Jump to content

Owen Y

Our DIY Ultrasonic Record Cleaner

Recommended Posts

(This discussion, has been migrated from @Sir Triode's Affordable Ultrasonic RCM from Poland thread.)

 

This project was inspired by @EV Cali's DIY machine & advice from biochemist guest110 on Audiokarma.

 

Based on the same 6L China-made Ultrasonic cleaner tank (avail on ebay.au), with a bit of engineering input, we rigged up a simple & affordable-to-manufacture prototype, using sheet stainless steel, a locally avail inexpensive rotisserie motor (same as @EV Cali's), a rod, spacers & a couple of record clamp nuts.  here's the prototype running.....

 

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

Edited by Owen Y

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS. With the the 0.1% detergent concentrate mix, you can see the surfactant action - nicely filming over the record surface.

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

Edited by Owen Y

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit more info:

 

 

Fluid mix:

For starters, I'm using a water + Triton X-100 detergent/surfactant concentrate.  (I haven't checked if this is avail downunder, mine came from USA via a pal).


Drying:

So far, in our low 20's C summer weather, using a water + detergent/surfactant mix, then air-drying is fast. (20-30 min?)

Plain water doesn't film over the vinyl & takes much longer to dry. .I have a vacuum RCM but have not bothered using it for drying after US cleaning.

Right now, I'm using just carbon-filtered (drinking) water.

 

Static:

Vinyl is a poor conductor but water is a good conductor, so simply rinsing will reduce static. Wiping a record, is not such a good thing, if you want to avoid static-electricity.  And I believe that it is good to use a non-ionic, neutral pH detergent for starters, to avoid residual static charge.

 

(There is also a theory that a thin residual film of detergent left on the vinyl, after cleaning, aids groove tracing - I have to say it certainly sounds that way, signif more dynamic range, more energy..... )

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i bought 500ml triton x-100  in NZ just over a year ago.

so for a 0.1% mix what is your process @Owen Y ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Hi @rocl444 - I am avoiding alcohols for starters, so I do a 10% mix-down first as best as you can (it does not dissolve easily in water) - leave in frig overnight for it to dissolve - pretty much as per guest110's advice below:

 

Quote

....one easy method is to just mix a teaspoon of 100% Triton with a teaspoon of distilled water and work it in slowly to dissolve. Gradually keep adding more teaspoons of distilled water and mixing until a total of 9 teaspoons have been added (roughly a 10% detergent stock). I keep this 10% stock in a used dish soap bottle  You want a final concentration of detergent around 0.1 to 0.2% so this 10% stock gets diluted 50 to 100-fold in the final working wash solution.

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As said, in order to make it economical (for us & any other semi-DIYers) we are going to laser-cut a small batch, rather than one-off fabricate.

If interested, there will be some postage & you will have to buy the cleaner (ebay.au A$172 - 253) & motor (Kogan A$25)..

 

The cleaner that I purchased:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Digital-Ultrasonic-Cleaner-6L-Stainless-Steel-Heater-Timer-Industrial-Grade-6L-/302040010527

(Note - 240v version.)

 

Let me know or PM if you might like to join.

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

Edited by Owen Y

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What sort of money Owen?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


The baseplate comes in 3 pcs, with in-built nuts for super-easy assembly (just 4 screws, 1 allen key needed), attach the motor (3 screws), slide whole assembly onto the tank, done.
Load the records & spacers, insert into motor drive, drop into the tank.
Switch on motor, switch on tank, set timer, start.
(No heating.)

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Note - the key dimension, for our fitting to attach nicely, is the tank-top width - 174mm approx (6-3/4" to 6-7/8").

And be sure that it is 240v.

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

Edited by Owen Y

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learnerd friends, it is now time for me to ask some advice.

 

I have now got myself a DIY US cleaner.

Brilliant Rotator from  @Maggie    and a garden variety 10L US from evil bay.

 

Cleaned a bunch of records today.

Water, 5% Isoprop, 5mls of rinse aid and 5 mls of liquid laundry detergent.

Water @ 40 Degrees

Cycle time of 15 minutes.

Air dried

 

Not stunned or amazed with the results. Certainly no "inky black quietness"

 

I still get a few crackles and pops, and also some kind of "groove rubbing" noise in places, on some records.

Others are quieter, but still not silent.

 

 

Am I missing something or are some records just "noisy"  ??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3834.JPG

IMG_3835.JPG

IMG_3836.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Leinster Lad said:

Learnerd friends, it is now time for me to ask some advice.

 

I have now got myself a DIY US cleaner.

Brilliant Rotator from  @Maggie    and a garden variety 10L US from evil bay.

 

Cleaned a bunch of records today.

