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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:47 pm 
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I never saw a good tech used sand paper to fix a relay.
It's not possible to restore a relay unless you change the contacts.
Better then to change the relay for a new one.

But I'm sorry too Anatech, WD-40 is not good at all for cleaning relay contact.
Residuals are flammable... and in a contact relay that can make sparks
that will even worsen the contacts.

Never use WD-40 in any electronic component.

@outfire
Some of us have talked about a possible faulty relay.
But it still not sure that it is the real problem.
Tapping on the relay with something won't assure you that it is the relay.
It could be some solder near/around the relay on the circuit board that
will spark when tapping the relay.

Better to do as you said lastly, leave it to a tech for a good diagnosis.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:44 pm 
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Hi outfire,
You should really be using a soldering station with temperature control. Most are digital these days with a display.

If the person you take it to doesn't use a proper station, go find another who takes their job seriously. Soldering irons that are not controlled temperature can easily damage the PCB due to excessive heat. The other sneaky thing about them is that some have high leakage current and that can mess up the semiconductors in what they are working on. The person using an iron like this has probably never heard of these problems. It follows to question exactly what they do know.

-Chris


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:33 pm 
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now i noticed that when ever i turn up the volume on the preamp. the speakers gets loud very quickly. its like there are lots of gain. once i powered the amp down, the volume seem low again until i turn up the preamp volume.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:52 pm 
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Now you are going to blow up something.

Trust us, unplug it and send it to a tech.
It is telling you something is wrong.
We are telling you something is wrong.

Why wait then ?
Unplug it before it's too late...

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Last edited by Nakamichel on Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:53 pm 
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Hi Nakamichel,
Turns out that sulphur exists in the ppm amounts (about 500 ppm I think).
Quote:
WD-40 Multipurpose Oil does contain a small amount of sulphur >500 ppm.

No worries about acid forming. I asked the folks at WD-40 directly about this because it seemed strange that WD-40 would contain as much sulphur needed to create an acid concern.

Two things about WD-40 that does cause concern. The smell! I wish they brought out a product that is WD-40 without that odour! Secondly, you have to carefully control where the WD-40 ends up. It destroys rubber - like the material that capacitor seals are made from. Like any sprayed fluid, if it ends up inside trimmer capacitors, you will be replacing them and re-aligning the device. Ugly job. Inside a cassette mechanism, it makes the mechanism not worth repair.

These are things I have seen. Used properly and carefully, there is nothing wrong with using small amounts of WD-40. For relay contacts you need to clean the WD-40 off with a zero residue cleaner afterwards. Any critical contacts should also be completely cleaned in case some WD-40 contaminates them. For critical contacts, use IPA only.

-Chris

-- 02 Mar 2018 23:55 --

outfire,
Nakamichel has an excellent point. Stop, unplug it and get thee to a good audio technician.

-Chris


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:10 pm 
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anatech wrote:
Hi Nakamichel,
Turns out that sulphur exists in the ppm amounts (about 500 ppm I think).
Quote:
WD-40 Multipurpose Oil does contain a small amount of sulphur >500 ppm.
No worries about acid forming. I asked the folks at WD-40 directly about this because it seemed strange that WD-40 would contain as much sulphur needed to create an acid concern.
Two things about WD-40 that does cause concern. The smell! I wish they brought out a product that is WD-40 without that odour! Secondly, you have to carefully control where the WD-40 ends up. It destroys rubber - like the material that capacitor seals are made from. Like any sprayed fluid, if it ends up inside trimmer capacitors, you will be replacing them and re-aligning the device. Ugly job. Inside a cassette mechanism, it makes the mechanism not worth repair.
Hi Chris,
I know you are a good tech. But as you stated above, there's too much chance that the WD-40 goes beyond the relay's contacts.
(though, by experience even at low concentration the sulfur will damage the contacts). And anyway, if the relay's failed once, it will then fail again, WD-40'd or not.

Do not forget that a relay is a part of the safety inside electronic components. It is then very important that it works properly.
Better then to not tempt the devil and replace the $5 relay.

Knowning that when someone does ask, it's first because he doesn't have much experience.
You should then not recommend it to a newbie for any electronic component.

-Mik

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:20 am 
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Hi Mik,
I wish those relays were $5! Once landed, some are $48!

Relays can fail in three main ways.
1) Burned contacts - sometimes melted together. This is a typical failure when an amplifier fails and goes DC
2) Pitted contacts - I think you are thinking of this. This happens when people turn the sets on and off with the volume up
3) Oxide layer - Just like your silverware, the surface has an oxide layer built up on it. This is what I was referring to.

