Author Topic: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections  (Read 1008 times)

Offline JonnyP

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Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« on: February 21, 2017, 02:46:09 PM »
So I decided to swap a few carts around on the weekend, and once I'd managed to include spacers, have the screws working etc. connected up the MC cart to the TD 160 mk1.  What I had forgotten is that in the absence of a ground wire (the way Thorens made them), any slightly less than perfect contact (e.g.. on one of the 4 pins to the cart) makes a hum.  I went through a few possible issues and eventually tightened the connections up a bit last night and managed to get it to a minimum (I removed the earth from the plug into the multi block so that ground loops are minimised (before doing this it was ridiculous), but think it could be improved by a good clean of all the contacts.  Any recommended contact cleaners that anyone uses?  And where to buy - presumably an electronics shop would be an idea?

Anything else I should look at would also be good advice (I lined up the cart, made sure of the horizontal and vertical alignment then used a protractor to make sure it sat properly in the grooves so it sounds fine, just that little bit of hum)
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Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2017, 04:52:38 PM »
BJ or myself can help you with Clearaudio contact cleaner. 

The electronics types are typically aerosol cans so spray on a pipe cleaner or interdental brush and make sure it does not contain a lubricant which most do.







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Offline charles

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2017, 05:20:32 PM »
KONTAKT 60 Electrical Contact Cleaner

Offline JonnyP

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2017, 05:46:27 PM »
Thanks gents, I'll see if our electronics workshop have any lubricant free that I can borrow and otherwise look into the clearaudio
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Offline Aqualung

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2017, 05:49:48 PM »
I always use Servisol - works perfectly for me.
Good tip above on the pipe cleaner  :thumbs:
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Offline chrisc

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2017, 06:11:23 PM »
What is the drawback with a solvent cleaner that contains lubricants?

Offline skollie

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2017, 10:38:55 PM »
Servisol is also my choice and even on a pipe cleaner, I wouldn't use it for the danger of the stuff migrating into the cartridge body, which could affect the damper or potting around coils if it is a moving magnet cartridge. I prefer mechanical cleaning of the pins with 800 to 1000grit water paper. If the pins are gold or rhodium plated, you can use a tiny bit of a mild metal polish or preferably even a small pea-sized bit of fine acrylic polish. You want to remove tarnish, not the plating.

Use a soft polishing cloth, press the polish into a t-shirt type material to prevent the paste from building up around and between the pins.

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Offline JohnnyIC

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2017, 08:05:58 AM »
A pencil eraser also works pretty well, the ones you find on the back of a pencil. Push a hole into the eraser using a paper clip then push the eraser over each cartridge pin and rotate it a couple of times.

Offline ASAK

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2017, 06:09:50 PM »
I can also vouch for SERVISOL - I use it on all the contacts of my set-up.

Offline JonnyP

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2017, 07:29:11 PM »
Borrowed a can of Servisol from work, will try cleaning the RCA contacts first and see (squeezed the cart wires a little tighter on last night and the hum was reduced significantly).  Then will try cleaning the wire connectors carefully if necessary, the actual cart pins look pretty clean but the connectors have tarnished a little on the outside (and probably inside).  Will be very careful that the cleaner doesn't get into the cart (thanks Skollie) and give the pins a water paper rub (I have some 1500 grit)
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Offline fdlsys

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2017, 07:42:28 PM »
Don't sand the pins! Magic Eraser or pencil eraser is all you need.

Good luck with tags if they really are tarnished inside. If you can't get them cleaned or you manage to rip them off, let me know. I'll send you some new ones. How good are you with soldering iron?
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Offline JonnyP

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2017, 08:09:23 PM »
Absolutely bloody useless with a soldering iron.  To put a little perspective on this, the hum is noticeable at double my usual listening volume now, so if I can kill it with cleaning, I'd be happy.  If I drop it further just as good.
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Offline fdlsys

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2017, 11:08:03 PM »
Well, then, don't screw around with tags much - you'll rip them off the wires in no time.
Take a very fine but stiff bristle art-brush, dip it in isopropyl alc and brush clean the tags on the inside.
Clean the cartridge pins (magic eraser is the king).
That's it.
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Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2017, 06:37:59 AM »
Well, then, don't screw around with tags much - you'll rip them off the wires in no time.
Take a very fine but stiff bristle art-brush, dip it in isopropyl alc and brush clean the tags on the inside.
Clean the cartridge pins (magic eraser is the king).
That's it.


Interdental brush.  Also works well on the sockets of those glowing even harmonic generators. 









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Offline fdlsys

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Re: Contact cleaner for cartridge connections
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2017, 08:31:25 AM »
Awesome! Thanks Mr G.
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. Dave Barry
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