(Topic ID: 124366)

EM Tech: What do you use to clean your circuit boards?


By RyanClaytor

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 58 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by balzofsteel
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “What do you use to clean your circuit boards?”

    • Green Scotch Brite Pad 6 votes
      30%
    • Brasso 7 votes
      35%
    • Other Abrasive 3 votes
      15%
    • Other Chemical 3 votes
      15%
    • Other (My method not listed above) 1 vote
      5%

    (20 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

    Topic Gallery

    There have been 22 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

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    score_hair_cream.jpg
    circuitBoardJ.jpg
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    greased board.jpg

    There are 58 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 4 years ago

    Hi EM Guys,

    I'm new to the world of EM Tech and have been cleaning some score reels recently.

    Before:
    circuitboard.jpg

    After:
    unnamed.jpg

    While this comparison looked good to my untrained eyes, the use of an abrasive to clean the board brought up some discussion in a recent restore thread of mine.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/williams-swinger-restoration-and-eventual-retheme

    Basically, should an abrasive be used to clean EM circuit boards or not? I tried a clean pad and found this...

    circuitboardDust.jpg

    ...what looks to be a copper-y residue, likely taking off some of the traces. A product called "Brasso" was recommended to me. I haven't tried it yet. I'm curious if any of you more experienced EM Techs have any experience/preference with your cleaning methods/products.

    - Is there any risk of fire with using a chemical like Brasso?
    - Is there a big risk of destroying the circuit boards with an abrasive like green Scotch Brite pads?
    - ...and what do you use?

    I'm just trying to learn as I go and do the right thing by the machine I'm working on.

    Thanks for your time,
    Ryan Claytor
    Elephant Eater Comics
    www.ElephantEater.com

    #2 4 years ago

    I use Brasso. Then after they are clean i use a tiny bit of superlube to lubricate

    --Jeff

    #3 4 years ago

    Same here on the other side of the ocean

    #4 4 years ago

    To add to this, there is something called a "fiberglass eraser". Have any of you used one?
    I have used an eraser for ink, I have used Scotch Bright, and even automotive wheel metal polish. All of these seem to do the trick with out removing a lot of metal surface.

    #5 4 years ago

    150 or slightly higher # sandpaper. Just on the contact area enough to remove the dirt that interferes with the electrical connection.

    EDIT: 220. Really good on the rivets on Bally stepper units.

    #6 4 years ago

    First I wipe off all the old grease from the board with lighter fluid on a rag. Then I use a RUSH brand fiberglass eraser pen. Next I clean it again with 99% isopropyl alcohol. And finally I use a thin coat of Super Lube to make it step easily and to prevent the wiper blade from wearing a groove in the copper traces.

    #7 4 years ago

    Scotch Brite and 91% Alcohol followed by alcohol and a paper towel to wipe of the remnants of the residue from the pad/dirt, then a super thin coat of Super Lube Teflon Grease.

    Ken

    #8 4 years ago

    In essence, your favorite fine abrasive applied minimally, is the productive solution. I use the scotchbrite pad myself. I've used chrome polish in the past.

    The key, regardless of how you refresh the traces, is to apply some Superlube afterward to keep the followers from cutting into the board traces.

    #9 4 years ago

    I use 1500 grit with a dab of 90%

    10
    #10 4 years ago

    I use a thin , very thin coating of MBI Instrument grease. If cfh is reading this, then I use WD-40; sprayed all over everything, including the numbers on the score reels

    #11 4 years ago

    This one made me laugh.

    Steve

    Quoted from MrBally:

    If cfh is reading this, then I use WD-40; sprayed all over everything, including the numbers on the score reels

    #12 4 years ago

    First of all, thanks a bunch for chiming in, guys. I really appreciate it.

    Then,

    Quoted from boilerman:

    I use 1500 grit

    Quoted from MrBally:

    150 or slightly higher # sandpaper

    Mr Bally, I'm guessing you meant 1500? 150 sounds pretty coarse, but again, I'm new to this.

    Also, a lot of people have mentioned:

    Quoted from KenLayton:

    I use a thin coat of Super Lube

    Quoted from EM-PINMAN:

    thin coat of Super Lube Teflon Grease

    Quoted from MikeO:

    apply some Superlube afterward

    ...but does anyone use 3 in 1 oil or have opinions on the product?

    3in1.jpg

    I've been using it to coat the traces after abrasion.

