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Best Way To Clean/Deoxidise USB Connectors And Ports?


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Hi,

So as I've had some communication issues on my last couple of imaging sessions I thought it would be time to go over all the usb connectors on the cables and ports in the devices to clean them. So far I've just used 99.9% IPA and a cloth wrapped around a suitable plastic stick to clean them. But I don't think that will do much to any oxidation. Wouldn't want to use anything too abrasive as that would most likely wipe out any platings on the connectors.

I've read about salt and vinegar baths followed by sodium bicarbonate bath to neutralize the acidity but haven't had the courage to do it yet.

What is your preferred method?

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You could try Servisol contact cleaner and then once dried out apply some dielectric grease that will prevent moisture getting into the contact area and leading to corrosion. I use this for the LAN, UNC and power connections to my CCTV cameras to good effect and the outdoor ones have been running for a couple years with no issues. 

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Any stubborn deposits can be removed with a fibreglass pencil - then a rub down with contact cleaner / IPA on a cotton bud.  Wooden stirring sticks are another good choice to help in the cleaning process.  Afterwards (and after any cleaning producs have dried off) a little dielectric grease or contact grease will help protect against the elements too.

Try not to touch any bare, exposed contacts with your skin, either.

One of the other tips to remember is that when you finish a session and bring the equipment in, it is allowed to dry thoroughly before being packed away in (say) an airtight container.

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Another point (particularly with more fragile connectors such as RJ45s or RJ12s) is to remember that these are designed as slide contacts.  They do not tolerate much sideways movement, so remember when cleaning these plugs and sockets to ONLY clean in and out of the connector - and NOT side to side across the connectors.

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4 hours ago, sloz1664 said:

The best cleaner / electrically safe lubricant is DeOxit. Used on old HiFi for cleaning switches, potentiometers and contacts.

Steve

I've heard a few people recommend this but at over £20 for a small can it seems a bit steep. Not that it would break my bank but just wondering if it's really THAT good? :)

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I still have a can of freon tho there was not much left in that last time I looked which was several years ago. Was great for cleaning tape heads but of course you can't get that stuff at all anymore.

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13 hours ago, DaveL59 said:

I still have a can of freon tho there was not much left in that last time I looked which was several years ago. Was great for cleaning tape heads but of course you can't get that stuff at all anymore.

I use Isopropyl alcohol to clean the heads on my Akai GX 600D.

Steve

 

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