Best practice: contact cleaner?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by macmarty15221, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. macmarty15221

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 18, 2008
    7
    0
    We have several Tectronics tube-type oscilloscopes, and on several modules we are having noise problems when we operate any of the multi-buttoned pushbuttons. Our suspicion is that this is a problem with dirty contacts, and our plan is to spray in some contact cleaner. BUT!!!.... we want to use a brand and formulation of contact cleaner that will minimize future dirt pickup problems. (GC Electronics' De-Ox-Id product has been questioned here because of the oil that is in the cleaner formula. The argument, valid or not, is that this oil might attract dust and make the problem worse.)

    Can any experienced "old heads" out there recommend a particular type or brand of contact cleaner that is known to perform well for uses of this type? We'd love to hear about existing "best practice", rather than guess and end up with more problems down the road.
     
  2. rjenkins

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 6, 2005
    1,015
    69
    A trace of a contact cleaner with lubricant (or WD-40, or 3-in-1 oil) works well on noisy contacts or potentiomnters, but as you say if it's something that may be exposed to dust it will end up as rather messy.

    You may find that simply washing the switches through thoroughly with IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) may be all you need.

    From new, the small push switches used in scopes (the radio button style) have a fairly heavy coating of grease on the contacts. The grease may have dried up or become contaminated and now be holding dirt in the contacts.


    My favorite general contact treatment is a 'dry lubricant' spray which leaves a virtually invisible, none-sticky coating.

    This is mainly sold for use with delicate mechanics like photocopiers or printers, where oils would attract dust and gum things up, but one of the uses on the can is treating contacts to prevent tarnish.
     
  3. macmarty15221

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 18, 2008
    7
    0
    Thanks for the advice, sir! Can I persuade you to identify the specific brand and flavor, in the hope that it's available on this side of the pond? Thanks!
     
Loading...