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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 6th May 2020, 12:44 pm   #21
ColinTheAmpMan1
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Default Re: Servisol substitues ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajgriff View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinTheAmpMan1 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfulcharlie View Post
Quite pleasant to use as it reminds you of your granny's draws
(use to be used for moth balls).
You had me going with this talk of "granny's drawers", mind you....

Difficult to imagine Granny placing mothballs in a draw. People draw cheques, guns, pictures, football matches, raffle tickets etc. Physical objects are stored in drawers. Of course the word drawers is also used humorously when referring to an item of underwear. One way or the other 'cheerfulcharlie' used the word correctly.

Alan
I think the power of the moderators is being displayed here. When I made the quote, the word was "draws" and the text in cheerfulcharlie's post and mine got altered (presumably by a moderator; not by me) to "drawers". The fact that the text in the quote remained the way I saw it is maybe because it couldn't be changed or wasn't spotted....
Colin.
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Old 6th May 2020, 2:15 pm   #22
cheerfulcharlie
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

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Brake cleaner also seem dangerous stuff for electrical use due to its highest toxicity and possible damage it can cause to plastic parts.

https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/...d.php?t=108407
Well, we are all grown adults in respecting chemicals and the like.

.. and frankly, that quote you have is nonsense as the evaporation rate is far too quick to hang around causing fumes from touching other materials.

Could they really sell stuff as 'brake' cleaner that rotted plastic... knowing that some brake parts have now replaced traditional rubber with plastic-like substitutes?

But ok whatever! I'll stop digging my hole,my original post has been well and truly pummeled into the ground and the rain is pouring onto my parade .
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Old 6th May 2020, 7:32 pm   #23
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

Having said that, I tried WD40 to cheap vintage Transistor radio with crackling noise on the volume pot, and it cured it. Now no pops and bangs when switching it on, and rotating the volume control = it got noiseless and quiet as new.

So, maybe WD40 can do the job provided it is not too excess amount which will spill over to other areas than the problematic part, and where plastic parts are connected by friction such as into tubes or bars.

WD40 does work - thanks for your idea.
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Old 7th May 2020, 3:12 pm   #24
ColinTheAmpMan1
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

I think this has been mentioned elsewhere on this forum, but there could still be some confusion lingering. I haven't seen it for myself (I use Servisol for cleaning electronic stuff and WD40 for automobile, etc., purposes) but apart from the common WD40, which is a water-displacer (hence the WD), there is supposed to be an electrical contact-cleaner made by the same company. The traditional WD40 will clean electrical contacts, etc., but it leaves an oily deposit on the contacts which might attract dust and other particles and thus leave you with a bigger problem than you had to start. Caveat emptor. If your Latin isn't up to it, that means "let the buyer beware".

I believe that Castrol made a similar product to WD40, which was called DWF (de-watering fluid).

Colin.
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Old 7th May 2020, 7:47 pm   #25
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

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there is supposed to be an electrical contact-cleaner made by the same (WD40) company.
Colin.

It does indeed exist - I have a can of it - seems OK, I don't seem to have as many dirty contacts as I used to, so don't use it very often.

B
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Old 7th May 2020, 8:18 pm   #26
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

I don’t think that Servisol 10 switch cleaner is expensive. When I worked full time a can would last at least a year. For the average repair enthusiast that probably equates to 20 years worth. No reason to use anything else. Like most companies they make a wide range of different products so be sure to get the correct product for your use.
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Old 9th May 2020, 2:10 pm   #27
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

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Just wondering if there are any options for Servisol switch cleaner.
My friend suggested using Carb cleaner canisters for Petrol Lawn Mower Engine, because it cleans any blocked engines very well and fast.

But I am not sure if it will damage plastics or other electronic parts.
Be careful with carb cleaner & vintage stuff, it's certainly an excellent way of ruining rubber seals from the 1960's.

There is a old can of Servisol switch cleaner here, with a warning about possible damage to plastic, will try & remember to add a picture later. The new can only has warnings about it's effect on people.

