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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 6th Jul 2019, 11:28 am   #1
TALKINGWITHPYE
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Default How best to clean ISA slots and cards.

Hello I have a 486 computer for programming radios for use on the vhf amateur bands but I suspect the connections between the interface card and the ISA slot are not connecting properly. How would be the best way to clean the card and slot connections. Perhaps isopropl allcohol?
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 12:07 pm   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: How best to clean isa slots and cards

Professional field service technicians used to clean edge connectors with vinyl pencil erasers ('rubbers'). There's not much you can do with socket slots apart from squirting some Servisol inside, but the problems are usually caused by dirty or tarnished edge connectors rather than the sockets.

http://foldoc.org/field+circus
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 1:21 pm   #3
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: How best to clean ISA slots and cards.

And a smear of Vaseline afterwards will nearly eliminate future corrosion. Motorcycle electrics a famed for getting a bit damp and corroding, I stuff mine with Vaseline, never had a problem afterwards.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 2:19 pm   #4
Terry_VK5TM
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Default Re: How best to clean ISA slots and cards.

We used to clean similar connectors by folding a business card (not the glossy type) in half and wetting it with Iso alcohol.

Slide card up and down in slot - NOT along it as it can rip the contacts out.

Vaseline, being a petroleum based product, can affect some plastics, so a proper contact grease is preferable (it used to be available for the RC car market quite easily from hobby shops - not sure if it still is).
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 4:50 pm   #5
duncanlowe
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Default Re: How best to clean ISA slots and cards.

I recently bought some contact cleaner / lubricant specifically for gold contacts. It's meant for mobile phone contacts (SIM cards batteries etc). But I've had great success with it cleaning and keeping clean gold contacts (switches, connectors) in an application where we experience numerous problems historically. It's a small (well tiny) bottle with a little brush, from a company called de-oxit.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 8:20 pm   #6
superdirto
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Default Re: How best to clean ISA slots and cards.

if you remember the rubbers that were two coloured with the blue end for ink, thats what I used to use on the cards, (blue end) and meths on a brush for the sockets, be gentle though you can rub off all the gold
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 11:21 am   #7
SteveCG
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Default Re: How best to clean ISA slots and cards.

I clean the card connectors with a drop of Iso-Propyl Alcohol (IPA) on a cotton bud rubbing gently up and down the connector surfaces - not across.

For the sockets I first make sure there is no dust in them and then using a soft art painting brush dipped in IPA, gently go up and down the socket length.
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 3:24 pm   #8
TALKINGWITHPYE
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Default Re: How best to clean ISA slots and cards.

Thanks for all your replies, I have got my problem sorted, the converter card had a dud crystal and the firmware eprom was corrupt.

Dave
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