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Old 25th August 2012, 06:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mooly View Post
Thanks for the Hafler link, interesting stuff.

I think you will have to see how the cleaning goes. I would carefully remove the IC's too and wash those particularly around the pins (be carefull of static precautions on any relevant devices) and use a soft brush to get under the IC sockets.

You mention high humidity. Is the board laquered and become sticky. If so that could be a problem and may require more aggressive cleaning perhaps with pure ISO.
I haven't gone as far as removing the IC's. Maybe I will. This is starting to drive me to distraction. Every evening, as the humidity rises, it starts acting up. Or maybe it's after it has been powered for a few hours. Controlled experiments are difficult to run. Could it be a capacitor getting leaky? It only has some kind of plastic (metalized polyester?) ceramic disc and tantalum.
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Old 25th August 2012, 06:48 AM   #12
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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The small "compressed" ceramic discs are a favourite for leakage. Old tantalums can be a problem to although often its because of the design not observing the working limitations of them. For example the rate of voltage rise time across the cap. That said they do just fail. Small poly caps very unlikely to be leaky.

Has to be worth swapping the caps. You would have to see what the tants are used for. If its as a sample and hold then low leakage is vital and would need like for like replacement. For most other uses I would guess that these days small electrolytics could well meet the needs. No harm in trying them anyway.

The IC's are the least likely suspects but could suffer from any atmospheric film that absorbs moisture... a good wash of the chips would sort that. The sockets could be a problem if you be 100% sure they (and the PCB) are clean underneath.
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