Forums :: Resources :: Features :: Photo Gallery :: Vintage Radio Shows :: Archives :: Books
Support This Site: Contributors :: Advertise


It is currently Dec Tue 12, 2017 12:09 am


All times are UTC [ DST ]





Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Removing moldy smell
PostPosted: Dec Mon 04, 2017 12:21 am 
Member

Joined: Mar Thu 02, 2017 1:37 am
Posts: 186
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I recently picked up this Superior Instruments TW-11 tube tester:
Attachment:
first_day_003_r.jpg
first_day_003_r.jpg [ 238.52 KiB | Viewed 381 times ]

It's obviously sat around in a moist environment for quite awhile. After removing it from the case I found a fair amount of mold inside on the bottom of the case, and front panel itself smells badly of mold. I've cleaned it up and it looks quite nice, but still smells. I'm pretty sure I'm going to toss the case and build some sort of an enclosure for it, but how can I remove this smell without damaging any of the electronics?

I do want to make this a nice unit. Both slide switches are shot, although I think I can fix at least one of them. But I found a guy online that has one of these for parts and is willing to send me the switches out of it. Very cool! I connected the wires from the switches to simulate it being powered on in the 'HI' power mode, and in the 'QUAL' mode. I connected it to the variac and brought it up slowly. It was drawing less than 10mA so I set the switches and controls for a 12SA7 and tested it...it worked!

Thanks!

Rich


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Removing moldy smell
PostPosted: Dec Mon 04, 2017 12:24 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 16810
Location: Albuquerque, NM 87123
What is the case made of? If it's metal you can paint it and if it's wood you can use spray lacquer (inside and out).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Removing moldy smell
PostPosted: Dec Mon 04, 2017 3:27 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jun Sun 14, 2009 10:44 pm
Posts: 421
I've had some success dealing with mold issues:
Attachment:
FView-R.jpg
FView-R.jpg [ 44.45 KiB | Viewed 347 times ]

Attachment:
SView-R.jpg
SView-R.jpg [ 48.63 KiB | Viewed 347 times ]

Attachment:
BView-R.jpg
BView-R.jpg [ 44.94 KiB | Viewed 347 times ]


I've been successful addressing this by washing/wiping/tooth-brushing and otherwise sponging down with dilute household vinegar/water, then PineSol/water then a dilute water/bleach solution to rinse. Next - I put them out in the direct summer sunlight for 1/2 a day, turning occasionally, to heat them up/dry them out. Seems to work well. Once done, I have not seen return of any mold. Even when not stored in ideal dry conditions.

Your tube tester case might respond to that kind of treatment too (however you will need to find some way to remove the electronics/panel).

Good luck,
Grid2


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Removing moldy smell
PostPosted: Dec Mon 04, 2017 3:31 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
Posts: 2915
Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
Neat White distilled vinegar will kill most mold and mildew spores and the vinegar smell quickly disappears.
Contrary to popular belief, they feed on bleach and water even though it seems to do a good surface clean up job initially.
Image

Baking soda, charcoal or cat-litter will absorb odors (seal in a plastic bag for a few days).

Dryer-sheets will make old musty books smell pretty (again, seal in a plastic bag/container) if you can tolerate the perfume smell. Lol

Greg.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Removing moldy smell
PostPosted: Dec Mon 04, 2017 4:03 pm 
Member

Joined: Mar Thu 02, 2017 1:37 am
Posts: 186
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Thanks guys! I'm really not too concerned about the case itself...it's not in very good shape and I think I will end up trashing it and building something out of wood, or maybe see if I can make something on my 3D printer. I think this one is made of some thick cardboard and covered with vinyl.
Attachment:
case_001_r.jpg
case_001_r.jpg [ 242.31 KiB | Viewed 284 times ]
Attachment:
case_002_r.jpg
case_002_r.jpg [ 227.37 KiB | Viewed 284 times ]
What I'm trying to freshen up is the front panel itself. I've removed it from the case and cleaned it up. The front cleaned up quite well and it looks nice. But it still stinks, even out of the case. How can I freshen it up without risking damage to the electronics?
Attachment:
front_panel_001_r.jpg
front_panel_001_r.jpg [ 239.88 KiB | Viewed 284 times ]

Thanks!

