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 Post subject: Oscilloscope washing?
PostPosted: Apr Wed 07, 2010 4:45 am 
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Location: San Diego
I just got a Tektronix 585A, and I can't seem to get the cigarette smell out of it. The inside in just caked with dust and hair as well. I remember reading somewhere about washing these things, but that doesn't seem like a great idea. I assume I'd have to remove all of the tubes and the CRT. I can't imagine immersing the potentiometers in water could be a good thing... What kind of soap would I use?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Wed 07, 2010 5:04 am 
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It's not the washing that is critical; it's drying it afterwards. Some people bake their electronics in a low oven--that would be difficult for a 585.
I have used an air compressor on units that got rain wet, then waited a few days (or left them in the sun).
Don't use soap, unless you can be sure of washing it out completely. Cigarette residue can be a bear to remove. Alcohol may help.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Wed 07, 2010 5:19 am 
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Floppy Disc,

I sent you a PM regarding Tek's washing process.

Cigarette smoke is easily handled using amonia in the water you use to do the washing. An alternative would be windex, but that would be an unwarranted expense.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Wed 07, 2010 6:14 am 
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I would not want to wash any scope using San Diego water. It is supposed to be highly ionized and the water residue will damage the transformer. At least so says Stan Griffiths of Tek.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Wed 07, 2010 12:02 pm 
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There was a recent thread on the Yahoo! Agilent HP forum, and most of the pros stated that the factories used non ionized water.

Pete

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Wed 07, 2010 4:59 pm 
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You can use tap water but should rinse thoroughly with distilled water, blow out well with compressed air, and as John mentioned let dry, and don't rush it. I've typically allowed a week of summer sunshine, bringing it in at night to avoid condensation.

Keep water out of the transformer, usually some clear packing tape helps this out a lot. You also don't want to get the paper covered caps wet either.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Wed 07, 2010 9:04 pm 
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Location: Harviell MO USA 63945 (12 miles S of Poplar Bluff)
Tektronix routinely washed all 500-series, 7K, 5K, 300-series (even Sony/Tek products) and 400-series portables. They didn't worry about the transformers or capacitors. Covers were removed from attenuators and HV areas. After washing and thorough rinsing, blowing with air (use low-pressure air, not your handy-dandy 130 psi stuff) and squirting IPA on the attenuators to displace the water, the scope was dried in a big oven. Full summer sun on the driveway as mentioned will suffice for drying and after 2 or 3 90+° days, you should be fine. Nightly indoor storage to avoid condensation is also necessary as mentioned.

First thing to do after drying is to oil fan motors.

The only time I've seen damage from washing is if some clown takes his scope down to the local car wash or uses a pressure washer where the spray dislodges components. And by the way, the local car wash often reuses the water, so washing a scope in their brine on a winter afternoon would not be wise anyway.

Tek used Kelite as their detergent for washing. There's also no problem using a soft paint brush to help in the scrub if you're careful. It's especially useful on circuit boards.

There was never a need to wash a 422, 1502 or 1503 since those are all sealed instruments with no air holes, hence no dirt ever got inside.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Wed 07, 2010 10:07 pm 
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In the early 80's I worked stuffing circuit boards and then running them through the flow-soldering machine. One step in the final process was to load the completed boards into one of five home-grade dishwashers. No soap, just hot water and a dry cycle. These were early microprocessor based security system control boards. I think the only thing we left off and soldered after were the trim pots.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Thu 08, 2010 2:47 am 
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I never washed a scope myself. We had a cabinet, with turntable and variac controlled flood lamps to do the drying. A fellow tech was keen on washing scopes, just to kill time I guess. He used forced air to blow water out of tight places, which blew the mica insulation out of variable capacitors.

Although it can be done, I once fished an Airon(sp) PA amp out of a creek and fixed it. It worked for a number of months, but eventually both power and later, output transformers had to be replaced.

If the cigarette smell is that bad, I guess I'd do it, but would try a strong breeze first.

Charlie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Thu 08, 2010 10:46 am 
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Tom, Floppy,

Check your regular email. You should have gotten 2 docs. One about 1.5 MB and the other 250KB.

If they didn't make it, let me know.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Thu 08, 2010 6:43 pm 
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Hey Mike !

Yup, they came through just fine ! Many thanks, I'll go download them here !!!

