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  • Salt Water Electronics Rescue

    Posted on Nibbled To Death By Ducks Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box The Junk Drawer Salt Water Electronics Rescue

    • This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago.
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      • #2212046 Reply

        Was out on a salt-water bay when a friend, so proud to show me his new $1200 HF/VHF/UHF Amateur radio, held it up for us to look at when the boat (which was doing at least 15 knots) hit some chop, we all stumbled, and his prize went over the side. O, the howls!

        Damn lucky it wasn’t hooked up to the power yet.

        I went over the side in skin diving gear (only 20 ft. of 72F water, no predators around, save the toxic urban runoff gumbo), got his toy, and we went back to my place where I took the thing apart WITHOUT TURNING IT ON to see if it still worked, put the disconnected modules in a bucket of distilled water, and ran about 2 gallons of through it all. Then I placed it on a shelf for a week and let it dry out.

        I took the assembly down, turned a hair dryer set on “air only” to remove any excess water, reassembled the modules, screwed the covers back on, and applied the power; flicked the “On” button, and the thing worked fine. His year was made as I handed it back to him.

        Lessons:

        1. Salt water is very conductive; get on a boat at sea in a thunderstorm and see if I’m right.

        2. Really good distilled water has nothing else in it conductive at all, comparatively speaking; it flushed out all the salt.

        3. Don’t play with new electronics out of the box while doing 15 knots in chop. 🙂

        4. This may, or may not work with laptops. Haven’t had the opportunity.

        Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit ESU, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", Group "Patch List", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations, "Don't check for updates-Full Manual Mode."
        --
        "Just because you're an engineer doesn't mean you're good at everything." -Anonymous

      • #2212085 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        This may, or may not work with laptops. Haven’t had the opportunity.

        iPhone 11 recovered after 8 weeks in murky waters- still working

      • #2212174 Reply
        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        2. Really good distilled water has nothing else in it conductive at all, comparatively speaking; it flushed out all the salt.

        Though, distilled water is still water, and for things that don’t like prolonged exposure even to distilled water you may want to speed the drying up.

        This can be done for example by diluting the water with isopropyl alcohol. Those mix naturally, including in capillar-sized pores that are connected to the larger body of liquid. Then once you drain the loose liquid off, well, isopropyl alcohol evaporates easier than water. (But is flammable so mind the potential for sparks for choosing your airflow setup…)

        BTDT, with a laptop accidentally immersed in coffee (with cream and sugar).

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