Rich


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Removing moldy smell
PostPosted: Dec Mon 04, 2017 4:30 pm 
Member

Joined: Sep Tue 30, 2014 6:08 am
Posts: 2068
Location: The Old Dominion VA 23518
The Sun. When we used to open "War Stock" material that was held in Quonset huts for years, we'd get that funk/mildew smell. We'd disassemble the items, and lay them in the sun for 8 hours or so. UV light was the agent, I guess.

For wood crates, we sprayed them inside with Shellac - it sealed the wood and the smells both.

Same for fire damage - after soot removal, the restoration folks sprayed the walls with shellac and repainted. No smell, no evidence of fire...

_________________
Brian
"Capacitor Cosmetologist since 1979"
USN Retired 1984-2006 (Avionics/Cal)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Removing moldy smell
PostPosted: Dec Mon 04, 2017 6:03 pm 
Member

Joined: Mar Thu 02, 2017 1:37 am
Posts: 186
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Thanks Brian - no sun today so I'll wait for a sunny day and let it bake!

Rich


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Removing moldy smell
PostPosted: Dec Tue 05, 2017 1:16 am 
Member

Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 414
+2 on the sun. If you want to take a bit of a more radical approach, remove the meter movement, and anything else that looks like a soaking would damage it... then soap and water, spray with lysol, rinse, soap and water again, THEN sit in the hot sun for a few hours. Or a convection oven with the door open, at maybe 110 degrees or so.

Then just clean/lube the switches as you normally would. Works like a champ. I use a garden hose most of the time but a gentle brush works too ... just don't be too violent. Maybe try this on some instrument you don't care about.

The key is DRYING .. you have to bake all trace of water out of everything. And then a q tip with some deoxit or other contact cleaner sparingly on the wafer switch contacts, possibly a dab of some non migrating grease on the switch detents .. stuff like that.

Pure vinegar, btw, is great for cleaning the front panel in most cases although make sure it won't dissolve something and don't leave it on there very long. Gentle wiping is usually plenty.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Removing moldy smell
PostPosted: Dec Tue 05, 2017 3:45 pm 
Member

Joined: Mar Thu 02, 2017 1:37 am
Posts: 186
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Thanks Brian - great tips! I'd be concerned about the power transformer primarily, and would be hesitant to remove it given the number of wires involved. It's cold today (upper 20s, going to lower 30s) but the sun is out bright so it's sitting in the sun right now. I'll let it sit until late afternoon when the sun is going down and see how it goes.

Rich


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Removing moldy smell
PostPosted: Dec Tue 05, 2017 3:48 pm 
Member

Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 414
The power transformer can get wet and dry without consequence as long as it is baked dry immediately. That doesn't mean you have to drown the poor thing :) use only as much water as necessary


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Removing moldy smell
PostPosted: Dec Tue 05, 2017 4:19 pm 
Member

Joined: Mar Thu 02, 2017 1:37 am
Posts: 186
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Sorry Barry - my previous 'Thanks' was meant for you...got my 'B' names mixed up lol. Anyway, thanks for the great info. I'll see how the sun does...I'll probably try 2 or 3 doses if the first doesn't work. If it still stinks after that I'll try more drastic measures.

Rich


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Removing moldy smell
PostPosted: Dec Tue 05, 2017 8:46 pm 
Member

Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 414
no prob and you're welcome. be advised though .... "in the sun" means in the sun on a HOT day. 30s 40's 50's etc are not going to dry anything. It would need to be a hot summer day.

I'd opt for the oven method in this case. 100 degrees or so, maybe 110 with air circulating for several hours at least. No hotter than that though.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Removing moldy smell
PostPosted: Dec Wed 06, 2017 12:13 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Dec Thu 10, 2009 2:59 am
Posts: 341
Location: Shiloh, Illinois, USA
For the fake leather, white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. a small nail cleaning (small scrub) brush or tooth brush work well.
For wood Murphy's oil soap. Been cleaning a bunch things in the radio shed.
Not sure why but 2 things can be next each other one look like a mold spore farm and the other has none? Has to be what was used on the case years ago.

_________________
pics here https://www.facebook.com/oldgoaly/photo ... 1507215179


Top
 Profile  
 
Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AntKnee, Tarpawns and 8 guests



Search for:
Jump to:  


















Privacy Policy :: Powered by phpBB