VOGONS


This is a bad idea right?

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First post, by Totempole

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I was browsing youtube and stumbled upon this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKJyup6GsZI

I don't speak Russian, so can't understand what he's saying. Is there method to this guy's madness? Surely theres a significant likelyhood that the cards will be damaged in some way after this? Sure, they'll look shiny and new, but will they work properly? 😐

This is not something I'd ever attempt, but would like to hear some people's thoughts on this.

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Reply 1 of 76, by HighTreason

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Standard procedure, works fine. I believe it is not too far removed from the method employed in the factory anyway, though they rely on a machine - in short, they use a glorified dishwasher. They must do something or everything would show up covered in copper dust and bits of fiber glass.

So long as the board is dry before it is used it will be fine.

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Reply 2 of 76, by brostenen

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For most parts, I use the shower-head and open for the water at max. For more dirty parts, I use a mixture of water and alcohol.
And for the most dirty stuff one can ever think off, I use cotton tips (those sticks with cotton on each end) and pure alcohol.
Whenever alcohol have been used, I give it an extra shower. Then let it dry on antistatic bags in the sun or on the radiator.

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Reply 3 of 76, by Totempole

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Interesting, I had no idea this could be done.

That explains why USB drives that I've accidentally laundered have always fully recovered. 😀

This would be an absolute last resort for me though.

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Reply 4 of 76, by HighTreason

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I accidentally left a 40mm fan in my pocket before putting my shirt in the laundry once. After drying off and then bathing in oil for a while it worked fine, actually, it is still working and is currently cooling my 486DLC. I don't recommend washing fans though as the bearings have been loud(er) ever since.

Unfortunately, the shirt is still a pinkish gray color instead of its former white, so fans don't appear to protect whites from color run in a mixed color wash.

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Reply 5 of 76, by alexanrs

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Whenever I have to wash a motherboard or expansion card I try to pour some Isopropyl afterwards so it will help the water evaporate faster and not exidate anything...

If I had an endless supply of Isopropyl, though, I'd probably never use water.

Reply 7 of 76, by Errius

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I did something similar with a card that came to me covered in orange juice.

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Reply 10 of 76, by SquallStrife

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I clean PCBs in the dishwasher on a short cycle.

The big risk in "washing" electronics is that they aren't fully dry when you power them back up. Water can get "stuck" under components by capillary action and remain there for hours after the board "looks" dry.

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Reply 11 of 76, by SRQ

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I toss my keyboard through a rinse cycle every few months.
I have yet to wash any other parts simply because I'm in a non-smoking home and the most I ever get is dust. Swiffer or your lungs can fix that right up.

Reply 13 of 76, by PCBONEZ

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.
[Note: For now I am updating and maintaining this post like my own personal sticky.]

This is a bad idea right?

It's a normal thing. As long as there is no power it's not a problem.
(@ the video) Water should be flushed with isopropyl though. IMHO anyway.

What I do:
First if it has a battery I remove it. (Like mobo or RAID card BIOS battery.)
Next I spot clean any flux left from soldering that is too much for the following cleaning to handle.
If needed I spray it down with a particular cleaner that degreases and even removes tobacco smoke residue.
(Is called "Mean Green" - not to be confused with Simple Green which is much weaker.)
Then I rinse in hot water. Often via shower head. Hot water evaporates quicker.
I then use 91% isopropyl from a spray bottle as it leaves no residue, absorbs any remaining water and evaporates fast.
I do not use the isopropyl sparingly, I use a lot. The idea is to physically flush/rinse the water and any residue in it off.
The isopropyl flush is last because most tap water has mineral salts that water last would leave behind.
(Make sure to direct isopropyl spray into slots, ports, sockets and under chips where water hides/clings.)
Last I hang it to air dry somewhere with some airflow to help it along. A sunny back porch is great. With isopropyl it doesn't take much.
I don't use heat guns or similar (here, this climate) unless it's really humid out and even then only to get things started.

If it's humid -and- cold (as it has gotten other places I've lived) then I will hang it in the bathroom with a space heater adjusted to about 80F and with the exhaust fan going after getting the bulk of the isopropyl off with a hair dryer. Very rarely necessary in the climate I currently live in.

[edit]
Compressors - keropi reminded me.
If you have a compressor a bit of compressed air can help speed things up after the water and after the isopropyl.
I have an oil free one for the purpose but I only really use it for big boards (EATX) or when it isn't sunny out.
Oil free is important because standard compressors can sputter tiny amounts of oil onto you boards.
If yours is not oil free I would only use it after the water and before the isopropyl.
The Isopropyl flush will remove small amounts of oil.

