Board cleaning

Tool suggestions, soldering tips, general useful electronics knowhow.
User avatar
IngoQ
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 995
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:38 am
Location: Germany

Board cleaning

Post by IngoQ » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:43 pm

Hiya,

I was wondering what you guys use to cleaning boards, especially the residues that flux leave behind?

I had and still have a hard time to get for example the H4 board clean. I am under the impression that flux residues are alcohol soluble, but when cleaning with IPA there is white residue left. When further cleaning with IPA and a brush, this residue gets spread and becomes sticky. Only after applying incredible amounts of IPA it will eventually get washed away.

I tried different board cleaners, like KONTAKT PCC for example, and it is bit better but still not great.

To me it looks like the main problem being not to be able to pick up the solved residue in the IPA, so the IPA avaporates and leaves the residue behind. The solder points on the board make it really hard to wipe the board and not leave fluff behind.

Any hints or methods?
Ingo :geek:

| Atari 1040STE@32MHz | Amiga 1200 (ACA1220) | Atari 800XL (U1MB, SIDE2) | Atari 130XL (Sophia DVI) | C64 (1541 Ultimate II, Rev3 RFMod Replacement) | TI 99/4A (F18A, 32k, FlashROM 99) | Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128 (Stereo, DivMMC) | Amstrad CPC664 (512k, M4 Wifi) | ... |

User avatar
rubber_jonnie
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2947
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:40 pm
Location: Essex
Contact:

Re: Board cleaning

Post by rubber_jonnie » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:47 pm

Despite the solder points, I do use a cloth to wipe off flux with IPA. Where a cloth will get caught, I use a Q Tip dipped in IPA for the more fiddly bits between pins and use compressed air to blow off any bits of fluff.

The other thing I use is a small tray that the board can sit in and put just enough IPA in so the bottom of the PCB is submerged. Once soaked the flux should dissolve into the IPA over time.

I'd like a couple big enough ultrasonic bath, but I've spent all my spare cash lately on other tools, like my desoldering gun.
Collector of old Atari things:
800XL + Ultimate 1MB, 2x 1010 cassette, 1050 + Happy mod, 65XE (128k +APE Warp) & XC12, SIO2SD, 2600jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Atari 520ST (1Meg), 1040STF long button floppy, 2x 1040 STFMs + Gotek, 2x 4160STE with 32Mhz booster, ROM switcher, Mega ST1, Mega ST4, not to mention various bare ST boards for testing including a PAK 68/2 :)
Plus the rest..
Amiga stuff, Mac stuff, Sinclair stuff etc...
www.electronicnothingness.co.uk

User avatar
exxos
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 12171
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:19 pm
Location: UK
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/exxosuk
Contact:

Re: Board cleaning

Post by exxos » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:33 pm

I don't recommend IPA for cleaning. Use water cleanable solder and use proper cleaning fluids . somewhere I posted my US cleaner with what I use.

EDIT:

viewtopic.php?f=35&t=1747&p=20050#p20050

A bit tricky with a large board like a H4, but it can be manually done, just takes longer.
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/store2/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

Tomswork
Posts: 418
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:05 pm

Re: Board cleaning

Post by Tomswork » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:03 pm

I use ipa in spray bottle and a lint free cloth. Also I use baking soda in different amount from light water mix to paste for stopping the flux reaction and it removes corrosion as well. The soda leaves a white powder that neeed water or ipa to remove

Tom

terriblefire
Moderator Team
Moderator Team
Posts: 3328
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:56 pm
Location: Glasgow, UK
Contact:

Re: Board cleaning

Post by terriblefire » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:54 pm

I soak in IPA overnight, toothbrush for the cleaning and then a quick run through the ultrasonic cleaner. My IPA cleaning is meant to get the cleaning time required down to under 3 mins as more than that seems to do damage ... but that’s just my process
———
I get cranky when asked to repeat myself.

User avatar
frank.lukas
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:52 am

Re: Board cleaning

Post by frank.lukas » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:25 pm

I use for clean acetone with a hard short bush ...

User avatar
IngoQ
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 995
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:38 am
Location: Germany

Re: Board cleaning

Post by IngoQ » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:57 pm

Thanks for your feedback. Will try soaking in IPA over night, maybe there's no point in penny pinching at this point... ;)
Ingo :geek:

| Atari 1040STE@32MHz | Amiga 1200 (ACA1220) | Atari 800XL (U1MB, SIDE2) | Atari 130XL (Sophia DVI) | C64 (1541 Ultimate II, Rev3 RFMod Replacement) | TI 99/4A (F18A, 32k, FlashROM 99) | Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128 (Stereo, DivMMC) | Amstrad CPC664 (512k, M4 Wifi) | ... |

cmorley
Posts: 163
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 5:46 pm

Re: Board cleaning

Post by cmorley » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:14 pm

I do similar to terriblefire but I only soak for a few minutes before scrubbing with an old toothbrush. Then dunk in clean IPA... then from the IPA to the ultrasonic cleaner. I use Allendale PCB ultrasonic detergent in the US cleaner. Then 3 mins on each side in the the cleaner - rinse under the tap + brush. Put in demin water to soak then oven at 120C to dry. OK process for batches of stuff.

Or for one joint/chip the IPC method of brush with IPA then soak up IPA with a lint free cloth - poking it with the brush. I buy "lint free nail wipes" for doing fingernails - they are really cheap <£2 for 900 is typical.

User avatar
Smonson
Trusted Guru
Trusted Guru
Posts: 565
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:21 am
Location: Canberra, Australia
Contact:

Re: Board cleaning

Post by Smonson » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:04 am

Back at my old workplace we used to wash 'em in a sink full of hot soapy water and a dish brush, then dry them off with a blast of compressed nitrogen. I hear some people put their boards in the dishwasher, although I wouldn't recommend it!

stephen_usher
Trusted Guru
Trusted Guru
Posts: 848
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:19 pm
Location: Oxford, UK.
Contact:

Re: Board cleaning

Post by stephen_usher » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:23 am

Apparently, if you use the correct "salt" it has anti-corrosion chemicals which means that it's possibly even good for the electronic equipment. Just don't use the drying cycle!
Intro retro computers since before they were retro...
ZX81->Spectrum->Memotech MTX->Sinclair QL->520STM->BBC Micro->TT030->PCs & Sun Workstations.
Added code to the MiNT kernel (still there the last time I checked) + put together MiNTOS.
Collection now with added Macs, Amigas, Suns and Acorns.

Post Reply

Return to “ELECTRONICS”