Author Topic: Ultrasonic Cleaning and Cleaning Solutions  (Read 1360 times)

Offline Phonesrfun

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Ultrasonic Cleaning and Cleaning Solutions
« on: August 03, 2009, 12:01:10 AM »
My turn to ask a question:

I have seen many e-Bay acutions over the years where the seller has represented that they had cleaned certain phone parts ultrasonicly.  Most notably are the harder parts to do anything with otherwise.  Like the coil; the ringer, the base itself and even the dial.  When I tear down a dial, I usually tear it all the way down and soak all the parts in solvent.  But, you would not want to do that to a ringer or a coil where there is either a paper or fabric or muslin cover on it.

My question is, just what kind of device is used for this ultrasonic cleaning??  Is it non-intrusive?  Will it leave certain markings such as the stenciled on part-number and/or dates intact?

Is it an imerseable operation, or does it involve painstakingly going through said parts with some sort of ultrasonic wand head to dislodge dirt or foreign matter?

I know you can buy so-called ultrasonic cleaners for jewelry, but I think they are just a small jar of amonia water being shaken by a not-so-ultrasonic vibrator.  This does not sound like something that should be used.  Dan, the dentist amongst us may know something.

So, in a nutshell, when someone claims to have cleaned something inside and out ultrasonicly, I am assuming it is something more involved than holding it up to their sopprano wife and having her hit a high "C" note that would shatter a crystal glass.   So, if not that, what then??

-Bill Geurts, who sings a strong bass.
-Bill G

Offline bingster

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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning and Cleaning Solutions
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2009, 12:10:26 AM »
I've heard of dials being cleaned ultrasonically, but not coils.  The only method I know of is a  process involving submerging the object to be cleaned in liquid, but as you say, that wouldn't exactly be appropriate for anything containing a coil. 

Even with safe parts like dials, though, an ultrasonic cleaning is just an attempt to get around cleaning the thing properly. 

-Darrin, mediocre baritone
= DARRIN =



Offline benhutcherson

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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning and Cleaning Solutions
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2009, 12:27:17 AM »
Ultrasonic cleaners use high-energy ultrasonic sound waves. What happens is they cause tiny areas of vacuum due to cavitation, and the bubbles created can exert tremendous amounts of pressure that blast away dirt or anything else in their way when they come into contact with a surface.

Usually, an ultrasonic cleaner is a stainless steel tub with transducers mounted to the bottom. The tub is filled with water, soap, or any sort of cleaning solution designed for use. You can also use just about any solvent you care to that's safe for the item being cleaned. I often use absolute acetone, petroleum ether, toluene, absolute ethanol, or anything of that nature.

You will get cleaning anywhere the liquid can reach.

We have two in the lab, and they are virtually indispensible. The "workhorse" one has a 2 quart stainless steel tub and a mechanical timer-it's pretty basic and simple to use, although not overly powerful. The serious use one is made by Heat Systems. It's a stainless steel probe that's lowered down into any container, like a beaker or what have you-and lets you vary the power. They're used for about everything-not only will they clean a stubborn spot out of a dirty piece of glassware, but they can also help a solid dissolve in a liquid, or degas a liquid.

As far as phones go-I could see them having some value to clean dirt out of a network or ringer.

For dials-I'm a big proponent of a full tear down, cleaning, and oiling. Otherwise, it's not possible to adequately clean out all of the old oil and crud that gums up the dial. I've recently gotten into repairing watches, and some "watchmakers" will attempt to clean the watch by dumping the whole thing and sonicating. Not cleaning out the crud is much more detrimental to a watch than it is to a dial, although I still don't think it's a good idea.

It can be a handy tool(and I've used it before myself) to clean individual components of the dial. When I've done this, I've used a 50/50 v/v mixture of acetone and absolute ethanol to clean everything but the governor, which got straight absolute ethanol(I was afraid of the acetone swelling and dissolving the rubber).

Offline Dan

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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning and Cleaning Solutions
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2009, 12:05:17 AM »
I put a sticky AE40 dial in an ultrasonic cleaner ( a good quality dental one--don't worry, I drained it and sterilized it before and after use- )and it worked great. You would not believe the crud that comes out. I tried another AE40, but it was unsuccessful and Steve Hilsz? (spelling?) fixed it up nicely for me. The ultrasonic cleaners work great. I bought a dial off Dennis that he broke
down and lubed and restored, and it is still the best dial I have. I just need to find a soft plastic ivory handset to complete the 500 with.
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning and Cleaning Solutions
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2017, 01:01:52 AM »
This is reviving a very old topic but with so many topics discussing ultrasonic cleaning, this one seemed closest to my current point.

I've been using a commercially available cleaning solution made for brass and copper. I thought it was working well until I tried cleaning a 7D dial recently. Cleaned it tested at 9.2 PPS and oiled it was the same thing.

