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My version of an Ultrasonic Record Cleaner
My version of an Ultrasonic Record Cleaner
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Old 10th February 2015, 02:02 PM   #961
Packgrog is offline Packgrog  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benb View Post
Is there a thread where "traditional" vacuum RCMs are discussed? Perhaps I should start a thread for a DIY vacuum RCM project, but I have too many interests already, and won't start to do this for months, or more likely years.

Back when I cleaned records regularly, I often used an ordinary toothbrush for aggressive cleaning. Yes, I tried with a throwaway LP first to see if it would do any damage. I didn't detect any, but your mileage and toothbrush may vary.

I've wanted to make an RCM that lools like an automatic turntable, and does everything automatically under microcontroller control. You put the LP on, press one of several buttons from "light clean" to "uber-aggressive" and it pours on the fluid, does brushing or not dependent on what button you push/level of aggressiveness, and then vacuums it off much like a Keith Monks machine.
I believe that there's a number of similar projects on this site in the Analogue Source forum. I didn't read them since I didn't have much interest.

Something else worth mentioning, though, is that I finally tried one of my more precious albums this weekend: An original US Promo pressing of Peter Gabriel's Security. I have cleaned this record dozens (yes DOZENS) of times using various fluids and brushes, I used wood glue on it a while back, and used Record Revirginizer later as well. It was filthy and moldy and nasty when I first got it. I had recorded it with my current rig after the latest OCD vacuuming process I described. It was OK, but still not quite there.

The ultrasonic bath (probably 115F-120F, two full rotations, for a total of about 24 minutes) made a tremendous difference. There's still a fair number of clicks, but much reduced. And again, the noise cloud veil is so greatly reduced that I don't mind removing the remaining clicks by hand. The comparison between the two recordings with exactly the same setup before and after ultrasonic cleaning was astounding. This definitely was a case where it felt like a significant equipment upgrade. It may not be as dramatic on all albums, but it sure was with this one. Fantastic!

So again, biggest benefits are ease of cleaning (this was HUGE for me, and I've tackled records that I never would have bothered with before), improved overall sound (often greatly), and reduction or elimination of static. I can clean 3 discs all at once, which is as much as/more than I can record before the batteries in my laptop and preamp need a recharge, with minimal interaction, and have better results that I've EVER had with vacuuming. Definitely worth the upfront investment of time and money. Cheaper than an Okki Nokki, with better results, and far greater ease of operation. TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Now, I still haven't re-tried Revirgnizer/REG Williamson record peel or follow-up vacuum cleaning to see if the combo does even more. It might in some instances. I've just been having fun with minty records that I was too discouraged to try before, and enjoying a lot more music. Some day I'll get OCD again with some of the more precious slabs, but for now, I'm truly enjoying the results with the ultrasonic.

Last edited by Packgrog; 10th February 2015 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 10th February 2015, 09:46 PM   #962
audiostar is offline audiostar  United States
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If you build a ultrasonic cleaner from scratch with VibratoLLC selling the PCB where do you get the rest of the parts from for example the enclosure?
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Old 16th February 2015, 12:44 AM   #963
drtool is offline drtool  United States
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Well I just finished reading every post.

Does anyone know if a prewash (V P I /sink, etc) will eliminate a need for the filter?
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Old 16th February 2015, 04:15 AM   #964
bbftx is online now bbftx  United States
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Hey Doc,
The primary objective of cleaning ultrasonically is to remove dirt efficiently, without the need for another cleaning cycle of some sort. That dirt ends up in the cleaning solution.

At some point, it's prudent to replace the cleaning solution with fresh. The filter simply prolongs how many records can be cleaned before the solution needs to be replaced.
The filter is one of the easiest parts of the project to construct; and a heckuva time saver compared to going through another cleaning process in addition to the URC process.
Cheers,
B B
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Old 16th February 2015, 08:29 PM   #965
ctsooner is offline ctsooner  United States
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Hi all. BBFTX, how is the magnetic holder going? I have the motor and parts to make the 'normal' holder, but am waiting to see what you come up with as I'm sure I'll want to go that route. I've been updating my integrated amp (new Ayre AX5 Twenty) and digital (Empirical OSDE with Paul Hynes PS), Synchro mesh/Empirical, mac mini server with Hynes power upgrade, SSD upgrade, Amarra (top of the line). Digital in this realm is unreal and is actually better in many respects than records, but I still love records. Can't wait to see what you have so that I may clean things and do a real side by side comparison.

Thanks....still a great thread.
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Old 16th February 2015, 08:44 PM   #966
doublenaught is offline doublenaught  United States
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Hi ctsooner,
The magnet on my Vinyl Stack works great. It holds tight to the 1/4" bolt head and is easy to disconnect. I assume bbftx is using the same set up. bbftx's metal telescoping tubing should be vastly superior to the Vinyl Stack design though.

00
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Old 16th February 2015, 08:44 PM   #967
bbftx is online now bbftx  United States
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Hey Sooner,
I've pretty much finished my version 3 setup. Just need to finish the documentation and some photos, and then I'll post it.

