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How to Remove Cigarette Smoke from a Newer Solid State Transceiver?

Aug 8th 2011, 18:15

WB1GCM

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
An ARRL Staff Members has come to the Lab today:

"Help Bob, I've just purchased this rig from an on-line auction and it's from a smoker". "What can I do to remove the strong smell?"

I've cleaned up a number of "smokers", but they were all tube sets; I've never tried to remove the smell from a solid state set that's only a few years old. Maybe a charcoal oder eater type filter you see hanging from a rear-view mirror might help.

Members, we need your suggestions, please!

Bob Allison,
WB1GCM
ARRL Test Engineer
Aug 9th 2011, 01:10

W1RFIAdmin

Joined: Jul 25th 2011, 14:25
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Many folks just use the tincture of time and let the smell gradually fade. Cleaning the outside helps, and what is inside seems to slowly have the volatile components of the tar that is deposited inside the rig dissappear.

For the most part, the techniques used for tube rigs should apply to solid state rigs. One thing that may help is a "tuner degreaser" spray. Some tuner cleaners are also lubricants, which should be avoided except where you WANT some lubricant, like inside a low-power switch or potentiometer.

If someone does try the tuner cleaner, one should be careful not to have the polluted runnoff remain inside the rig. It may run onto a more sensitive area of a PC board and there is always a possibility that the tar gunk is somewhat conductive.

If it were me, I'd clean the outside, clean the inside as best I could, spray the inside with tuner degreaser, upside down over the sink, let it sit for a few hours, and let time take care of the rest.

Or, just skip the bidding the next time. If the tobacco stench was not mentioned in the eBay Product Description, that's probably not bad enough to warrant a negative, but I would have my positive feedback note that the unit smelled heavily of tobacco, and give a reduced rating on how well the unit was described.

And Bob, do tell us what you do for old tube rigs! Folks other than the original poster will read the answer and it may be useful. I suspect all the good answers we get will go into a nice FAQ page.

I did a Google search on "removing tobacco smell from electronics" and a lot of the results looked useful.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Lab
Technical forums moderator
Aug 11th 2011, 07:56

KB0HAE

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
PLEASE do not ever use TV tuner cleaner on Amateur radio gear! Most TV tuner cleaners contain a lubricant that will cause problems if it gets on any circuit board, and is hard to remove! Also DO NOT use WD-40!! WD-40 will damage plastics and other non-metal materials.

Use Caig DeOxit D5 sparingly on contacts and controls. Simple Green works well on the outside of a radio. Try puting a fabric softener sheet inside (with the radio off and disconnected) for a few days. You can also wipe down the outside with these. I live with a smoker. I have added a couple of fabric softener sheets to radios sold and shipped. Seems to help a great deal with smoke odors.

ttyl
Aug 11th 2011, 17:01

w1rfi

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Quote by KB0HAE
PLEASE do not ever use TV tuner cleaner on Amateur radio gear! Most TV tuner cleaners contain a lubricant that will cause problems if it gets on any circuit board, and is hard to remove! Also DO NOT use WD-40!! WD-40 will damage plastics and other non-metal materials.


Absolutely right. That is why I was clear to use a tuner degreaser, not a tuner "cleaner" with lubricant. I've never seen electronics damaged by the "Tunowash" degreaser I used to use in the TV-repair days.

73,
Ed W1RFI
Feb 6th 2012, 17:59

WD0GOF

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I have been restoring rigs for years and have developed a method that has served me well for over 15 years. Contact me cateswa at msn dot com and I'll send you a pdf file.

73 WD0GOF

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