[rescue] Rescued Sun servers, now what!?

vintagecoder at aol.com vintagecoder at aol.com
Fri Jun 17 03:39:54 CDT 2011

> Q: What's the difference between a belt-driven vacuum cleaner and a van
> de Graff generator? 
> A: Not much.

Hah, that's funny. I remember Edmund Scientific selling a few models of
those and seeing others, one particularly impressive, at the Franklin
Institute. You definitely don't want one of those badboys anywhere near
your equipment or near a gas station.

> That said, while you probably don't want to use a "regular vacuum brush",
> it is possible to vacuum computers out reasonably safely.  Use the vacuum
> to generate airflow and to scarf up airborne dust; don't use it to get
> the dust off things, not directly.  

That's what I have been doing but it's not very effective, at least the way
I have been doing it. I need some way to get the dust that sticks to the
boards etc airborne and I don't have access to my tools right now.

> make sure both I and the computer's frame stay grounded (I usually leave
> the power cord plugged in and either turn off the hard power switch, if
> there is one, or plug it into a dead outlet, if not).

This is also something I read and it sounded like a good idea.

> > Use a can of compressed air.
> If you can find one.  I've never seen one; the cans that are marked as
> compressed air generally aren't.  Look carefully and you'll usually find
> they contain some halogenated hydrocarbon, not air.

I think the ones sold in photo shops must be, because hydrocarbons would
probably wreck lenses and seals and result in big lawsuits. The ones in
Office Depot are probably pure refrigerant. That said, is there a problem
spraying refrigerant on electronic equipment? I remember Radio Shack used
to sell cans of freon to spot check components suspected of thermal issues,
but then again that was in the TTL days and I got away from doing from
hardware right about the time CMOS took over so I really don't know.

> (If you're worried about different gases acting differently, use
> compressed nitrogen: uniform and atmospherically totally innocuous.  Why
> nobody's selling cans of compressed nitrogen instead of what they are
> selling I don't know - nor why the truth-in-advertising folks aren't
> cracking down on them for misleadingly claiming they hold compressed
> air.) 

I guess it's more expensive? Maybe I should find a welding shop and see if
they can rent me a big tank of nitrogen and a blowgun.

Thanks for your posts guys.

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