Homemade ultrasonic vinyl cleaner

Spider

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Having seen the ultra expensive, ultra cool, ultrasonic vinyl cleaners I figured it must be possible to build something to do a similar job.So today I spent an afternoon with a ultrasonic bath off eBay a sheet of plastic and an idea 
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.It’s a bit rough and ready but it is functional and it’s doing a really good job on a few records that I’ve struggled to get really clean and dramatically reduced the pops and clicks.I’m calling it a prototype, having got it working I’ve had a few ideas on how to make it a bit prettier.Of course it can’t help where there is damage to the vinyl but I reckon it’s getting them pretty clean.The process I used was a quick scrub with homemade alcohol fluid and a brush on greasy looking finger marks, 10 mins in the bath, vacuume off the excess fluid with my KAB KB1 thingy bob and allow to dry for a minute or two before playing.That’s it.








 

JamieMcC

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Nice job I made something along the same lines a little while back and have been over the moon with the results. One of the things I found with my eBay sourced ultrasound bath (looks similar to yours) is the temperature control tends not to be very reliable I  have it turned on until the bath reaches 40 degrees then turn it off as on a couple of occasions when I have left it on at the 40 degree setting the water at the bottom of the bath has reached 60 degrees. I use a digital baby bath thermometer to monitor the temperature rather than go on the machines built in one. 

Your motor looks interesting can you share a bit more detail on it?

If you use do a search on the Wham forum for "DIY ultrasonic RCM" you can find my one.

You might want to try more than one LP at a time.

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Spider

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Hi Jamie

The motor is a 12v high torque motor set for 0.6 rpm. I got it off eBay.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Reversible-High-Torque-Turbo-Worm-Geared-Motor-DC-12V-Motor-GW-JGY370-0-6-100RPM/152596967667?hash=item23877cf0f3:m:mrcNWNa7ZcNnXIpLsxl7-RA

I decided to only do one at a time to maximise cleaning action on both sides of the record. Do you find all three clean equally when doing 4 at once.

Do you do anything different to me in the way you clean them?

Thanks for heads up on the heater I’ll remember that and turn off heater once liquid is warm.

 

robbyd

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nice job - can you have the emitters turned down low or is output level fixed?

 

Spider

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This one is a fixed output level.

It wasn't expensive I was trying to keep costs as low as possible. May I'll look out for a fancy bath in the future now I've got a working prototype.

 

JamieMcC

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Thanks for the details on the motor interestingly it looks the same as is used on this eBay option

 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RECORD-CLEANING-MACHINE-COMPLETE-PACKAGE-WITH-SONIC-TANK/253224114058?hash=item3af555578a:g:IM0AAOSwe9dZmCjR

but mounted in a small project box with a simple toggle switch and chassis mount power socket for a 12v switching supply. I am going to change my machine to this configuration purely for safety as the motor on mine is a 240v one.

The mix I use for cleaning is simply deionised water with a dash of IPA  with a 15min clean at 40 degree C. I did try some expensive ultrasonic detergent but I don't think it made a difference to be honest and wont be purchasing any more. I have recently purchased some Ilford Ilfotol Wetting Agent  to try and improve deep grove cleaning. It doesn't seem to make a difference if cleaning just one of four LPs at a time its just amazing how much crud ends up in the bottom of the tank and needs to be drained off after doing a few records if you use a short bit of hose on the drain tap and run the water through a paper paint micron filter you can quickly recycle your cleaning mix 

https://londonjazzcollector.wordpress.com/for-audiophiles/home-brew-cleaner-for-vacuum-rcms/

 

Maverick

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I made one like Jamie's, mine uses one of the mirror ball motors from China, 89p :)

plus point is that in use it annoys the hell out of the kids  :cool:

 

Maverick

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Same, a few about on line. Just needs to be deep enough to reach up to the run out track. I.e. below the label

note to self; must get round to sanding and painting mine one day. Also need to construct a better bearing at the end opposite the motor as 4/5 LPs are quite heavy, especially new ‘heavy’ ones

 

Spider

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The ultrasonic has done good work this week. It cleans very well. I’ve stuck to doing one at a time for the time being.

I've found that the bath temp monitor is pretty accurate, I keep checking with a milk thermometer. I think 40 deg might be a touch too warm and I don’t want to warp any records so I’ve set temp at 35 deg and I’ve been happy with the results so far.

got some thoughts on mkii to make it more secure and look prettier.

 
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Spider

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Update:@Edd9000 has the drawings for mkii and has them all CAD prepared and programmed ready to cut a set of the mkii design.I have sourced a couple of plastic boxes to house the motor and a on/off switch. We are aiming to have this working by the end of the month.Fingers crossed it will be a bit prettier with the motor hidden from view and work well with most commercially available baths (or at least the ones I’ve seen so far).All being well a cost effective way of trying ultrasonic cleaning for vinyl.

 

JamieMcC

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If you fancy sharing the cad files I am about half way  through building a small cnc machine myself (1mx1m) if the current rate of progress is anything to go by it might be ready in about six months  o_O

 

slavedata

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When I decided to make an Ultrasonic Cleaner (Tank was Christmas Present from my wife) I decided to go back to source. More years ago than I care to remember I studied Applied Physics at Brunel University. The man for sound in the department was Dr Jack Blitz, I googled him and was delighted to find a scan of his book on Ultrasonics on line. it's mostly about non destructive testing but the chapter on cavitation was most enlightening.

The graph clearly shows the optimum liquid is water at 60 C. The text suggested the optimum was water with 10% alcohol. So that's what I use with 100mL of the Disc Doctor cleaning fluid added to the tank to supply surfacants and wetting agent. I bought a 10 litre tank that in practise hold 7.5 litres of fluid. My design for brackets for a revolving record rack is courtesy of Nick at Demon products very useful You Tube videos.

The 10 litre tank gives me space to clean 6 records at a time on a sort of LP kebab stick. Nick also suggested  using foam hockey pucks as separators and hard rubber pucks as end stops.

My routine for cleaning is

1 Hand Brush with a Carbon Fibre brush - this stage shows you if the records previous owner had a cat!

2 Hand wash and rinse with the Disc Doctor cleaning system.

3 15 minutes on the Ultrasonic rotteserie

4 Rinse under running filtered water

5 Dry with a RCM suction unit.

6 Final rack dry then bag in clean film lined paper sleeves.

The results are outstanding, I really think I have reached optimum record cleaning.

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