Cleaning Circuit Board

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CraigD
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Cleaning Circuit Board

Post by CraigD » Tue May 19, 2009 7:58 pm

Hey all,

I've taken apart a NES to use in a portable project; but one question: What is the best way to clean the board?

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Re: Cleaning Circuit Board

Post by bicostp » Tue May 19, 2009 8:27 pm

Does it absolutely need to be cleaned?

The best way to get dust off is compressed air. (The cans will do, but real compressed air from a compressor is better.)

Clean the contacts with isophryl alcohol (the >90% stuff from CVS or Walgreen's). Don't use the 70% "rubbing" alcohol, because it will leave residue behind.

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XCVG
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Re: Cleaning Circuit Board

Post by XCVG » Tue May 19, 2009 8:54 pm

bicostp wrote:Clean the contacts with isophryl alcohol (the <90% stuff from CVS or Walgreen's). Don't use the 70% "rubbing" alcohol, because it will leave residue behind.
I use rubbing alcohol and it works fine for me :?

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Re: Cleaning Circuit Board

Post by Tibia » Tue May 19, 2009 8:57 pm

Then you're lucky. I've had it leave stuff on the pins. I won't use anything less than 90% pure.
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Re: Cleaning Circuit Board

Post by grahf » Tue May 19, 2009 11:37 pm

If you are looking to clean it, I have two recommendations. The first is to use acetone. Most nail cleaners are acetone, but beware since many have additives to keep nails shiny. You want pure acetone. At work, I always used acetone with a small soft tooth brush. This is the best thing for cleaning up flux or preparing a surface for soldering.

For big pcb cleaning, the best thing to use is non-chlorinated brake parts cleaner from your local auto store. It will clean ALL residue off of the board, but it is very caustic. I use it for cleaning extremely filthy boards only. You must take care to properly dry it after. And wear protection! It will blind you and burn your skin.

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Re: Cleaning Circuit Board

Post by XCVG » Wed May 20, 2009 9:17 am

Tibia wrote:Then you're lucky. I've had it leave stuff on the pins. I won't use anything less than 90% pure.
I can't get 90% unfortunately. Well maybe I can, but I have a huge bottle of 70%. :lol:

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Re: Cleaning Circuit Board

Post by CraigD » Wed May 20, 2009 4:06 pm

Thanks all, it doesn't need anything caustic; but it definitely needs something.

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Re: Cleaning Circuit Board

Post by bacteria » Wed May 20, 2009 5:16 pm

I've seen articles in PC magazines when they put keyboards and motherboards in a dishwasher at 30 Celsius and then left to dry upside down in an airing cupboard for 7-10 days and worked after that. Also seen them washing a motherboard under a warm water tap (faucet I think Americans call them) and again, 7-10 days in an airing cupboard before using. Not recommending these methods, sure they have risks even if they work, but it is a cheap method to clean if you are careful. For quick cleans, as bicostp said, compressed air is excellent. If your case isn't clear in your portable, then you won't see the board anyway, in which case the compressed air method should be ok - just make sure if you use compressed air that you keep the can upright and don't shake the can, or you will get liquid freezing air blasted on your board instead of normal air, which could make a short if you turned on the system immediately afterwards, if you were unlucky.
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Re: Cleaning Circuit Board

Post by Rekarp » Wed May 20, 2009 7:53 pm

90% or greater rubbing alcohol and a toothbrush. Let it dry for at least a day before firing it up again.
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Re: Cleaning Circuit Board

Post by timmeh87 » Thu May 21, 2009 3:41 pm

Be warned, acetone melts many kinds of plastic and makes clear shiny things foggy. Drips can ruin your screen.
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