David
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Old 9th May 2020, 3:31 pm   #28
ORAWA01
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

In fact, reflecting back, I have read somewhere that also Servisol could do some damage to rubber and plastic parts in the old radios. Then what would be the best and safest switch cleaners?
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Old 9th May 2020, 4:14 pm   #29
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

Almost all switch cleaning can cause some problems if you’re not careful. In days of old when Radiospares cleaner was supplied in metal cans with a conical top and metal spout I’ve seen several accidents caused by the metal spout coming in contact with mains supplies or fully charged capacitors. The cleaner was the stuff that smelled like when you walk past a dry cleaners. Can’t think of its name. That would dry out rubbery components and leave a white film on them.
Modern switch cleaners are safer but you still need to be careful. They are not only cleaners but contain a lubricant as well. Only use a small amount and don’t let the spray go where you don’t want it. Often I spray a little into a tin lid and use a wooden cocktail stick to place a drop exactly where needed. It’s no wonder my cans last me a long time as I don’t waste 90% sloshing it around. Never spray valve holders as the residue will attract dirt and cause leakage between pins. If you want to lubricate the pins apply a small amount to the valve pin and work it by putting the valve in and out a few times.
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Old 9th May 2020, 6:09 pm   #30
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

Yes, it sounds absolutely true. It is not just what product, but also how to use it seem very important.

I have a bitter memory of losing a vintage valve volt meter after spray happy session with Servisol switch cleaner.

It used to work fine on Ohms, just a few glitch problem on DC and AC. But after over spraying Servisol around all the pots, it is now totally dysfunctional. It needs total restoration. I am not sure what it had done to the VVOM.
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Old 9th May 2020, 7:49 pm   #31
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

I remember that the Servisol of the 1950s -60s was bad news if any plastic or paint was around, but is today’s Servisol 10 just as risky?

Does anyone know whether the Servisol formulation has changed over the last half century or so?

Martin
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Old 9th May 2020, 8:42 pm   #32
factory
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

Here is the old can of Servisol switch cleaner with the warning about it effecting plastics, as it still has contents I've been using it, I've lost the newer can.

I've seen in some of the test gear manuals I have, that say don't use any type of switch cleaner.

David
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Old 9th May 2020, 8:50 pm   #33
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

I remember servisol changing perhaps 20 or 25 yrs ago ish, I didn't think it was as good after the change
switches and pots seemed creaky afterwards and not smooth as they used to be.
Carb cleaner has some of the same stuff as cellulose thinners, xylene I think I tried cellulose thinners on carbs and noticed it removed varnish deposits but I defiantly wouldn't use either on switches or potentiometers.
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Old 9th May 2020, 9:17 pm   #34
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

One of the frustrating things about many commercial cleansers and solvents is the difficulty associated with finding out precise details of a particular product's constituents. Many manufacturer's go to some lengths to conceal such detail with labelling containing such phrases as 'a unique blend of hydrocarbons', leaving the user none the wiser. However the regulated world in which we live does mean that we have access to some information pertaining to toxic or flammable components via safety data sheets. Not perfect but it can help. Here are some examples ignoring propellants (often propane, butane or carbon dioxide):

Caig DeoxIT D Series - largely petroleum spirit with a dash of 'trade secret'.

Servisol Super 10 - largely petroleum spirit plus a little oil.

Standard WD40 - largely petroleum spirit plus a little light oil.

Carb Cleaners - usually acetone plus toluene or xylene

Brake Cleaners - either acetone or petroleum spirit (often used to be TCE ie, tricloroethylene)

White Spirit/Turps Substitute - petroleum spirit.

Please don't take this as gospel as it is the analysis of an amateur (me). One of the many fog factors here is the term 'petroleum spirit' which is often dressed up in other forms using words like 'paraffinic' and 'naptha'. What makes matters worse is there's no standard definition of petroleum spirit which is really a rather rough by-product of the oil refining process. Some, if not all, petroleum spirits (distillates) contain aromatic solvents. Toluene and xylene are also aromatic.