Decided to go with the Moebius 941 synthetic oil and it came today ($20 a ml so I hope it goes a long way). So, to start I wanted to clean out the oil I was using but did some research on cleaning solutions first. They want $70 to $130 a gallon for appropriate solutions so did a bit more research looking at the msds sheets for the cleaners I thought would work.

What I came up with was to use a water based thin soap in a slightly alkaline solution. After looking at soap and stuff, I decided to try Simple Green and Ammonia. The solution I came up with was 40 ounces of distilled water, 2 teaspoons of Simple Green and 1/2 teaspoon of Ammonia Hydroxide (right out the bottle as purchased from any store shelf). Had a pH of about 8.5, just slightly alkaline as suggested by my research.

Mixed it up in the ultrasonic cleaner, put the 7D in and cleaned it for 30 minutes at about 100 degrees. I took the dial out every 7 minutes to rotate the mechanism and stopped it in difference places each time. I did notice the metal felt slippery but not soap suds thick.

After 30 minutes, I rinsed it with tap water, then distilled water in a wash bottle, then blew it dry with compressed air, then heated it a bit with a heat gun and tested it. I did notice that the brass governor was very shiny, much better than with the other solution I was using.

Got 10.15 PPS before oiling. Apparently, the solution I was using was not getting the dried, dirty oil out of the tight places causing the dial to run slow. The break/make improved to 60.2/38.8.

The wave spectrum from Audacity was very clean and sharp. Will have to do a few other "problem" dials with this solution to see what happens.

Just passing this along in case anyone else want to try this "cheap" cleaning solution.

If anyone else has a proven home brew cleaning solution, this would be a good place to post it.

PS:  I did read above that some use flammable organic liquids. I did read that this was not recommended in that the cavitation is not as good, fumes are given off (fire hazard) due to cavitation, the process generates heat and water provides the best cavitation action for cleaning. And I'm not sure what strong organics would do to the plastic parts of a dial.
            John . . .

              

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning and Cleaning Solutions
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2017, 10:16:40 PM »
I've been wanting to get a proper ultrasonic bath cleaner myself, they're useful for cleaning a lot of things including telephone parts, carburettors, electronics (using distilled water) and other things, it's just they're a bit pricey, at least for my moth-filled wallet...  ;D

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning and Cleaning Solutions
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2017, 10:32:16 PM »
I've been wanting to get a proper ultrasonic bath cleaner myself, they're useful for cleaning a lot of things including telephone parts, carburettors, electronics (using distilled water) and other things, it's just they're a bit pricey, at least for my moth-filled wallet...  ;D

This is similar to the one I use

     http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2L-DIGITAL-INDUSTRIAL-ULTRASONIC-CLEANER-WITH-HEATING-INCL-SS-BASKET-AND-LID-/172428520225

Same 40 KHz, same power rating at 60W but twice the heating element at 100W,  mine is only 50W and warms up slowly.

I paid about $60 for mine, the one above is a bit more but the heater is better.

If you wanted to go analog rather than digital, you can get a 3L unit for the same price

     http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ultrasonic-Cleaner-Ultra-Sonic-Bath-Cleaning-Tank-Timer-Heater-UK-Free-shipping-/182363462362

(select 3L from the pull down option box to get the 3L version)

Don't have a clue on postage, etc in the UK.

Of all my tools, the ultrasonic cleaner is one of the top 3 best things I ever bought. My 2L can handle any dial, small carburetors and anything else that fits into the bath.
            John . . .

              

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning and Cleaning Solutions
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2017, 10:36:40 PM »
First one's located in Italy so postage is about as much as it is from the US, but with less likelihood of arriving, but the 2nd one is in the UK and comes with free P&P, so, the 2nd would be preferable for me, but it's still out of my pricerange at the moment...  :-\

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning and Cleaning Solutions
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2017, 11:05:06 PM »
First one's located in Italy so postage is about as much as it is from the US, but with less likelihood of arriving, but the 2nd one is in the UK and comes with free P&P, so, the 2nd would be preferable for me, but it's still out of my pricerange at the moment...  :-\

They are always for sale from someone. I didn't look at location, just features and price as an example. My 2L is currently $58 with free shipping in the US but I've seen them on sale for $55 and with a high low in the $60s. The time I've saved cleaning dials has paid for mine a few times over. This is just for example purposes. The eBay listings expire and these get relisted under new links.

     http://www.ebay.com/itm/2L-2-L-ULTRASONIC-CLEANER-110W-DIGITAL-BRUSHED-CLEAN-TANK-11OV-60Hz-HIGH-GRADE-/112155096442
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 06:50:46 PM by TelePlay »
            John . . .

              

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning and Cleaning Solutions
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2017, 11:38:19 PM »
I've looked at them on and off, I just don't have the cash to spare for one at the moment as other more interesting things (like my Super Aladdin lamp) crop up first...  ;D