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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 7th Mar 2019, 11:14 am   #1
Malcolm T
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Lugo, Spain
Posts: 69
Default Keyboard and computer circuit board cleaning

A few years ago i slung all the boards, keyboard and even the main processor into an ultrasonic cleaner tank filled with water and washing up liquid , at about 35 deg C what dispersed was very surprising, dirt / grime oil / grease etc The only problem was the keyboard , it had to be totally dis-assembled and dried for several days before it would work !. A fun exercise and the computer functioned perfectly.
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Old 10th Mar 2019, 10:27 am   #2
sentinel040
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Location: Stonnall near Lichfield, Staffordshire, UK, most of the time and Crystal Palace, S London, some of the time..
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Default Re: Keyboard and computer circuit board cleaning

In another life a few decades ago, as an electronics engineer for the Birmingham Post and Mail, we had several hundred editorial and front office (advertising) keyboards to look after and the standard technique to clean them was to retire to the washroom with a softish brush and place under a running tap and apply the standard Pink Pearl hand cleaner (useless for cleaning hands....) with the brush, rinsing well afterwards. Then off to an electric oven in the workshop set to a low gentle heat for an overnight drying session. We never killed one.

The keyboard were the Cherry switch ones with individual hall effect keyswitches.

Regards
Ian
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Old 10th Mar 2019, 12:08 pm   #3
Malcolm T
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Default Re: Keyboard and computer circuit board cleaning

That sounds like you had a lot of fun then Ian.

Mine was more curiosity , it was just an old computer and keyboard that was very dirty and was,nt doing anything.
Keyboard was the problem , i had to take it apart end dry the flexable plastic pcb layers , even a small ammount of moisture inside the keyboard played havoc with the computer , took several days though but it worked in the end !. The water ended up filthy, just goes to show what grime is around in the enviroment.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 8:12 pm   #4
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Keyboard and computer circuit board cleaning

In times-past I dunked many Lear-Siegler ADM3A and |D|I|G|I|T|A|L| VT131 keyboards (that spent their lives at what was euphemistically-called a "Water-treatment plant" but everyone locally knew as the sewage-works) in a bath of deionised-water-and-commercial-detergent.

Swish them around for a day or so, re-wash several times with deionised water, stick them somewhere hot-and-30-Centigrade for a few days, and they usually recovered. Often this revealed that the reason the keycap-lettering had not been visible (the reason for the service-call) was not because it was covered by 'biological deposits' but because the said biological deposits had digested the text from the keycaps.

In later times it was distinctly more-profitable and much faster to summarily hurl the contaminated keyboard into the trash and supply a new one.
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