Author Topic: what causes flakey cracked insulation inside of cables? [Pace] *crinkle crinkle*  (Read 1616 times)

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Offline coppercone2

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I have run into cables that make this 'crinkly' noise before. Being generally cautious I decided to cut it apart, it sounds a bit like rumpled paper (some cords have paper in them), what I expected to see is the brown paper being some how messed up with perfectly good wire... given the good feel of the outside insulation.

Turns out the insulation on the inner wires totally crystalized and it flakes off like instant dry macaroni when you take it apart.

The outside is usually good, and it feels pretty good (like a cable that you want to keep), rubbery.. but inside its literary being kept from shorting by granules of dried out plastic.

I have seen this once in a unit that I thought it might just be age (maybe 70's hot plate), but now in a pace desoldering iron. Thankfully its the cord that goes to the foot pedal. It may have been replaced because the strain relief is missing (does anyone know what that push in strain relief is called anyway, the one that you use a special pliers to insert into a D shaped hole when its pushed over a cable?)

Anyway this is a seriously disturbing phenomenon that makes me really paranoid about cables. Is it because of some sort of chemical exposure maybe? When I take the units apart alot of the wire is original and just fine, but the stuff leading out of the extension cord is usually totally fucked.

Once you slice into the cable it freaking pours out.

I am not impressed by pace quality by any means, despite the legendary reputation (the metal housing is just folded with seams left on the corners, they could have welded it up for the ridiculous price these products usually demand.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 05:26:15 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline penfold

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Re: what causes flakey cracked insulation inside of cables? [Pace]
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2021, 03:27:42 am »
Sounds a bit like butyl rubber, like most rubber type materials they tend to get "dry" and crack with age, I don't know about the exact mechanism but there are species of polymers which decay faster without light exposure, so inner wires could go off quicker. They're often better than PVC in terms of temperature range but still not brilliant... but super durable in the short term

In terms of life span, they can last around 30 years or more... which is a reasonable expected product lifespan, but I guess a bit of an insult to those who refurbish old kit!

You're not alone in any dislike of pace, (a pace iron was the last one I owned before switching to the dark-side with metcal!)
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: what causes flakey cracked insulation inside of cables? [Pace]
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2021, 03:48:31 am »
there is a crazy graphite mechanism in this. granite vanes i think its called

any idea if the side should be smooth where the graphite spins or are those scratches for the powder to pass through as it spins? I know somethings you chizzle a shaft hole cut to make oil flow
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: what causes flakey cracked insulation inside of cables? [Pace]
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2021, 04:49:52 am »
so it happens where the sun does not shine

 

Offline penfold

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so it happens where the sun does not shine

 :palm: can't believe I missed that...

My running thought was that it was due to oxidation in a similar way that linseed oil yellows out of direct sunlight, but it doesn't quite make sense why the inner cores go first.. might someone have treated the outer sheath to a clean and wipe with some oil once upon a time?

With the graphite, it might be some grooving to give debris and abrasive crap somewhere to go so it doesn't clump up and jam or abrade the graphite too much.. just idle speculation though
 

Offline coppercone2

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I thought also it might be the color, the outer is black. I need to check what wire colors are inside the sheath. Maybe the color pigments are reactive.

god this thing was a bastard to clean. You need to remove every thing on screws and wipe under neath too.

There is a cracked plate in there made of graphite that I glued together with loctite prism (I think its not load bearing or critical, its on the outer edge), tommorow I will gently sand some nasties off of it and try to run the pump after I clean some stuff in the ultrasonic.

the part the graphite abrades against is fine. The channel where the graphite plates are.. is fine. The outer surface of the rotating bit that holds the graphite is totally chowdered but I am not sure why, it does not contact anything, but it looks utterly trashed.  I can sand that piece down if I want because it just spins in air.. not sure why it got super destroyed but not the contacting parts.

The motor was not spinning while the pump was installed but without the pump it runs very nice, I just cleaned the external surface. The rubber mounts for the motor are trashed so I need to cut some new ones using hole punches on a rubber sheet. I think the piece of graphite gasket must have wedged itself in there and prevented the motor from starting.

Most of the wiring in the unit is fine save for the foot pedal wire, which is the crinkly one and very dangerous because it carries mains to your foot. The foot pedal is trashed, may need to be replaced, it is some kind of glass reinforced plastic that has severe damage in terms of studs popping to the outside.

