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keeping connections reliable

Bruce Nolte wrote:

You may want to look for a product called DeOx, which is used by electricians who work with aluminum wiring to help protect these critical areas.

Wayne replies:

I suppose you are referring to "DeoxIT", the pink aerosol liquid?  I use it to keep relay contacts and rotor pots reliable.  To stay reasonably reliable, my cheap rotor pots need a blast of Deoxit about twice a year both in the controller and in the motor unit.  I also use it on the sensor connections to my bicycle computer and anywhere else that connections get "flaky".  Good stuff, but kind of hard to find.  I got my can from Antique Electronic Supply which sells stuff to antique radio restorers.  I don't know why, but it works MUCH better than generic "contact cleaner".  Maybe it's also sold at electrical supply stores?

Deoxit D5 Spray 5.0 oz. Part Number S-CD5S-6     $8.50

http://www.tubesandmore.com/silverware.exe/search@g:\tubetest\antique.fxp?MAXLINES=10&STARTPOINT=1&PLIN=5605 <http://www.tubesandmore.com/silverware.exe/search@g:\tubetest\antique.fxp?MAXLINES=10&STARTPOINT=1&PLIN=5605> 

To keep mating aluminum tubing parts from corroding and seizing I have used "Butter-It's-Not Anti-Oxide Anti-Seize Paste" (cool name, orange stuff from Bencher) and "Ideal #30-030 Noalox anti-oxidant joint compound" (Gray stuff from Home Depot).  Personally, I prefer Butter-It's-Not because it is more water-resistant.  Noalox doesn't spread properly on a surface that has any moisture.

Bruce Nolte also wrote:

As a practical matter, you may want to polish at least the driven elements and perhaps the reflective elements and a few of the adjacent director elements on a beam with a material such as Scotchbrite or  fine emery cloth, and coat the freshly polished aluminum with a clear lacquer to protect them.

Wayne wants to know:

Why does it matter if the OUTSIDE surfaces of an antenna get corroded?  Aren't the hidden "mating surfaces" the only area where corrosion is likely to cause a problem?  Or are you referring to microwave antennas with dimensions so precise that corrosion would detune the antenna?

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA

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