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Conformal Coating sprays


stanward
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Has anyone coated their CTB16PC boards after removing the flux? We used to use clear acrylic "paint" in the can (rattle can).

I'm debating if I should try that TechSpray brand conformal coating or not. You can just burn through the coating with a soldering iron.

We get lots of moisture here in Hawaii, and didn't want any problems on the boards.

Stan

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I use the TechSpray at work on a rather wet show. We used the SF version until we found it would cause the processor chips to overheat. We switched to the AF and we didnt have problems.

For me - it would be up to Dan to see if he would still warranty the boards.

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Dr. Jones wrote:

I use the TechSpray at work on a rather wet show. We used the SF version until we found it would cause the processor chips to overheat. We switched to the AF and we didnt have problems.

For me - it would be up to Dan to see if he would still warranty the boards.


When you say SF and AF are you refering to silicone and acrylic based coatings? Did you have problems with the silicone coating overheating the processor? How thick was the coating?

I use a thinned down silicone coating on all my kit boards - 14 to date. I have not had a problem with any of them. I have had a triac go out on two of the boards assembled by LOR that I did not conformal coat. One in the second year and one in the third year. I suspect this was a result of water getting directy to the board, but cannot confirm it. I will probably clean them up and coat them after reparing the triacs.

In a post a couple years ago Dan (or somebody from LOR) said that conformal coating would be a good idea. http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/view_topic.php?id=4363&forum_id=25&highlight=conformal+coating I foung nothing about if it will or will not void the warrenty.
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yes - silicone vs acrylic

The control cards we use at work have a microprocessor on board. With two coats of silicone they would overheat. The manufacture assisted us in testing and we were able to determine that the silicone was not allowing the heat to disipate fast enough. When the board failed , we would notice the silicone coating had dripped off of the processor.

After extensive testing with the acrylic ( including testing in 110* heat - in direct sunlight) we could not get the board to overheat - though we did notice a little more corrosion at the molex connector. otherwise no other issues

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Would this warranty still apply to the Planet Christmas DIY versions of LOR?



Dr. Jones wrote:

I use the TechSpray at work on a rather wet show. We used the SF version until we found it would cause the processor chips to overheat. We switched to the AF and we didnt have problems.

For me - it would be up to Dan to see if he would still warranty the boards.
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Dan said it is okay to use a good quality conformal coating on the boards.

I was wondering if anyone could help me out? I can't find any conformal coating in the entire state of Hawaii! :(

I was hoping someone could purchase the cans for me, and mail them out to me via US Postal Service Parcel Post (they allow the shipment of hazardous goods, label boxes with "ORM-D")? I can pay for everything. :P

Please let me know :)

Stan

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Forgive my ignorance Stan. But would it not be cheaper for you to just to order directly? Lets say I did this for you. First there would be the cost of the item and then shipping to me. Then the cost of me shipping it to you. I would think that two shipping cost would be more than if you went direct to the vendor.

73

Max

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Hmm.... I was thinking that someone could purchase the conformal coating from their local electronics store, if there is one nearby.

Shipping via US Postal Service Parcel Post takes a long time, but it is the cheapest way to ship, and the only legal way to ship hazardous chemicals through the Postal Service (need ORM-D labelled on the outside).

73

Stan



Max-Paul wrote:

Forgive my ignorance Stan. But would it not be cheaper for you to just to order directly? Lets say I did this for you. First there would be the cost of the item and then shipping to me. Then the cost of me shipping it to you. I would think that two shipping cost would be more than if you went direct to the vendor.

73

Max
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Max, as opposed to spraying the boards, why not just cover the controllers. I do 2 things with mine. First I have a stand that holds them upright. The stand can hold up to 4 controllers mounted on both sides. The stands are just wide enough, where I can put a large black lawn and leaf bag over the top. Keeps moisture out, and the cord ends dry as a bone.