Another thing of course is that there is a huge array of plastic types and there will always be some which are adversely affected, especially with prolonged exposure, by certain solvents inluding all of those mentioned above. The aromatic hydrocarbons are particularly risky in this respect as is acetone to a lesser extent. In terms of plastics isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is probably one of the safest solvents for contact cleaning although it's not actuallly much of a solvent. Denatured alcohol (eg meths) is a bit better and evaporates faster than IPA.

Finally I'm not a fan of sprays generally. They are difficult to control, wasteful and the propellants used aren't environmentally friendly. For what it's worth I use meths and the mixture referred to via post #8 if some lubrication is needed.

I'm sure that the organic chemists amongst our number will find it easy to pick large holes in my analysis but I think it serves to illustrate how difficult it is for the layman to choose the right contact cleaner/lubricant.

Alan

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Old 9th May 2020, 11:17 pm   #35
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

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Originally Posted by ColinTheAmpMan1 View Post
I think this has been mentioned elsewhere on this forum, but there could still be some confusion lingering. I haven't seen it for myself (I use Servisol for cleaning electronic stuff and WD40 for automobile, etc., purposes) but apart from the common WD40, which is a water-displacer (hence the WD), there is supposed to be an electrical contact-cleaner made by the same company. The traditional WD40 will clean electrical contacts, etc., but it leaves an oily deposit on the contacts which might attract dust and other particles and thus leave you with a bigger problem than you had to start. Caveat emptor. If your Latin isn't up to it, that means "let the buyer beware".
I've got a can of WD40 contact cleaner which seems to work OK on the devices I've tried it on so far.
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Old 11th May 2020, 10:17 am   #36
ColinTheAmpMan1
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

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In terms of plastics isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is probably one of the safest solvents for contact cleaning although it's not actuallly much of a solvent. Denatured alcohol (eg meths) is a bit better and evaporates faster than IPA.

Alan
OK, I am an organic chemist, though now retired.

isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol, IPA) is a somewhat better solvent than you are giving it credit for. Tektronix recommend using it to clean the contacts of their attenuator modules, as it doesn't damage the plastic substrate. OK, sometimes a bit of elbow-grease is necessary for cleaning some things with IPA, but it isn't "not actually much of a solvent" - my opinion, of course.

I would caution using "meths" for cleaning contacts, as it contains stuff that doesn't evaporate, such as the purple dye and pyridine. If you can get "industrial methylated spirit" (IMS) from a friendly pharmacist, then that is clear and doesn't have the dye and pyridine.

For information, the so-called "meths" contains:
Ethanol (ethyl alcohol; the stuff that gets you happy)
Methanol (methyl alcohol; poisonous but sends you blind and bonkers first)
Pyridine (an nasty-smelling and tasting organic compound which is incorporated to deter people from drinking meths and has a high boiling-point, so doesn't evaporate readily)
Dye (I can't remember why it is there, but it identifies the solvent as "meths" and therefore the dangers in drinking it).

If you can get the solvent that Americans call "denatured alcohol", it would be a better choice, as it doesn't contain dye.

Better would be "absolute alcohol", which is ~99.9% ethyl alcohol, but since it is potable (can be drunk) you have to pay duty on it and it is otherwise expensive, plus you need to be recognised as a scientific establishment to buy it anyway.

To be honest, the best may well be methanol (methyl alcohol), but good luck in getting that and don't drink it.

If you doubt my statement about the non-evaporating substances in meths, try putting some on a piece of glass, letting it evaporate without wiping it and then look at what is left behind. If you are ok with that dye and pyridine being on your electrical contacts, then fine. If not, put the meths away.

Colin.
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Old 11th May 2020, 10:38 am   #37
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

I certainly wouldn't take issue with anything you've said Colin although I've never found the slight residue left by meths to be a problem. I've even used it on Tektronix attenuator boards when IPA wouldn't do the job and the 465B's still working fine four years on. Perhaps I've just been lucky, so far at least.

Alan
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Old 11th May 2020, 11:20 am   #38
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Default Re: Servisol substitutes ideas?

I too remember the crazy paving plastic on Thorn TVs due to certain contact cleaners.

Lawrence.
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