I am glad the piece the graphite plates touch is fine, because when I looked at the rotors surface finish I thought this thing would be a write off.

Is there some reason why maybe that face is all nasty, is it some kind of powder grinder feature so the pump shreds crap ? like having some kinda sanding/file in there? it does not look like a controlled process like knurling though, it looks like a really worn motor shaft.. but its not the shaft.. its a rotor.. in air.. the rotation would push particles towards the outside so the wall of the pump is scratched, everything should be pushed there by the rotational force :wtf:

this thing is twilight zone
« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 08:17:37 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline bill_c

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So kinda like this, but on the inside?
[attach=1]
 

Offline penfold

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I thought also it might be the color, the outer is black. I need to check what wire colors are inside the sheath. Maybe the color pigments are reactive.

I think that's may a part of it, it agrees with my analogy with oil-paint at least

And you've totally lost me on the rest, any photos? It sounds vaguely familiar, but I can't quite visualise what these graphite parts are and what direction their supposed to be moving? I'm imagining something similar to a rotary vane pump in which case the vanes should contact a pump body
 

Offline coppercone2

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I see what happened, when I reassemble it, it looks like at one point the things are offset and it almost makes or makes contact with the cylinder bore, and cylinder is hard enough not to get scratched but the rotor is not hard and it does get scratched or something like that.

I wonder if this part in the pump should be refinished? I can put it in a bolt and put it on a drill press and sand it down a little bit.

the thing on the top side of this picture. for some reason its really bad but the other part is not really effected save for a little bit of stuff I can feel that I gently sanded down with the 'purple' 'extra tough' 3m home depot scotch brite pad (not the normal brown, green or soft non abrasive blue one)... its a little bit more aggressive but not really. The rotor has gouges in it, not even sure how to start working on that part.

Is its dimension critical since it looks like the graphite plate is supposed to do the work here and its keyed to the shaft so I assume this damage maybe came in from solder being sucked in to the pump because it does not have real filters just some kinda bootleg capture mechanism  :palm:.. it has no reason to make contact with the pump body?? is the dimension critical for some reason, I thought it was supposed to be isolated from the rest of the system because why would you want spinning on standing metal contact for no reason when you have graphite plates?? What I am imagining is that solder is being bounced around in there after its captured then it finds the location between the rotor and the pump body that is at its minimum and it gets sucked in there like a spaghetti roller and fucks up the rotor but not the body because of material hardness differences or some other dynamics that I don't understand. Am I right in thinking that so long there is no outstanding burr to make friction with the pump body the exact geometry and surface finish of the rotor does not matter since the seal is made by the graphite plate so I can just sand that down so it looks nice?

« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 09:06:25 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline coppercone2

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this is the part I want to sand down


I would be careful to stone the edges of the slots for the graphite after its sanded to make sure they are slightly chamfuered so the sanding does not make a burr which cuts into the graphite as it slides up and down. And I mean the round side, the flats I think are OK, I don't want to disturb them. I think that can cause a problem unless I put it on a lapping plate which I do not have, I would just gently stone that surface so it does not cut into the graphite gasket.

and that part is not supposed to have springs right? It came with no springs.

Actually I am also wondering if that might be solder thats like cold welded or something to the surface and not actual scratches.. maybe an acid dip?? I will put it in a ultrasonic in a bag of goo-gone because it worked for the rest of the grime in the system, Maybe It will reveal something. I think its the same material as the rest of the pump body so I don't understand why the surface finish is so dissimilar...
« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 09:19:30 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline penfold

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Ahh, so it is just a rotary vane pump, those graphite vanes are supposed to be moveable in the slots and fling out to the edges of the pump by centrifugal action so probably no springs (I think some rotary vane vacuum pumps do use springs, but not necessary).

On the sliding faces and light sanding and chamfer to the leading edge might help recondition them a bit, they'll wear down naturally to a best-fit profile of pump body so a light chamfer will reduce the amount of material that needs to wear away.