In case #3, the relay can be restored to normal operation unless someone "burnishes", or sands the plating off. This happens very easily and quickly. Instead, using any type of cleaner, you can chemically remove, or polish off the oxide layer. After this has been done, you mush clean the chemical or compound off so the contacts are clean and dry. These are called No-residue cleaners and tend to be flammable as hell. You wouldn't smoke while using this stuff.

I'm not teaching people how to clean the relay, I'm teaching them to NOT burnish or sand the contacts. If anyone does this, you need a new relay instantly. You may as well smash it with a hammer so at least there is no question about using it! I may as well tell everyone now, the contacts are held with a coil spring which loves to fly off into the distance. Good luck finding it!

As for using WD-40, I was careful to outline the pitfalls of using it, or any spray type chemical. There are many that will attack the rubber seal of a capacitor, or migrate up into a capacitor and destroy it from the inside. This is no joke, it happens.

As for using WD-40 on contacts, in all honesty, if you used my instructions you are perfectly safe. I spray the cleaning agent onto a cardboard piece and use the fluid soaked cardboard to clean the relay contacts. Nothing is sprayed near a circuit board. The relay needs to have been removed to work on it. Then you follow it up with a no-residue cleaner to remove all of the product you used to clean it.

For years I had the same opinion as you do Mik. I discovered using WD-40 can successfully do things other approved cleaners don't do well. So I have changed my tune - a lot. This is to recognise that WD-40 can be an effective tool, used properly. Same as a screwdriver or any other tool you might use. If you clean the contacts off when you are done, there is zero long term negative effects. What I demonstrated by asking the folks at WD-40 was that sulphur is not an intentional active ingredient, but rather an accepted contaminant. They said they keep Sulphur to less than 500 ppm. That is probably a component of the oils used in the product.

-Chris


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:27 am 
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Ok Chris 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:54 pm 
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brought the amp to Charisma Audio in Markham since I work around there and had bought an amp from Bernard. waiting on the result.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:36 pm 
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Smart move ! :D

Let us know.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:34 am 
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Wife wont be happy dammit


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:02 pm 
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Who knows? You did the smart thing.

What she wouldn't be happy about is if you keep this a secret from her and she finds out.

-Chris


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:43 pm 
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Nakamichel wrote:
I never saw a good tech used sand paper to fix a relay.
It's not possible to restore a relay unless you change the contacts.
Better then to change the relay for a new one.

But I'm sorry too Anatech, WD-40 is not good at all for cleaning relay contact.
Residuals are flammable... and in a contact relay that can make sparks
that will even worsen the contacts.

Never use WD-40 in any electronic component.

@outfire
Some of us have talked about a possible faulty relay.
But it still not sure that it is the real problem.
Tapping on the relay with something won't assure you that it is the relay.
It could be some solder near/around the relay on the circuit board that
will spark when tapping the relay.

Better to do as you said lastly, leave it to a tech for a good diagnosis.


True words!!


WD 40 is absolute crap. It uses very light volatiles to "wick" into very small areas. It has the ability to displace water (hence the WD - for Water Displacing). The volatiles are flammable. Once the volatiles evaporate, the treated surface is now coated with sulfur. When the sulfur-coated surface is exposed to humidity again, it becomes H2SO4....or sulfuric acid.

WD-40 is banned by the FAA. Why? Because it is so corrosive it was damaging delicate aircraft electronics...and the FAA really hate it when one more aircraft augers in.....

WD-40 and all silicones are outright banned in my shops. They cause much more damage than they ever corrected.


Last edited by brownslane on Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:06 pm 
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anatech wrote:
Hi Mik,
I wish those relays were $5! Once landed, some are $48!

Relays can fail in three main ways.
1) Burned contacts - sometimes melted together. This is a typical failure when an amplifier fails and goes DC
2) Pitted contacts - I think you are thinking of this. This happens when people turn the sets on and off with the volume up
3) Oxide layer - Just like your silverware, the surface has an oxide layer built up on it. This is what I was referring to.

In case #3, the relay can be restored to normal operation unless someone "burnishes", or sands the plating off. This happens very easily and quickly. Instead, using any type of cleaner, you can chemically remove, or polish off the oxide layer. After this has been done, you mush clean the chemical or compound off so the contacts are clean and dry. These are called No-residue cleaners and tend to be flammable as hell. You wouldn't smoke while using this stuff.