Water, 5% Isoprop, 5mls of rinse aid and 5 mls of liquid laundry detergent.

Water @ 40 Degrees

Cycle time of 15 minutes.

Air dried

 

Not stunned or amazed with the results. Certainly no "inky black quietness"

 

I still get a few crackles and pops, and also some kind of "groove rubbing" noise in places, on some records.

Others are quieter, but still not silent.

 

 

Am I missing something or are some records just "noisy"  ??

 

I would say "stunned and amazed" is probably going too far ,in regard to what result you can expect. Pleasantly surprised is more likely.:)

 

An Ultrasonic cleaner will not repair damage or improve the original recording,it will only remove dirt and contaminants on old records and release agent on new records.

If the record looks undamaged and there are still a few pop and crackles, give it one more go and see if that gives further improvement.

Some records are "noisy" but I notice the first record on your rotator is DSOTM and Floyd pressings are normally very good and silent. 

 

Some of what you are still hearing could be caused by your stylus or arm / cart set up.

 

I am in Queensland and after a record has been breathed on and touched a number of times over a thirty to forty year period, the humidity can help form a film of mould and muck on the surface of the records.

Cleaning with a URC will bring a big improvement to these records making the sound fuller and quieter.

Also I recently purchased a new 12" 45 single by John Butler ,whose recordings are normally of a high quality ,plus as a 45 there was lots of room for the grooves.

When I played it there was background hiss the entire length of the recording. To say the least I was extremely disappointed, cleaning with my URC removed all of the hiss.

 

I use more or less the same cleaning  procedure as yourself apart from the liquid laundry detergent. I would not use liquid laundry detergent as I do not believe it is needed and it may introduce contaminants that stay on the records and give some noise.

 

I also note you have gone for the 10L bath when most of us are using the cheaper 6L that your  Rotator is intended for. Not really a problem but you are using a lot more chemicals without gaining the advantages of being able to clean more records at a time or more space between the records that the 10L bath could give.

 

My experience is cleaning with a URC  is definitely worth the effort and reasonable cost and I am now reluctant to play a record I have not yet cleaned with the ultrasonic bath.  

 

 

 

 

Edited by EV Cali

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Owen, I'm very interested. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @Nap250 - I have you on our 'notify' list ;)

Parts from China about a fortnight away :emot-bang:

Also laser cutting & an injected moulded coupler ( a bit of engineering involved but end-cost is good.

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @Leinster Lad - good work - however i would echo @EV Cali's thoughts here - 

 

In particular, Liquid Laundry Detergent I believe can contain, in addition to surfactant/detergent & enzymes - strong bleach chemicals, optical whiteners, bulking/binding agents, fragrances, etc.

 

Best avoided - get yourself some Triton X-100 concentrate or similar.

 

Rinse Aid is not needed if you have detergent, it probably has other chemicals also best avoided, eg for removal of lime deposits.

 

Heating is not absolutely necessary in a US cleaner, the cavitation process tends to heat the fluid anyway I've found, maybe 5-10deg C over 15mins.

 

If older/used records, some clicks, pops, scratches, will of course not be removed by any cleaner, ie. vinyl damage, but mostly removed I've found, or reduced. Sometimes multiple or longer duration cleans are beneficial.

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Leinster Lad  Some records are inherently noisy.  You can minimise the noise, but you'll never get rid of it.  Some records are produced exceptionally well and will play without a hint of noise.  Most fall somewhere in between.

 

My experience is that all of them are improved by cleaning in an US cleaner.  The results are significantly improved (and often drastically improved) by running the still wet records fresh out of an US cleaner through a vacuum type RCM.  I tried letting records air dry when I first got my US cleaner - let's face it, it's less work - but now I run them all through my Record Doctor V after a bath.  I reckon the US cleaner loosens the crud, the RCM sucks it away from the grooves.  See if you can borrow one to try for yourself.  I reckon you'll be pleasantly surprised.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Thanks @ABG and @Owen Y

I cleaned a bunch more records today, difference being that I did not turn on the inbuilt heater and cleaned for 30 minutes per cycle.

Records are much quieter ( some still not perfect ) so generally happy with the results now.

 

Over the coming few batches i'll experiment with "the brew" and yes, having the 10L tank certainly uses more ingredient ( but in the scheme of things, it is really not much )

 

And I can see why some people are exploring a filter set-up !

IMG_3865[1].JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ABG said:

@Leinster Lad  Some records are inherently noisy.  You can minimise the noise, but you'll never get rid of it.  Some records are produced exceptionally well and will play without a hint of noise.  Most fall somewhere in between.

