DeoxIT® & DeoxIT® GOLD Product Review
One of the most difficult areas of electronic equipment maintenance and restoration is cleaning and preserving electrical contact points. These component surfaces and areas become dirty and eroded due to friction, wear, arcing, etc. Switches and relays are difficult to replace both from a logistical standpoint as well as the actual installation of the new part.
Over the past few months I have been engaged in rejuvenating several old pieces of amateur and military pieces of radio equipment. These include a Johnson Viking I transmitter, a Collins R-390 receiver, a Collins KWM-2A transceiver and a rare RS-6 "spy" radio set from the Cold War 1950s.
All these radios are valuable and are becoming hard to find. The above five pieces were all in excellent cosmetic condition, unmodified and clean. They all had something in common, however, switches and relays would be hard to find and difficult to replace.
Good electrical contact is paramount in these older receivers and transmitter circuits – degraded performance or non-performance can often be traced to dirty, corroded surfaces with intermittent electrical contact. CAIG Laboratories in San Diego, CA produces a line of chemical products to clean and condition electrical contacts. I used their DeoxIT® and DeoxIT® GOLD for these valuable pieces of old radio equipment from my personal collection and made the following observations.
Both DeoxIT® and DeoxIT® GOLD come in different versions - spray and needle applicators with 5% and 100% concentrations. The 5% dilutions are carried by petroleum naphtha solvent that is flammable until the solvent evaporates, as well as a non-flammable carrier, with a fast-evaporating solvent. Some 100% versions also offer metered short bursts - after all the stuff's too good to waste!
I personally prefer to use anhydrous isopropyl to clean contacts, followed with the 100% concentration in the 25 ml needle applicator to condition and deoxidize. For quicker jobs, the spray would also be useful in tight places.
I used both DeoxIT® and DeoxIT® GOLD in my rejuvenations - depending on what kind of contact I wanted to restore. I used DeoxIT® GOLD for plated surfaces because although it minimally deoxidizes and cleans surface crud, it penetrates plated surfaces and its molecules actually bond to those of the base metals. I also use it to enhance connections between similar and dissimilar metals such as gold, copper, silver and other metals.
Many of these older pieces of equipment have carbon potentiometers. Solvents are not advisable to clean carbon pots - most of the time, these controls and their contacting surfaces only need lubrication to extend their life. I used 100% concentrate DeoxIT® spray, turning the pot several times to distribute the solution, as they advise you to do. I was impressed with the results - noisy, scratchy pots greatly improved. I plan on applying DeoxIT® once a year to try to maintain their performance as-is.
I used DeoxIT® for general purpose contact treatment, and a little goes a long way. My findings are that these products are useful for restoring older radio equipment without concern that they contain anything that will do damage. I certainly plan on keeping both DeoxIT® and DeoxIT® GOLD in the front row of radio service and maintenance supplies.
CAIG Laboratories, Inc.
12200 Thatcher Court
Poway, CA 92064
DeoxIT® and DeoxIT® GOLD both available from the manufacturer and select retailers.
Nahant Massachusetts USA
DISCLAIMER: I have no interest, financial or otherwise, in the success or failure of the book or materials reviewed herewith, nor have I received any compensation (other than a review copy requested by me) from anyone who has. All opinions expressed are strictly my own.
DeoxIT® GOLD (formerly ProGold)
DeoxIT® GOLD GxL (formerly ProGold GxL)
DeoxIT® SHIELD (formerly PreservIT)
DeoxIT® FaderLube (formerly CaiLube MCL)
DeoxIT® FaderGrease (formerly CaiLube MCL P20 & P40)
DeoxIT® Grease Type M260 & L260 Paste (formerly CaiLube Grease).