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Author Topic: Smoking ? - Quick Question  (Read 6972 times)
KK4GER
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Posts: 54




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« on: January 18, 2012, 05:16:35 AM »

I see many ads that say the equipment was used in a non-smoking environment.  Why is that important?   Huh

Gerry, KK4GER
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K8GU
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 06:19:19 AM »

Many non-smokers object to the odor of stale tobacco smoke that (rather quickly) attaches itself to radios and it changes the value of the radio accordingly.  In many cases, a film develops over the radio that's a bit difficult to clean up.  It's a matter of honesty in listing the sale.

If it doesn't matter to you, just ignore it, and you'll have access to more used radios!
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KE7KTR
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 07:11:02 AM »

The odor is an issue, but the soot and ash also gets in electrical components and can cause many issues. 

This is especially problematic with devices like base stations or computers with fans that draw in / exhaust air for cooling purposes.
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 10:43:08 AM »

Odor and cleanliness of the radio. Tar from smoking gets all over everything and leaves a film that is hard to remove. I suppose if you're a smoker it probably doesn't matter and you probably don't smell the odor anyways. I'm a non-smoker and I tend to avoid gear that was around a smoker.

One interesting thing about the tar - it has shown to preserve paint on older rigs. After a thorough cleaning / de-taring they sometimes come back looking like new.
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AD4U
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 12:31:52 PM »

A rig from a smoker is usually not desirable by those of us who do not smoke.  In addition to it stinking it has nicotine stains and "tar" coating everything inside and outside the rig.  It gets on switches and into controls and pots.  Often the entire rig is coated with a brown stain and the rig smells terrible to us non-smokers.

It makes me wonder what the smoker's lungs look like.

Dick  AD4U
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K8AC
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Posts: 1465




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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 12:50:40 PM »

Gerry - I've never found the smoke film to be hard to remove at all, unless the smoker blew smoke on the rig for 25 years or so.  Frankly, most of the rigs I've bought from non-smokers were as dirty or dirtier than smoker rigs I've acquired.  I always clean the knobs (after removing them) with a soft worn out toothbrush and mild face soap.  Rinse in water and they usually look very good.  I also clean the front panel and cabinet with a terry cloth rag moistened in a face soap solution and rinse with a damp rag.  While I've seen radios from the 1950s that were pretty bad from smoke, even those cleaned up very well.  I don't believe there's ever been any smoke smell left after a good external cleaning. 

73, K8AC
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WX7G
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 01:56:11 PM »

They should be classified as hazardous waste.
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W8JX
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2012, 02:21:22 PM »

Many years ago I was working in flight test/mod and the AirForce purchased 8ea passenger 707's to use for flying testbed aircraft. Who ever thought the idea was a good one should have lost their job. Outside of the fact they were worn out from 45000+ hrs being the lowest time, when all the paneling was removing it was discovered what 20 plus years of smoking did to airplane. Not only was there nicotine stains EVERYWHERE and even dripping in some spots, it was discovered that it had dissolved the foam in wire bundle clamps as the foam fell apart when clamps were removed. Every stinking clamp had to be replaced and a lot of foam seals and insulation too. Not sure how this ever got by annual inspections aircraft were supposed to go through and better still how it got past major depot repair. They had to laugh all the way to the bank on that deal. 
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W7ETA
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2012, 05:35:39 PM »

I like to buy tubed audio gear from the 50s and 60s.

It seems as if besides the smoke smell the smoke bonds the lint together.

Many years ago someone, I think it was WIK?, posted about running old rigs through a dish washer.  One has to look for paper capacitors and be prepared for steel screws to rust while it dries out.

And, one has to make sure the transformer windings have dried out.

I've run a few pieces of audio gear through my dishwasher to get rid of smoke residue and matted lint.

73
Bob
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K3WEC
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Posts: 260




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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2012, 09:46:49 PM »

I would think that it would be difficult to buy a rig from the 50's or 60's that hadn't belonged to a smoker at some point.   Smoking used to be as normal as drinking water.
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KK4GER
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2012, 04:47:22 AM »

Thanks for all the inputs.  It seems that most of the impact is cosmetic and not technical and can be cleaned up with a little patience.  I just wanted to be sure I wouldn't necessarily be buying a disaster if it came from a smoking environment.

Gerry, KK4GER
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W8JX
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2012, 07:29:31 AM »

I think it will take more than a "little" patience to clean up. Myself I would just tend to avoid such equipment.
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WB4TJH
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2012, 09:46:38 AM »

Heavy smoking will leave a sticky, gooey residue on everything in the house, including electronic gear. If you have ever seen the film on the inside of car windows from smoking, you know what I mean. It takes isopropyl alcohol to get it off, and it's very tedious to remove it from electronic gear and circuit boards. So, I won't even consider buying gear that has had a lot of exposure to cigaret smoke.
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KB2WIG
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2012, 10:03:53 AM »

Also, the operator will generally last much longer in a non-smoking envyronment.... ..

klc
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K1CJS
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2012, 06:53:11 AM »

....It seems that most of the impact is cosmetic and not technical and can be cleaned up with a little patience.  I just wanted to be sure I wouldn't necessarily be buying a disaster if it came from a smoking environment.

It isn't only cosmetic.  It can be technical too.  How do you clean a multi ganged, multi position selector switch that most of the older rigs used to have?  It isn't easy, short of total replacement.  And it doesn't stop there, either.

I used to smoke a long time ago, and there are times that I can still smell the odor of tobacco in or on an item even if anyone else can't.  Most smokers are just sensitive to the odor, maybe because of the addictive effects it can still have.  If you get a rig that has tobacco smoke deposits on it and clean it on the outside, chances are that you still won't be able to do much about the deposits on the insides--short of running the rig through a dishwasher or other cleaning regiment as someone stated.  Even then you can't get those deposits all out.  

If you have a visitor to the shack they may still be able to detect the odors, or if you sell the rig later and don't state that it originally came from an owner who smoked, you may have an unhappy buyer on your hands.

Do your best if you want to get such a rig, but just be prepared to deal with the consequences if you do so.  And if you sell it afterwards, tell the new owner that it is a cleaned rig originally from a smoker.  Honesty is the best policy, even if some people don't believe it.  
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