only removes loudspeakers and vu-meter if fitted...

cafe latte
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by cafe latte » 14 Dec 2019 10:08

Not convinced water won't get inside caps.
If it does BANG.
Chris

bernard1
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by bernard1 » 14 Dec 2019 16:07

georgesgiralt wrote:
14 Dec 2019 09:54
OK. But a friend of mine just told me he put old electronics in the dish washer and use a strong program on it ! Funny he is single, because I bet my miss won't allow that.
He only removes loudspeakers and vu-meter if fitted...
I think that your friend is just kidding you.

circularvibes
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by circularvibes » 14 Dec 2019 17:36

I have cleaned dirty circuit boards with warm water and dish soap, rinsed thoroughly and dried in front of a fan for a couple days. I do not immerse them, just scrub with a paint brush and rinse under running water. It won't do a lot for solder flux, that requires flux remover. Flux may have been left behind for an electrical reason. There was a thread on VE a while ago about this. You could try running them under warm tap water and air drying first to get rid of dusty stuff and reassess your needs. I should have said that I use a hair dryer on warm, not hot, and high fan speed to blow out all the crevices then any normal table fan should do for a couple days to be safe. That is what a tech friend showed me to do with electronics from a flooded basement. Not good for coils, IF cans, transformers, paper based components or anything that would soak up fluids. Cloth covered wires are the one big exception to that rule. You can use isopropyl alcohol and it will dry faster but may damage markings on components.

hoolio
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by hoolio » 14 Dec 2019 22:19

Use this

https://crcindustries.com.au/products/c ... -2016.html

Take the cards outside away from ignition sources and flush the hell out of them. Read the can before you use it.

This is good stuff.

georgesgiralt
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by georgesgiralt » 15 Dec 2019 09:31

bernard1 wrote:
14 Dec 2019 16:07
georgesgiralt wrote:
14 Dec 2019 09:54
OK. But a friend of mine just told me he put old electronics in the dish washer and use a strong program on it ! Funny he is single, because I bet my miss won't allow that.
He only removes loudspeakers and vu-meter if fitted...
I think that your friend is just kidding you.
Oh, no, he is not ! You should see it's restoration job. He made quite a profession out of it.
I've used the dishwasher to clean an entire laser printer which had a toner leak. I removed the motors and electronics and put everything else in the dishwasher including the covers. It came out perfect and like new. I just had to reassemble the device and put it back to work. I owned a "new" laser printer for the price of the washing ... (I found the printer in the bin ) So I bet he is more than right having seen it's job.

bernard1
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by bernard1 » 15 Dec 2019 13:29

Some components may not like hot water and detergent. If it's only to clean a plastic case, why not, but electronic parts, I'm sceptic.

rewfew
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by rewfew » 15 Dec 2019 17:37

I'd use some good common sense and stay away from H20. If it's dusty in there, use compressed air in a can that are made for electronic servicing. And that product or a locally available equivalent hoolio mentioned. Are the circuit boards or 'cards' as you call them removable? None the less, they'll have components on them that you know, service manuals always say, "keep liquids and water away from unit". Think of the great comedian Rodney Dangerfield. He joked, "My folks hated me, as a kid I didn't have any toys to play with in the tub. They gave me a radio and a toaster".

georgesgiralt
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by georgesgiralt » 16 Dec 2019 10:03

The amplifier is made of small modules (7 in all) and each of them are easy to remove and put back on place.
There is a power supply module with mainly capacitors on it I plan to replace because some of them are dead. I will read the components values and trace the circuit in order to have a schematic and give it a try.
Will report back after drying the thing and trying it on the amplifier.
Wait and see !
P.S. : a co-worked was a production engineer in an electronic factory years ago. Cards where cleaned using a bath of a mix of water (distilled) and some solvent to clean all solder residue and greases before applying a protective varnish. To him, US cleaning is the way to go ... But he spoke about brand new components in a brand new circuit. Not about 40 years old parts heated and smoked during the time ... Hence my choice of the less difficult card to repair...

1200y3
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by 1200y3 » 16 Dec 2019 16:50

Alcohol and a toothbrush is safest for flux. There are numerous electronic cleaners, from MG chemicals or GC Electronics, but make sure there safe for plastics, since Freon TF is no longer available. It needs to evaporate fast.

The greatest concern is that the PC board will be absolutely dry after you wash it, and make sure it does not absorb moisture (and contaminants). Also, long term soaking can cause discoloration, or fading.

You are probably also dealing with lead solder, so you need to take that into consideration. Flux residue is not a bad thing, and can make future soldering easier.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it". You might just regret the "nitpicking", after all, those were skilled hands that put it together the first time, and it works.

paddypaws
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by paddypaws » 16 Dec 2019 22:15

No water. I’ve made this mistake. Use IPA for general cleaning with a stiff paint brush or cut down paint brush. For removing flux, ‘flux off’ does it in seconds with tiny amounts:
https://uk.farnell.com/chemtronics/es83 ... /dp/860414

Bluesnote
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning amplifier cards ?

Post by Bluesnote » 16 Dec 2019 22:55

Seems it's not uncommon now that these US units are so cheap. . .



I have absolutely no experience with electronics but have always believed water to be the enemy, there is a specific chemical in use with the De-inosied water - looking at the video it appears manual intervention (stiff brush) to be more effective than the US, is there really a benefit to US in this application :?:

In another video I watched most components were removed before cleaning, again would there be a benefit with US when there are chemicals designed to effectively remove flux??

As in a previous post I'm in the school of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". . . test and replace as required.

Chris

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