    Finally,

    Quoted from MrBally:

    If cfh is reading this, then I use WD-40; sprayed all over everything, including the numbers on the score reels

    I may be new to EM Tech, but I know enough to know...that's hilarious.

    Looking forward to more feedback,
    Ryan Claytor
    Elephant Eater Comics
    http://www.ElephantEater.com

    #13 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    I use WD-40; sprayed all over everything, including the numbers on the score reels

    Just, not when you are smoking.

    #14 4 years ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    ...but does anyone use 3 in 1 oil or have opinions on the product?

    The Gottlieb motor requires a few drops of oil on occasion. Not sure if '3 in 1' is the best one to use.

    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from Darcy:

    The Gottlieb motor requires a few drops of oil on occasion. Not sure if '3 in 1' is the best one to use.

    3 in 1 is old news, good back in the day but way better products are out now. I use Super Lube Teflon Oil.

    Ken

    #16 4 years ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    Mr Bally, I'm guessing you meant 1500? 150 sounds pretty coarse, but again, I'm new to this.
    Also, a lot of people have mentioned:

    I meant 220, which may seem coarse to some, but is what I use. It's quick to cut through the greas and dirt.

    #17 4 years ago
    Quoted from EM-PINMAN:

    3 in 1 is old news, good back in the day but way better products are out now. I use Super Lube Teflon Oil.
    Ken

    For liquid form lube I recommend Tri Flow Teflon Lube in the squeeze bottle. Stays well on the parts it is lubricating and does not draw in dirt and debris.

    #18 4 years ago

    Just out of curiosity, is this the stuff I should be looking for?

    superlube.jpg
    #19 4 years ago

    That's it. I find it at Harbor Freight.

    #20 4 years ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    Just out of curiosity, is this the stuff I should be looking for?

    Quoted from MikeO:

    That's it. I find it at Harbor Freight.

    Yep!

    Ken

    #21 4 years ago

    Yup, that's the stuff.

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    Yup, that's the stuff.

    Consensus!

    Thanks, guys.

    Quoted from MikeO:

    I find it at Harbor Freight.

    I'll swing by before work this morning. Thanks for your help!

    Sincerely,
    Ryan Claytor
    Elephant Eater Comics
    http://www.ElephantEater.com

    #23 4 years ago

    I picked up ye olde Super Lube today and used it on another score reel circuit board I cleaned today. It's...weird. It's like...the consistency of Vaseline. Much thicker than the 3 in 1 oil I've been using. I put some on my finger and it felt kind of sticky. Supposedly dust is not supposed to stick to it, right? But it has a consistency of something that dust would stick to.

    Any thoughts or words to assuage my fears?

    Thanks, guys!
    Ryan

    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    Any thoughts or words to assuage my fears?
    Thanks, guys!
    Ryan

    sure... ALL of us use it... i can understand your fear on it, it does have the consistency of vaseline... but it works, and doesn't gum up like the old lube they used to use...

    remember... all you need/want is a LIGHT coating... like the old brylcreem ad... "a little dab will do you"...

    #25 4 years ago
    Quoted from Darcy:

    Just, not when you are smoking.

    a little fire always brings some excitement to pinball repair...

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    sure... ALL of us use it... i can understand your fear on it, it does have the consistency of vaseline... but it works, and doesn't gum up like the old lube they used to use...
    remember... all you need/want is a LIGHT coating... like the old brylcreem ad... "a little dab will do you"...

    Thanks for the reassurance, Chris. Much appreciated.

    #27 4 years ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    Thanks for the reassurance, Chris. Much appreciated.

    This isn't our first rodeo.

    #28 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    sure... ALL of us use it... i can understand your fear on it, it does have the consistency of vaseline... but it works, and doesn't gum up like the old lube they used to use...
    remember... all you need/want is a LIGHT coating... like the old brylcreem ad... "a little dab will do you"...

    Brylcreem?

    Seriously Chris.

    Only time I ever actually saw the stuff was in commercials.

    Bringing that up might make you the oldest 40 something I know.

    #29 4 years ago

    brylcreem, a little dab will do you...
    for men who use their heads about their hair....

    i watched a LOT of tv when i was a kid...

    sadly, i'm a 50 something now though... and i can't remember where my keys are half the time, but i can remember jingles from advertisements from 40 years ago...

