Wafer switch maintenance in old ham radios
I've read some articles that oppose sprays because they tend to move dirt from one area to another. However, sometimes contacts on the switches are hard to reach with q-tips etc. Help!
In addition, do you have a product that would clean the aluminum inside ham radios without removing the ink lettering?
DeoxIT® and DeoxIT® GOLD* would be our recommendation for ham radio contact maintenance.
The DeoxIT® is used for heavily oxidized metal contact surfaces, and the DeoxIT® GOLD is used to maintain previously oxidized plated metal surfaces that have been pre-treated with DeoxIT®.
As far as the concern about the tendency for sprays to move dirt from one area to another, what actually takes place is that the surface contaminants are lifted, and physically flushed away by the burst of product. If the area is easily accessible, it would be advisable to gently wipe the surface with a clean lint-free swab or cloth.
In other areas where you cannot get to the contact surface after applying the product, the contaminants will continue to break up, but this will simply be a longer process.
Unfortunately, there are just too many variables concerning the cleaning of the aluminum inside ham radios without removing the ink lettering. We don't know what the chemical composition of the ink is, or whether the ink was cured. If the ink was cured, we don't know how it might have been cured, and if it was cured, we have no way of knowing how long it was cured.
The following excerpt is from a customer concerning the cleaning of wafer switches, and based on one of your questions, it should be helpful:
"A colleague of mine was discussing DeoxIT® GOLD for use on relay and switch contacts, and I tried it on one of my older Drake (T4X-C) Transmitter wafer switches, and it works very well.
I used the combination of the DeoxIT® AND DeoxIT® GOLD on a couple of my Drake Amateur Radio Transmitters and Receivers and it did a marvelous job!
These units have many wafer type switches and a couple of relays and I have NOT had any problems with them since the one application."
*DeoxIT D5 (flush - slow dry) or DN5 (quick dry - non drip).
*DeoxIT GOLD G5 (flush - slow dry) or GN5 (quick dry - non drip).
DeoxIT® GOLD (formerly ProGold)
DeoxIT® SHIELD (formerly PreservIT)
DeoxIT® FaderLube (formerly CaiLube MCL)
DeoxIT® Grease Type M260 & L260 Paste (formerly CaiLube Grease).