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teletone

join:2010-06-07
Toronto, On

cleaning corrosion off the inside of a tiny connector

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tiny connector
i've got a tiny problem. i need to clean the inside of a tiny connector which receives a small ribbon cable. the inside of the housing where the contacts/pins are contained is probably a millimeter in height so i can't scrub them. i've tried to use isopropanol applied with a cotton swab, dripping it into the connector, then blowing out with compressed air but it didn't work. i even tried to a few bristles of a toothbrush. i was thinking of using CLR cleaner but it says on the bottle not to use on copper and to rinse away after 2 minutes. i'm worried it might eat the pins. p.s, i call them pins but they just press against the surface of the ribbon cable to make contact, the connector has a latch which holds the cable to it by pressure.

is there any special liquid cleaner for electronics that i could drip into the connector to eat the oxidization/corrosion without harming the connector and pins?


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
said by teletone:

is there any special liquid cleaner for electronics that i could drip into the connector to eat the oxidization/corrosion without harming the connector and pins?

Get a can of tuner/contact cleaner from Radio Shack and give that a try.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
reply to teletone
DeoxIT works very well. We use quite a lot of it at work as we have equipment that's over 30 years old and dirty contacts is a relatively frequent problem.


teletone

join:2010-06-07
Toronto, On

1 edit
which deoxit should i get? there's quite a few types. p.s, i think one of the pins inside of that connector housing is green. will it fix that? also, the ribbon cable that plugs into that connector is thin plastic. does it leave a residue that can eat or melt that plastic?

is this the one? DeoxIT® Liquid, squeeze tube 100% solution 2 mL - D100L-2C

»store.caig.com/s.nl/it.A/id.1610/.f

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
reply to teletone
MG Chemicals 406B Super Wash is plastic safe and evaporates very fast with no residue. Spray into the FPC socket, holding the board horizontally at suitable distance, and then turn the board so socket faces down. Also spray both sides of the cable.

»www.mgchemicals.com/products/cle···sh-406b/


teletone

join:2010-06-07
Toronto, On
will 406B remove green oxidation/corrosion though?

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
Good quality fine pitch connectors are usually not prone to oxidation or corrosion.

Some of the allow is supposed to rub off each time to keep the contacts clean. Grease and dirt can prevent that.


teletone

join:2010-06-07
Toronto, On
reply to teletone

bottom of cable

top of cable
some additional info:

this is the actual ribbon cable that plugs into the connector i want to clean. it's 15mm wide and 0.25mm thick at the connector end (a sheet of paper measured at 0.10mm for comparison). that blue strip looks like it is held on the cable by an adhesive so whatever i use on the connector to clean it, i don't want it to damage this cable afterwards or eat its contacts.


teletone

join:2010-06-07
Toronto, On
reply to lutful
said by lutful:

Good quality fine pitch connectors are usually not prone to oxidation or corrosion.

Some of the allow is supposed to rub off each time to keep the contacts clean. Grease and dirt can prevent that.

the connector was wet at one point. i have repeatedly soaked the connector with isopropanol and blew it out with duster which helped quite a bit but one of the pins is still green. i wonder if i let the isopropanol sit in the connector for about 15 minutes, keeping the connector wet all the whole time, then dusting it off would make a difference? i should put a corroded penny in a cup of isopropanol and time how long it takes to clean.

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by teletone:i should put a corroded penny in a cup of isopropanol and time how long it takes to clean.

prediction based on high school chemistry: infinity.


teletone

join:2010-06-07
Toronto, On
said by dave:

said by teletone:i should put a corroded penny in a cup of isopropanol and time how long it takes to clean.

prediction based on high school chemistry: infinity.

yup, hours later and no change. "no pun intended"

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to teletone
said by teletone:

the connector was wet at one point ...

