Amiga drenched in beer

samaron

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My tower converted Amiga 1200 got drenched with beer during the night. My genlock and Super Famicom got soaked as well. How harmful is the beer? Should I attemt to power up anything, or have it sent away for professional cleaning? I'm cleaning everything the best I can, but I can see my CPU card have beer residue under the PPC heatsink among other places in the different electronical parts. Any suggestions on how to deal with this situation? It still reeks quite bad eventhough I've cleaned the casing...
 

Sardine

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water (in your beer) is not conductive and once dry is ok.

BUT!!!!!!!!!! the impurities in the water (beer) once dry can cause havoc.,

even though your hardware is now or will be dry by wiping or evaporation, the impurities will remain behind which can cause electrical conductivity and break you computer once power is applied.,

if I was you (and it pains to say so) stripp appart the computer clean with warm water and then clean with isopropyl alcohol to remove remaining impurities and allow to dry naturally,

it should be ok once cleaned and dry but maybe someone here can give more info on a particular electrical PCB cleaning suggestion.

I certainly wouldn't power up even if it looked dry.,
 

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Buy yourself 2 or 3 litres of Isopropanol (costs about €10 per litre usually), pour them into something big and flat like a baking tray, they put the effected cards into it. If the beer isn't lifting from the boards, you can use a soft paintbrush to help it along. Then take them out and let the dry by themselves (iso evaporates pretty quickly). Use plastic gloves and eye-protection while doing all this. Not having small children around helps too. Do it somewhere with lots of fresh air available too.

Bryce.
 
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demolition

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I would take it all apart as much as possible, soak and clean all parts in pure demineralised water. The water alone should be good enough to dissolve the beer. Shake the excess water off and then let it dry thoroughly. Drying can be done in the oven on low heat (should be <100deg) or at living room temperature (that can take a while though). In the oven it should be dry in a couple of hours, but in lower temperatures it will take longer. After it looks dry, let it air dry for a day extra before you apply any power to it. Look for water in any small cavities, like below heatsinks or ICs since that is where it will be hardest to get out.

Since demineralised water has no minerals in it (duh), there should not be any remains after it has evaporated. Water is not generally damaging to electronics if it is pure and the power is off.

Edit: Beer is not only bad for you, it can also be bad for your computer. :)
 
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samaron

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The sad part is that I don't even drink alcohol. It were someone else staying in the house that were really drunk, the state were you can barely walk properly, that spilled it. He didn't even bother with drying it up, I noticed it around noon today when I went to put something in the basement fridge. When I lifted up my Famicom that were resting on top of the Amiga, it were still soaking quite bad. Beer poured out of it. Have no idea how many hours it have been soaking. Even broke the tabs off one of the buttons in the tower casing while dismantling it for cleaning... The plastic is extremely brittle. I guess it is impossible to get spare parts for an old Elbox Power Tower?

Should I remove the heatsinks before soaking everything in isopropanol? Guess the thermal paste on the PPC CPU etc will dissolve anyway if left on?

To be honest I would much rather have someone else clean this and forward the bill. Really boring job to take apart everything and use many hours of my time fixing someone elses stupidity.
 
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tactica

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Lesson learned: do not ever let drunk people get anywhere near your most valuable computers ;)
 

supaduper

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+1 for the Bryce idea with the isoprop, and if you do it yourself you know its ben done ! :)
 

DutchinUSA

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I'd make him pay for it :) .. if he doesn't, go to his house .. pretend to be really drunk and take a whiz around :D
 

samaron

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This is a perfect example of why I don't drink alcohol. When my car have been damaged, I've been victim of violence, or some sort of property damage have occurred, alcohol has always been involved. I especially hate people that don't want to make up for what they've done because "it wasn't my fault, I were drunk". Believe me, I've heard that excuse more than once. Thankfully the individual in this case is sorry for what he did and will cover any expenses. He had a heartattack when I told him the Amiga alone is around 1500 quid. Hopefully it survived when I'm done cleaning it...
 

DutchinUSA

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I drink ! One or two beers a year at the most usually :) I got all that drinking out of my system in my younger years. Glad to hear he will cover your expenses (y)
 

samaron

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Seems getting this cleaned will be tougher than I thought. Have been to several stores, but nobody have isopropanol. Either they don't have it, don't know what it is or not allowed to sell it for private use. The best I could find is something called "blue cleaner", but it still contains some additives, so isn't as pure as proper isopropanol. Could also use condensate remover for car fuel, but a bottle with 0,1 liter is around 20 euro. Very expensive to get 2-3 liters of that...

Can't find distilled water either. Would battery water (for lead batteries in cars etc) be the same?
 

Tech

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Destilled water is what you buy for car batteries (minerals Are removed from the water). Sterile water is sold at pharmacys for 25 kroner per liter. Sterile water is clean without any organisms. Blue cleaner is cleaner than many of the US isopropanol variants. Not sure about drencing the boards.. I would dry them on a heated floor overnight before powering up.
 

samaron

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With some luck I managed to get my hands on 20 liters of battery water and 3 liters of isopropanol. I just need to find a tray that fits the purpose now. Thought I could wash off as much as possible in the distilled water and then soak it again in isopropanol to remove any remaining water. Have a heated floor available, so thought I could leave it there for a day or two to dry up.

Guess I'll have to inspect and sniff out the affected boards. The beer stinks, so easy to find contaminated areas with the nose too. Don't think too much is affected, but still a job I thought I'd never have to do.

What holds the PPC heat sink in place? Guess I have to remove it before soaking it in the cleaning baths. Seems to be only two clips?
 

supaduper

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Hey on the plus side you will have the cleanest A1200 in Norway !!

good luck my man :)
 

samaron

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I have now inspected the computer closely and found that most of the electronics were spared. The casing it self were drenched quite bad, and most of the cables inside, but the motherboard is clean. The only part I found beer on is the CPU card, but only a little bit, very few droplets. The beer is very easy to spot because of the smell and that it is sticky. It is shiny, so easy to spot. The Famicom I had on top of the computer were not that lucky, but it is cleaned up now and still works!

Now the critical part: The CPU card it self is extremely expensive, cost me around 1000 euro. It is one of those upgraded cards. Under the RAM I found a sticker with serial number, which I'd like to preserve. Bathing the card will without a doubt ruin the sticker. I'm also concerned that the logo and writing on the PPC heatsink will dissolve in the isopropanol as well. Any suggestions on how to preserve this?
 

Sardine

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if its just a few spots, can you use a cotton wool bud to lightly dab the area with iso and clean it ??
 

khimru

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I'm also concerned that the logo and writing on the PPC heatsink will dissolve in the isopropanol as well. Any suggestions on how to preserve this?
You don't need to bathe heatsink! It's [relatively large] stab of aluminium, does not contain any electronics and is easily detachable. Don't try to bathe anything with it attached. Note: it's easily detachable, but may not be so easily attachable. For it to work right you need to put thermal grease on it, but usually there are enough of it on heatsink (for some reason people think that it's good idea to put lots of thermal grease there while in reality you only need enough to make sure there's no air bubbles between CPU and heatsink).
 

samaron

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I never go crazy with the thermal paste. ;) The whole board isn't affected, but the beer still got in a couple of places which might be a bit difficult to reach with a cotton swab. Might get it if I'm generous with the isopropanol. If the heatsink is just held on with the two clips I'll just detach it.

Just a little bit nervous since this is the most expensive part. Want to get it right the first time. :)
 
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