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View Full Version : Good Cleaning of a 5160 Older Revision Motherboard



Smack2k
March 17th, 2016, 03:43 AM
I want to give the motherboard on my 5160 a good cleaning now that I happen to have it out of the case for another issue I was dealing with.

Its the older revision motherboard with 640 K of RAM installed on it.

My question is this - if I were to clean it with 90+% Isopropyl Alcohol and Q-Tips (like I clean so many other cards / boards) is it OK for this board / chips? I ask as I know this is an older board than just about all the other stuff I own so I want to be sure before doing it.

Obviously let it dry and sit out for a while after cleaning (Even though the alcohol will dry quickly) before putting it back in and powering it on as well.

amadama
March 17th, 2016, 06:12 AM
I'm doing the exact same thing right now (but on a PS/2). Used 91% isopropyl and a soft toothbrush. Waiting for it to dry since yesterday. Will let you know what happens when I assemble it and fire it up.
I've seen people put old boards in a dishwasher (after removing any batteries and socketed components) and then they fire up after drying.

Osgeld
March 17th, 2016, 07:10 AM
dishwasher's spook me cause of the minerals present in most people's tap water

Sir_Fartalot
March 17th, 2016, 07:11 AM
I want to give the motherboard on my 5160 a good cleaning now that I happen to have it out of the case for another issue I was dealing with.

Its the older revision motherboard with 640 K of RAM installed on it.

My question is this - if I were to clean it with 90+% Isopropyl Alcohol and Q-Tips (like I clean so many other cards / boards) is it OK for this board / chips? I ask as I know this is an older board than just about all the other stuff I own so I want to be sure before doing it.

Obviously let it dry and sit out for a while after cleaning (Even though the alcohol will dry quickly) before putting it back in and powering it on as well.

We use a 1:1 isopropanol:water solution for our cleanroom tool washing. It generally removes both salts and organic contamination (including oils), without being too harsh on the parts of the tools/machines.
Instead of a Q-tip I'd use cleanroom wipes, as they are essentially lint-free, but I realize most people don't have access to such wipes.

amadama
March 18th, 2016, 04:27 AM
Using the 91% isopropyl and scrubbing with a soft toothbrush I was able to clean up my PS/2 motherboard and video card.
This old system was so filthy I was afraid to turn it on (it was a garage find, had mice droppings inside). Now it's nice and clean and fires right up.
I can recommend this method for cleaning your 5160 motherboard. Be gentle and let it dry thoroughly before reassembly and power on.
If you use this method to clean any cards make sure you remove batteries from them before cleaning.
Good luck!

GiGaBiTe
March 18th, 2016, 05:24 PM
Whenever I have a motherboard that needs extensive cleaning due to stuck on grime/gunk, I just toss the whole board in a bucket with tap water and dish soap.

Through scrubbing with a soft bristled hand dustpan brush and then a good rinsing gets rid of pretty much everything. After that, use an air compressor to blow the water off, being sure to get under surface mount chips and inside sockets. I've never had an issue doing it this way.

Using alcohol on the other hand with q-tips, toothbrushes, etc. and drip drying can lead to problems with shorts, especially under sockets and SMD parts. The alcohol will dissolve whatever grime is on one spot and move it to another spot, sometimes concentrating it.

Flamin Joe
March 18th, 2016, 07:38 PM
Whenever I have a motherboard that needs extensive cleaning due to stuck on grime/gunk, I just toss the whole board in a bucket with tap water and dish soap.

Through scrubbing with a soft bristled hand dustpan brush and then a good rinsing gets rid of pretty much everything. After that, use an air compressor to blow the water off, being sure to get under surface mount chips and inside sockets. I've never had an issue doing it this way.

Using alcohol on the other hand with q-tips, toothbrushes, etc. and drip drying can lead to problems with shorts, especially under sockets and SMD parts. The alcohol will dissolve whatever grime is on one spot and move it to another spot, sometimes concentrating it.

I do pretty much this although after rinsing off the soap with tap water I take the extra step of doing a second rinse off with demineralised water. I'd do the lot in demineralised water if I could but that stuff can get pretty expensive to buy bottled so the cost adds up for the amount of water you'll need.