Of course. Water is used to clean PCBs and FPCs at the factory.
»www.smta.org/chapters/files/smta···lean.pdf

P.S. MSDS lists some of the chemicals for MG 406B Super Wash ... please add the numbers to see roughly what percentage is left for any chemical you wish to ridicule.


teletone

join:2010-06-07
Toronto, On
i meant it got wet from a water spill and was allowed to stay wet for weeks. it seems the water followed the flat flex cable (which i refereed to as the ribbon cable earlier) and got into the connector. the PCB connector was green in many spots on the outside and i cleaned it all off with cotton swabs and isopropanol. unfortunately, i can't clean the inside really well. the third or forth pin from the left is green on the inside of that connector. i had to use a small flashlight and a magnifying glass to see it. will 406B get rid of that green? it seems more of a degreaser. the deoxit looks like it will remove the green but i'm worried about its effects on the flat flex cable and how to/ and if i have to clean the deoxit off.

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1

1 edit
Your "green" is probably much more copper carbonate than copper sulphate.

Check app note and MSDS for that DeOxit stuff. Lithium-based "deoxidizer" pastes, meant for rubbing on/off larger copper surfaces, could actually clog up the fine pitch connector and ruin the delicate end of the flat flex cable.

You can inject (literally, with a fine needle) a clear solution which has approx 5g pure salt completely dissolved in 250ml clear 5% vinegar and has been passed through a bleached coffee filter.

You have to immediately flush it out with warm distilled water injected same way and dry thoroughly. Adding some isopropyl alcohol helps evaporation of residual water by binding the molecules.

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to teletone
Maybe use a glass fibre contact cleaning brush?

These are abrasive brushes, typically in the shape of a pen, with the tip being a few millimetres wide. I've previous used one to remove corrosion from battery contacts in a camera. I don't know if your case is 'too small' for that sort of approach.

In any case, wash area afterwards.

Edit ah, maybe not - I just re-read the original posting, where you said the area was too small to scrub.


teletone

join:2010-06-07
Toronto, On
reply to lutful
said by lutful:

Your "green" is probably much more copper carbonate than copper sulphate.

Check app note and MSDS for that DeOxit stuff. Lithium-based "deoxidizer" pastes, meant for rubbing on/off larger copper surfaces, could actually clog up the fine pitch connector and ruin the delicate end of the flat flex cable.

i purchased the deoxit D100L-2C last night. i checked the MSDS and technical info for that specific product and didn't see anything. to my knowledge, this one is a liquid and not a paste. i would never put a paste in that tiny connector.

link: »store.caig.com/s.nl/it.A/id.1610/.f

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
I have never encountered such an MSDS ... difluoroethane base + a few percent trade secret. So if a kid squirts it into drinking water like those Mio ads ... who do you call?

Just to keep a list for posterity ... there is another product called "De-Ox-ID" from GC Chemicals which has difluoroethane with heptane and naptha. MG Super Wash has difluoroethane, pentane, butane, hexane, etc. All are known ingredients.


teletone

join:2010-06-07
Toronto, On
reply to lutful
said by lutful:

You can inject (literally, with a fine needle) a clear solution which has approx 5g pure salt completely dissolved in 250ml clear 5% vinegar and has been passed through a bleached coffee filter.

You have to immediately flush it out with warm distilled water injected same way and dry thoroughly. Adding some isopropyl alcohol helps evaporation of residual water by binding the molecules.

all i have is iodized table salt, sea salt and rock salt. is regular iodized table salt acceptable?

i assume clear vinegar is the same as white?

what is the maximum time in seconds the salt/vinegar solution stay on/in the fine pitch connector?

should i just flush with the S/V solution, flush with warm distilled water, flush with isopropanol, without wasting any seconds waiting in between?

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
White vinegar is OK as long as it is usually 5% acetic acid in water. There is only 10-20mg/kg iodine as potassium iodate in table salt. Warming the vinegar will help to dissolve salt faster but cool down to 40C before injecting.

The mixture needs to dissolve the green copper carbonate and any blue/green copper sulphate. Those areas will absorb enough of the mixture and start changing color. You can rinse at the point. If no color change occurs, rinse after 10 minutes, dry and try a few more times.