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Preventing XLRs from corrosion

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Preventing XLRs from corrosion

Postby Gizmo1977 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:23 pm

Hi there. First of all thanks all for having helped me any time I asked. I haven’t been able to use my old account ¿?
Well... I’ve been asked by a AV Production Company (don’t know if this is how do you call them) to put new connectors in a snake they use as they are in a bad shape. They usually do football games for TV broadcast and it’s not strange that the snake ends up with mud, soil, moisture...
Is there any good way to prevent connectors to end up damaged because of this?
I mean bathing the XLRs in isopropyl alcohol or anything similar after every match to remove soil or mud?
Thanks in advance and sorry for my rusty English.
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Re: Preventing XLRs from corrosion

Postby resistorman » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:28 am

Craig Deoxit is what I use, though the mud should be cleaned off first.
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Re: Preventing XLRs from corrosion

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:41 am

Prevention is better than cure... so train the sound riggers to avoid placing connectors on the wet grass / mud / puddles, and if it's unavoidable, protect them with a plastic bag etc!

And always clean and dry the cable and connectors either when de-rigging, or as soon as possible afterwards back at base. A wipe over with a cloth soaked in WD40 prevents metal corrosion and it's a lot cheaper than Deoxit (although not as good!)

H
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Re: Preventing XLRs from corrosion

Postby Kwackman » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:18 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:A wipe over with a cloth soaked in WD40 prevents metal corrosion and it's a lot cheaper than Deoxit (although not as good!)
H

WD40 has insulating qualities, so best not using it on the connector pins etc, but fine for the outside non conductive parts of parts and connectors.
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Re: Preventing XLRs from corrosion

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:28 pm

Sorry -- yes, should have made that clearer -- I meant wipe over the outside of the cable-mounted XLR connectors! The internal pins should be fine as they will be protected when mated anyway.

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Re: Preventing XLRs from corrosion

Postby ef37a » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:59 pm

Yet another slight/myth about WD40!

Yes it is an insulator in bulk and displaces water but in a microscopic film and under pressure, a mating XLR connector, it PROMOTES conduction or at least certainly does not reduce it. Been used for 60+ years on switch contacts of all sort (but it DOES burn so watch on sparking contacts!)

I have a box on an outside window sill with 2 XLR3s in it. They mate with two mic lines that have an XLR coupling. The box, the couplings and the mic sockets get a dose of WD every six months or so or a bit more frequently if there is prolonged wet weather. No worries.

If WD 40 is cheaper than Deoxit use it. I have also found WD to be safe on every plastic I have ever come across and it is non toxic. I don't like the smell much.

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Re: Preventing XLRs from corrosion

Postby Wonks » Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:50 pm

Also WD40 now do a dedicated switch cleaner spray along with other dedicated lubricant spray products like lithium grease and PTFE spray.

So you now need to be a bit more precise in your description.
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Re: Preventing XLRs from corrosion

Postby Gizmo1977 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:19 pm

Thanks! Prevention is the obvious one. I had even thought about cleaning/soaking them just with water and gentle brushing and afterwards drying them with a a compressor or even a hair drier. The idea was to let them soak in a non corrosive solvent (that’s why I thought about isopropyl alcohol but perhaps it has drawbacks) as it seems there might pass even a day or two between the moment the hired local hands de-rig and the snake gets home.
Bulk WD40, no spray, would suit but I would find it a solution a bit greasy, doesn’t it?

Thanks again!
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Re: Preventing XLRs from corrosion

Postby Tim Gillett » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:25 pm

It’s not just the XLR connectors that are at risk. Moisture can wick up cables, trapped between the insulation and wires, causing wire corrosion problems that may not surface for some time afterwards.

For wet cables/connectors onsite I'd leave the affected cables out of their road cases or bags until they can be promptly and properly dealt with. Don’t trap the moisture in a damp micro climate such as a roadcase or bag. If the XLR connectors have hand screwable strain relief /covers, I’d unscrew them onsite and slide them back to help moisture evaporate as quickly as possible.
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Re: Preventing XLRs from corrosion

Postby MarkPAman » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:47 pm

Tim Gillett wrote:It’s not just the XLR connectors that are at risk. Moisture can wick up cables, trapped between the insulation and wires, causing wire corrosion problems that may not surface for some time afterwards.

Which is partly why I suggested using the IP65 rated connectors. I realise that's still not enough if you leave them sitting in a puddle, but it's usually possible to get connections to be off the ground.

They don't seem to cost that much more than good "standard" connectors.
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Re: Preventing XLRs from corrosion

Postby ef37a » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:32 pm

I would just wash them off with a kettle of hot water, given them a "spin" then spray with WD 40 (the old, original stuff )

We used a similar product called "CRC Rocket fuel" 50yrs ago for connections in fields at shows and point to point PA rigs.

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