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Author Topic: WD-40 on BNC connectors?  (Read 1146 times)

Ike Zimbel

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WD-40 on BNC connectors?
« on: September 08, 2018, 10:51:19 am »

Having spent yesterday putting up my 30+ antennas in a steady rain, I'm looking for opinions on whether or not it would be advisable to use WD-40 on any wet BNC connectors I may find today. I've never sprayed anything on BNC's and I'm kind of hesitant to start, but I do have a show to get through tonight... :-\
I'm also thinking about isopropyl alcohol, which would bind with any water present and hasten evaporation without leaving any residue. Thoughts?
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John Sulek

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Re: WD-40 on BNC connectors?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2018, 08:16:40 pm »

Having spent yesterday putting up my 30+ antennas in a steady rain, I'm looking for opinions on whether or not it would be advisable to use WD-40 on any wet BNC connectors I may find today. I've never sprayed anything on BNC's and I'm kind of hesitant to start, but I do have a show to get through tonight... :-\
I'm also thinking about isopropyl alcohol, which would bind with any water present and hasten evaporation without leaving any residue. Thoughts?

My gut says isopropyl so you don't have any residue left. But I can't offer more than that gut feeling.
Save the WD-40 for stubborn cam-locs :)
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Henry Cohen

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Re: WD-40 on BNC connectors?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2018, 10:50:57 pm »

My gut says isopropyl so you don't have any residue left. But I can't offer more than that gut feeling. Save the WD-40 for stubborn cam-locs :)

THIS  ^^^^
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: WD-40 on BNC connectors?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2018, 05:27:49 pm »

Wouldn't DeoxIT or Corrosion X be better?
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Pete Erskine

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Re: WD-40 on BNC connectors?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2018, 06:21:43 pm »

Having spent yesterday putting up my 30+ antennas in a steady rain, I'm looking for opinions on whether or not it would be advisable to use WD-40 on any wet BNC connectors I may find today. I've never sprayed anything on BNC's and I'm kind of hesitant to start, but I do have a show to get through tonight... :-\
I'm also thinking about isopropyl alcohol, which would bind with any water present and hasten evaporation without leaving any residue. Thoughts?

This note was posted on another Forum (not Pro Sound) but I believe in the statement.

1. WD stands for Water Displacement: it will keep water outside of the connector for as long as the WD-40 remains.
2. WD-40 does not conduct electricity
3. Lubrication: With the WD-40 you won't have an issue when taking the connector apart the next time.

That being said, I have only used it in bad rain situations for connectors or butt connections which have given me issues and are exposed but ALWAYS spray contact cleaner on the connector after I am done using it.  The WD-40 after a few weeks will get gummy and sticky.

The key to dealing with rain is enclosing any equipment or connectors in bags which are left open at the bottom to avoid condensation.

During the Italy Winter olympics we used for the first time Riedel C2 beltpacks which connected with Cat5 connectors and carried 59v power for the beltpack.  Early on a connector got wet and melted while arcing.  Dont know if WD-40 would have avoided this problem or exacerbated it by fueling the fire.

What I devised and Riedel had built were Cordura waterproof bags with velcro on the bottom to be hung and a drawstring closure so that the connector and beltpack with headset could be protected and still breathe.  Never had a problem after that.


« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 06:26:20 pm by Pete Erskine »
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Frank Koenig

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Re: WD-40 on BNC connectors?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2018, 10:45:48 pm »

Wouldn't DeoxIT or Corrosion X be better?

I don't have an answer, but a few observations to get folks to think -- and talk. The only thing that will actually get rid of the water is evaporation, irrespective of what sort of hydrophobic voodoo you put on your gear. So I would think the most important thing is to get the gear into a low-humidity, well-ventilated environment. Will putting some sort of oil on the critical surfaces during drying reduce the amount of corrosion?  Perhaps. I do know this. I don't want the viscous, oily residue of WD-40, or any other "farm equipment" corrosion preventive on my BNC cords, or whatever. I'd reach for the DeoxIT, etc., that promises to clean off light corrosion from typical contact platings without leaving major residue or injuring the plastics.

I've spent a bit of time around aircraft maintenance shops and have never seen a can of WD-40. There's this notion that it contains something mildly corrosive to help un-stick frozen parts. I looked at the MSDS, however, and did not identify any compound that sounded corrosive to me. But I ain't no chemist, and they may have changed the formulation at some point. What I do see in aircraft shops is Corrosion-X, Boeshield, and ACF-50. These are all oily but folks spray them inside their (aluminum) wings, etc., and even on electrical stuff. (ACF-50 smells like play dough.)

As a prophylactic on things that you know are going to get wet silicone greases, such a Dow DC-4, are widely accepted. They are dielectric but, for whatever reason, get squeezed out enough not to interfere with the quality of connection while being good at excluding water. They are used routinely on aircraft battery terminals and (piston-engine) spark plug connectors. I've gooped DC-4 on all manner of aircraft and automotive connections in bad environments -- especially when dissimilar metals are involved, such as when grounding something to a (steel) car body, and so far so good. One warning with silicones is that they like to spread and are really good at preventing paint and other materials from adhering.

