[rescue] Is this machine worth a rescue? (Tales from the dumpster)

Jeffrey J. Nonken jeff_work at nonken.net
Wed Jun 11 10:12:18 CDT 2003

On Wed, 11 Jun 2003 10:38:22 -0400, "Thomas Gallaway"
<tgallaway at comcast.net>said:
>circuit board and I might end up taking a toothbrush to it after it
is dry to
>the stuff off. Anyone had luck rescuing a machine out of a wather
befor? Any
>hints on how to handle the circuitboard and cpu.

Minor water stuff shouldn't be a problem, but the brown gunk could
be. The toothbrush is a good idea. If there are components you can't
get under, see if you can find a water pik or some kind of water
spray. Another possibility for that is ultrasonic, which of course
requires submersing the whole board (thus needs a large enough tank).

I usually follow up with an alcohol wash, mostly to hasten the drying
process, partly to rinse the water impurities off the board. Of
course, if you're using distilled water the latter is not a problem.
Depending on the constitution of the gunk, it might also help
dissolve some of the gunk. Make sure it's something mild like

>Also there was a 8 CD Duplication station that was also filled with
>so I dont know what's up with that one. I definatly will give that
one a try
>get clean again too but I'm sure the laser's of the writer's are
damaged if
>brown substance got on it.

Ow. I'd think that dirt on the lens would be the least of your
problems, actually. The focussing mechanism is VERY precise and VERY
delicate; crud on that would be virtually certain to ruin its
function, and cleaning it could easily ruin it as well. That's a
tough one. The next worst is the rest of the mechanics; CD drives
have a lot of moving parts that would have to be cleaned and (in some
cases) re-lubricated. But most of those would be relatively easy, if

I don't know if an ultrasonic clean for the lens mechanism would be
worse or better than trying to do it by hand. I suspect it would be
better, but the vibrations could also knock things out of alignment
or sever delicate connections.

If it's worth your time, it's probably worth a try to recover them.
(At most you'll have borked CD players, which is what you have now,
yes? :)  But for the CDs I'd stay away from any forced air or liquids
in the lens mechanism; stick to VERY careful hand techniques, or try
the ultrasonic bath if you can get one. If there's any way to
dissolve or wash away the crud without using force, that would be

Good luck!

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