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 Post subject: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On Wires
PostPosted: Jan Mon 21, 2019 7:32 pm 
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Does anyone know what this white stuff on the wires might be? Mold maybe?

Might anyone have any information on this tube tester? (Although I haven't really looked yet.)

Thanks,
Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2019 12:46 am 
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The white stuff is almost certainly mold. If not, it's something equally undesirable. It's got to go.

My approach to cleaning this up would be dish soap and warm water, a tooth brush or softer, and make SURE not to get water into the meter, transformer, or any sealed potentiometers or other controls. Soft, gentle, and fairly quick scrubbing just to get rid of the mold and any similar crud. You can be sure it's in other places you can't see.

I repeat: DO NOT GET ANY WATER INTO THE METER MOVEMENT. I'd opt for removing it before cleaning the rest, myself.

Follow up by blow dry with canned air, and bake in oven at 100 or hot sun for a few hours. Then some dioxit VERY sparingly applied to the switches, preferably with a q tip rather than just sprayed in. Ditto with the controls. You may need a wee bit of non migrating lube in the wafer switch detents depending on how much scrubbing you did.

If it's got any paper caps. (your photo only showed part of the insides) ... replace those. Also any electrolytics. Then see if it works. :).

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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2019 2:06 am 
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It may or may not be mold. You would think mold would attack the cloth covered wire more than
the plastic. Early plastics had problems that didn't show themselves for a while. It could be something that seeps out of the plastic and that mold was happy to grow on it. Could be that whatever seeps out reacts with the atmosphere to turn white. You could also wipe the plastic wires down with alcohol.
There is a similar thing that happens to old plastic knobs.

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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2019 2:41 am 
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Just in case, kill it with TSP. Otherwise, if its alive, its likely to reappear. Soap won't kill it. Try to find the real thing, not the "safe" alternatives.

John


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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2019 2:50 am 
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Best I can tell from the small pictures is that it looks like mold. Does it easily wipe off?


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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2019 3:20 am 
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Why would the cloth covered wires be clean but the plastic covered ones get moldy? Doesn't make any sense to me. More likely it is residue such as plasticizer which exuded from the vinyl over the years. Many plastic materials are often hard or brittle in their native states; they are made flexible and workable through the addition of volatile compounds known as plasticizers. But being volatile, those compounds eventually evaporate or migrate away. This is why most plastics become brittle again, shrink, lose their strength or flexibility, and tend to fall apart as they age.

If it is like the white stuff that develops on screwdriver handles over time, you may find a little soap and water takes it off. If not, you could try some different solvents like acetone or mineral spirits. Good news is, ugly as it looks, it is probably not affecting anything as far as operation of the tester is concerned.

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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2019 9:07 am 
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It's the plastic itself that's exuding a byproduct. It may be a product of out-gassing. I have noticed the same thing on the Government issued ballpoint pens that were quite old.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Skil ... ovtPen.jpg

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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2019 6:57 pm 
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Whether it is mold or not it isn't particularly hazardous, not like the black mold that you hear about resulting from flooding, etc. I've come across plastic wires that are sticky-slimey also.
Just clean it off using what ever method works. I wouldn't be eating a sandwich or pizza while you are working on it, but you should never eat while working on electronics stuff anyway!

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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2019 7:03 pm 
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Notimetolooz wrote:
Whether it is mold or not it isn't particularly hazardous, not like the black mold that you hear about resulting from flooding, etc. I've come across plastic wires that are sticky-slimey also.
Just clean it off using what ever method works. I wouldn't be eating a sandwich or pizza while you are working on it, but you should never eat while working on electronics stuff anyway!


Or use your sticky-slimey fingers on Electronics stuff afterwards. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2019 7:29 pm 
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look at TC-50 testers for schematics, other than 1 cap, here isn't much in these.

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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2019 8:10 pm 
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I doubt it is mold or it would not be on the black wires and no where else in the unit. I agree with others that is is plasticizer from the vinyl cover of the black wires.
If it was me, I would rather replace the black wires be causing its going to continue to out-gas and show up again. Not worth having to keep dealing with.

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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2019 8:48 pm 
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+1 for powdered plasticizer


The sticky goo alluded to earlier: https://www.whyprysmian.co.uk/news-green-goo.html


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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2019 8:50 pm 
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I still say it's mold. Take it to the EPA, the Bureau of industrial compliance, and the mold police just to be sure :-D

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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Jan Thu 24, 2019 6:43 pm 
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The infamous Sylvania Electric mid-50's black knobs in their test equipment line are in this state as a matter of course, models such as the 620 tester, the 302 polymeter and others they manufactured during this time frame use this same black plastic resin that sheds moldy white, especially when closed up in case, unexposed to air circulation, etc.
Seems like oxygen and wiping down occasionally with lightly damp cloth are the only temporary cures, although I don't think in this Moss tester there should be any reason for operational concern, unless wires under shedding plastic sheathing have shorted together in places to cause issues..
Good luck!
Kent


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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 10:05 pm 
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Thanks for all the responses. It's been quite a while and I haven't had time to post back.

I picked up a new capacitor to replace the one in this tester. The glass in the meter was loose so I removed the meter and fixed that. Upon reinstallation, I noticed that a screw that secures the brown 9 pin tube socket was right under the meter flange preventing it from sitting flush to the panel. I thought that was rather odd and upon closer inspection, I determined that the 9 pin socket was added to this tester at some point. All the other sockets are black. I also noticed that all the black wires with the white stuff on them are part of this addition. The original wires are all cloth. So I'm inclined to think this is not mold but plasticizer or whatever you folks have been posting.

I'll probably go ahead and replace the wires since there aren't many. This tester is probably not worth it though but what the heck. The socket pins have a greenish tarnish on them and I don't know how well they will clean off. I'll try DeoxIT I guess but any suggestions are appreciated.

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If it is like the white stuff that develops on screwdriver handles over time
. Yes, I've seen this on screwdrivers and this looks exactly like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Moss Electric Model 247 Tube Tester and White Stuff On W
PostPosted: Feb Wed 13, 2019 12:04 am 
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Tenite and mixtures of tenite with butyl rubber, among other things, have been in common use since the 1930s. Pure tenite is a hard thermoplastic made from cellulose which is from wood. Bell used it extensively in phones for decades. The butyl mixtures are flexible and are used in things like smart phone covers these days. Your wires are likely covered with it. Anything with tenite grows white mold easily. A little real TSP will eliminate it. No need to make this into work.

John


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