 

My experience is that all of them are improved by cleaning in an US cleaner.  The results are significantly improved (and often drastically improved) by running the still wet records fresh out of an US cleaner through a vacuum type RCM.  I tried letting records air dry when I first got my US cleaner - let's face it, it's less work - but now I run them all through my Record Doctor V after a bath.  I reckon the US cleaner loosens the crud, the RCM sucks it away from the grooves.  See if you can borrow one to try for yourself.  I reckon you'll be pleasantly surprised.

 

 

 

I absolutely concur.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Leinster Lad said:

 

And I can see why some people are exploring a filter set-up !

 

Am interested in results from anyone filtering their tank fluid - say using paper coffee filters or something more sophisticated.

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, ABG said:

@Leinster Lad  Some records are inherently noisy.  You can minimise the noise, but you'll never get rid of it.  Some records are produced exceptionally well and will play without a hint of noise.  Most fall somewhere in between.

 

My experience is that all of them are improved by cleaning in an US cleaner.  The results are significantly improved (and often drastically improved) by running the still wet records fresh out of an US cleaner through a vacuum type RCM.  I tried letting records air dry when I first got my US cleaner - let's face it, it's less work - but now I run them all through my Record Doctor V after a bath.  I reckon the US cleaner loosens the crud, the RCM sucks it away from the grooves.  See if you can borrow one to try for yourself.  I reckon you'll be pleasantly surprised.

 

 

 

Yes vacuuming is worth doing for sure.

 

OK if your live in a static-prone environment, then maybe you need to take care with any friction-brush type vacuum m/c on your records.

Also, I know we're driven to obsession about water purity, but a (filtered tap) water rinse after cleaning can only be beneficial - followed by vacuuming if you like.

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

Edited by Owen Y

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Owen Y said:

 

Am interested in results from anyone filtering their tank fluid - say using paper coffee filters or something more sophisticated.

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

 

Hi Owen,

 

I use a fish tank filter (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Aquarium-External-Canister-Filter-Aqua-Fish-Water-Tank-Sponge-Pond-400L-H-/131374919147?rmvSB=true) based on advice provided by a fellow SNA'er and info I read on the VPI forums.  Every time I change the water, I clean out the filter.  The amount of black crud that comes out makes me glad I'm using it.  Cheap insurance against those pieces of crud potentially sandblasting my records during the cavitation process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Minor update:
Sorry about delay, some spacers have arrived, enough for a quite few cleaner kits.

These are semi-soft spacers, which should work well, without damaging record labels.

We have had some discussion here about the size of the spacers.
Record labels are 100mm diameter.
These spacers are around 75mm diameter.
After testing, we chose these smaller spacers, ie not same diameter as the record label - as splashed water tends to be drawn up unseen by capillary action between label & spacer. In practice, we think it's better that the record label is always visible, as it's easier to adjust water level to suit.

Laser cutting of 1st batch of stainless metalwork should be done within a week.
Injection-moulding, for the plastic driver adapter for the motor shaft, should be close behind.

Cheers, Owen
http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

spacers.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Owen, I would consider getting at least one spacer that's 100mm and use that to adjust your water level rather than using your record labels.  It's something you'll be doing on an almost daily basis in summer - you'd be surprised how much water evaporates in warmer weather - and I wouldn't want to be using my record labels as a depth gauge.  Mine has a mark showing the level it needs to be filled up, but I still fine tune the level with the spacer and no record on mine.  Despite all the precautions, I still occasionally get a bit of water on the labels.  Most of the time I just wipe it off with no harm done.  Occasionally it causes the label to slightly bubble (maybe 1% of the records I clean).  I consider it a small price to pay for having clean records with minimal effort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair enough.

But I would just use your eyes to gauge water level - it doesn't need to be super close to label, say 5mm min.

There could be some dirt, residual noise at the  end of the runout groove but....it doesn't matter.

Haven't wet a label yet  ;)

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Classifieds Statistics


    Currently Active Ads

    Total Sales (Since 2018)

    Total Sales Value (Last 14 Days)

    Total Ads Value (Since March 2020)
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By betty boop
      folks, considering an ultrasonic record cleaner... of the more affordable variety... I am not planning to spend on one costing the same as a turntable.
       
      And with more than my own share of home projects going on and plenty on the to do list no interest to be dong anything DIY in this regard.
       
      So what are folks experience with Affordable ultrasonic record cleaning machines of the non DIY variety ...
       
      theres this nobsound one on amazon - any thoughts or experience ? 
      nobsound on amazon
       
      dont want to get one and find a waste of cash ? last thing world needs is more land fill
       
      any good experiences with anything out there (non DIY - please and affordable)
       
       
    • By Goatboy
      Item: Okki Nokki MKI  MKII RCM (White)
      Location: Blue Mountains, Sydney
      Price: $520
      Item Condition: Excellent
      Reason for selling: NLR
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
      Extra Info:
       
      EDIT: This is a MKII and not a MK1, as I first thought. This means it is manufactured in China (not Germany) and has a plastic instead of metal wand. Apologies for any confusion caused !
       
