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06-09-2019, 02:49 PM
LightWorker01 LightWorker01 is offline
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This seems to be a thing I have gotten into lately. Whenever I acquire new gear, I like to clean the mechanism and guides, and disassemble the machine (covering any rubber parts while doing UV exposure) and expose the inside of the machine to UV light such as a germicidal UVC lamp after cleaning the casings. I guess you could also use the sun, but UVC light is a bit more effective for this task, while UVA/B is what you get from the sun.

I have always been nervous that any machine may have previously had mold exposure. I got the idea when I got one of the more valuable Panasonic decks from a car boot sale that I wanted to use for myself, which had a moldy tape inside when I bought it. After loads of elbow grease cleaning every inch of the machine including boards and casing, I exposed all the parts and transport at varying angles to UV light for good measure, having covered the thoroughly cleaned rubber parts beforehand, as UV light can degrade rubber.

Not sure if anyone here thinks this is a good method, but I have done it for a while now if I added new gear to my collection, as you never know what been played in it before. Or if a good deck has known mold exposure, do a more complete disassembly and do it at all angles.

Who here thinks this is a good idea? I have never found any references to such a method online, but it was worth it as 1. I had a UV light source on hand, and 2. The Panasonic deck was worth around 300 on eBay and I had wanted one for myself, and 3. It makes a good precaution on an 'unknown' deck regardless if they are mold damaged. As before this, I would have considered any VCR with mold exposure as good as trash or for moldy tapes only.

I found I would have to ensure UV light could reach the inside at all angles, so it will require an intense disassembly if you wanted to kill all the mold that you cannot see. You need to expose it for a couple of hours at all angles possible.

Seemed a better alternative than throwing away a 300 deck or having it limited to moldy tapes only.

The only potential problems I can see (though I hope some more experienced members may give advice here) is you may want to be careful if any VCRs (though I have never seen any with such a chip personally) have an EPROM (different to an EEPROM)chip with the little window, those were intended to be erased via UV exposure.

And that you need to do a complete sterilisation ,and ensure you use protective goggles when using such a lamp, it can cause wielders flash!

Last edited by LightWorker01; 06-09-2019 at 03:20 PM.
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06-10-2019, 01:15 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Hmm. Interesting. I don't think it's bad idea. Offhand, I'm not sure how this would interact with all the deck components, so I'd opt to only do it on suspect decks, not just any deck in general. It's always good to clean gear, but not over-clean.

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06-10-2019, 12:09 PM
LightWorker01 LightWorker01 is offline
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Thanks for the response It does make sense as you say not to use the method if not needed and only on a suspect deck.

It was a great method in my opinion on the Panasonic deck. I tend to treat most decks from car boots as suspect, as many will have been stored in unknown/damp conditions, you can often tell by the musty smell, which seems to be around 50% of the decks I obtain from boot sales. Otherwise perfectly functional or with minor problems such as capacitors needing replacement and a transport clean.

There was very little I could find about UV light damaging electronics with the exposure times I use, bar the accidental erasure of EPROMS (the window most often covered with a label), or damage to rubber (hence my covering of those components such as idlers and the pinch roller before turning on the lamp).

Doing more digging since my post for a few hours came up with this one thing: There was a mention that Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitors should not be stored in an area where UV exposure is a problem: http://www.elna.co.jp/en/capacitor/a...on/detail.html, how this would affect other capacitors is unknown, but they must have a reason to state this as they are a manufacturer of capacitors. And I am unsure if that means long term storage, or what a brief exposure to UV light will do, and the wavelength.

Weather this would harm for a 1 - 2 hour exposure time I do not know and could find very little data on UV light exposure to capacitors, though I did not notice any problems with use of the decks for a while after the UV exposure, the Panasonic is still good for my use and it is used daily. I am guessing mileage may vary depending the light source being UVA/B/C, I used a UVC lamp.

The only other thing is maybe it could somehow alter the grease used for lubricating the transport components, but I am unsure of that one without knowing the specific lubricant.
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06-11-2019, 05:59 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Darn...I know there's a gamemanico related joke somewhere here, but I can't think of one!
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