Next if I have to put single controllers in the yard. I mount them on a slight ramp. A 16"x20" piece of OSB plywood. I then mound a 2x4 or 2x2 at the top, just enough to create a slight slope. Then I take another garbage bag and 4 landscape stakes and cover the controller and cord ends.

In Seattle with major rain and (lately) snow, all my controllers are dry as a bone. With power on 24x7 to the controllers, there is enough heat generated to keep the interior dry.

Seems to me an easier and cheaper solution than coating the controllers.

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I don't know if you tried to direct your reponse to me or Max. I am the OP who inquired about doing the conformal coating.

To answer your question, I only had one LOR controller this past Christmas. I installed it as high up under the eaves as I could under my house. There were no KNOWN issues of condensation that I know of in the controller box. I do want to do preventative maintenance. On the east side of the island, we do receive a large amount of rain, and the moisture in the area is a bit excessive. I noticed a large amount of condensation on inside of my solar lights that are installed outside.

Here, mildew grows on everything, and I do not want it growing in my controllers. It wouldn't be difficult to spray them, as I assemble the PC versions of LOR. I did use conformal coating once in the past (engineer mailed them over when I worked at my previous job). Aside from that, in high school, we used to spray clear lacquer on our PC boards that we built. Of course, none of them would produce heat like the LOR ones do.

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Hi Stan, sorry I did direct this to you. Over on PC in the past few days, this came up to combat moisture on Darryl Browns Strobes. One PC member used this following to coat the little PC boards in side the strobe,

FINE-L-KOTE SR Silicone Conformal Coating

Here is the full thread:

http://talk.planetchristmas.com/showthread.php?t=29981&highlight=strobes&page=2

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zman, even though Stanward is the op. I have been one of the posters that has suggested that some of the trouble that a few users have been having might be because of moister condensing in the box and maybe on the board. It is better to take preventive steps than to sit back and wait for a failure. I plan to build 3 of the 16 channel kits myself this year (1st year for me). I like the forums for not only how to information. But I can also see some of the problems that others have had like the guy that a snail got into his box an shorted and burnt up his controller. So you can bet I will take steps to make mine snail proof. And I am going to spray some kind of conformal coating on mine too. And you my friend have been just lucky so far.

Max

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Try again guys. PC had a notice up that Sunday night at 9PM CDT that they were taking down the forums to do an upgrade to the data base that stores the forums. Seems that they had a few blips Saturday and it was a sign that the data base was about to colapse. So they did an upgrade. Unfortunely the upgrade ran to about mid-day today. But I was able to get on around lunch time so the link should now be good unless it got blown away.

Max

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Hello Bob,

I finally found someone that may be able to help me in locating and shipping me the Techspray product.

I was wondering what product do you use to conformal coat your LOR boards?

Thanks,

Stan



Bob VandenBoom wrote:

When you say SF and AF are you refering to silicone and acrylic based coatings? Did you have problems with the silicone coating overheating the processor? How thick was the coating?

I use a thinned down silicone coating on all my kit boards - 14 to date. I have not had a problem with any of them. I have had a triac go out on two of the boards assembled by LOR that I did not conformal coat. One in the second year and one in the third year. I suspect this was a result of water getting directy to the board, but cannot confirm it. I will probably clean them up and coat them after reparing the triacs.

In a post a couple years ago Dan (or somebody from LOR) said that conformal coating would be a good idea. http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/view_topic.php?id=4363&forum_id=25&highlight=conformal+coating I foung nothing about if it will or will not void the warrenty.
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stanward wrote:

Hello Bob,

I finally found someone that may be able to help me in locating and shipping me the Techspray product.

I was wondering what product do you use to conformal coat your LOR boards?

Thanks,

Stan



I use MG Chemicals 422A silicone conformal coating thinned wirth their 435 thinner to about 50%. I spray it on with a small pump bottle. A thin coat is all I use. I don't have any reason for using the MG Chemicals brand except that I had some already. I would think just about any conformal would work.
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