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Old 30th May 2013, 02:08 PM   #321
gander is offline gander  United States
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Default Alternative to the motor for rotation

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbftx View Post
I've had a VPI HW-17 record cleaner for some time, but have always wondered if there was a way that could deliver better cleaning results along with less contact with the vinyl . So, after reading threads here and elsewhere about using ultrasonic cleaners to get the dirt off of vinyl, I thought I'd rig up my own unit.

I started with an ultrasonic cleaner that uses 60 KHz transducers. It was a little harder to find and a little more expensive than the typical 40KHz Chinese-made units, but the higher frequencies theoretically do a better job at cleaning the very small grooves of a record and there is less risk of damaging the vinyl from the cavitation. Those two points are a big advantage of 60khz units over 40khz units.

To rotate the records, I wanted to minimize motion in the cleaning solution. My target was a 4 minute cleaning time for the vinyl surface. Given that about 1/3 of the record is submerged in the solution at any moment, the math told me to find a 5 revolution per HOUR synchronous motor. Synchron makes such motors in almost any rph or rpm you could want. The 5rph motor yields a 12 minute rotation time. My plan is 1 rotation = 1 cleaning cycle.

I fashioned a spindle out of 9/32 W1 drill rod. It was was easy to machine a 1/8" diameter hole in one end of the spindle on my lathe to fit over the motor shaft (1/8" diameter).
The motor and shaft are mounted in place using an electrical connector box and conduit. The arm is mounted to the ultrasonic unit using L-brackets and pipe straps. The setup allows the motor and spindle assembly to be rotated up to load records, and then rotated down into the bath.
My spacers are 4" diameter, 1/2" thick cork rounds. [Oct 2012 note: I have since found different spacers, which are much better: I've ordered these from the UK: 110mm by 105mm tapered cork stoppers - they cover the record label completely and very little of the lead out groove. They are just a touch over 1" thick, which is optimal spacing.
No.37 Natural Cork Stopper 110mm from Just Cork No. 37 Large]

[Dec 2012 Note: I added a sintered bronze bearing and a bearing housing to support the weight of the spindle, records and spacers, and eliminate the bending moment on the motor shaft.]

I'll report back after I clean and play some vinyl. My first batches will use distilled water and isopropyl alcohol at about 7 to 1 [Sep 2012 note: I've since gone to a much lower concentration of isopropyl, about 50 to 1] , with a few drops of Kodak PhotoFlo. This solution, combined with the very slow rotation, will allow the liquid to drain off the vinyl surface very easily.
The cleaner can still be used for any items you'd normally put in an ultrasonic unit. It does a great job on some fairly intricate gold jewelry I've cleaned.
Photos below. Questions and comments welcome.

[Feb 2013 Note: I have built a second, sturdier design using a metal frame and hinge assembly that fits over the top of the Ultrasonic cleaner. Here is a direct link to the description later in this thread:
Version 2 of BB's URC
And here's a direct link to the post with the parts list for Version 2:
BB's URC Version 2 Parts List ]
Happy building.
Cheers,
BB
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This looks amazingly cool.

I had a thought about the motor and running the ultrasonic cleaner being independent. It seems to me that it would be good if the rotation also controlled the on/off of the cleaner. How about using something like 5 or 15 minute spring would timers, like a timer you might use in the bathroom to automatically turn off a ceiling fan.

Intermatic 5 Minute Spring Wound Timer (FD5MW)

or this

INTERMATIC Timer, Spring Wound, 15 Min - Spring Wound Timers - 38D056|FD15MWC - Grainger Industrial Supply

The above links are to a 5-minute timer and a 15-minute timer. Not sure what the proper time to use is, since different ultrasonic cleaners have varying watts of cleaning power, and you don't want the vinyl to stay in the solution too long if the power is higher, since you don't want your vinyl melted or damaged (I believe that could happen).

You could use the timer itself instead of a motor to turn the shaft that hold the albums, and when it is complete the timer can turn off the cleaner. All you have to do is rotate the shaft with the records in the solution, essentially winding it up, and that would turn on the cleaner, and the winding down will rotate the albums.

Of course you should de-gas the solution before doing ultrasonic cleaning.

Just a thought.

Gary
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Old 30th May 2013, 06:29 PM   #322
bbftx is offline bbftx  United States
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Default Spring Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by gander View Post
You could use the timer itself instead of a motor to turn the shaft that hold the albums, and when it is complete the timer can turn off the cleaner. All you have to do is rotate the shaft with the records in the solution, essentially winding it up, and that would turn on the cleaner, and the winding down will rotate the albums.

