DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner

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PDR

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DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« on: 2 Aug 2014, 11:50 pm »
Had been following the thread at DIY audio for a long time.
Cost was prohibitive so I didnt think I'd ever get one.
There was an offer made from Vibrato a new ultrasonic cleaner
company just for audio guys. It allowed me to get a machine to
my door for under $400......yeah! thats a deal shipped to Canada.

By the time I built this unit the total cost was about $470
Thats a deal for a machine that retails for over $4000.
OK, mine might not be as convenient, or as pretty...but
I'll take the money savings anyday..... :wink:

It works VERY well. I've had it up and running since
last night. Have cleaned about 15 albums so far.
Just going to make a filtration system now to save on fluid.
I'm using 4 litres distilled water, 3 oz of 99% Isopropanol,
and 3/4 oz of Kodak photo flo

I used minimal pieces to keep the build simple and easy.
A BBQ rotisserie motor @ 1 RPM is the drive.
Few pieces of 1-1/2" alum angle, a few screws, piano hinge, and
a few spare bits hanging around.....voila!
Works like a charm.

Perry










ebag4

Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #1 on: 2 Aug 2014, 11:57 pm »
Very cool Perry, almost makes me want to set up my turntable again......naaaah. :lol:

Best,
Ed

neobop

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Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #2 on: 3 Aug 2014, 06:05 pm »
Hi Perry,
Yes, coolness in the extreme.  Is the deal still available?  How do you dry the records?

neo

WireNut

Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #3 on: 3 Aug 2014, 06:27 pm »
Hi PDR,

 I like your record cleaner.
Just last night I found my old Allsop record cleaner but no pads to go with it.
I guess I could use paper towels or Terri cloth for pads.
I was also thinking of using a spray bottle with a little dish soap and water.

Think it'll work ?

No Pad:


Paper towel






WireNut

Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #4 on: 3 Aug 2014, 06:32 pm »
oops void

PDR

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Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #5 on: 3 Aug 2014, 06:49 pm »
Hi Perry,
Yes, coolness in the extreme.  Is the deal still available?  How do you dry the records?

neo

Yep, still available  https://www.tindie.com/products/VibratoLLC/6-quart-60khz-vibrato-ultrasonic-cleaner/?pt=directsearch

Just air dry.....only takes a few minutes. There is Kodak photo flo in the fluid so no water marks or dry marks.

J-Pak

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Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #6 on: 4 Aug 2014, 02:24 am »
Very cool, that's a great price too.

Nick B

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Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #7 on: 4 Aug 2014, 07:05 pm »
Yep, still available  https://www.tindie.com/products/VibratoLLC/6-quart-60khz-vibrato-ultrasonic-cleaner/?pt=directsearch

Just air dry.....only takes a few minutes. There is Kodak photo flo in the fluid so no water marks or dry marks.


So with this method, there will be no or very little fluid on the label??

PDR

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Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #8 on: 4 Aug 2014, 10:10 pm »
On the DIY Audio thread they are all worried about
protecting the label....This doesnt spin fast enough to
let water accumulate to even fall to the label, so I dont know what
theyre concerned about.

The fluid mixture is 4 litres of distlled
water, 3oz of Isopropanol 99%, and 3/4oz of kodak photo-flo.
The photo-flo prevents beading and spotting on photos
when theyre being developed, it does the same on the album.
Its cheap at about $10 a bottle.

S Clark

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Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #9 on: 30 Apr 2016, 09:56 pm »
This thread as been inactive for a while, and in the meantime the cost of ultrasonic cleaners has really come down.
I've been trying out this unit for about a week, and I'm really impressed- and for under $130 to my door.  I've got a little 1 rmp motor on its way from China for another $8.  With a few bits and pieces from the garage, I'll have this thing working on automatic for just about $150  :o.  It specs very similar to the commercial record cleaning units, and seems to be reasonably well made. 
I suspect a motorized multi LP arm will take me a couple of hours to make... not super complicated. 
I'll dry on my Nitty Gritty.   
Updates after the motor arrives.

