How to clean contacts damaged by ocean salt water

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by c627627, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. c627627

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 18, 2011
    12
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    I believe this underwater camera's contacts were damaged by ocean salt water. Up & Down buttons work but Left & Right do not. Is there any way to clean/repair them?

     
  2. BSomer

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
    433
    106
    Try using isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush or similar stiff brush. I would refrain from using any acetone because it is a solvent and may do more harm than good to the contacts.
     
  3. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,343
    6,828
    My fear is that salt removes metal. If the metal is gone, no amount of cleaning will fix it. Still, it doesn't hurt to try. Go find an old toothbrush and start brushing.
     
  4. debe

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    947
    184
    You could try a silver rich paint used to repair rear window defrost tracks. Ive used it sucessfuly on a GPS that had buttons not working.
     
  5. c627627

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 18, 2011
    12
    0
    Yes, the salt may have removed metal.

    What's the cheapest item which has "silver rich paint" in it for me to try the other advice and where can I order it from? What would I do, where exactly would I apply it over, the top where the thin metal lines are?

    This is why top/bottom works but not left/right:
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  6. BSomer

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
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    106
  7. c627627

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 18, 2011
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  8. BSomer

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
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    To be honest I didn't even notice the price. Yes it is a little expensive for your use. Someone had said something about silver paint and I remembered that stuff being available.

    As to the product you show, it may work. The problem might be that the conductive material in the product may not be exposed for your button to bridge the contacts. I did read over the MSDS sheet and the manual a little. It does have a good content of silver in it.

    If you have the $10 to try it out, go for it. I'd suggest doing a small test on it before commiting to the repair of your camera.
     
  9. K7GUH

    Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    191
    23
    If you can find a relay burnishing tool, that may do the trick. Or a fiberglass "eraser", applied very gently.
     
  10. c627627

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 18, 2011
    12
    0
    I got the following advice elsewhere, fyi:

    "Microtip pens are for restoring a straight line circuit trace. What you have with the button contacts is an interlocking finger design that is bridged by the push button to complete the circuit. It would be extremely difficult to redraw the button circuit on the board without permanently shorting the contacts. I would be looking for a replacement circuit board. "
    Br1078lum
     
  11. BSomer

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
    433
    106
    Yes it would be dificult. However, with a little patience and some masking of areas you could do one set of fingers at a time. Use a small pointy object (tooth pick, needle, etc..) to dab the product in place. Have you tried to clean it yet to see if the copper traces are really damaged?
     
  12. c627627

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 18, 2011
    12
    0
    The most cost effective way to do this was to buy a broken camera of the same model with hopes that the part I needed would be working. I did that and fortunately everything worked.

    It was time consuming but it worked!
     
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