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Old 15th Apr 2016, 8:29 am   #1
newlite4
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Default Modern radios - rubber finish

Having problems recently with better quality radios that have a silky rubber layer on top of plastic. When new, the finish offers good grip and looks attractive, but after only a few years the rubber develops a stickyness that attracts dust and dirt and is impossible to clean.. I have tried most cleaners to no avail, eventually the rubber comes off along with the legends leaving the plastic beneath, ultimately the radio becomes a scrapper.
Many sets use this "temporary" finish, Tivoli PAL, Pure Classic, as well as a host of hand helds. I wish makers would stop doing this, it is worse than the Philips "suedette" finish on their early eighties test equipment that over the years turned into a sticky fluffy mess.
Neil
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 9:12 am   #2
mark pirate
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

The same thing happens to the back of Sky remotes, it certainly was not a good choice of finish.

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Old 15th Apr 2016, 9:18 am   #3
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

1980s Sony radios have this problem.IPA will get it off.If you are very careful you might be able to remove it over legends as long as you do not rub hard .Let the IPA do the work
Cheers Pete
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 9:33 am   #4
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

My brother has a cheapish telescope, about 15 years old, which is the same. It's virtually unusable now without donning disposable gloves first. Sadly, I couldn't shift the stuff with IPA.
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 9:34 am   #5
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

I'm not sure it is repairable in most cases. The plastic itself seems to break down. I suppose manufacturers don't much care what happens to remote controls when they're 10 years old.
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 9:37 am   #6
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

This problem also affects the rubbery buttons of remote-controls: I have yet to find a good way to clean the buttons to remove the stickiness. Thank $Deity for 'universal' programmable remotes.


Sidenote: I have a few turn-of-the-millennium IBM/Lenovo "thinkpad" laptops that use what's colloquially known as a "nipple-mouse" - a small pink rubberised joystick protruding between some of the keys.
These use rubber covers that go soft with age: I''ve got a supply of new-old-stock covers, but how is it best to store these so they don't degrade to uselessness before I come to use them?
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 9:38 am   #7
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

I have managed to remove the rubber goo, luckily it is on the removable battery cover. To be honest, I never liked the 'feel' of the remote with the rubber in place.

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Old 15th Apr 2016, 9:42 am   #8
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
I'm not sure it is repairable in most cases. The plastic itself seems to break down.
Yes, but just removing the gungey rubbery covering (and leaving whatever hard plastic or metal is underneath) would be a huge bonus in terms of usability. If anyone has any other ideas about how to shift the stuff, please post.
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 9:52 am   #9
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

I used a small amount of 'imitation' WD40 on a torch that had a similar coating. It cleaned up fine.

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Old 15th Apr 2016, 10:07 am   #10
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

Another solvent you could try is the stuff for removing sticky labels
Check first it does not attack the plastic !

Pete
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 1:16 pm   #11
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

Thanks for all your replies. This sticky stuff is very difficult to clean off once it starts to appear, it just moves about. Once you think you have a clean surface you are forever wiping off permanent fingerprints. I initially used label remover but without success. I may have a go with IPA or lighter fluid , anything to break down this horrid compound.
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 5:06 pm   #12
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

Quite some time ago I spent a long time getting to the bottom of a problem on a Kenwood UD70 'integrated separates' audio system - I sorted it in the end but the one thing which was beyond me was doing something about the overall (undoubtedly rather nice originally) 'warm rubber' coating which was starting to turn into sticky gunge.

Sonically, the unit was lovely and punched well above its weight, but cosmetically, it was just a year or three from its final journey to the breaker's yard.
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 6:09 pm   #13
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickthedentist View Post
My brother has a cheapish telescope, about 15 years old, which is the same. It's virtually unusable now without donning disposable gloves first. Sadly, I couldn't shift the stuff with IPA.
I was reading this thread earlier at work as I've got a pair of, also about 15 year old, quality binoculars that suffer the same. I thought it was sun lotion affecting the covering from when I took them on holiday. The stuff has dissolved down to a fibre mesh underneath. I've tried lighter fluid but no luck.

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Old 16th Apr 2016, 7:33 am   #14
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

Awful stuff. In my experience Ethanol shifts it. The stuff sold for use in indoor heaters.
Usual warnings about check what else it attacks first apply of course.
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 8:47 am   #15
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

Ethanol for indoor heaters? Do you mean methylated spirits?

Small spirit lamps for fondue sets and the like, perhaps. Otherwise paraffin, surely?
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 12:17 pm   #16
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

Hi this is a shot in the dark to say the least, but there is a stripper called Homestrip that removes paint, varnish etc. but does not burn and is safe, will not burn cloths, skin .
I have a laptop that has a rubber finish and I have tried cleaning it without success.
If I can find a small quantity I will have a go.
Cheers.
Geoff.
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 12:48 pm   #17
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

I haven't had this problem with electronic equipment, but have addressed the sticky rubber problem with tool handles by applying talcum powder. The goo and powder can be worked into a stiff paste that can be more easily removed by rubbing or wiping. Probably not a practical solution where cosmetic appearance is important.
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 8:31 pm   #18
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

The same problem soon became apparent with 1980's and onwards Canon SLR cameras. The rubber coating also turned white-ish and later, it was discovered that this was more of a problem with owners who suffered from diabetes. The only remedy, although temporary, was to replace the rubber grips.
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 12:42 pm   #19
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

My now rather ancient Olympus has this problem too.
Oddly, the same sort of finish on my 12 year old car interior hasn't suffered except from wear.
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 9:46 pm   #20
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Default Re: Modern radios - rubber finish

I hate the stuff, it seem to be a design fad at the moment. My old VW golf had it all around the interior door pulls and window switches and of course it soon got very tatty. It's used on certain sorts of pot knobs on mixing desks. The rubber coating seems to react with the grease on fingers and it rubs off, sometimes leaving a different coloured plastic under the coating. Nasty!
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