Regards--

Tom

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Thu 08, 2010 8:03 pm 
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Location: Toulouse, France
Hello !
something I've done many times is to dismantle all cover from the device and was them in the dishwasher WITH standard dishwasher soap.
It removes 90 % of the smoke smell and return the thing as new.
For the innards, I blow it with compressed air (an automotive grade compressor with slightly reduced pressure) then a brush and I'm done.
The smell becomes bearable and there is no trouble on the electronics.
The main problem is making the wife accept the dishwasher use .... Mine says I'm crazy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Thu 08, 2010 9:25 pm 
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The Shipyards I worked at Long Beach and Puget Sound were fond of steam cleaning mixed with Kelite. Then oven drying. Another route that was acceptable until Emissions were restricted. Spray FREON.

There are similar spray products that are more environmentally friendly. But should work as well. :wink:

When I worked at Tektronix in Beverton OR with the TM 500 series, (1975 or thereabouts) we used freon baths for circuit-board cleaning.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Fri 09, 2010 2:43 am 
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Location: San Diego
Mikeinkcmo, thank you for the instructions!

I'm starting to think that it would not be a good idea to wash it, at least in San Diego water. The water here is so hard that it leaves a crust on the dishes, so it probably wouldn't be good on the oscilloscope. I think I'll try cleaning it off with Denatured Alcohol, a paintbrush, and compressed air. If that doesn't work, then maybe I'll try something more drastic.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Fri 09, 2010 6:09 am 
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Be careful of paints and plastics. Just rinse with distilled water from the store, you can get 5 gallon plastic bottles for 3 or 4 bucks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sat 10, 2010 4:50 am 
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I don't know that I like the idea of using regular automatic dishwasher detergent for cleaning. That stuff does attack aluminum -- just ask the handles of the Rada knives we've run through ours.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sat 10, 2010 5:49 am 
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I don't know about the tube Tek scopes, but it's going to be after my death before my Tek 7854 is going to be washed down with water and set out in my driveway to dry. I know this might have been an official Tek procedure, but something inside me (sanity) tells me, "no, not a good idea." Even if I had a tube scope that stunk like Archie Bunker's White Owls, I would probably just clean the inside and outside of the covers really good, and put a stick-up inside it.

-Mark-


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sat 10, 2010 4:14 pm 
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A good cleaning is needed, removing any dust and dirt. I would not spray it down. Clearly all the dust and dirt and hair has to go. I would use small stiff brisle paint brushes, tooth brushes, shop vac and first get the BIG stuff.

Than blow it all out with compressed air.

Remove all tubes and wipe them down with damp cloth and let air dry. Good time to clean the pins with some scotch brite pad and D5 contact cleaner. Spray some D5 in a cup and use small paint brush and clean tube socket pin receivers.

Than wipe the chassis down with paper towles, cotton swabs with mild mild solvent from water, water with a dab of mild soap .... D5 contact cleaner, WD40.

Any case covers and housing you can remove clean more aggressively with soapy water and than rinse, air sun dry outside.

You may want to put all the parts outside in fresh air and sunlight (not direct). Don't cook it in mid day Arizona sun. This is great for mold but also should help AIR IT OUT.

If all the cleaning does not do it................

Put the scope in a big plastic garbage bag or seal-able plastic box with fabric freshener sheets. That might be absorbed and kill the smell. You might try to try the bag trick with baking soda first, to try and absorb smells, than use fabric softener. The longer you leave it sit the better.... a day or two.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sat 10, 2010 4:46 pm 
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Quote:
That stuff does attack aluminum -- just ask the handles of the Rada knives we've run through ours.


Once upon a time, I bought a Tek type 130 L/C meter and put the covers through just what you put your knives through. I was glad only the inside of the covers were bare, and I didn't wash the whole thing.

THAT only happened once.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sat 10, 2010 7:47 pm 
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I have had pretty good luck with one of those steamers they advertise on the TV info-mercials. I fill it with free distilled water from the dehumidifier drain pan in the house (a curse of living near the beach) and the nozzle of the steam cleaner gets into some pretty small areas. It doesn't seem to be hot enough to hurt anything. I then let the equipment dry in the summer sun.

I've also been told that odors can be removed by putting the equipment in a large trash bag and placing the bag opening over the exhaust side of one of those commercial electrostatic air purifiers (the square box kind.) Supposedly the ozone neutralizes the odors. Haven't tried it yet. The air purifiers show up in thrift stores after the owners die from breathing the output 24/7.

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