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Thread: How to clean 40 years of dust?

  1. #1

    Default How to clean 40 years of dust?

    I have an old Intellec 8 development system complete with paper tape punch, reader and Mesonix cassette memory. I recently sold on ebay for a disappointing (to me) price of 3000. The purchaser reasonably wants to see the equipment powered up. I have owned all the equipment from new and believe it to be in good working condition which it was 30 years ago However it has accumulated a lot of dust during storage which now cannot be simply dusted off. I feel that no attempt to power up the system should be made, until everything has been cleaned and checked. I had thought about using an ultrasonic system (used to clean PCBs) to clean everything but have been advised against it. Re-selling as is may be difficult so before attempting to re-sell the equipment how can it best be cleaned?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    You can remove large amounts of dust by blowing (not suction) with the output of a shop-vac. Do it out-of doors--and then follow up with suction. I wouldn't recommend air coming from an air compressor, unless you have very good control over it with regards to pressure and oil and water content.

    I will generally follow up by brushing with a soft natural bristle brush--take appropriate static precautions.

    Unless you've got a box full of mouse droppings, that should be good enough for testing. Of course, exterior surfaces can be cleaned with water or glass cleaner.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimBunting View Post
    The purchaser reasonably wants to see the equipment powered up.
    Did you describe the system as "working" in the auction? If not, I don't think it is reasonable for the buyer to expect it to work.

  4. #4

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    I agree. If you didn't sell it as "Working" then you don't have to do this at all. He has to pay and that's all there is to it. He pays, you ship, you're done. If he won't pay, he's violated the agreement he made.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2010
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    Central VA
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    As above, if I hadn't stated that it was working I wouldn't bother with showing proof.

    If boards are really crusty, I wash with with dish detergent and hot water, with a toothbrush. Then they go into the forced hot air drying cabinet. If you don't have a drying cabinet, you can dry them in the oven on the lowest setting with the door slightly ajar. Never damaged a board this way, and I've had some really nasty stuff come through -- boards that were in a CNC control box since the 1970's, for example, sucking in plastic dust and coolant vapor from the machine process.

  6. #6

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    You haven't anything until you've acquired CNC boards caked with mud of smelly coolant and graphite powder. The best part is that cleaning them makes them quit working..

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