    #30 4 years ago

    Scotch-Brite pad with 99% alcohol (scrubbing lightly), then run dry--no lube (most of the time). I only add lube if movement seems sluggish.

    #31 4 years ago
    Quoted from EM-PINMAN:

    Scotch Brite and 91% Alcohol followed by alcohol and a paper towel to wipe of the remnants of the residue from the pad/dirt, then a super thin coat of Super Lube Teflon Grease.
    Ken

    Same here for years and years....and years! : )

    #32 4 years ago

    I tried-out some Super Lube on a score reel circuit board from my Williams Swinger.

    superlube.jpg

    ...and thought I'd post some pictures to make sure I'm doing this right.

    circuitBoardF.jpg

    I've been told to use this sparingly.

    circuitBoardG.jpgcircuitBoardH.jpgcircuitBoardI.jpgcircuitBoardJ.jpg

    Here it is completely lubed:

    circuitBoardK.jpg

    In some angles it looks a little goopy...

    circuitBoardL.jpg

    ...but it's spread on pretty thin:

    circuitBoardM.jpg

    Thoughts?

    #33 4 years ago

    missing pic?

    #34 4 years ago

    It is kinda thick and goopy .... when it's in the tube, it'll get better once you spread it out a little on a decagon or step up board with your finger.

    Steve

    #35 4 years ago
    Quoted from blownfuse:

    It is kinda thick and goopy .... when it's in the tube, it'll get better once you spread it out a little on a decagon or step up board with your finger.
    Steve

    yup... it is "grease", after all...

    ryan, here is what a little one looks like "greased"...

    greased board.jpg

    #36 4 years ago

    Uh-oh! You're right. The pictures did not upload. Strange. Until I can edit the post above, you can see the referenced photos here (about 1/2 way down this post):

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/williams-swinger-restoration-and-eventual-retheme#post-2387597

    #37 4 years ago

    looked....

    it's a lot easier to get the thin even coating with your finger... q-tips (besides leaving behind bits of cotton) make it very hard to get it even...

    just squeeze out a TAD on your finger, then rub it around... i generally will wipe off the excess that invariably gets where i don't want it to go...

    #38 4 years ago

    I also use just a tad bit on my finger and apply the thin coat of grease to the board.

    #39 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    it's a lot easier to get the thin even coating with your finger..

    Quoted from KenLayton:

    I also use just a tad bit on my finger and apply the thin coat of grease to the board.

    Yep!

    Ken

    #40 4 years ago

    Great, thanks. I'll update with the new finger technique.

    In the meantime, previous post was edited to include pictures.

    #41 4 years ago

    cool... remember... just a TAD... a bb sized amount is MORE than enough...

    #42 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    ... a bb sized amount is MORE than enough...

    Yep - the tube is nearly a lifetime supply if for pin use only. I dab, spread then wipe with a dry finger : then that good for other uses too! Oh my!

    #43 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    yup... it is "grease", after all...
    ryan, here is what a little one looks like "greased"...
    greased board.jpg

    Dude, that towel...

    #44 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    brylcreem, a little dab will do you...
    for men who use their heads about their hair....

    The wethead is dead.

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from EMsInKC:

    Dude, that towel...

    i'm gonna send it to you...

    #46 4 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    The wethead is dead.
    » YouTube video

    i used that stuff...

    these days i have no need for hair products though...

    #47 4 years ago
    Quoted from zaphod:

    Yep - the tube is nearly a lifetime supply if for pin use only. I dab, spread then wipe with a dry finger : then that good for other uses too! Oh my!

    < makes mental note >

    don't visit zaphod when i make my annual trek to maine to eat fried clams...

    #48 4 years ago

    Thank God, I thought it was his carpet.

    Steve

    Quoted from EMsInKC:

    Dude, that towel...

    #49 4 years ago

    i'm gonna break out the honkin' bright yellow one for the next repair job...

    #50 4 years ago

    Brasso works, but Wright's Brass Polish works twice as fast for me. Available (at least here in Mass) at the grocery store. I use it on stepper rivets too. I like that it's non abrasive, and makes them shine like gold! After cleaning off the white residue, I use the teflon super lube as others have mentioned. I smear it on with my fingers for a nice thin coating.

    Wrights also works great on solid state contacts, particularly pop bumper switches and leaf switches. I used to use the business card method, but found it didn't work very well for me. Just remember to wipe the white haze off with a clean rag once it dries.

    Allan

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