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Proper Treatment of Sea & Sea Sync Cord

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I experienced something that most of you have probably had happen to you at least once if you're an underwater photographer :P

 

When removing the sync cord from the top of my Subal housing, some water dropped on the Nikonos style connector. By the time I got back home, there was quite a bit of corrosion. I used a vinegar/water combination to remove all of the corrosion and am hoping it works A-OK. I'll test it after it dries completely.

 

My question has to do with the Sea & Sea Sync Cord. There was a small amount of some greenish looking material around the connectors. I scrubbed off the stuff with an old toothbrush, then used a q-tip dipped in the vinegar/water solution to remove all traces of the material. Some of the pins don't look shiny gold anymore. Instead they appear to be discolored. As with the connectors on top of the housing, I'm currently waiting for the cords to dry before I test them to see if they work.

 

Is there anything else I should be doing before the cord dries and I test it out? Have most of you been successful in getting the cord to work again?

 

Next time I'll be more careful when I remove the cord from the connectors on my housing :P

 

Thanks for sharing your advice and experiences.

 

Ellen

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Vinegar is fine to remove off the green corrosion. The acid tarnished the gold pins. They should be fine. If salt water, then use your qtip method, followed by fresh water qtip, then let dry before placing cap back on. Maybe purchase a can of air from a hobby store to blow things dry.

 

Good luck, Kevin

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The acid tarnished the gold pins. They should be fine.

 

Thanks. You've relieved my anxiety :P I thought perhaps I'd destroyed the gold pins because they were not the same bright shiny gold as they used to be. Good to know that the acid was responsible for the tarnish and that it shouldn't affect the functionality of the cord.

 

Ellen

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Thanks. You've relieved my anxiety :P I thought perhaps I'd destroyed the gold pins because they were not the same bright shiny gold as they used to be. Good to know that the acid was responsible for the tarnish and that it shouldn't affect the functionality of the cord.

 

Ellen

I am not sure that acid tarnishes gold, and in fact am pretty sure that the green stuff you saw was copper crud, not gold crud. If you really think that vinegar can tarnish gold (gold is pretty tough) then don't ever drop salad on your wedding ring. I think what you are seeing is some tarnish on copper that the pins are made of, but I haven't looked at Ike cords to make sure. In any case, your cleaning process is probably fine, make sure to do several rinsed with the cleanest water (Distilled or deionized) you can get at the store and then dry carefully

Cheers

Bill

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I believe the Nikonos pins are spring loaded, if so, be thinking about replacing this port connector. It happened to my wife's housing and about a month later they were frozen up. Best to test this several times before your next trip if you don't dive locally!

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There are some highly conductive greases around, and I use them sometimes in my electronics hobby (restoring vintage hi-fi). Years ago I bought tins of a German-made product, Cramolin paste 200, made of super-super-fine copper particles. It works fine on low and high voltage connections, as long as you are careful to put it on so thin that you don't hazard a short between pins from oozing on insertion.

 

It's great stuff for decades-old small vacuum tube pins and switch contact plates, as it restores conductivity, lubricates, and helps slow or stop oxidation.

 

Because it is important to use so sparingly to avoid shorts, a thimbleful will last most people for years. If I can locate some small cheap light containers (35mm film canister is okay, but really too large), I'll take some along my next dive trip (leaving next week!) to share with other divers.

 

Should be good to maintain/restore contacts in flooded flashlights as well.

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If I can locate some small cheap light containers (35mm film canister is okay, but really too large), I'll take some along my next dive trip (leaving next week!) to share with other divers.

 

That's very kind of you to share this stuff with other divers.

 

I found out about another product that Reef Photo uses on electrical connections. I'll post the name of it later when I'm not at work.

 

Ellen

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That's very kind of you to share this stuff with other divers.

 

I found out about another product that Reef Photo uses on electrical connections. I'll post the name of it later when I'm not at work.

 

It's easy for me to be generous. A long time ago I organized a group purchase of this stuff, because it had to be imported from Germany, minimum of a case. That was the only way I could get it, but as a result I have enough for 2 or 3 lifetimes.

 

It seems special to me, but maybe it isn't? I offered some to my car mechanic to use for old electrical connections, and he said he has plenty. I think some sort of conductive grease might be standard toolbox stuff for car mechanics. I never asked at AutoZone, but maybe all the big car parts places have something like it.

Edited by tubino

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The product is called DeoxIt. Here's the link to where you can get it:

 

DeOxit is good stuff. People who restore old electronics use a lot of it. I always have a can or two around, and it is excellent for dirty potentiometers (e.g. noisy volume control). For light maintenance, it's hard to beat. A friend of mine buys it by the CASE, because he buys and sells hi-fi gear.

 

The Cramolin conductive grease I like is a different product, though. It is a thick paste that you apply in a very thin layer, and it can bring back a much more corroded surface. I even use it as a sort of ultrafine polish, where the superfine copper particles polish AND fill the scratches. Basically I find it cheaper, and better when surfaces are really beat up, if you can get to them. (You can spray DeOxit where you can't reach, like inside a potentiometer.) Also, it's easy to travel with, since a film canister is enough for dozens of dive trips.

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Ellen - Do have spare parts for your system? If you do much dive travel I'd suggest you get a complete rebuild kit & a spare bulkhead connector for the housing. I spare anything electronic that goes near the water. Can also use your hair dryer on LOW to help dry out stuff. The quicker you can get all the water out the better.

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