Chirpy Viking Ranger

Roderick M. Fitz-Randolph w5hvv at AENEAS.NET
Thu Feb 5 13:24:31 EST 1998

>Hi Rod,
>Don't know much about the chirping problem, but I was interested in your
>chassis cleaning procedures using kerosene...What are the pros and cons of
>this procedure and could you expand on it a bit?  I have three Viking II's
>in the queue for restoration - all needing chassis cleaning.
Walt, when I worked at Columbus AFB in the mid 50's and was working
on ARC-3 transceivers, I was horrified to see one of the other techs
dump the entire chassis in kerosene and start brushing it off with a
paint brush.  I was convinced that he had ruined every thing in the
unit.  Afterward, he took an air hose and hosed the whole thing off
and it was spotless.  He'd let it dry for a day and then re-tube it
and try it out.  They always worked fine.

When I clean a chassis now, I avoid the "total immersion" concept and
use a paint brush (and/or a rag, when apropos) and a vacuum cleaner.
I put kerosene in a glass jelly jar and use several different paint
brush sizes in order to be able to clean the various, sometimes very
difficult to get to, places.

I then dip the paint brush in the kerosene and apply it vigorously to
the chassis.  It tends to remove wax that may have dripped from an old
capacitor, dust, dirt, some corrosion, etc.  I then place the vacuum
cleaner nozzle close to the area that is still wet and dry it.   I
sometimes use a dry, clean rag to go over the wet area first to remove
as much of the kerosene as I can.  (CAUTION, DO NOT do this with GASOLINE!)
I continue to do a relatively small area at a time until it is complete.
It usually goes quite fast and makes the aluminum chassis look very good
when I'm done.

I have some trepidation about using a vacuum cleaner and accumulating
kerosene fumes in the cannister.  So far, I have not had a problem.  I
would recommend air-drying the unit by placing it in the sun or garage
or wherever until all the kerosene (that wasn't removed by a dry rag)
is evaporated as opposed to using a vacuum cleaner ["Do as I say, not as
I do"].  It only takes a few minutes in a good sun - at worst,
overnight in the garage if the weather is inclement.  Just make damned
sure that the kerosene is gone before you "light it up".  Avoid getting
the kerosene on the laminations of any transformers or any place where
the kerosene might tend to NOT evaporate.... just use good common sense.

Be cautious and careful.  It does a beautiful job.  I use just a small
amount of hand soap and lightly go over the glass envelope of tubes
that I want to clean up, then run water over the envelope to remove the
soap.  Then apply (by patting - now wiping) a kleenex to the envelope.
That, so far, has not removed any of the identifying numbers and makes
them look like new.  Of course, you need to keep the water away from the
tube base as some of the tube bases have a hole in stead of one of the
pins and that would let water in..... however, it is not hard to prevent
this from happening.

Anyhooooo, I have cleaned up a number of chassis, including several that
had been left in a chicken coop for 10 years!!!  They came out looking
like new!

Rod, N5HV
w5hvv at

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