Gary
Hi Gary,
Cool idea, for sure.
I actually looked briefly at these kinds of timers when I was considering design options. The problem I ran into is that they provide less than a full rotation of the main shaft. So, to use the timer to spin the LPs, you'd need some kind of gearing or belt setup to get 1+ full rotations of the spindle. Doable, but easier and cheaper to just go with a motor with the right angular speed.

Maybe there is some kind of multi-turn, wound spring device out there that could be used ---- maybe a rugged wind-up toy of some sort.
Let's look!
Cheers,
B B
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Old 30th May 2013, 06:59 PM   #323
gander is offline gander  United States
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Default Not necessarily so

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbftx View Post
Hi Gary,
Cool idea, for sure.
I actually looked briefly at these kinds of timers when I was considering design options. The problem I ran into is that they provide less than a full rotation of the main shaft. So, to use the timer to spin the LPs, you'd need some kind of gearing or belt setup to get 1+ full rotations of the spindle. Doable, but easier and cheaper to just go with a motor with the right angular speed.

Maybe there is some kind of multi-turn, wound spring device out there that could be used ---- maybe a rugged wind-up toy of some sort.
Let's look!
Cheers,
B B

I originally thought that too. However, I determined that you don't need a full revolution to cover all the groove-surface of a record.

Imagine a record sitting in the cleaning solution. A kind of quarter-moon-shaped part of the record starts out in the solution. (I'm sure there is a better name for that shape.) If it is turned in a full revolution, the record ends up back where it started, and that quarter-moon part gets cleaned twice. But you don't need that. All you need is every part of the record to be in the cleaning solution only once while the cleaner is on. So, if you rotate the record from the starting point, you only need to rotate to the point that the rest of the record has also been in the vibrating solution.

Example, an 75% rotation will cover almost all the surface of the record that you want to be cleaned. And it looks like the knob on the spring wound timer goes around about 7/8 of a turn, which should allow all the record-groove surface area to be cleaned.

Of course there will be parts of the record that spend more time in the solution than other parts, but that is true if a full revolution is done also.

It would be great if you could do 2 or 3 revolutions during a cleaning, and if someone can find an actual thing that would do that, that would be great; maybe something like a mechanical egg timer that you could wind several times around. Ideally, you could wind it up so that it would take longer than the timer on the ultrasonic cleaner.

The problem would be if the wound-up record stopped rotating before the ultrasonic cleaner was done with its timer. Then the part of the record that ends up stopped in the solution could be damaged by being cooked too long. That is why I like the spring wound timer, since it can also cut off the power to the ultrasonic cleaner, if you set it up that way.

Does that make sense? Any thoughts on that?
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Old 30th May 2013, 07:53 PM   #324
bbftx is offline bbftx  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gander View Post
The problem would be if the wound-up record stopped rotating before the ultrasonic cleaner was done with its timer. Then the part of the record that ends up stopped in the solution could be damaged by being cooked too long. That is why I like the spring wound timer, since it can also cut off the power to the ultrasonic cleaner, if you set it up that way.

Does that make sense? Any thoughts on that?
My UC already has a mechanical timer that shuts of the machine as a fail safe. For me, it's just simpler and cheaper to put in a $20 motor that runs at the desired speed with no additional construction or electrical work required. It chugs along and keeps the record spinning regardless of what happens with the UC.

Also important for my situation, this allows me to use the UC for other things, independent of my record cleaning setup. I'd rather have a machine I can also use to clean jewelry, other mechanical parts, etc, without having to keep the LP cleaning mechanism tied to the machine. (You included some pictures of my version 1 setup. Just to make sure you're aware, I migrated to a Version 2 design that can be easily put on and removed from the ultrasonic cleaner.)

Each person will have their own requirements of course, and different ideas about the best record cleaning routine. Vive la différence !

Will be interested to see where you end up design-wise.
Best,
B B

Last edited by bbftx; 30th May 2013 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 31st May 2013, 01:59 PM   #325
gander is offline gander  United States
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Default who knows?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbftx View Post
My UC already has a mechanical timer that shuts of the machine as a fail safe. For me, it's just simpler and cheaper to put in a $20 motor that runs at the desired speed with no additional construction or electrical work required. It chugs along and keeps the record spinning regardless of what happens with the UC.

Also important for my situation, this allows me to use the UC for other things, independent of my record cleaning setup. I'd rather have a machine I can also use to clean jewelry, other mechanical parts, etc, without having to keep the LP cleaning mechanism tied to the machine. (You included some pictures of my version 1 setup. Just to make sure you're aware, I migrated to a Version 2 design that can be easily put on and removed from the ultrasonic cleaner.)

