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Thread: Cat PEE and the UEC.

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    Default Cat PEE and the UEC.

    Yesterday a neighbour brought me one of the 2 VAST UEC's I had purchased for him about 2 years ago and told me its not working.
    This UEC was given to his Lady Friend who runs a sort of cat rescue at her home and I believe she has quite a few there.
    He said there was one Tom Cat in particular who likes to 'spray' his domain and he is suspected of finally doing so where the UEC was located.

    From what this fellow said, I gather he had opened up the STB and 'dried' it but I didnt ask how.
    I believe the the UEC wasnt working before it was dried out and when it didnt work being after dried out , he being a fully trained and competent DIYer totally capable of turning a light switch ON and OFF, he came to the conclusion that the fuse had blown so to test his theory he touched it and immediately found it wasnt blown because it BIT him !!!
    How you test a fuse by touching it tells you its blown or not I am still not clear about unless its in place across a circuit and BITEs as this one did
    I then rather stupidly told him that just drying off any liquid (cat pee) would most likely leave a residue on the board and components and that it needed to be 'washed' and dried thoroughly.
    He was ready to go and do this right there and then and I had the devils own job to explain I didnt mean to hose it down in the yard or give it a once over in the kitchen sink with the Dinner dishes !!!.
    I suggested he contact the only person I know of locally who does TV repairs etc (he did the diodes in a Humax for me a few years ago) or decide to buy a new one.
    He was very reluctant to consider either idea as he was hoping I could get it up and running as I wouldnt charge as I am not qualified which is the very reason I had no intentions of trying to get it to work as I dont know how!!
    Last edited by gordon_s1942; 10-01-17 at 12:48 PM.
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    Sound like a bit of a cat-astrophe to me..

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    Washing (and drying) the board is exactly what needs to be done.

    It is also possible there has been some component damage caused by the short across the circuit.

    At the very least... if unsuccessful taking the piss out of the box... sounds like you could have some fun taking the piss out of him.

    (great fuse testing technique btw)

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    Yep. Have wash quite a few boards. Always good for a laugh when the owner of the product sees you doing it.
    Easy to dry too, just leave out in the sun all day. Don't put it in an oven.

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    I said use a hair dryer as drying in the Sun isnt always an option, at least where I am.

    His belief that it 'had to be a blown fuse' reminded me to when I was just a boy (there was such a time) and the valve mantle radio we had (pre TV days) wouldnt turn on that day and the general concensus of opinion was the ON/OFF switch wasnt working !!
    The logic being that it was working before being turned off so as it wont turn on now, it MUST be the switch.
    I cannot remember now if these Radios had a separate ON/OFF switch or if it was combined with the Volume control.
    This suggestion was dualy passed on to the repairer who most likely had heard that suggestion a few times before but from memory, it was a faulty Valve and that cost 10/- to replace which back then was about one hours pay on the Basic wage.
    Last edited by gordon_s1942; 11-01-17 at 12:22 PM.
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    The trouble with using a hair dryer is you might have to stand there for an hour to thoroughly dry it...maybe longer if the water gets trapped in the wrong spot, relay or coil etc...

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    In my experience, the practice described above for cleaning electronic equipment (pcb's etc), which has been contaminated by urine, spilled wine, salt water etc. is widely practiced by electronics service technicians.

    I have always used distilled or demineralised water rather than mains water due to the high percentage of salts and other dissolved material present in some mains water supplies.

    Washing in water, to which a little detergent has been added, is followed by additional washing in isopropyl (industrial) alcohol ("metho" also works well), followed by forced drying using an hair drier. This allows exact control of temperature. It also allows additional attention to be paid to particular areas that might need it.

    It is the procedure I was taught when I gained my first electronics training when working in a Philips Electrical Industries state service department many years ago. It was also the practice employed by other electronics companies I have worked for and I have continued to use it ever since.

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    Same here with washing boards in water after liquid contamination. Usually de-mineralised water, and non-ionic detergent is recommended, but for domestic goods that aren't particularly high value items (TV's etc) normal tap water and a small amount of washing up liquid, then a rinse with plain tap water, is fine unless you have unusually hard water. And drying thoroughly afterwards with the use of fans, hairdryers etc, paying particular attention to areas that can trap water (tuner boxes, pots, switches, coils, under ICs and components etc). Actually I got caught out myself recently when I was washing down a CD polishing machine and didn't realise that the power switch suffered a bit of water ingress. Even after thorough drying and leaving for a few hours in the warm afternoon air, it still blew a fuse when power was applied. Switches should be sprayed out with switch and contact cleaner spray afterwards to help avoid this.

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    Cat piss is one of the nastiest things for electronics and circuit boards. It's right up there with rat piss.
    It can cause weird effects long after the moisture has gone, as the salts and urea etc can create low impedance paths which cause tracking
    and it's not visible.
    I will NEVER allow any cats in my place, for this very reason. Not only does their pissing stink, it kills nice electronic toys.

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    As long as the cat pisses on the HV line of a valve amp!
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

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    Speaking of the conductive capabilities of Pee, there was a story circulating amongst a group that a fellow they worked with had a rather (laughable to us) incident happen to him.
    Although he hotly denied it ever happened, it was claimed he peed down a 2 story cargo lift shaft and got zapped by the control voltage used to raise and lower the cargo lift.
    He was a quite a larrikin so everyone quite believed the tale.
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    It reminds me of my early days in TV servicing, and having to go out to a farm house to repair an aging Philips K9 set.
    As I walked in the door I was immediately greeted with the stench of cat piss and poo. The place was over-run with them.
    Cats everywhere. It was difficult to make my way to the lounge where the TV was without stepping in poo or on a cat.
    To make matters worse, when I got to the set and removed the back, it had been home to a number of rats!
    There were rat poos and piss right throughout, and I had to call up an assistant to come out and help me bring the set back to the workshop.
    After a thorough hosing out and drying session, we were able to start repairing the multitude of faults starting with
    rebuilding the power supply which had gone bang in a most spectacular fashion due to the rat piss.
    The smell never left the set however.
    These days a TV in such a state would be condemned, but the elderly owner was adamant we fix it.

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    I've had to fix a phone in that situation. Fortunately it was back in the days when Telstra was the only kid in town. I walked in. Unscrewed the hone from the wall instead of fixing it. Plugged a new one in. Made sure it worked. Got out of there. I then rang the dispatcher to put a note on file that the phone is not captive in the socket and any future calls the tech should just take a spare phone.
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

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