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Author Topic: Could I wash KWM-2a in Dishwasher?.  (Read 5342 times)
ZS5WC
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Posts: 412


WWW

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« on: May 13, 2013, 12:18:19 AM »

 Huh

 ???Is it possible to wash KWM-2a in the dishwasher -MINUS the 'S' meter, tubes and of course PSU?.
It is a very dirty and grubby unit, and has seen hard times.
I have washed several solid state rigs before with no issues.

I would of course blow dry the unit afterwards, make sure there are no remaing water in trimmer caps; heat dry and relube everything, and re-align.

What do you think?.

73 de William
ZS4L / ZS5WC
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KE3WD
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 05:16:41 AM »

I once worked at a repair shop that got the city contract to refurbish about a couple of hundred two-way VHF radios that had been installed in vehicles that were submerged in a flood. 

We had to respond fast, as the longer the things sat and the water/mud/silt etc. was allowed to corrode, the less likely the radios would be salvageable. 

Common household dishwashers were employed for the purpose. 

Each radio was removed from the vehicle when we got it, we used plastic window screening, available from local hardware stores by the roll, to wrap each opened radio, cases and all, completely in the window screening such that if any tiny parts were to happen to come loose, they would be found inside each radio's "bag". 

The dishwashers were fed from the cold water line only, but that decision may have had more to do with the available water supply at the shop than anything else. 

We used standard automatic dishwashing detergent as well.  And manually repeated the Rinse cycle. 

The HEAT cycle, which used a resistive heating coil, was disconnected in both of the two dishwashers.  This to avoid accidental heating of the components. 

After going through the dishwashers, each radio was taken up to the flat roof of the shop, still inside its plastic window screening "bag" to dry thoroughly in the sunlight, but only after a dunking in distilled water in order to rinse out the stuff that the municipal water might leave behind when evaporated. 

Long story short, out of the entire lot of two-way Motorola radios, after the thorough drying and going over each one on the bench, tightening board screws, visual examinations, and applying cleaner/lubricant to every switch and control, all but three out of the many radios returned to operating condition without being in need of any new components.  Some did need slight realignment here and there, I remember we sat around the lunch table discussing the idea that the few radios we found that did need alignment and troubleshooting/components quite easily could have been in need of same BEFORE being subjected to the Johnstown City floodwaters. 

So, YES, I would say it is indeed possible to use a dishwasher on that KWM-2A. 

But I would recommend using that plastic window screening to "bag" the radio so that if any parts do get out of the radio, you will be able to see that right away upon unwrapping. 

Another method that works very well with the old boat anchors is to take the thing to the local do-it-yourself CARWASH, place the chassis in the center of the booth and use the Pressure Washer with its soap and rinse to blast away years of built up grime.  This method works very well indeed, perhaps better than the dishwasher for the older and very dirty units.  Again, I like to then dunk the entire chassis into a Distilled Water Rinse before the dryout begins, and if you live somewhere that the sunlight or climate disallows the complete drying of the chassis, it can be dried in the home oven, set to a lower temperature of around 150 - 100 degrees F or so, with the oven door propped open slightly to allow humidity excape and you can literally cook it dry.   


73
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AD4U
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 05:50:13 AM »

As a boat anchor restorer I have done this several times when all else failed and on total basket cases.  When it comes to drying the rig after its bath, I always just place the rig on a table directly in the hot summer sun for up to a week to make sure everything is dried out.  I DO NOT use the drying cycle in the dish washer.

Once I am sure everything in the rig is dry, I spray DeOxit on all pots, switches, and tube sockets before inserting the tubes.  Also you may have to put a DROP of oil on certain switch "bearings" and maybe on the PTO shaft.

Good Luck

Dick  AD4U
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K8AXW
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 08:54:37 AM »

4U - WD:  I read this thread with great interest because of my limited experience with dishwashers.

Even though I'm a half-brother to Moses, we've had an automatic dishwasher for just a few years.

We found right off that we couldn't do knives with aluminum handles or anything aluminum in the dishwasher.  The detergent turned the aluminum black!

How is this avoided with the many parts in a radio that are aluminum??
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AD4U
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 09:18:51 AM »

AXW - I (wife) has used a dish washer for many years and we never had the problem with aluminum that you mentioned.  It could be the detergent you are using or maybe the water itself. 

Any way when cleaning a rig in the dish washer remember it will not remove rust and /or corrosion - only dirt, nicotine residue, and oily gunk.  Once again I only recommend using a dish washer on the worst of the worst and only as a last resort when everything else has failed.

Depending on the level and the identiy of the filth, I usually spray the chassis with Crud Cutter or a similar cleaner a couple of minutes before I put it into the dish washer.  Then instead of dish washing detergent I usually just squirt some Dawn into the botton of the dish washer and turn it on.

It works.

Dick  AD4U
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KE3WD
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 11:40:55 AM »

4U - WD:  I read this thread with great interest because of my limited experience with dishwashers.

Even though I'm a half-brother to Moses, we've had an automatic dishwasher for just a few years.

We found right off that we couldn't do knives with aluminum handles or anything aluminum in the dishwasher.  The detergent turned the aluminum black!

How is this avoided with the many parts in a radio that are aluminum??

Have never seen that, would suspect the particular detergent used.