[edit]
What I did before I knew about Mean Green. After deciding volatile chemicals are not for me.(Link)
- Depending on a person's situation these alternate methods may be more useful.
I tried a number of other products before I heard about Mean Green. Things like Simple Green, 409, Awesome, Fantastic and things like that.
None of them except the following did a good job when compared to Mean Green.
Both methods below use a strong dish washing solution (I prefer Dawn) as the cleaner.
These only replace the Mean Green section of the procedure above. The sections before and after remain the same.
--- The kitchen sink method.
Fill the sink with hot water.
Add about 4x as much dish soap as you use for dishes. (More if you use a weak soap.)
Submerge the board.
Pull the board up and down through the soapy water to create flow (agitation) across the surface of the board.
Now move on to the rinse and following steps.
(I once (via internet) walked someone through recovering industrial boards that got sprayed down (drenched) with machinery lube oil due to a leak. Those boards needed this washing several times to get all the oil off but in the end every one was recovered to 100% operational. Replacing the boards would have cost several thousand dollars.)
--- The sprayer method. (Good when you have a bunch of boards to do.)
Acquire a 1 to 2 gallon garden sprayer. The kind that pumps-up and is usually used to spray weed killer.
Fill with hot water.
Add a lot of Dawn (or similar, more if you use a weaker soap). If using Dawn 4 to 6 oz per gallon.
Pick it up and turn it end for end a few times to mix while minimizing forming suds.
Spray down the boards. The force of spray should be enough agitation.
Now move on to the rinse and following steps.
.

Last edited by PCBONEZ on 2016-01-27, 15:04. Edited 16 times in total.

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Reply 14 of 76, by keropi

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I do my pcb washing in my office all the time... Naturally I remove batteries/fans/ socketed stuff and even desolder components I think are sensitive. Then tap water cleaning using a toothbrush and dish-washing soap, the board goes a trip to the industrial air compressor and gets blasted with compressed air (95% of water is removed that way) and finally it is left to dry in the sun or near a heat source for a couple of hours. I make sure the PCB gets warm enough to help water evaporation from all the tricky places.. The process never failed me.

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Reply 15 of 76, by Totempole

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keropi wrote:

I do my pcb washing in my office all the time... Naturally I remove batteries/fans/ socketed stuff and even desolder components I think are sensitive. Then tap water cleaning using a toothbrush and dish-washing soap, the board goes a trip to the industrial air compressor and gets blasted with compressed air (95% of water is removed that way) and finally it is left to dry in the sun or near a heat source for a couple of hours. I make sure the PCB gets warm enough to help water evaporation from all the tricky places.. The process never failed me.

Which components would you desolder as an example? Is it okay to wash capacitors?

You learn something new every day. I had no idea this was common practice. I'd certainly try this before baking a faulty motherboard for example.

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Pentium III 450MHz Katmai Slot 1
Transcend 256MB PC133
Gigabyte GA-6BXC
MSI Geforce 2 MX400 AGP
Ensoniq ES1371 PCI
Sound Blaster AWE64 ISA

Reply 16 of 76, by keropi

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Anything that seems to me that might be damaged by water or that can hold water inside them . Motherboards/vga/soundcards don't have such components, I just remove anything that is socketed. For other stuff look at this recent picture:

Adryq5r.jpg

that's a monitor control board that I washed, I removed the LOPT, a closed-type transformer, some smaller ones, some filters... really anything that will make me nervous. If you can desolder then don't think it twice - worst case scenario it was a waste of time 🤣
I haven't removed any caps unless they were faulty and need replacing anyways.

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Reply 17 of 76, by Malvineous

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@keropi: Wow that's dedication - next you'll be telling us you washed the inside of the CRT glass as well and then used a vacuum pump to reseal it 😉

Reply 18 of 76, by meljor

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HighTreason wrote:

I accidentally left a 40mm fan in my pocket before putting my shirt in the laundry once. After drying off and then bathing in oil for a while it worked fine, actually, it is still working and is currently cooling my 486DLC. I don't recommend washing fans though as the bearings have been loud(er) ever since.

Unfortunately, the shirt is still a pinkish gray color instead of its former white, so fans don't appear to protect whites from color run in a mixed color wash.

Maybe the fan needs to be on? That way it can blow away any color that goes to the white shirt! 🤣

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Reply 19 of 76, by keropi

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Malvineous wrote:

@keropi: Wow that's dedication - next you'll be telling us you washed the inside of the CRT glass as well and then used a vacuum pump to reseal it 😉

need to order a vacuum pump then! 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣
most of the time I am "serious" in restoration/recaping, you either do it good or not at all 😎 , plus I love that stuff 😊

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