      For sale is a MK II Okki Nokki record cleaner, purchased in 2014 from Krispy Audio. Included in the sale are wands for 12” and 7” records, a clamp, and dust cover. The cover and 7” wand are additional purchases and retail for $115 and $75 respectively, and the 7" wand is unused. The dust cover is a must IMO, as keeping dust from a RCM is pretty important !
       
      The unit has seen mild to moderate use, and there are months where it’s barely used. 
       
      For anyone not familiar with the Okki Nokki, it is a wet - vacuum cleaning system, and works by first agitating debris from the record as it rotates via a brush placed along the grooves. After a few rotations (the unit has forward and reverse) the wand vacuums the liquid away, leaving you with a clean and hopefully crackle and pop - free record. It can’t perform miracles and fix a record retrieved from a dumpster, but for gunk, mould, fingerprints etc... it does a good job.  And with the debris and detritus new records come with, it’s a good idea to clean everything, not just 2nd hand purchases. Your needle will thank you. 
       
      A few months after I received the unit, it had an issue with the vacuum cleaner which was easily fixed by a fuse replacement and was a common problem with this model. It has been trouble - free ever since. 
       
      The original brush is long gone, so you’ll need to grab something suitable. There are plenty of options, and of course you’ll need to arm yourself with a record cleaning concoction. 
      I’ll also throw in a back - up set of spare velvet strips, which attach to the 12” wand and should be changed about every 50 records. 
       
      Shipping is possible as I have the box for the unit, however I don’t have one for the dust cover and so preference is given to local pick-up.

       
      Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.




    • By Paul-H
      Item: RCM Sensor 2 Phono stage + Kuzma Stabi-S Turntable (with PS2 speed controller) + Stogi-S Tonearm + Lyra Delos Cart
      Location: Mount Martha VIC, 3934
      Price:
      RCM SENSOR 2 = $3800  - SOLD (TT still available)
      KUZMA STABI-S TT + STOGI-S tonearm + PS2 Upgraded Power supply + LYRA DELOS MC Cartridge = $6750
      (comes with free perspex dust cover, as per photos)
      Package Deal: $10K (RRP for this setup is approx 15K. Please note I prefer to sell this whole package COMPLETE)
      Item Condition: 9.5/10
      Reason for selling: Have purchased a new car and need funds for that.
      Payment Method: Cash on Pickup or Bank Deposit. Paypal is my last preference and you will need to pay an extra 3%.
      Preference given to local pickup VIC buyers.
      I can send interstate at buyers expense, but very much prefer not to because of risk of damage.
      Extra Info: I bought these last year from Sonic Purity in May 2018, so this gear is approx 1 year old.
      The sale is somewhat regrettable, however I have other priorities now.
      The RCM Sensor 2 phono stage is magic and extracts every detail from the Cartridge while giving strong bass.
      (Has Furutech Connections, and external latest power supply)
      There are many reviews online about the phono stage and many who have heard it will confirm its high reputation.
      It has a multitude of loading and gain options.
      https://sonicpurity.com.au/store/phono-stages/rcm-sensor-2
      The Kuzma Turntable is equally amazing in sound and build quality.
      Latest 2018 30mm thick platter!
      https://sonicpurity.com.au/store/turntables/kuzma-stabi-s
      It has the upgraded power supply which means you don't need to change pulleys etc to change the speed.
      The speed controller has a digital display.
      It comes with Stogi-S tonearm, and LYRA DELOS cartridge. (has had little use, but is run in. I honestly don't know the hours)
      Those who know this cartridge can tell you that its super detailed in the high frequencies and still has gorgeous midrange and strong bass.
      Cartridge azimuth has been painstakingly set up by Rom at Sonic purity, using computer software.
      I look after my equipment with a lot of care and live in a smoke free / pet free home.
      Auditions are welcome at my home only for SERIOUS BUYERS.
      Upon sale I always make donations to SNA.
      Thanks for watching.
      Cheers,
      Paul.
      Happy Easter to all.
       
      Pictures:












    • By gtee
      Item: Record Cleaning Machine
      Price Range: to $1000
      Item Condition: little used
      Extra Info:
      Hi,
      Am interested in a vacuum type record cleaning machine in really good condition.
      No real preference but prefer a quieter ( ? )  quality machine. Some have suggested a VPI, Okki Nokki Mk2, or the like.
      Please PM me with any offerings
      I am in South Brisbane.
      Thanks.
      Please don't forget to report your post as FOUND when possible. (You can now delete this text).
×
×
  • Create New...