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Remote Keypad Restorer

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Chris F., May 9, 2006.

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  1. Chris F.

    Chris F. Guest

    Has anyone ever used this Circuitworks Remote Keypad Restorer? I ordered a
    couple units of it, as I had a large pile of valuable OEM remotes that I
    wanted to refurbish and sell. The stuff seems to work great, well worth the
    money, but it says I can only use it for 72 hours after mixing. Trouble is,
    the stuff is going a lot further than I expected (done 100+ keys so far and
    still have 75% or more left), and there's no way I'm going to use it up
    within 72 hours. I wondered if there's anyway to make it last longer. Is it
    as simple as sealing the cover with tape, to prevent evaporation? Or is
    there some solvent I could add to the mixture to keep it moist? According to
    the label, the main solvent is Methyl Alcohol. I have some 70% Methanol
    here, but of course that's 30% water. Then I have some 99.9% Isopropanol,
    but I'm not sure if that's chemically compatible.
    Or maybe there's no point in trying, maybe I should be satisfied to fix
    20-30 remotes with the one kit, and not worry about wasted product......
    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Guest

    Is the chemical supposed to clean the surface so the conductive rubber
    is exposed from under the dirt, or is it supposed to deposit a new
    conductive material on the surface???
    IF it is only cleaning, then you wasted moneyu buying something that
    is readily available at any hardware store, so don't worry about saving
    it.

    H. R. Hofmann
     
  3. Chris F.

    Chris F. Guest

    It doesn't do any cleaning, it just creates a new conductive surface. Any
    required cleaning must be done manually before applying. The stuff is
    basically a carbon-based goo with some added silver, and a couple of
    solvents to keep it in liquid form. In theory, adding some more solvent
    should keep it wet almost indefinately. But I'm not a chemist, and I didn't
    design this product, so I can't say for sure.
     
  4. Ray L. Volts

    Ray L. Volts Guest

    http://www.chemtronics.com/products/product.asp?id=32

    "forms a tough, flexible, wear-resistant surface"

    I assume this is the same product as the OP's "restorer".
     
  5. Ray L. Volts

    Ray L. Volts Guest

    oops, that link defaults to their front page.. owell, u can easily find the
    product after u enter your region specs...
     
  6. Ray L. Volts

    Ray L. Volts Guest

    Depends on the binders used. Sometimes u can simply add the solvent, other
    times u can't, at least not very effectively w/o knowing the precise
    original formula and then calculating the required amount of additives for
    the exact amount of product remaining.
    Of course, if you've gotten your money's worth already out of 20+ remote
    repairs, it's not gonna waste a lot of money to experiment. Just remember
    to use adequate ventilation when experimenting with unknown reactions.

    I haven't used any of this product personally, but if the stuff is anything
    like GC's Nickel Print, et al, I think you're gonna be fighting a losing
    battle trying to make it last long after the designed-in shelf life.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    May be just a bum steer, but you could try keeping it in the fridge. Seems
    to slow down or suspend many slow chemical reactions. Worth a try.

    Arfa
     
  8. Chris F.

    Chris F. Guest

    I tried adding some MG Safety Wash (a blend of alcohols), it seems to keep
    it moist and do the job. The only thing is that the applied product dries a
    bit faster, so it may not bond as well to the keypads, only time will tell.
    The repairs are rated to 500,000 keystrokes, so if this trick cuts the life
    by half, it wouldn't really matter anyway. Chances are the consumer won't
    keep the appliance long enough to wear out the repaired keys........
     
  9. Ray L. Volts

    Ray L. Volts Guest

    The biggest prob with these rubber keypads seems to be dirty/oily contacts.
    I see this much more often than actual worn out contact surfaces. Has
    anyone figured out exactly what this oily substance is that leaches out of
    the rubber onto the carbon pad and traces? I wonder if it could be residual
    mold release being squeezed out of the rubber when pressure is applied. Or
    perhaps finger oils somehow filtered thru the soft rubber. Whatever it is,
    it takes time and apparently usage to appear. Open up a new remote that's
    been on the department store shelf for 2 years and u won't find this. Open
    up a 2-year old (or younger) remote that's been used everyday and u likely
    will see it.
     
  10. Chris F.

    Chris F. Guest

    The biggest prob with these rubber keypads seems to be dirty/oily
    Could be oils soaking through the rubber. Most of my remotes have had things
    spilled inside, and when I attempt to clean them the ultra-thin coating
    comes off with the grime. And the worn-out buttons are usually the most-used
    ones: power, vol +/-, and channel +/-.
    It's amazing how dirty remote controls can get. You'd think people never
    washed their hands at all.
     
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