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Author Topic: Cleaning Chips and Boards  (Read 8209 times)
channelmaniac
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Few things are better than fixing an old game...


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« on: September 15, 2008, 09:36:21 PM »

One of the most time consuming tasks when burning ROMs (EPROM, Flash, EEPROM, etc...) is cleaning all of the old label from the old EPROM. Sometimes the stickers come off cleanly, other times they leave their glue behind. Even worse are the ones where the glue has turned to cement and the label comes off in layers - leaving a hard to clean mess.

For the EPROMs with the glue left behind, 3M makes a citrus based adhesive remover in a pen format with a fiber applicator/scraper tip. It's the "Scotch Adhesive Remover Pen", number 6042, and works wonders on getting rid of old glue residue - even the hardened stuff. It smells like orange and is much easier on the sinuses than trying to use harsh chemicals.

To clean the worst ones - the ones where the label just tears and the glue has turned to concrete - use heat. Yes, heat. It can be a hair dryer, heat gun, or even an oven. The problem is that if you use one of those methods then the chip will get too hot to hold. If you have a surface mount soldering station with a hot air iron then simply use a pinpoint tip to heat the label. This will reactivate the glue and make the label easy to peel off the top of the chip.

If you have a Pace desoldering station (with air pump) simply use the ThermoJet handpiece to focus the hot air on the label itself. The chip will remain cool to the touch making it easy to peel the label off.

Of course, use the Adhesive Remover Pen to clean up any glue residue left behind.
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channelmaniac
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2008, 09:39:08 PM »

Tips from other forum members:

Quote from: cfh
I just go to the local party store and buy a small bottle of lighter fluid (naptha). it works great for removing old label goo. when i burn new EPROMs i just use a sharpie and black out the quartz window. then one swipe with the lighter fluid, and the EPROM is clean for a good erase. if the EPROM is not temporary, then i'll put a 'real' label on it.

Quote from: Jay
I buy goo gone at our local grocery store or home depot. Its kind of yellowy in color and smells of citris as well.

Quote from: CaptainHappy
I have found that the part that means the most is the window when it comes to cleaning... I do a little trick nowadays when I have burned a eprom and it is label time. I cut little pieces of scrap paper sized to cover just the window, and then I put the label over that. This way the adhesive doesn't mess with the critical window opening. When I remove labels I start it with a razor blade and pull a little of the label back for gripping, and then (after repositioning the razor) I push with the razor side to side at an angle while I pull on the tab of the label and it usually comes up pretty clean. I then clean with an alcohol cleaning pad. For tough ones I have used the razor blade and wd40. I will have to remember to try the goo gone and other adhesive cleaners mentioned.

Quote from: ricker
I like the little paper to cover window. Makes sense. I have used fingernail polish remover(acetone) in the past for removal of adhesive. Seems to work well.

Quote from: StatFreak
I wasn't able to find Goo Gone locally; I bought it at MCMOnline for $7.89 for a 12oz bottle. They make big refills too.
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channelmaniac
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2008, 09:47:16 PM »

There are many different techniques to cleaning boards. One of the most effective is also the most controversial.

**WARNING** Do NOT do this on boards that have suicide batteries!!!

If I have a board that is in NASTY shape, I'll pull any batteries (and chips with paper labels you want to save) then toss it in the dishwasher.

Yup. The dishwasher.

Wash with HOT water, NO dishwashing detergent, and do NOT use heat dry as it might melt some of the plastic parts. (This is why some dishes are marked Top Rack Dishwasher Safe. On the bottom shelf the heat dry will melt them)

After taking it out, some people prefer to do an alcohol rinse to get the water off. This isn't necessary. Besides, most of the alcohol you buy in the stores is 50 to 70 percent WATER anyway! Read the label if you don't believe it.

When the board is done simply dry it. This can be done in multiple ways. Put it in front of a fan overnight (my favorite), use a hair dryer (time consuming but if you want to work on the board right after washing this is the one for you!), or even put it in an oven at 170 degrees for a couple of hours. Whatever method you choose, make sure it won't damage the board. Also make sure the board is completely dry before powering up!

If the board has damage from battery or capacitor electrolyte leakage I clean it up with a stiff tooth brush and Formula 409 Orange. It gets the oily residue off the board nicely. Rinse with pure alcohol (Available at Fry's) or with some good flux remover spray to get rid of the detergents from the cleaner. Dry off the board and start fixing the damage from those pesky batteries.
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channelmaniac
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2008, 12:15:43 PM »

When cleaning Neo Geo mulit-slot boards I prefer to use a toothbrush and Formula 409 Orange cleaner.

NOTE: Top board ONLY. You can clean the bottom boards this way IF you remove the battery from the board FIRST. You do NOT want to get the batteries wet and NEVER put a board with a battery on it in a heated oven for drying.

Rinse the top of the board then spray the top liberally with 409. Scrub the board down with the toothbrush. Don't be afraid to scrub the chips and under the edges of the slots. Rinse the board and the toothbrush then spray the cleaner liberally in the slots. Scrub up & down the length of the slot with the toothbrush to remove the grime that causes problems in reading the carts.

You'll be surprised at how black the toothbrush will get.

Rinse the board thoroughly then dry overnight with it stacked vertically (with the slots vertical too) or place it in the oven at 170 degrees.

If you still have lines on the screen then check for broken/corroded traces and for corroded slot connections. The 409 will clean grime but will not remove the green corrosion. Use a burnishing tool for that. You can get them at automotive stores as they are used to burnish points in old distributors.
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channelmaniac
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Few things are better than fixing an old game...


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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2012, 02:25:05 PM »

Great tip from Blueslots:

The best and the cheap way WD 40  never fails
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