Each person will have their own requirements of course, and different ideas about the best record cleaning routine. Vive la différence !

Will be interested to see where you end up design-wise.
Best,
B B
I actually like the motor idea better, but I'm always trying to think of different things.
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Old 11th June 2013, 11:55 PM   #326
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Default Nice work!

First post, but not new to audio or DIY. i joined because of this thread. I have a pretty high-end analog front end, but my cleaning machine is getting a little old, and I'm not spending $3k on one. I think I'm going to copy bbftx's design. Not sure if I want to go the Sonic 60khz route, but I guess I'm going to...Anybody have the latest and greatest updates on fluid formulas?
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Old 12th June 2013, 04:41 PM   #327
bbftx is offline bbftx  United States
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Default Cleaning Solution

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Originally Posted by Mendoteach View Post
.Anybody have the latest and greatest updates on fluid formulas?
Hi Mendo,
Welcome to diyAudio. You may have read my thoughts elsewhere in this thread, but I'll repeat just in case ---
In an ultrasonic cleaner, minimal chemicals are needed, since the ultrasonic action is doing most of the heavy lifting when it comes to cleaning.

1) Water with low TDS (total dissolved solids). "Purified" water has TDS of 10 ppm or less, and is more than adequate. If you want to spend more money, you can buy distilled water, which is usually 0 or 1 ppm. But that really is overkill IMO.

2) A few percent of isopropyl alcohol, at most. You can't use much, because the ultrasonic transducers can be a source of ignition if there is a high percentage of IPA vapors in the air. IPA is a good additive because it leaves no residue. IPA is not only good at dissolving some hydrocarbons, ionics and some organics that might be present on the record, it is a moderately good disinfectant. It also lowers surface tension.

3) A couple of drops of surfactant or pure detergent can be used if you want. I use Kodak Photo Flo, but very little. Photo-Flo might leave a very slight residue, but at 2 drops in 1.5 gallons of water, that's about 5 ppm of non-water ingredients at worst. Not a concern at all to me, but some purists might want to avoid it. If you decide you want to rinse, then photo-flo presents absolutely no problem at all. [I don't feel any need to rinse, but everybody has their own religion on this.]

FYI, Kodak Photo-Flo is about 2/3 water, 25% Propylene glycol and 5-10% p-tert-octylphenoxy polyethoxyethyl alcohol.

Cheers,
B B
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Old 12th June 2013, 05:45 PM   #328
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BB,

Thanks for the welcome and the info. I'll probably use distilled water as I can buy it pretty cheaply.

FWIW, I have a McCulloch (of chainsaw fame) steamer that I have been playing with. In concert with my VPI it does an fabulous job of cleaning even new LPs. When I REALLY clean with steam the LPs have a beautiful rainbow hue. I think it gets of mold release very well. Recordings take on lots of air consistently.
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Old 17th June 2013, 01:37 PM   #329
CT0wens is offline CT0wens  United States
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A new commercially available product enters the ultrasonic RCM marketplace:

http://klaudio.com/

From an initial scan, no scrubbers or contact with the LP, interesting that only tap water is allowed, variable timing on both cleaning and drying (with a dry only mode?), still focused on just 1 LP, and last but not least... (wait for it)... reassuringly expensive
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Old 17th June 2013, 02:47 PM   #330
bbftx is offline bbftx  United States
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Thanks for the heads up, CTO. Nice looking machine. Pretty expensive for a single-purpose device at $3300.

It's unclear how it functions. The limited info and graphics suggest the fluid tank is shallow and sits well below the surface of the LP. It's not specified how the LP gets fully submerged in a tank of fluid. (there are several images in the manual like the one attached, showing the water tank low in the unit). I wonder if the device lowers the LP into the tank for cleaning, and then raises it for drying?

The literature states the transducers are located on the side of the tank, rather than the bottom of the tank. It's unclear if they put transducers on both sides of the tank or just one side. If only one side, the ultrasonic standing waves that drive cavitation cleaning will only be created on one side of the LP. I would think you'd need at least two transducers on each side of the LP for this to work well. Based on the asymmetric shape shown in the side-view drawing, I would guess the transducers are just on one side, but that's speculation.

Would be nice if they specified the operating frequency of the transducers. I didn't see that anywhere. That's really a key operating parameter that should be disclosed.

I like the heavy duty handles they put on the sides!

Cheers,
B B
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File Type: jpg kd-cln-lp200_p5-700x700 side.jpg (65.4 KB, 469 views)
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