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Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

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Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

Old 10-12-2008, 06:09 AM
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Default Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

The recommendation I saw was to spray electronics connector ends with an electrical grade anti-corrosive, and then cover with a plastic bag. After reading the instructions on my cans of Boeing T-9 and Corrosion-X, it looks like they are not suitable. Any recommendations? Thanks.
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

Dielectric grease works fine. Just a little, not gobbs of it.

If you want to remove any existing corrosion, go to Radio Shack and get a can of electronic grade contact cleaner (TV-Tuner/Control Cleaner & Lubricant). Spray the plug and socket, then work the plug in and out a few times. Then, use the dielectric grease.



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Old 10-12-2008, 08:16 AM
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Default RE: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

I use an electronics spray varnish. You can pick it up at McMaster Carr. This will seal the electronic connections from moisture. It is a clear thin transparent non conductive varnish that is used by manufactures to keep moisture from attacking the components / connectors. You can use this on any device when making a connection. It typically wipes off with some type of solvent (mineral spirits). If you can't find this you can use the battery terminal protector spray from AutoZone or NAPA. It is typically red and makes a little bit more of a mess.

The spray varnish is pretty good at keeping moisture out and usually is designed not to be conductive. You can even spray it on circuit boards to protect them. Of course make sure the unit is off and disconnected from power. You need to be careful because any coating can cause a heat rise. In a wet environment I find the protection worth the potential heat problem (I would not use it inside high heat electronics - TV, Chart plotters, etc). It can also be used to spray on the outside of a component to keep the moisture out. I had lots of problems with the motor of my Raymarine linear drive for my autopilot (lives in a moist environment) until I sprayed the outside of the drive motor.

I would be somewhat careful of dielectric grease. It is designed to enhance connections (e.g., inside the connectors). I use it inside of most of my crimp connectors. It is very good at keeping moisture out of these connectors; however, it can short between two pins in a multipin connector or it could possibly cause a small current drain outside the connector (highly unlikely if you only put a little on the outside of the connector cover).

I have also seen tests that show you do not need tinned wire if you are religious about spraying the ends / connectors with the electronic varnish. I still use tinned wire - belt and suspenders.

Peter
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:40 AM
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Default RE: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

CSY44_Sailboat - 10/12/2008 11:16 AM

I would be somewhat careful of dielectric grease. It is designed to enhance connections (e.g., inside the connectors). I use it inside of most of my crimp connectors. It is very good at keeping moisture out of these connectors; however, it can short between two pins in a multipin connector or it could possibly cause a small current drain outside the connector (highly unlikely if you only put a little on the outside of the connector cover)
dielectric grease is not designed to enhance connections. where did you hear that? i'm sorry to say, but everything you wrote about dielectric grease is bass ackwards.
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:40 PM
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Default RE: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

Duct Tape - 10/12/2008 11:40 AM

CSY44_Sailboat - 10/12/2008 11:16 AM

I would be somewhat careful of dielectric grease. It is designed to enhance connections (e.g., inside the connectors). I use it inside of most of my crimp connectors. It is very good at keeping moisture out of these connectors; however, it can short between two pins in a multipin connector or it could possibly cause a small current drain outside the connector (highly unlikely if you only put a little on the outside of the connector cover)
dielectric grease is not designed to enhance connections. where did you hear that? i'm sorry to say, but everything you wrote about dielectric grease is bass ackwards.
Dielectric means "does not conduct electricity". Duct Tape is correct. CSY44_Sailboat has been mislead.
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Old 10-12-2008, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

I guess the USCG was wrong when we used it to preserve connections and it was used frequently too.
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Old 10-12-2008, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

Hewesfissher - 10/12/2008 8:44 PM

I guess the USCG was wrong when we used it to preserve connections and it was used frequently too.
who are you replying to?
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

I use the stuff religiously. Anywhere there is a link for corosion its is great. It works wonders on battery terminals!
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Old 10-13-2008, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

I would not put a plastic bag on anything. Plastic bags have a way of allowing moisture in but not out. If you just hit the connections with some protective spray / grease as described above then you will be OK.

If it is humid when you wrap that plastic bag around anything - you have just trapped that humidity. I assume you will cover the boat with some sort of vented cover anyway, if so you will not need any additional cover over the connections.

If you must use a plastic bag to protect any open connectors, then I would get me some new silica gel packs, and toss a few into each bag.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

Dielectric grease is non-conductive (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dielectric). It is used to insulate and protect against corrosion.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

Dielectric grease is applied for protection from humidity and acids. It can be used in a crimp, but the connection occurs when the crimp squeezes the grease out in a gas-tight metal-to-metal contact. The grease remains elsewhere to protect exposed metal. Painting bare wires and exposed metal with some barrier is a good idea, whether its lanolin, varnish, or a coat of some other water-displacing snake oil. A light penetrating oil is likely to wick up into braided wire, providing much the same protection as tinned wire, but it may react chemically with the plastic insulation in the long term.

I think the best long term protection for smaller connectors is using heat-shrink tubing with thermal adhesive, and a dab of dielectric something on the exposed parts after they are connected. Spray is the easiest and messiest to use. Anything bigger than ten guage deserves more attention, such as heat shrink over a brushed on coat of grease spanning the insulation and the connector, with a careful brush of grease after the connection is made. I have to remember to paint under the connectors on my batteries, to cut down on those pesky green gardens.
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

I use Corrosion-X on electronics plugs (and a lot of other things) for years and never had a problem with it on the plastics if that is your concern. Don't go overboard with spraying and you'll be fine.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

Dielectric grease ---sorry for the confusion.
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

Don't forget to apply dielectric grease or spray the back of your dash switches, gauges and other exposed electrical connections (bus bars etc.,) with corrosion -preventer as well. Dielectric works well on fuse ends also. I usually spray electroncs connectors with WD-40 and bag groups of them for storage.
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

Dielectric grease is appropriate for plug/socket connections like the ones the OP was asking about. Connections that will be put together and taken apart. A wax based corrosion protection spray is more appropriate for fuse panels, bus bars, etc. Dielectric grease would make a mess here. Oil, oil based sprays, or WD-40 are poor choices because they collect dust and dirt and can deteriorate plastics and wire insulation.

Use the correct product for each situation.
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:03 PM
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Default RE: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

I stand corrected - dielectric grease is not conductive. Thanks for enlightening me. I have been using dielectric grease in the right manner for the wrong reasons (guess that is what happens when you learn from an old electrician with a limited patience for explaining why things work). I have only used it on single connector plugs and tend to spray outside of multipin connectors with the varnish to seal them (spray all the way around the connector) once they are seated. The varnish is pretty clear and does not make a mess. I have also found it tends to hold up pretty well.

Others have mentioned heat shrink tubing - this is always the best choice when protecting connections that you don't want to mess with or that live in wet conditions. I love the stuff with the adhesive inside. I purchase long runs of it at McMaster Carr and cut it to fit.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

In light of everything said above, I have been using T-9 BOESHIELD (Made by the Boeing People) for 9 years now on my console electronics (behind the board) and EVERYWHERE inside my Mercury OptiMax 200hp.......................People have never seen anything so perfectly clean............and I have NEVER experienced or seen even a hint of corossion. I really sound like I should work for these people but only believe this stuff is very very................good!

"Skools Out"........Capt Van
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Winterizing Electronics - Spray Connector Ends?

T-9 too thick for things that move for me....corrosion block or CRC-656 - my choice.
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