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Author Topic: Drying out radio equipment  (Read 17443 times)
WI8P
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Posts: 260




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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2013, 08:15:39 AM »

My suggestion? Let the insurance company write you a check, that's why we pay for insurance.

Let me make sure I understand this: he can spend a couple hours and $10 for distilled water and have everything up and running in a day, or argue with the insurance company, and wait God knows how long for replacement equipment, which he'll have to procure, assuming it's available.

I'm pretty sure what my choice would be.



I think your estimate of a couple of hours is WAY low as is the estimate of up and running in a day. In addition if he gets everything cleaned well enough to work now what about a year down the road, or two years or three when corrosion finally sets in and intermittent problems start rearing their ugly head. That's a pretty big gamble to make on what could potentially be thousands of dollars worth of equipment. I went through almost the same experience when I had a water line freeze and burst in the ceiling above my shack about 7 years ago. I have full replacement value on my policy and the insurance company never hesitated to write me a check to replace every single item. So yes, this is exactly why we pay for insurance. My advice still stands............ make a claim.

I know it's not the same technically, but I've done computer equipment, and my estimate is accurate.  Fill a large clean  container with the distilled water and use it to submerse the equipment (with any cases/covers removed.  Afterwards, fans or hairdryers set on low heat speed the drying process.  As W8JX stated, adding alcohol can speed the drying process.  If you have never done it, then you probably shouldn't comment. 
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KF7ITG
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Posts: 82




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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2013, 04:38:07 PM »

I'm not advocating anything here. This is just a statement. I live in Arizona and have several Jeeps that are equipped with CB radios with cooling fans and external water proof speakers. After several months of 4 wheeling the fans have packed the radios with dirt. One of the radios is 6 years old. On average I clean the radios out three times a year ..... With the hose. I don't dismount them, I unplug the power supply, wash out the radio until clear water runs out, let it dry out several days, plug it back in and it continues to work fine. Of course, they are $80 radios so I'm not concerned if water does destroy them. They also are not protected from the rain storms.

I'm just saying water doesn't always destroy radio equipment.

KF7ITG
James
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W6EM
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Posts: 794




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« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2013, 06:39:20 PM »

Many years ago, as a radio tech for a county agency, I was given a project.....  A park ranger had left his pickup in neutral and forgot to set the emergency brake.  Next thing he knew, it was submerging itself and Motorola Motrac (turned on) into 20 meet of water at the bottom of a lake.

My project was, take the brown water soaked Motrac drawer and clean it off and dry it out.  At the time, we had an air-hose syphon wash tool, and it was suggested I use a chlorinated solvent.  For two reasons: no water, and would clean the muck off from the pc boards and evaporate more quickly.  The Motrac was a hybrid radio, with transistors and tubes.

I cleaned it thoroughly and used compressed air via a blow gun to assist in the drying.  I remember waiting a couple of days after I did that to fire it up, but, to everyone's amazement, it worked fine.  Even the HV inverter for the tubes in the transmitter.

I doubt that you could get any chlorinated solvents today, but you could probably get some anhydrous methyl alcohol, aka methanol, from you local hardware store.  Alcohol won't bother lacquer paints or plastics and has a super affinity for water, so it will literally "suck up" any remaining water and moisture and help to evaporate it quickly.  It might bother rubber gaskets, grommets and feet, though, if you were to leave them soaking in it.

Good luck.

73,

Lee

 
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4567




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« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2013, 03:19:06 AM »

I wonder if an attempt to clean the radio might lead, in the event it was unsuccessful, to the insurance company refusing to pay up on the basis that the radio could have been damaged by the attempted 'repair'?

Not that I feel insurance companies will use any possible excuse to weasel out of paying up on a claim......
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WD3N
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Posts: 13




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« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2013, 05:58:03 AM »

 Back in the old days ,after going through the wave solder machine ,new boards went through a wash to clean off flux and debris .last step was blow dry .
 See what insurance adjuster says first,then plan .
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W6EM
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Posts: 794




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« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2013, 09:15:17 AM »

I wonder if an attempt to clean the radio might lead, in the event it was unsuccessful, to the insurance company refusing to pay up on the basis that the radio could have been damaged by the attempted 'repair'?

Not that I feel insurance companies will use any possible excuse to weasel out of paying up on a claim......
Perhaps worthy of note.  Here's a suggestion to go along with this.  Of course, courteously show the adjuster the damage to the equipment.  Then, mention to him that you have heard from a former Forensic Engineer (me) about a way to use alcohol and dry air to clean up the equipment.  If he doesn't agree to the idea of an alcohol wash, without a caveat that should it fail to restore the equipment, he will still provide full coverage, tell him you want this:  For his carrier to retain a Forensic Electrical Engineer to come out and inspect the equipment on behalf of his company; perform the cleaning and restoration for you; and if you're not satisfied, pay you in full for your loss.
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AA5VB
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2013, 05:10:30 PM »

I have filed a claim, and the Adjuster has visited, so now I wait. I've been down this road twice before with another insurer due to lightning damage (could have something to do with the Rohn 25 lightning rod in my back yard) - and it wasn't fun then either. Not sure how Liberty Mutual will handle the claim, but having to deal with State Farm's Replacement Coverage in 2005 and 2007 was intensely frustrating. SF takes your equpment values, then depreciates most of them by 60 percent before cutting a check. They WILL NOT order new equipment for you, and they expect the policyholder to make them a short-term no-interest loan for the difference between what they pay you and what the new item costs!  Amazingly, our State Insurance Board goes right along with it. I think many people just give up at some point in the process and pocket the money - and the insurer knows that. 

I'll try to keep the group updated on my progress!
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WB6DGN
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Posts: 617




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« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2013, 04:15:09 AM »

Quote
Then, mention to him that you have heard from a former Forensic Engineer (me) about a way to use alcohol and dry air to clean up the equipment.

If I dropped one of my prized radios in the water, especially the toilet, that's not how I would use the alcohol to deal with the problem!  But, then again, my way wouldn't do much to get the radio cleaned up, either!

Tom
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