One more random observation: When I fooled with radio stuff a bit folks liked to wrap the coax connectors that were out in the weather, like up on towers, in that brick-red silicone-rubber based gooey tape for which the technical term, as I learned, is "monkey  shit". I'm sure you radio guys know the stuff. I'd think a careful application of DC-4 and a wrap of monkey shit would do a pretty good job, at least until you need to take it apart.

--Frank

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Scott Holtzman

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Re: WD-40 on BNC connectors?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2018, 12:54:11 am »

I don't have an answer, but a few observations to get folks to think -- and talk. The only thing that will actually get rid of the water is evaporation, irrespective of what sort of hydrophobic voodoo you put on your gear. So I would think the most important thing is to get the gear into a low-humidity, well-ventilated environment. Will putting some sort of oil on the critical surfaces during drying reduce the amount of corrosion?  Perhaps. I do know this. I don't want the viscous, oily residue of WD-40, or any other "farm equipment" corrosion preventive on my BNC cords, or whatever. I'd reach for the DeoxIT, etc., that promises to clean off light corrosion from typical contact platings without leaving major residue or injuring the plastics.

I've spent a bit of time around aircraft maintenance shops and have never seen a can of WD-40. There's this notion that it contains something mildly corrosive to help un-stick frozen parts. I looked at the MSDS, however, and did not identify any compound that sounded corrosive to me. But I ain't no chemist, and they may have changed the formulation at some point. What I do see in aircraft shops is Corrosion-X, Boeshield, and ACF-50. These are all oily but folks spray them inside their (aluminum) wings, etc., and even on electrical stuff. (ACF-50 smells like play dough.)

As a prophylactic on things that you know are going to get wet silicone greases, such a Dow DC-4, are widely accepted. They are dielectric but, for whatever reason, get squeezed out enough not to interfere with the quality of connection while being good at excluding water. They are used routinely on aircraft battery terminals and (piston-engine) spark plug connectors. I've gooped DC-4 on all manner of aircraft and automotive connections in bad environments -- especially when dissimilar metals are involved, such as when grounding something to a (steel) car body, and so far so good. One warning with silicones is that they like to spread and are really good at preventing paint and other materials from adhering.

One more random observation: When I fooled with radio stuff a bit folks liked to wrap the coax connectors that were out in the weather, like up on towers, in that brick-red silicone-rubber based gooey tape for which the technical term, as I learned, is "monkey  shit". I'm sure you radio guys know the stuff. I'd think a careful application of DC-4 and a wrap of monkey shit would do a pretty good job, at least until you need to take it apart.

--Frank

Yeppers then you coated the monkey shit with monkey snot (Scotchkote FD) over time it would harden and you could simply make single incision and peel it off.  A real hoot to do 500ft AGL hanging off the side of a twisting tower (I was always fat). 

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Ike Zimbel

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Re: WD-40 on BNC connectors?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2018, 12:16:13 pm »

Having spent yesterday putting up my 30+ antennas in a steady rain, I'm looking for opinions on whether or not it would be advisable to use WD-40 on any wet BNC connectors I may find today. I've never sprayed anything on BNC's and I'm kind of hesitant to start, but I do have a show to get through tonight... :-\
I'm also thinking about isopropyl alcohol, which would bind with any water present and hasten evaporation without leaving any residue. Thoughts?
Thanks for all of the replies. In the event, I ended up not doing anything. When I set up, I dried any wet BNC ends I found with some paper towel, put up the antenna and bagged it right away (in some cases, I made the BNC connection, bagged the antenna and then put it up). All of the bags had a small opening at the bottom (but Frank's advice "to get the gear into a low-humidity, well-ventilated environment" just wasn't going to happen in a stadium...although the ventilation was pretty good when the wind picked up ;)). On the day-of, I checked the VSWR of all of the runs, TX and RX from the rack to the antenna and they all measured fine. The show came off without any RF issues :)
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~Ike Zimbel~
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Peder . Berentzen

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Re: WD-40 on BNC connectors?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2018, 02:41:32 pm »

I know it was not in your question, but I would suggest CRC 2-26  (NOT 5-56 - the one that everyone knows).

I spent a few years working offshore and we used liberal amounts on in-sea couplers to displace salt water. We actually ordered barrels of the stuff, that's how much we used.
These couplers carried 300V, 400-600Hz 3-phase power lines as well as a number of 1.6MHz data lines. We also wouldn't hesitate using it on the coax runs for VHF and UHF radios. N-connectors and BNC.

I would use 2-26 on XLR, power and RF connectors if they get soaked. Isopropyl will displace water, but it will also dry out rubber seals.

Peder Berentzen
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Henry Cohen

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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2018, 10:13:12 pm »

I know it was not in your question, but I would suggest CRC 2-26  (NOT 5-56 - the one that everyone knows).

I spent a few years working offshore and we used liberal amounts on in-sea couplers to displace salt water. We actually ordered barrels of the stuff, that's how much we used.
These couplers carried 300V, 400-600Hz 3-phase power lines as well as a number of 1.6MHz data lines. We also wouldn't hesitate using it on the coax runs for VHF and UHF radios. N-connectors and BNC.

I would use 2-26 on XLR, power and RF connectors if they get soaked. Isopropyl will displace water, but it will also dry out rubber seals

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Henry Cohen

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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2018, 10:13:12 pm »


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