For the rotor part itself, I don't imagine a light sanding and dressing of the sharp edges would hurt much, ultrasonics are normally pretty good at disturbing any abrasive grit that's caught up in soft materials so probably a good call. Just make sure you remove any embedded abrasive after sanding, blu-tak or something sticky might get it out pretty easily.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Ok, I dipped it into dilute HCl (maybe made up a 10% solution) and very little happened after a few minutes, it got a little cleaner. Then I rinsed it and gave it a spray of alumi-prep 33 diluted 3:1 and it again got a little brighter, so I rinised it again and scrubbed it down with the scotch brite pad.

Now I put it in an ultrasonic for a while and will clean it up and try to see if I can get the pump working before doing further work because I am curious why it did not start up. I also replaced/remade the rubber parts of the pump holding bracket vibration isolation/damping and cleaned up the chassis.
 

Online Cerebus

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As far as the crumbly insulation goes my suspicion would be PVC that the plasticiser has leached away from over the years. PVC in its native form is rigid and inflexible, the flexible "PVC" one sees in cables is always a mixture of PVC and some plasticiser. There are a huge range of plasticisers used with PVC but the commonest in the past was phthalates in one form or another and phthalates do most definitely leach over time.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline coppercone2

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its weird though because why is the other wiring fine, it looks all like original solder joints. The wires going out from the cable soldered to the solder points in the chassis are also fucked up, so its not a reaction between the sheet and the wire, I think.

Also, I got it to run. The operation of this pump is entirely dependent on how tight the backing plate is attached. When I tightened it down, it would not run, when it was a little loose, it ran. If its too loose, it makes horrible noises and takes damage I assume. What I decided to do is run it while there is a electricians screw driver (insulated) inserted into the back plate screw, run it, then tighten it while its running, not too much, but I think it will hold. I tighten it and listen to the noise it makes and get the maximum tightness without changing the noise too much from the pumping position (it seems to pump less as you tighten it more). Is this normal or is it a sign of something being fucked up  :scared:

Also, that motor gets pretty darn hot quickly. I think it is normal for a motor but its on the upper level of what I consider normal.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 11:19:30 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline helius

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Pace solder extractors all shared an external "pancake" type flux trap called a Visifilter, with inline air hose barbs. For some reason, these get separated from the units and are frequently missing when they show up used. They need to be installed during operation to keep flux and debris out of the pump.
The sodr-x-tractrs have their own solder and flux traps, but the Visifilter is required to protect the pump. It should also stay installed at the vacuum port even while the hot-air tools are used. True to its name, you can see easily if it is clean or dirty.
 

Offline coppercone2

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hmm, where does it go?

because the hose I have has the coupler for the weird fitting for the pressure or vacuum on one end, the soldering iron on the other end, and inside there is a hose with 2 crimped screw connections to go on the ghetto solder seperator barrier thing with a plastic cap or on the hose barb on the front panel

So, to use one of those disks, I would need to cut the black hose going from the station to the iron and then install the filter inline there?

ALso, what are those pressure adjusting rotational fittings called? I only have one, naturally since i have a hot air station I just let it blow the output inside of the pump without a chassis. Now I think this is a bad idea, because I believe there is graphite dust present, I would like to make it so I can use pressure or suction. I was just going to install a temporary hose of some kind over it and lead it outside for now and make due without the pressure fitting.. but it would be nice to have restored.
 

Offline coppercone2

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I only have one of those suction knobs, does anyone know the part name or bulkhead part replacement that I can put in there? I don't mind enlarging or otherwise changing the hole.

Also, is this the technology used in forklifts? It sounds like a forklift when it is operating. I always wondered WTF makes that noise the forklift lift makes. I think its a hydraulic version of a vane pump?

Sure sounds like its doing alot for the small amount of air its moving, lol. it would get kicked out of a planet fitness haha
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 01:00:46 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline coppercone2

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Also, Can I put a dab of grease on the inside of the pump between the lid and the rotating part? It seems that maybe there is some friction here since when I tighten it too much it stops working.

god this repair job i plan on doing with this extractor is going to be like the ending of carnosaur 2, I never thought it would sound like a fork lift :palm:

Ok I bought a visifilter. It sucks enough that if I put the hose on my tongue it pulls pretty good with the maximum suction setting. I can't tell the difference between minimum and maximum suction.


