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  1. #1
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    Default Mold! Mold! Mold!

    Yesterday I went to very back of the Convex that we keep our "blinky" stuff in. We found a large plastic storage tub, with several SS24 boards, with wiring, in it. Much to our dismay, when we opened the tub we found that they had been put away wet - two years ago.

    The cabling can be easily replaced, but we are in need of some method to clean the SS24s. Mold isn't quite as prevalant on the boards, but there is some.

    If you have any words-of-wisdom as to how to proceed, I would love to hear from you.

    TIA
    Al
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    Last edited by algerdes; 10-10-2018 at 12:10 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mold! Mold! Mold!

    AL! You have the makings of your own DIY pharmaceutical company!!!

    Oooooo.... that's grim....... I've never encountered that, but here's what I'd try....

    I would disconnect the wires from the controllers and remove the boards from the enclosures but leave the wires intact. Then I'd remove the chips from the PCBs (whatever is removable), mix up a batch of bleach/water in a large tub and immerse the boards in the solution for about 2 minutes. Upon removal, I'd use some compressed air (but not super-high powered) to blow the moisture off the boards and air-dry them by hanging each of them from a mounting hole. I'd use a fan to keep the air moving and to dry them quickly so rust doesn't form.

    After dousing the controller boards, I'd immerse the controller boards and wires in the same solution then dry them the same way.

    I'd leave this gear in the drying room for upwards of 5-7 days, maybe even putting a dehumidifier in the room as well to remove moisture as well as warm the room.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Mold! Mold! Mold!

    I knew a guy that rented / serviced arcade machines in the 80's and he would put the motherboards in a dishwasher to clean them. Never tried it myself, but worth looking into!

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Mold! Mold! Mold!

    This is a common practice in small assembly shops.
    Quote Originally Posted by sporadic View Post
    I knew a guy that rented / serviced arcade machines in the 80's and he would put the motherboards in a dishwasher to clean them. Never tried it myself, but worth looking into!

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Mold! Mold! Mold!

    Yes the dishwasher does a great job of cleaning PCB’s. The only drawback is losing any labels or stickers you have on the board. I also allow them to go through the drying cycle and haven’t had anything melt, crack or break. When I clean flux from a PCB, I often follow up with soapy water and air dry it. If I’m in a hurry to test the board I might use compressed air to blow out areas where water might not evaporate very quick.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Mold! Mold! Mold!

    Get some contact cleaner and just hose it down and blow dry with canned air. Looks more cosmetic than anything.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Mold! Mold! Mold!

    Spray them with some PCB cleaner and let them dry in the sun or use a hair dryer.
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  9. #8
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    Default Re: Mold! Mold! Mold!

    Thanks guys. All good suggestions, and some memories of another life. (Putting keyboards in the dishwasher and hanging them (literally) out to dry for a day or two.)

    And yes, I'm going to have a talk with the folks that "helped" to put them away. If they had opened them up to the air it would not have happened. Leaving them closed up and stuck inside a tub was probably the worse thing that could have been done. Oh well.
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  10. #9
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    Default Re: Mold! Mold! Mold!

    I suggested the bleach immersion idea to ensure killing all the spores. You don't want to leave any of them possibly alive because they'll almost always regenerate and you may find yourself with the same issue a year from now. IMO of course....

    http://digwdf.com/store/
    The DIGWDF Store will be closing at the end of December -- but there's still a little stock left!
    While it's still open, please check us out for blinky-flashy gizmos that nobody else on the planet makes!

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Mold! Mold! Mold!

    I've already started mixing the solution.
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