Author Topic: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance  (Read 2754 times)

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Offline negativ3

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Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« on: June 13, 2017, 04:01:18 pm »
Hi all,

Are there any steps to consider when maintaining scope & DMM cables to keep peak performance?

Soap and water works well for the jackets, but what about the electrical connections on both cables and instrument terminators? IPA? Any electrical contact treatments to recommend?

I live in tropical climate which causes most contact surfaces to diminish over time.

Thanks
 

Offline TheUnnamedNewbie

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Re: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2017, 04:09:48 pm »
For DMM probes - depends on what they are made of. Some are solid stainless (the tips, that is). Some fine sanding paper or files can be used to keep them sharp but only if they are made of solid stainless steel! Scope probes and such, my guess would be most contact/switch cleaners would work. I think most of them don't really corrode though, or at least I've never seen one. BNC's on the other hand...

Make sure to keep your probes clean. After use on boards that have stuff like flux residue on them, using a bit of isopropyl to clean them can do wonders. It also prevents exces water from handeling staying on the probes (isopropyl is used for drying in labs because as it evaporates it takes water with it)
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 06:52:19 am by TheUnnamedNewbie »
The best part about magic is when it stops being magic and becomes science instead

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Offline sanman

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Re: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2017, 04:17:38 pm »
I usually use these covers over the BNC and banana jacks on the instruments
 
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Offline Lightages

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Re: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2017, 11:22:32 pm »
For DMM probes, do not use sandpaper or abrasives unless you sure they are solid stainless steel. To clean probes that aren't solid stainless steel, use 00steel wool and rub lightly with some isopropyl alcohol. This will remove any residue. Sand paper should never be used on regular probes. It will scratch away the surface plating and cause faster corrosion and/or poorer conductance.
 
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Offline P90

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Re: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2017, 01:39:59 am »
For DMM probes, do not use sandpaper or abrasives unless you sure they are solid stainless steel. To clean probes that aren't solid stainless steel, use 00steel wool and rub lightly with some isopropyl alcohol. This will remove any residue. Sand paper should never be used on regular probes. It will scratch away the surface plating and cause faster corrosion and/or poorer conductance.

It's generally not a good idea to have steel wool anywhere near your test bench and electronics, the tiny bits can inadvertently fall into circuits and cause shorts, don't ask how I know. If you must, use 3M synthetic 000 steel wool. I clean tips with alcohol swipe pads, you don't need anything more abrasive than that normally.
 
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Offline negativ3

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Re: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2017, 09:38:42 am »
Thanks guys,

What about recessed male bananna plugs? Cotton swab with IPA for female side ok.

Anyone use contact treatment grease of any kind?
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2017, 10:58:46 pm »
For DMM probes, do not use sandpaper or abrasives unless you sure they are solid stainless steel. To clean probes that aren't solid stainless steel, use 00steel wool and rub lightly with some isopropyl alcohol. This will remove any residue. Sand paper should never be used on regular probes. It will scratch away the surface plating and cause faster corrosion and/or poorer conductance.

It's generally not a good idea to have steel wool anywhere near your test bench and electronics, the tiny bits can inadvertently fall into circuits and cause shorts, don't ask how I know. If you must, use 3M synthetic 000 steel wool. I clean tips with alcohol swipe pads, you don't need anything more abrasive than that normally.

It's generally not a good idea to sand metals over your electronics bench neither. Of course, use the steel wool somewhere else than on your electronics bench.
 

Offline Electro Detective

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Re: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2017, 11:21:01 pm »
For DMM probes, do not use sandpaper or abrasives unless you sure they are solid stainless steel. To clean probes that aren't solid stainless steel, use 00steel wool and rub lightly with some isopropyl alcohol. This will remove any residue. Sand paper should never be used on regular probes. It will scratch away the surface plating and cause faster corrosion and/or poorer conductance.

It's generally not a good idea to have steel wool anywhere near your test bench and electronics, the tiny bits can inadvertently fall into circuits and cause shorts, don't ask how I know. If you must, use 3M synthetic 000 steel wool. I clean tips with alcohol swipe pads, you don't need anything more abrasive than that normally.

3M synthetic 000 steel wool (or a knockoff) soaked with some contact spray

usually gets grime tarnished cleaned shorted probes to read 0.00000  \$\Omega\$  on the Area 52 meter   8) 8)

YMMV   ;D


Badly zapped or blunt probe tips require a different fix and magnification



« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 04:33:48 am by Electro Detective »
 

Offline P90

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Re: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2017, 10:12:38 am »
For DMM probes, do not use sandpaper or abrasives unless you sure they are solid stainless steel. To clean probes that aren't solid stainless steel, use 00steel wool and rub lightly with some isopropyl alcohol. This will remove any residue. Sand paper should never be used on regular probes. It will scratch away the surface plating and cause faster corrosion and/or poorer conductance.

It's generally not a good idea to have steel wool anywhere near your test bench and electronics, the tiny bits can inadvertently fall into circuits and cause shorts, don't ask how I know. If you must, use 3M synthetic 000 steel wool. I clean tips with alcohol swipe pads, you don't need anything more abrasive than that normally.

It's generally not a good idea to sand metals over your electronics bench neither. Of course, use the steel wool somewhere else than on your electronics bench.

Yes, but the point is to avoid using steel wool altogether, the particles always seem to find their way to your projects. Why risk it. Use synthetic steel wool instead, it's non-conductive and doesn't rust. 
 

Offline Electro Detective

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Re: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2017, 10:56:37 am »
steel wool is a no no, those fine thready particles go EVERYWHERE and stick!

as do bits of any flakey metal probe coatings that are only viewable with a magnifying visor

I do that stuff outside on the grass and clean up with masking tape or strong vacuum cleaner

I don't need one speck of that crap near a work area, where there is enough **** to deal with  :phew:

 
 

Offline P90

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Re: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2017, 11:33:45 am »
I repair electric guitars occasionally, and it's amazing how much stainless steel bits you find attached to the pickups because the last guy that worked on it thought it was a clever idea to polish the frets with steel wool. :palm:
 

Offline Electro Detective

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Re: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2017, 12:34:00 pm »
yeah, some of those turkeys aren't the sharpest chisel in the tool box,

They take the Grand Prize for THE worst soldering and cable layouts ever

It's amazing that sometimes the pickups even work   (when you wiggle the cold soldered joints lol)

I've had sad dudes bring their electrics for a no fix no fee quote.

Once done they don't come back for the same issue
but bring their sad mates and guitars too for a fix, and don't barter with the fee rate either
seeing as they'll only pay out once
and not 10 times at turkey gtr city   lol


 

Offline P90

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Re: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2017, 05:36:43 pm »
yeah, some of those turkeys aren't the sharpest chisel in the tool box,

They take the Grand Prize for THE worst soldering and cable layouts ever

It's amazing that sometimes the pickups even work   (when you wiggle the cold soldered joints lol)

I've had sad dudes bring their electrics for a no fix no fee quote.



Once done they don't come back for the same issue
but bring their sad mates and guitars too for a fix, and don't barter with the fee rate either
seeing as they'll only pay out once
and not 10 times at turkey gtr city   lol

LOL
Been there... done that...

it's the same clowns that use a 1000w soldering gun near the vintage magnet pickups... :palm: might as well be a deguasing coil...
 

Offline Electro Detective

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Re: Scope/DMM probe/lead cleaning and maintenance
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2017, 09:03:35 pm »
so that's what they use?  :wtf:

I thought it was a blowtorch with a mouth prod, judging by the BBQd cabling, switches and scorched wood cavity

Nice work if you can get it  :horse:
 


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