Try a different brand detergent.


73
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K8AXW
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 08:50:32 PM »

I suspect it's the detergent as well but didn't know if there's any difference in the various brands.  We were told to use Cascade liquid and like blind horses, this is the way we went.  

We no longer try to wash anything aluminum in it.

Thanks for the replies.  Will file this one.

One that I won't file is to replicate a trick a buddy tired one day.  He rewound a transformer, painted it with shellac or something similar..... and after his wife left to shop for a few hours, put it in the oven.

He became involved in something else and about 15 minutes before his wife came home he suddenly remembered the transformer in the oven.  He raced upstairs from the shack, threw open the oven door and was greeted with a ball of fire that came out of the oven and across the kitchen!  Needless to say he had to buy his wife a new oven and have one set of cabinets refinished.

He also had to nurse an ass ripping as well!

« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 08:56:01 PM by K8AXW » Logged
ZS5WC
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 11:22:42 PM »

 ;)Thanks for the reply guys!.
I don't feel too isolated in my endeavours anymore!.
Clark and Dick, thanks for the very informative replies-I actually found a video on youtube showing a US ham doing just that, was fascinating to watch!.
He actually dried the rig in the oven at low temp. and I had a funny thought--" Ready when golden brown!--Hi!!"

I think the secret is proper drying, and of course proper relubrication of all moving parts, pots etc.

I will return feedback as soon as the rig is clean and QRV again.

Many Thanks,
William
ZS4L
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KE3WD
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 02:08:33 PM »

Wrapping it up with that plastic window screening is cheap insurance in case some small part breaks loose. 


73
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W0FM
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 02:34:58 PM »

Hi William,
I hope it goes without saying, but I always made a point to remove speakers (paper cones), dial cords, etc that were made of material that does not play well with water.  Many paper caps were more easily replaced than dried out obviously.

I have done this a number of times and always used Dawn dish detergent even though I have no testing to prove that its chemical makeup really made a difference.  But aluminum never tarnished during my cleanings.

Have fun and good luck.

Terry, WØFM
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KE3WD
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2013, 04:24:51 PM »

I never concerned about removing dial cords, if the cord is so deteriorated that it comes off in the washer, then replace it.  Most often, though, the dial cord can live through the washing. 

But that's another reason for that plastic window screen wrapping, if the dial cord does come loose, it will be in the bag with the rig. 


And not in the dishwasher's drain sump...


73
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WB4SPT
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2013, 07:39:49 PM »

If I was faced with a production line of dirty radios, i'd head for the dishwasher too.  But, for just one, the Krud Kutter, near full strength, a short dwell time, and a shot of hot water out of a water heater has worked to me.  I like to use compressed air to blow off the water before it evaporates, in case you are not using soft water.  Then,  a few hours at 170 deg F, or a hot sun, if avail. and then a fan blowing into the chassis for a couple of days will result in success.  The tubes get cleaned with the same KK, just separately.  Beware of paper wrapped caps, speaker cones, transformer paper, and meters. 
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N4NYY
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2013, 05:43:27 AM »

Spray and douse it with Krud Kutter. Let sit for about 2 minutes, rinse off with hose. Let dry in a hot garage, shed, or attic for about 1 week. That is how I do most of mine. Have not has sparks, once.

I have heard nightmares with dishwashers.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2013, 06:16:51 AM »

We can hear nightmare stories with any process. 

I always tell hams about the plastic windowscreen bag, I also then have heard way too many stories of problems incurred when small parts break loose and are unknown, unfound and, of course, the screening bag was omitted. 

Have also encountered the same situation with the KrudKutter/Hose/Pressure Washer methods, small parts being blown away while cleaning, leaving a much harder troubleshoot to find out what happened. 

The object of the savvy restorer is to avoid such problems if at all possible, to THINK beforehand, judge the possibilities and try to prevent them rather than to rush to the chase with the idea that, "it could never happen to me" mindset. 

The Stitch In Time That Saves Nine kind of thing...

73
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N4NYY
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2013, 06:41:36 AM »

We can hear nightmare stories with any process.    

Have also encountered the same situation with the KrudKutter/Hose/Pressure Washer methods, small parts being blown away while cleaning, leaving a much harder troubleshoot to find out what happened.  

73

I have never suggested a pressure washer and think that is a horrible idea. The Krud Kutter sits for about 2 minutes, then is rinsed off with a light hosing, like a shower setting on a nozzle. I have done dozens of cleanings this way, with no problem.

The key is drying, and allowing ample time to dry. Clearly in the summer, this is faster. I remove all tubes, and cover transformer with Saran wrap. I leave everything else there.

Krud Kutter is by far the best thing I have found. It is not toxic, and it melts the all important nicotine. It is safe on all plastics I have used it on, including bakelite. Does not harm paints.

The dishwasher is a horrible idea. Especially if you use dishwashing detergent. I suppose if you use a rinse only cycle, and spraying with Krud Kutter prior to the cycle and NOT drying, the dishwasher could work well. But the key is no detergent and not drying in the dishwasher itself.

Here is a link to a AA5 I restored, which was washed with Krud Kutter: http://205.196.122.160/c7sapggt3qpg/8y8rarad0w0dcnj/1948+RCA+Victor+8X681+before-after.pdf
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