Does anyone have a specification for how much suction this thing should pull? I have a vacuum gauge that is quite good (omega 9V). I also have an air-flow acrylic mini meter but the problem is I think the parts are unobtanium so its not a good thing to bother measuring and just see if it works on PCB instead.. I am cleaning the dirty tip in some tarn-x right now and might give it a polish over with noxxon before I do the first test.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 01:45:40 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline helius

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It sort of looks like the Visifilter is installed in line, just below the NEMA 5-15 plugged in on the picture above? There are two models, 1309-0020 is sealed, 1309-0028 can be opened to replace the filter paper. I didn't say it is easy to open! Getting them open without destroying them is challenging.

Quote
I only have one of those suction knobs, does anyone know the part name or bulkhead part replacement that I can put in there? I don't mind enlarging or otherwise changing the hole.
The barbed fitting on the end of the air hose is a "twist lock fitting" 1263-0004.
The air flow valve is 1285-0003 or 1285-0004 for vacuum. No idea where you would find those.
Edit: it looks like there is a distributor with stock in New Zealand.

The Sodr-X-tractor was made to be switchable from vacuum to pressure ports to deal with a problem called "blocked blind joints". Basically, you apply vacuum to extract solder, but you can't get air to flow freely because the component on top is sitting too close and blocking air. By switching to blow hot air, the blind joint can be pushed out and the component removed. This tends to make a mess on the bench of solder bits that were in the collection tube...

Quote
Sure sounds like its doing alot for the small amount of air its moving, lol. it would get kicked out of a planet fitness haha
LOL.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 01:53:39 am by helius »
 
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Offline helius

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Also, Can I put a dab of grease on the inside of the pump between the lid and the rotating part? It seems that maybe there is some friction here since when I tighten it too much it stops working.
The graphite pump is supposed to be self lubricating. Instructions say to use no lubricant.
Are both graphite wear plates (top and bottom) in place? Everything is cleaned?

Quote
Ok I bought a visifilter. It sucks enough that if I put the hose on my tongue it pulls pretty good with the maximum suction setting. I can't tell the difference between minimum and maximum suction.
Broken flow valve?

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Does anyone have a specification for how much suction this thing should pull? I have a vacuum gauge that is quite good (omega 9V).
The manual claims 0.0017 to 0.668 bar
 

Offline coppercone2

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Ok, So I turned it on and let it heat up to max and it can't melt a 1960's solder joint. When I put it on push I noticed the iron was kinda glowing red in a dark room and it shot a fireball out and it basically vaporizes solder joints. I dunno what the hell it spit out but it was glowing red and on fire, I stuck solder in there to see if it melts maybe it got cooked to red hot

I need to see if this is something you can stand alone desolder with or are you supposed to use a normal iron together with this thing in each hand.

Do I have a bad nozzle, bad thermal coupling or is it akimbo

also I see what I did, the previous idiot put the wear plate on the bottom, so I put it on the bottom. The ware plate is is 2x. I have 1x. Mother fucker. Someone chopped this thing before sale.  :palm:

Edit, the manual does not have how to use it.

So

1) Does the pump retrofit kit come with the ware plates?
2) is it akimbo ?

Not useless because of course because the hot air blowing crap out of solder joints might be more imporant then sucking the solder out, usually the problem is the solder extractor does not make a clean hole but gets rid of most of it, so if I can blast it out it still eases my work 400%. Granted that only works if I want to trash the chips.

« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 02:44:36 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline penfold

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Also, that motor gets pretty darn hot quickly. I think it is normal for a motor but its on the upper level of what I consider normal.

Was there a shim or gasket on the pump? The vanes need to have a pretty close tolerance to get a descent seal and normally need a shim to just offset it, if the motor's running warm, probably still too tight a fit
 

Offline coppercone2

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the problem is I got screwed out of a graphite plate, there should be another one, I don't know what this shim looks like, and it turns out its not a desoldering tool but a hot air tool because the damn tool is not pace, its a edsyn atomoscope.

so basically i got fucked, maybe its good for blowing solder out of holes. The problem I have is not that the sucker does not work, it just leaves shit in there. the usual trusting ebay descriptions to be accurate problem. I should be able to put it over a hole and blast the crap out of these or at least get it in range of a wick.

Do you think I can buy a sheet of graphite somewhere and drill the holes ? I can mark it out and drill it on the drill press by putting it ontop of a piece of something so it does not crack?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 03:02:23 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline helius

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Sounds like the tip got dewetted and the heater might also be heavily oxidized. I would change the tip and clean the heater with a wire brush

If you need more tips I have a couple dozen I could send, somehow I ended up with a bunch of SX-20 tips but no use for them.