My magnet setup works well and is pretty simple. I've used a larger magnet than others seem to have, but I like the balance of holding power vs. ability to remove the spindle when finished.
I'm using a 32mm diameter neodymium mounting magnet with 75lb holding force. It mates to a steel gear blank on the shaft output from the motor. I've glued a rubber washer on the face of the gear blank to prevent the magnet or gear from chipping or cracking when they latch together.
Link: 32mm Female Threaded Stud mounting magnet

Why that particular magnet? Well, it mates directly to a commercially available, threaded 9/32" spear shaft with M6 threads that I've found. My intent this go-round was to identify options for those with limited tools and machining capabilities. I think I've come up with parts that could be built with just a drill, hacksaw and file.

More soon,
B B
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Old 16th February 2015, 10:19 PM   #968
drtool is offline drtool  United States
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Thanks BB. I do have a 17F, Nitty Gritty, modded Spin Clean, laying around. I know when I had to clean a lot of Harley motor/ trans parts ,2 step turned out to be quicker, cheaper in the long run. When I drop the hammer on this project I will report back all findings.
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Old 17th February 2015, 01:16 AM   #969
ctsooner is offline ctsooner  United States
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Thanks so much for sharing. I can't wait to see the final result and get the source list, lol. I"m ready to get this done right after I finish making the dining room chairs for a table I made last year, lol.....Always something...
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Old 17th February 2015, 01:58 AM   #970
bbftx is online now bbftx  United States
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I’ve built my Version 3 of a setup for Ultrasonic Record Cleaning. Several features distinguish this version from Version 2.

1) Version 3 stands alone from the Ultrasonic tank, enabling the basic version to be used with almost any tank preferred by the user. I built Version 3 with an eye toward using a 10 quart, 4 transducer machine (Sonix ST-126), which enables one to effectively clean 5 LPs per batch instead of 3.

2) Version 3 takes fewer tools to build. For non-DIYers and apartment dwellers, one can assemble this setup using only a drill, hacksaw and file if necessary. (If one was willing to pay the aluminum tubing vendor to make the cuts, no hacksaw needed.) I’ve found a commercially available pole spear shaft with the proper LP-spec 9/32” diameter that can be used as a spindle in place of a 9/32” drill rod machined on a lathe, and instead of the ” spindles that most people are using because of the difficulty in finding 9/32” bearings and couplers.

3) Magnetic spindle attachment. This provides more flexibility around loading and unloading the machine, and allows one to load a second spindle with records, ready to go when the first one is finished in its cleaning cycle. The shaft output from the motor, and the dual bearing setup to support the spindle weight can be made with ” components —easier and cheaper to find. The magnetic coupling allows a 9/32” spindle to be used without the necessity to find a ” to 9/32” coupler. My magnet is very strong, a 32mm diameter Neodymium magnet. It definitely won’t fall off! (The threaded stud on the magnet mates directly to the 9/32” spear shaft, so it’s a simpler assembly than using a smaller magnet too.)

4) Version 3 frame is collapsible. Again with apartment dwellers in mind, the frame can be disassembled easily and stored more compactly. For those that have space, a more permanent assembly could be built using slightly less expensive fittings without the locking snap buttons.

5) Simple record height adjustment using a telescoping column: Carefully matching outside and inside diameters of 1” and 1.25” tubing, one can build a stable, adjustable column to be raised for loading/unloading, and lowered into the bath. This avoids having to build a carriage of some sort that slides on the column. There is very little play between the inner and outer tube on the column. I’ve used snap buttons to lock the telescoping tube into the loading and washing positions. (Alternatively, you can make the column height adjustable in quarter-inch increments using a cotterless hitch pin, so the unit can adapt to different machines and/or fluid levels in the tank. But the snap buttons are easier to use when cleaning records.)

My frame is primarily from EZTube components. They sell nice looking black anodized 1” square tubing and the plastic snap button connectors. The telescoping column uses a very nice 1.25” square, .110" thick wall tube from ALCobra. The corners of the inner 1” EZ Tube column need to be machined or filed down to fit in the ALCobra tube. But the result is a very, very smooth sliding telescoping column that is used to raise and lower the LPs on the spindle. Alternatively, the whole setup could be built with ALCobra telescoping tubing to eliminate the need to file the EZTube piece. However, there aren’t plastic corner fittings for the ALCobra tubes, and therefore the frame would have to be secured with holes, brackets, bolts and screws, or rivets.

6) Other less important design options:
Instead of a cord with an inline thumbwheel switch, I’ve added an illuminated toggle switch that is mounted on the motor box. Easier to use, and easier to immediately see by the lighted switch whether the slowly rotating LP spindle is moving or not.

Attached are a few pics, and here are links to 2 videos showing how quickly the unit can be assembled for use.

Assembly Demo: http://youtu.be/xsU0qylYAc0
Load / Unload Demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d10ABHtDs6M

The attached parts list also provides some build guidance, but I'm happy to answer questions.
Cheers,
B B

Last edited by bbftx; 17th February 2015 at 02:02 AM.
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