I'm not teaching people how to clean the relay, I'm teaching them to NOT burnish or sand the contacts. If anyone does this, you need a new relay instantly. You may as well smash it with a hammer so at least there is no question about using it! I may as well tell everyone now, the contacts are held with a coil spring which loves to fly off into the distance. Good luck finding it!

As for using WD-40, I was careful to outline the pitfalls of using it, or any spray type chemical. There are many that will attack the rubber seal of a capacitor, or migrate up into a capacitor and destroy it from the inside. This is no joke, it happens.

As for using WD-40 on contacts, in all honesty, if you used my instructions you are perfectly safe. I spray the cleaning agent onto a cardboard piece and use the fluid soaked cardboard to clean the relay contacts. Nothing is sprayed near a circuit board. The relay needs to have been removed to work on it. Then you follow it up with a no-residue cleaner to remove all of the product you used to clean it.

For years I had the same opinion as you do Mik. I discovered using WD-40 can successfully do things other approved cleaners don't do well. So I have changed my tune - a lot. This is to recognise that WD-40 can be an effective tool, used properly. Same as a screwdriver or any other tool you might use. If you clean the contacts off when you are done, there is zero long term negative effects. What I demonstrated by asking the folks at WD-40 was that sulphur is not an intentional active ingredient, but rather an accepted contaminant. They said they keep Sulphur to less than 500 ppm. That is probably a component of the oils used in the product.

-Chris


Chris, I get that you like using WD-40. So did lots of aircraft techs. It was used extensively in the airline industry, where downtime costs tens of thousands of dollars an hour. It was particularly useful in radomes of airliners where constant humidity would wreak havoc with electronics. A simple spray of WD-40 and contacts would be clean and functioning. Until they rotted out from sulfuric acid contamination. FAA and Transport Canada issued advisories and eventually outright banned WD-40. It is a mess.

Of course, the penalty for a failed relay in a stereo amp is much less than if the collision avoidance system in a 777 fails; but the principle of decay caused by WD-40 is the same. Why not use a good contact cleaner/lubricant instead? There are a ton of them out there and you will not have any worries about sulfur.

Sulfur exposure/reaction is a chemical process that may be accelerated by large amounts of water, the iron content of the base material, and the amount of sulfur present. Regardless of these factors, exposing any electronics to this product means a slow or quick death IMO. I threw out all WD-40 from my shops years ago and have also seen the damage it has caused in repairs we have had to perform. In used (or corroded) contacts, WD-40 is very aggressive. So what do we use? We use a positive contact cleaner without silicones, then coat with Krown rust-preventative. Even electric motors (not in aircraft BTW) work great with Krown and the coating slows further deterioration. For aircraft we use only FAA-approved LPS products (expensive).

Personally I would not use WD-40 at all. There are so many other purpose-formulated contact cleaners out there that can do a great job. I don't even use it for busting rusty nuts and bolts free; we use what the military restoration shops use; a 50/50 mixture of ATF and acetone. It works great (no smoking! :shock: ).

Peace, and please understand it is appreciated that you are willing to share with us all your tips and strategies in maintenance / repairs. We all learn when you do.

Thanks, Tom


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:01 pm 
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Hi Tom, others,
Please remember that I also said that you must clean the WD-40 out with a non-residue cleaner. Every single non-residue cleaner I've had the pleasure to play with has ignited beautifully. Explosively in fact.

Any relay contact or connector you clean with WD-40 will not have any future damage due to an acid as long as you clean the WD-40 out / off. Notice also that I was careful to mention that critical contacts are only cleaned with IPA, that's all.

Quote:
Why not use a good contact cleaner/lubricant instead? There are a ton of them out there and you will not have any worries about sulfur.

Any lubricant or almost any coating left on relay contacts or power handling switches will burn and promote the destruction of those contacts. You must not leave anything on those contacts!

I have tried almost every contact cleaner and lubricant for contacts out there over my 40 + years. I'm still looking for something that is effective. Hitting the contacts with WD-40 followed by a no-residue cleaner is the best answer I have found thus far. Believe me, I am open to suggestions.

Oh yeah, remember that the sulphur content is less than 500 ppm in WD-40. You're not going to see a lot of corrosion unless you have a lot of WD-40 in there.

Quote:
then coat with Krown rust-preventative.

How do you keep that stuff from burning between the contact surfaces?

Please PM me with the cleaner you have found to be effective. I'll try it right away, and if it is effective I will happily start using it.

-Chris


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