What was lost is found with corrosion

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by mark, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. mark

    mark Member

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    5 years ago my Sekonic L718 disappeared. Last night it reappeared. Stupid goblins. Anyway needless to say one of the batteries leaked. How do I get the corrosion out?
     
  2. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Straight acetic acid rubbed in with a cloth is a possiblilty. Start with dry-brushing out everything that you can get out. Hold the item over your kitchen sink and the battery compartment turned downward so that all the debris falls into the sink. Then use the acid but be VERY careful not to get too close to the fumes: that stuff is TOXIC. And, would steel wool really be so out of place here? How much different is this instance from a pan with burned on food? - David Lyga
     
  3. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    A pan has burned on food, an exposure meter has electrical/electronic circuitry which will not deal well at all with little bits of steelwool floating around.:wink:
     
  4. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The effect of leaking zink-carbon and alkaline batteries is different, the latter are more corrosive. Old ones may contain mercury.

    Cleaning would be a combination of mechanical and wet (soapy water) paper-tissue. Electrical contacts often need grinding beyond plating at the end.
     
  5. ath

    ath Member

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    Well, the pan is usually not used as an electrical contact. If possible clean the battery contact in a way that the plating is not removed. Bare iron alloy is a bad contact and it will get worse over time.
     
  6. r-brian

    r-brian Member

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    I'd start with some white vinegar instead of acid. Non-toxic and does a wonderful job at dissolving the residue.
     
  7. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Try a flat bladed screwdriver and some pressure and chizzel it off. works for me.
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Another tip for cleaning - if you get the deep crud off, try rubbing the contacts with a good old-fashioned rubber pencil eraser. It will do a great job on polishing the contacts without undue abrasion. If one of the contacts is a coiled spring, this is a bit tougher to work. They also used to sell little fiberglass contact brushes in camera stores for cleaning battery contacts. You might have to go to Radio Shack to find them now. They'll look like a mechanical pencil with a twist-action to extend the brush head.
     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Duplicated post.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2013
  10. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Once the plating is corroded away, there's nothing really you can do to get it back to the original condition. I usually take a very fine sand paper and remove the corrosion. If it's really bad, I remove the metal contact, clean it, then clean the surrounding with whatever is available, including clean water or small amount of alcohol. If not too bad, I use tooth pick and pick the solidified liquid away the use cottom swab. There is no need for strong acid.
     
  11. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I am doing some home renovations, amazing what things turn up so I have recently had the same problem. First try some household ammonia on a swab. It has the advantage of leaving no residue when it evaporates. Anything else needs to be removed with distilled water.
     
  12. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    A few drops of stop bath on a Q-Tip, perhaps?

    Clean out as much as possible by manual methods, first. Carefully dab on some stop bath. The yellow indicator will tell you when the battery "juice" is neutralized. Use clean water to get the stop bath out. If used sparingly, there shouldn't be much to clean out in the first place. Right?

    Use a gray, ballpoint pen eraser to polish any leftover corrosion off the contacts. Clean out the dust and eraser flakes. Dry well.

    I've done this a couple of times before on both camera and non-camera equipment. Works for me.
     
  13. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Well, I usually use water, Q-Tip and a small amount of fine abrasive polishing grit... Yes sometimes it works through the plating, but I find the result makes better long-lasting contact than scratching with sharp points.
     
  14. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    Vinegar or vinegar + baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Vinegar is a weak acetic acid (somewhere around 5% I think), I wouldn't recommend using glacial acetic acid for something like this.
     
  15. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    What brand of battery was it? Duracell will replace the meter if it isn't working. I had a Sekonic 508 that a battery leaked in and they sent me a check after I sent them the meter.
     
  16. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Stop bath at working dilution, I mean. I thought that would be understood but, just to be sure, that point should be clarified.

    Full strength, undiluted stop bath or glacial acetic acid might even do more damage than the battery goop has already done.
     
  17. mark

    mark Member

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    They were duracells. I will look into this if it does not work.
     
  18. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    I believe they will clean it or do whatever as well. Put the batteries back in and send it to them. The warranty is a little obscure on their website, but if you google it you can find it. If the batteries leaked then you will have a problem sooner or later.
     
  19. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I found that "warranty" at their US sub-site, not at the german equivalent.

    Furthermore they state at the warranty that it is about defects, whereas at both sites they indicate that their batteries may leak.


    A recent test from a german consumer organisation indeed showed differences between the chances of used batteries to leak. The most cheapest, the ones I use, are most prone to leakage. (Which means I should either only install them where they are typically not drained at all, or where they are drained till exhaustion resp. could be taken out after use wihout hassle.)
     
  20. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Acetic acid, which is twenty times as powerful as white (hops) vinegar can, indeed, be used, but I should have said that one should first impregnate a bit of clean tissue, or a Q-tip, with it and NOT apply it directly to the battery contacts. I have yet to have problems with this method. Sometimes the vinegar is simply not strong enough.

    But, other recommendations are also good, even the one using a pencil eraser. And, as far as getting 'bits of steel wool' into the meter: one assumes that all the debris will be wisked away with a small brush before those gremlins get a change to get inside. - David Lyga
     
  21. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    David, that's an unsafe assumption. If you never get the debris near the device, it will never cause a problem. That's a safe assumption. A meter with an analog display, that is an electro-mechanical meter movement, has strong magnets and will attract steelwool fragents rendering the movement inoperable.

    A fiberglass scratch brush, made specifically for cleaning contacts is probably the safest route.