You should be able to machine graphite, but it will be very sticky, more than aluminum. I'm not expert on that though.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 03:30:15 am by helius »
 

Offline coppercone2

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I need a 5x5 inch piece of graphite thats a few MM thick to make a new wear plate.

It does seem to run without the end plate though, I assume its making the motor over heat and maybe effecting the seal. I expect a delusional inventory vader (yeah these guys are not vendors by any means, more like evil) will want 800 for this end plate if i were to buy it.

The endsys atomscope is marketed only towards hot air, and it looks that way, it does not wet at all, its a non magnetic alloy too. I think a iron tip is usually magnetic. The only attachments they sell for it look like needles and thinner needles, realistically just looking at it when I thought It was a desoldering iron I thought 'how the fuck do they transfer the heat through that little hole'.

From how beefy this motor is I don't think it will burn unless it stalls from intermittent use. Right now I can still desolder all the stuff from this PCB manually using only 1 pump per hole, with the manual solder pump some holes require like 35 solder-pump cycles to get a hole that will fit a new component lead.. the problem helius wrote about solder that will just not come out is very real.

Quote
The Sodr-X-tractor was made to be switchable from vacuum to pressure ports to deal with a problem called "blocked blind joints". Basically, you apply vacuum to extract solder, but you can't get air to flow freely because the component on top is sitting too close and blocking air. By switching to blow hot air, the blind joint can be pushed out and the component removed. This tends to make a mess on the bench of solder bits that were in the collection tube...
-totally evil behavior, my main problem with desoldering actually. maybe this is the tool I needed all along. I had one so bad once I spent about 30 minutes trying to desolder one joint before I got the idea to blast it out with dust-off.


Any idea on what kind of graphite is suitable for this? I see there is several different types for sale.


Anyway its cool that it spits fireballs, thats a neat trick. go go gadget plasma cannon

and to be honest my desoldering station that uses the little fan in the tip of the device (something 96D if i recall, I don't even want to look at it) :
1) scares me because its a piece of shit that can easily catch on fire and its proven with russian video evidence
2) has a extremely crappy cord that feels like it is made of metal bars jointed together by springs
3) makes me wanna cry every time I need to use it because of how bulky and ridiculous it is.
4) is super light and annoying and i don't keep it on the work bench
5) probobly has safety ground problems


Having the pump inside of the chassis and a narrow metal soldering pencil that won't get smeared with molten capacitor covers is a totally welcome addition to my arsenal. I will try to stay positive.


By the way any owners of a cheap reflow station, with the blower in the handle, do you ever feel like something went severely wrong with technological trends when you use it? Hmm is dave jones a shill for making me buy this thing? well no.. it works and its cheap.. but something else must be wrong here.. I can't put my finger on it but there is just something wrong with having a blower in the handle. Maybe it was made by people that work on circuit boards like kansas with nothing that has a elevation of more then 5mm (cow on a prairie). Too bad the good circuit boards that you actually want to work on and are useful (cool prototypes, no ones got time for silk screen) usually look like Cydonia, Mars City IV, Down Town red light district circa 4077 AD during the first undead revolt.


I ordered a graphite plate, I am too deep in the game now to give up. I should have at least 3 shots at this.
Also, ordered a pace solder x-tractor.

I think once you take these things apart they have a 'break in' period. What happened is now its running very cool after using for a little, the only heat is towards the end of the motor where the rubbing is on the bare end plate.. someone was using it this way. Anyway I think maybe there was increased friction too because the housing was not well covered in graphite yet since it was deep cleaned with ultrasonic and everything. So if you buy one of these, so long its turning you might wanna give it a 10 minutes of intermittent use. I do believe now that I heard AVE say this about some sort of pump he refurbished but maybe I made it up. When I was first using it, it felt hot to the touch after 15 seconds of use. Now its fine.


Revised opinion on pace : nothing here bothers me except possibly the aftermarket cord that can be lethal and the non welded chassis cover, its just SO janky. But maybe it can take a beating and be put back into place with more simple tools (I know they market towards the military).. so field repair is easier after ?? occurs
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 06:24:54 am by coppercone2 »
 


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