JDUBS

Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #10 on: 30 Apr 2016, 10:11 pm »
What frequency is that ultrasonic cleaner?

-Jim

rajacat

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Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #11 on: 30 Apr 2016, 10:49 pm »
Very interesting! :) I'll be looking forward to your updates.

S Clark

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Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #12 on: 30 Apr 2016, 11:04 pm »
What frequency is that ultrasonic cleaner?

-Jim
It's 40Khz.  Some of the commercial RCM use 40, some use 60.  The 40 is more aggressive, but testing by diy'ers indicates no damage to cavitation erosion.  I found a site showing photos of before and after extended exposure of vinyl with no visible wear at high magnification.  Seems that vinyl is fairly forgiving, as there are no reports of any black residue.  I may put a sacrificial 45 in for an hour to test for damage.  I've been using 3 minute cleaning cyles, meaning at the end of the cycle the vinyl has been immersed for about 1 minute.  An hour would far exceed any reasonble exposure. 

poseidonsvoice

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Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #13 on: 1 May 2016, 01:01 am »
Indeed. Prices have dropped tremendously and really vary depending on convenience features and number of records that can be cleaned at a time. You have one of these and a Nitty Gritty (or equivalent Audio Advisor, VPI, Oki-Nokki, etc...), and you're done!

Top 4 links here:

http://m.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=Ultrasonic+vinyl&isNewKw=1&isRefine=true&mfs=GOCLK&acimp=0&_trksid=p2056088.m2428.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xultrasonic+vinyl&sqp=ultrasonic+vinyl

The Vibrato cleaners are higher frequency (69khz and 80khz), and more $$$

The Encylopedia Brittanica on ultrasonic cleaning: http://www.tmasc.com/qa%20process.htm

Enjoy and thanks SClark for resurrecting this thread.

Best,
Anand.
« Last Edit: 1 May 2016, 02:57 am by poseidonsvoice »

abernardi

Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #14 on: 1 May 2016, 05:28 am »
Yes, please do SClark, very interested. 

Russell Dawkins

Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #15 on: 1 May 2016, 06:58 am »
I wonder if anyone here has had any experience with ultrasonic cleaners as relief for arthritis in the hand. I've read that it does work, and I'm thinking of an older friend, a musician whose arthritis is starting to affect his ability to play—and he's a top rank jazz trombonist. This would be an economical solution, perhaps.

Nick B

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Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #16 on: 1 May 2016, 04:59 pm »
I found the ultrasonic unit on eBay.....great prices. Im excited that I'll be able to afford an ultrasonic cleaner after all. Have 600 albums to do. I thought I had read some time ago that the best frequency was 80 kHz. Any comments on that?
Nick

JDUBS

Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #17 on: 1 May 2016, 07:53 pm »
I found the ultrasonic unit on eBay.....great prices. Im excited that I'll be able to afford an ultrasonic cleaner after all. Have 600 albums to do. I thought I had read some time ago that the best frequency was 80 kHz. Any comments on that?
Nick

Addressed above.

-Jim

Nick B

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Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #18 on: 1 May 2016, 11:13 pm »
Jim,
40 kHz, 60, 69 and 80 were mentioned above and SClark mentioned 40 as being the most aggressive. I didn't see any reference to a direct comparison. I was hoping someone had tested each frequency and come to a conclusion. Also, I would think the higher frequency would do the best job of cleaning
Nick

S Clark

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Re: DIY Ultrasonic album cleaner
« Reply #19 on: 2 May 2016, 12:25 am »
There is a thread over on DIYAudio and in it is a comparison of 40 and 60KHz cleaners.  Don't remember the exact post, but my take was that they both work well.  Have no clue about higher frequencies, but the lower the frequency, the more aggressive the cavitation.  The study I read about cavitation erosion was using a 20Khz cleaner.