Also I remove any socketed chips and give them a clean separately if need be. I also take the time to lightly sand the pins to remove any oxidation that may have built up over the years to keep the connections clean.

framer
April 4th, 2016, 12:48 PM
Owning a picture framing shop give me access to a different type of brush, 1/2 inch flat stiff artist brush. I spray with Sprayway Glass cleaner, an alcohol/water/w/wetting agent proprietary cleaner that work wonderful. Spray on, rub lightly with brush, blow mostly dry with airgun set to low and I place in my heat Vac press on 165deg for 20 minutes. I don't turn on the vacuum, just use it as a light heater.

framer

Osgeld
April 4th, 2016, 03:38 PM
course you guys know that compressed air is a fantastic source of static electricity,course it wont matter much after scrubbing everything down in a plastic tub with a synthetic brush. Tap water again is LOADED with minerals, especially around here you can sometimes see them floating around just waiting to get stuck on something and cause crystalline growth, which if that doesn't short something out the tin whiskers using it as a support brace will.

I don't have a magic solution for cleaning your boards, and Im not here to tell you how to handle your property, just saying

Stone
April 4th, 2016, 03:56 PM
... Tap water again is LOADED with minerals, especially around here you can sometimes see them floating around... Really, visible minerals floating in your tap water. Hmmm......

Osgeld
April 4th, 2016, 04:49 PM
yes its quite common, its the same crap that spots your dishes and clogs your faucets, very tiny little white flecks of lime and who knows what else, which is why water softeners and whole house filters are popular

The last PCB I washed (a scsi card) worked great, then after left setting in a drawer I pulled it out with white crusty crap on almost every component lead. I could wash it off and a few days later it would be back and the card would stop working, I just chucked it

Stone
April 4th, 2016, 05:49 PM
Yes, I know what hard water is. But dissolved minerals are not visible! :-)

T-R-A
April 4th, 2016, 09:14 PM
I've seen people put old boards in a dishwasher (after removing any batteries and socketed components) and then they fire up after drying.

Yep, pretty much a standard in small PCB repair facilities (I've worked in several) and most of them use standard dish detergent (Cascade, Electrasol). Most water lines are filtered as well, so minerals aren't really a problem. Even worked in one where we blasted aluminum corrosion (white-rust) off with a media-blaster. Cable-TV equipment I guess is pretty tough (ESD-wise), especially when you see sparks coming from the plexiglass window onto the board in the blaster while cleaning it...

framer
April 5th, 2016, 06:56 PM
I use static free, grounded, fresh smelling pressed air, never compressed. :cool:

framer

ChrisCwmbran
April 6th, 2016, 12:22 AM
Really, visible minerals floating in your tap water. Hmmm......

Here in the UK we call the visible minerals 'fish'.

Corey986
April 6th, 2016, 04:03 AM
I find that many problems are created or hidden by dirty boards, but also created by cleaning working boards and flushing something into a place it shouldn't be. While I haven't done an old 5160, I have cleaned the PCBs on the Apple-1 computers that sold from Christies and Bonhams among others.

Since I am dealing with boards that are super valuable in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, I clean them so that I can inspect them under a "microscope" as part of the "bring-up" process.

To summarize my procedure...

1) I use MGChemicals flux remover on high spray and basically go to town on the board with the chips in.
2) I then rinse the board using 99.9% alcohol
I should note here the chips tend to "sweat" grime at this point and I usually will take a modified soft bristle brush to the chips dipped in 99.9% alcohol to the chips and dab them with disposable rags to soak up the residue.
3) I then bathe the board in distilled water, agitating the water for a few minutes. The bath has a grounding point to earth just in case.
4) I lightly blow air through the board, then remove all the chips into anti static. My compressor has dried air and is grounded to prevent static.
5) Next I repeat the flux remover and alcohol bath followed up by a light brushing with a modified soft bristle tooth brush
6) I bathe the board again in a new batch of distilled water. Agitating over about 30 minutes. and repeat again with another batch of distilled water.

The problem for me with putting something in the dishwasher besides my wife killing me is that I cannot inspect what is going on and it can "force" water into places that is shouldn't be. You can see the colour of the water or ISP at every step. I do use the dishwasher to clean key caps...

After all that about 40 years of grime is just gone.

Finally I use the compressor to blow air though the board and they tend to look brand new.

Then of course is all the fun of getting them to run, but in the case of the work I'm doing risking the run with layers of caked on dirt or bug bodies isn't an option.

BTW: I also used this same technique on all my other systems that are grimy. I guess it costs me about $30 is supplies, but the results are worth it.

Cheers,
Corey