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 Post subject: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Sun 15, 2015 4:54 am 
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Joined: Dec Wed 18, 2013 6:03 am
Posts: 315
Location: Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
Hello All,

I purchase a tester via the web and, upon opening the case, was met with the strong smell of cigarette smoke. The tester seems to work fine, is in reasonable physical condition for its age, and was packed very well. I made sure to get pictures ahead of time and everything. This will teach me to ask one more question in the future when buying vintage equipment....

Does anyone have a good way of removing the smell? When it is all closed up there is no issue, so I am keeping it closed until I can figure out how to get rid of the odor.

Thanks in advance for everyone's help.

Best Regards,

Greenhorn


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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Sun 15, 2015 1:22 pm 
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Joined: May Thu 01, 2014 6:00 pm
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Location: Taneytown, Md.
I don't know if you can use it or not with your tester, but lemon juice works .


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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Sun 15, 2015 2:17 pm 
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Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
Hmm, what you might be smelling is the out-gassing of Bakelite and phenolic resin. Unless there is filth within the case I would leave it as is. It could, also be the overheating of phenolic cased resistors, usual cause is electrical leaking of capacitors causing excessive current flow.. IMHO it is more than a cleaning issue.

Chas

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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Sun 15, 2015 7:04 pm 
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Location: Vincennes Indiana
One trick is to put it inside a plastic bag with a few fabric softener strips from the dryer and leave it a few days.


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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Sun 15, 2015 11:33 pm 
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Location: Olympia WA USA
A tech I knew said he had good luck removing house fire smoke with Simple Green. Likely it would also work on the cancer stick smoke.

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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Mon 16, 2015 3:36 am 
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I use a product called Greased Lightning to remove smoke/nicotine residue from radio panels and cabinets.
It works great and removes other greasy residue as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Mon 16, 2015 6:24 am 
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Location: Port Orchard, Wa 98366
I have used 409 on almost all military equipment. Sailors in confined ships spaces really contaminated everything. When it's really bad it will slough off as brown liquid. Isopropyl alcohol is another safe smoke remover. We used to use a product called Kelite mixed with water 20 parts water to 1 part Kelite powder, then the mixture was siphoned with wet steam to get rid of that stink, used it on teletype, radio, radar, sonar, you name it we did clean it that way. After a thorough cleaning we would rinse and then put in front of infrared heaters, there were banks of infrared bulbs. They stayed therefor 24 hours, then back to the workbench for overhaul.
We also had forced air heated furnaces, set to about 80-90 degrees. Sure was nice to be able to see colors of color striped wires, colors of resistors, and cleaned solder connections.

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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Tue 17, 2015 2:09 am 
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If you want to get real wild and crazy. remove any IFT's and transformers and run it through the dish washer. The local Motorola techs did this on their commercial radios. Then they would replace the pots and 'lytics, replace the transformers & IFT's and re-align. (Their wives were not real happy having that stuff run through the dishwasher though.) I have run loads of variable caps and ceramic coil forms thru my dishwasher and just had to put a drop of oil in the bearings after.
Jillian even ran a carb. she was rebuilding thru it!

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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Tue 17, 2015 3:45 am 
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Joined: Dec Wed 18, 2013 6:03 am
Posts: 315
Location: Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
Hello All,

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I will try the easiest ones first (dryer sheets, then 401/Simple Green). If those options don't work, I am not sure what I will try next. Putting it in the dishwasher is out of the question - I love my wife more than I love this tester. : )

Best Regards,

Greenhorn


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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Thu 19, 2015 2:37 am 
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What kind of tester? Brand? Function?

Sometimes the cleaning method is dictated by tube, solid state, simple or complex designs.
If it's an oscope Tektonix has some instructions to avoid troubles. I forget where on the Web I found that info.

If it's military then the cleaning is usually addressed in the manuals.

Just don't use acetone, or any type of distillate, other than kerosene (recommended for the TV-7 tube testers.) but remember they have a anti-fungal coating that is to keep any moisture from creeping into circuitry.

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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Sun 22, 2015 4:57 am 
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Location: Norfolk, VA
Big ol' bag of activated charcoal from the pet/aquarium store did it for me - a Church fire stunk up stuff, so I asked the Belfor restoration folks that were cleaning up things what would be best to remove cigarette smoke smell from a thrift-store purchased power supply, and that's what they suggested. It worked marvelously - just seal it in a trashbag, with the charcoal in a loose form (I used a cheesecloth bag to hold the charcoal).

Cheers,

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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Mon 23, 2015 5:01 am 
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Joined: Dec Wed 18, 2013 6:03 am
Posts: 315
Location: Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
Hello All,

To answer the question of what type of tester: A Stark military tube tester TV-7C.

For the suggestions of placing it in a bag with either dryer sheets or activated charcoal, those are nice and straightforward. I will wipe it down with a damp cloth first in the hopes that whatever schmutz is on the surface can be removed. It is relatively clean already, but I guess I won't know how dirty it is until I actually take the time to wipe it down.

Since my last response I have had another project push this task down the list. Hopefully I can get to it over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanks again for everyone's suggestions. Have a great Thanksgiving.

Best Regards,

Greenhorn


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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Mon 23, 2015 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Aug Fri 29, 2014 6:17 pm
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Location: Vincennes Indiana
If you can open the case a bit when you go to defumigate that will help air out the inners.


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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Nov Sun 29, 2015 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Oct Thu 23, 2014 1:26 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Meriden ct 06450
One of the suggestions that comes to mind to remove the odor from a refrigerator was an open container of baking soda and it seems to work,is there anyone that has tried it?Maybe it is not strong enough for what you are looking for but seems safe enough.Ron G


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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Dec Tue 01, 2015 7:01 am 
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Joined: Feb Sun 02, 2014 1:58 pm
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Location: Tennessee 38058
I've tried the fabric softener sheet method before and it does seem to help. I placed an opened radio in a slightly larger box, placed a couple of sheets in the box with but not on the radio, and sealed (taped) up the box. Left it that way for a couple of weeks. The odor wasn't completely gone but it was much, much better. I suspect changing out the sheets a couple of times with longer "absorbency" periods would help even more.

Others have recommended this product; I've never tried it, but would like to one day: http://www.amazon.com/NatureS-Sponge-Absorber-Unscented-Plastic/dp/B009SSSG4M

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“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.”
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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Dec Tue 01, 2015 7:51 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 18573
Location: Albuquerque, NM 87123
On the inside of test equipment I sometimes use lacquer spray to seal the smell in. This works for painted metal and also wooden box items like tube testers that are hard to clean.

I have also cleaned electronics with alcohol; this works with circuit boards and most components, but I would be extra careful around meters and transformers (clean them with a rag). Unless you get pure alcohol, it will have water in it--not good for transformers.

There is someone who has re-invented MFP; you might do a search to see if this help you.


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 Post subject: Re: Cigarette Smell on Tester
PostPosted: Dec Wed 16, 2015 11:28 pm 
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Location: Georgia, 30236
If you can use a liquid cleaner to wipe down the surfaces, ammonia loves tar, nicotine and coffee. It dissolves it and wipes it away.

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