Ultrasonic Cleaning?????? - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Design & Build > Equipment & Tools
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Gallery Wiki Blogs Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Equipment & Tools From test equipment to hand tools

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 28th February 2009, 03:50 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
grhughes's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Cubicle Sweet Cubicle, USA
Question Ultrasonic Cleaning??????

Is anyone here an expert with ultrasonic cleaning? Tektronix used to be able to dip an entire oscilloscope or modules and completely clean a unit. What does it do to diodes and transistors? What about cleaning ELCO bakelite tube sockets? Thanks
" Polarities are seldom aware of their polarness." Prospero
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th February 2009, 05:40 PM   #2
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Canandaigua, NY USA
No expert here, but unless you're using a high power industrial unit, it shouldn't hurt anything. The problem is getting water where you can't get it out. I'd never dip an entire scope or plug-in because if water got in the pots, you'd never get it out. Typically the bodies on the old AB pots were sealed with coating of shellac or something, but not the shafts. Careful spraying down and compressed air drying is pretty common. A toothbrush is useful. I can't see any problem with sockets as long as you remove the tubes. A standard test for ultrasonic cleaners is to dip a piece of common aluminum foil in. After a minute it should be wrinkled and perforated- you'll see light right through it! That should give you a good idea of what not to put in an ultrasonic cleaner.
I may be barking up the wrong tree, but at least I'm barking!
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th February 2009, 05:46 PM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
On Hiatus
SY's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicagoland
Blog Entries: 2
If memory serves, the Tek stuff was ultrasonic cleaned in now-banned solvents, not water. Very easy to dry that way and better for the components.
"You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is."
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th February 2009, 07:11 PM   #4
diyAudio Member
grhughes's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Cubicle Sweet Cubicle, USA
Default So if I were to clean a double sided circuit board....

ground planed, plated through hole with transistors, zener diodes, diodes and all epoxy dipped components (ie capacitors, resistors) then it shouldn't hurt anything??? The foil won't separate from the fiberglass?? I should worry about rubber plugged electrolytic capacitors like nichicon 105 degree radials-or axials???? The only pot is a 15 turn Bourns. What would it do to Berrylium oxide paste on the power transistors? Thanks so much! Ray
" Polarities are seldom aware of their polarness." Prospero
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th February 2009, 07:16 PM   #5
m6tt is offline m6tt  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2007
I'm not sure if you can use ultrasonics with an alcohol (like isopropyl, ethyl), but we threw whole computer motherboards, power supplies, etc. into that stuff. Somewhere I've seen pictures of laptops running (sans hard drive) immersed in it! As long as it's above 90%, it shouldn't produce much more water damage than a humid day.
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th February 2009, 07:17 PM   #6
diyAudio Member
boywonder's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: So.Cal.
Sounds like you are thinking of a freon degreaser, those things were cool, but have now probably gone the way of the buggy whip.

We had those in the 80's when I worked in the aerospace industry, and they cleaned nasty looking PCB's in no time, but probably blew a big hole in the ozone layer above the plant where I worked.

I recently cleaned the pots from my Hickok tester in a small ultrasonic cleaner using simple green, it worked great, just don't leave the item in the cleaner too long.....and rinse and dry well.
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th February 2009, 09:33 PM   #7
diyAudio Member
grhughes's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Cubicle Sweet Cubicle, USA
Default No! No freon TF! What solvent to use? I'm not trying to get the EPA mad at me.

just trying to clean 6 circuit boards on 6 amps that have been stored and gotten dirty and dusty. I have to replace the electrolytic caps as they are now 30 years old. They just power sub woofers. What would be a good, quick drying, legal solvent?Thanks
" Polarities are seldom aware of their polarness." Prospero
  Reply With Quote
Old 1st March 2009, 01:49 AM   #8
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SAO PAULO - SP
Default Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning??????

Originally posted by grhughes
Is anyone here an expert with ultrasonic cleaning?
Hi grhughes ,

I have a lot of experience cleaning electronics stuff ,
since I do any restoration , repair and up-grade as my
normal job.

My advices for you are the following :

1) It’s a very good practice to clean PC boards , mainly
if they are made of glass fiber , because if they are dirty , dusty
and mildewed or musty , it will create leakage paths , and
you will hear a lot of “pops” , “cracks” and others exoteric
noises .

2) Regarding the case , I usually do one / two of the actions below :

a) Fill a glass pan ( may be a Pyrex one ) with isopropylic alcohol
( NEVER USE ETHYLIC alcohol ) , and then take the PCB into
the alcohol . Wait for while and then wash carefully with a soft
brush ( may be a common paint brush or even an old tooth
brush ) , in all directions , all components and both sides . If
necessary ( in the case of a very dirty PCB ) , change the
alcohol , and restart all the process . After all done and
cleaned , take off the PCB from the alcohol and dry it ( VERY
WELL ) with a hair dryer .
NO FEAR , because the hair dryer temperature will not cause
any damage to the board and / or to the parts ) .

b) In the case of a VERY , VERY dirty PCB , BEFORE the step
above mentioned , I pulverize it , with the isopropanol
through a painting air pistol , calibrated at 120 psi of
air preassure , and then go to the step a)

OBS. : Do not worry about electrolytics , or ANY other parts
( EXCEPT power or output transformers ) because the
isopropanol does not “ attack “ them in any way , NOT
even the serigraph marks on the components .

IMHO , you must forget about ultrasonic cleaner , because this is
an industrial process , and you have to know the exact rate of
POWER ( of ultrasonic waves ) , the exact BAND of FREQUENCY ,
the proper LIQUID CLEANER ( or SOLVENT )and the TIME of wash ,
or in other way , you can ( .... and certainly will ) cause damages to the PCB and / or the parts , due mainly to the cavitation phenomena .

Regards ,

  Reply With Quote
Old 2nd March 2009, 03:00 PM   #9
diyAudio Member
grhughes's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Cubicle Sweet Cubicle, USA
Default Thanks Carlos!

Very good advice! What kind of air pistol (brand) do you use? Thank you. Ray
" Polarities are seldom aware of their polarness." Prospero
  Reply With Quote
Old 2nd March 2009, 04:31 PM   #10
AuroraB is offline AuroraB  Norway
diyAudio Member
AuroraB's Avatar
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Norway, -north of the moral circle..
FWIW - I once read about a guy who stuffed the whole guitar amp chassis in the dish washer!
I have tried it several times with dirty boards, and it actually works very good!
Obviously there are some components like transformers etc. that are unsuitable for this process and needs to be removed first. Just let the process work, and leave to dry properly before use!
Water and detergent usually don't harm anything that's not powered!

EDIT: I don't think i'd put my scope in there, though......
While the Lie leapt from Bagdad to Constantinopel, the Truth was still looking for it's sandals!
  Reply With Quote


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Higher than 22k, or ultrasonic? jahhn Multi-Way 34 2nd October 2007 09:43 PM
audibility of ultrasonic forments auplater Multi-Way 25 10th February 2007 03:30 PM
Ultrasonic Cleaning PCB's & Controls? Zero Cool Equipment & Tools 5 4th February 2007 01:21 PM
Ultrasonic heaters DHT112A Tubes / Valves 53 10th June 2006 11:59 AM
ultrasonic sensors sss Everything Else 4 16th May 2006 02:42 PM

New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 07:19 PM.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2017 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2