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N2HUN
01-21-2009, 05:55 PM
Hello all OM's, YL's,

I am about to dismantle my Hustler 6BTV vertical for a cleaning, and was wondering if anyone has suggestions on what I could use to clean the aluminum. There's oxidation at the contact points, that is, where the tubing inserts into.

Brillo? Steel wool?

Once cleaned I plan to coat the contact surfaces with Penetrox. Anyone have experience with this?

Thank you all very much.

Mario, N2HUN

KL7AJ
01-21-2009, 06:10 PM
Hello all OM's, YL's,

I am about to dismantle my Hustler 6BTV vertical for a cleaning, and was wondering if anyone has suggestions on what I could use to clean the aluminum. There's oxidation at the contact points, that is, where the tubing inserts into.

Brillo? Steel wool?

Once cleaned I plan to coat the contact surfaces with Penetrox. Anyone have experience with this?

Thank you all very much.

Mario, N2HUN


Get those yellow and green pot scrubbing pads. The green side really works. (You can use a little COMET with that, too...just be sure to REALLY rinse it off well...or it will corrode right up again!

eric

KA4DPO
01-21-2009, 06:17 PM
Go to the local auto parts store and pick up a small can of Blue Coral Aluminum polish. It works better than anything I have ever tried and leaves a nice coating on the aluminum to help prevent oxidation.

KR2D
01-21-2009, 06:23 PM
Wire brushes, preferably stainless steel. There are special brush sets designed for cleaning the inside and outside of copper pipe before soldering, they are available in the plumbing department of home improvement stores. I used the pipe brushes for much of the tube on my pre-owned Butternut HF-2V, and normal wire brushes (large and small) where the pipe brushes did not fit.

W6VPS
01-21-2009, 06:29 PM
Remember DO NOT use steel wool pads..Brillo Pads, SOS Pads....etc...they leave fine bits of steel on the aluminum. Ultimately it oxidizes and leaves rust stains.

As has already been pointed out plastic scrubbies are good. You can also use plain old auto rubbing compound. It is cheap, readily available and works well.
Paul/W6VPS

WA4ILH
01-21-2009, 07:32 PM
I have always used 409 and the plastic scrubbing pads. I believe they are called Scotch Pads or Scotch Bright.(something like that) Works great for me.
Tom WA4ILH

KL7AJ
01-21-2009, 07:43 PM
I have always used 409 and the plastic scrubbing pads. I believe they are called Scotch Pads or Scotch Bright.(something like that) Works great for me.
Tom WA4ILH

Scotch brite is good too, but you need to use it dry. (It's actually pretty abrasive) When you're done, you need to wash down the surface thoroughly.

Eric

KF6NFW
01-21-2009, 07:57 PM
Wow sounds like a hundred ways to do it! I have always used modeling sandpaper, a 6 pack of favorite adult beverage, and a a nice sunny afternoon.

I dont know that I would suggest coating any of the connections with anything after it has been cleaned to slow or prevent corrosion, as it would appear as most of these items would create resistance, and loss of performance. I could be mistaken, has happened before! Maybe someone can fill in the blanks for me on that aspect.

I have covered connections after they have been reassembled however, with a various items including liquid plastic/rubber such as the 3m liquid tape and rubberized tool coating. Have not had any issues when applied carefully. for sensitive areas, I used a cheap electrical tape to seal holes or what not to prevent the coating from entering and causing problems, such as coating screws nuts bolts or even getting the rubber in between what are supposed to be electrically connected aluminum tubing, such is found in nearly every aluminum antenna that is adjustable by slipping into each other.

WA4ILH
01-21-2009, 08:33 PM
[QUOTE=kf6nfw;1462760]Wow sounds like a hundred ways to do it! I have always used modeling sandpaper, a 6 pack of favorite adult beverage, and a a nice sunny afternoon.

That's my problem, ... I left out the adult beverage. Then again, some of the stuff we used to drink overseas would probably clean aluminum pretty good!
Tom WA4ILH

K3WRV
01-21-2009, 09:30 PM
I've mostly used ScotchBrite - comes in various "Grits" (the Finer ones from the grocery store). Lately, I've been using 220 or 320 WetorDry Sandpaper. Brass Wool (from a boat store, like West Marine) also works well and doesn't leave rust spots. SOS and brillo? You don't need the soap.

But just to shine up the joints, son't worry about it. Just give it a light sanding and all should be good.

KA4DPO
01-21-2009, 10:42 PM
[quote=kf6nfw;1462760]Wow sounds like a hundred ways to do it! I have always used modeling sandpaper, a 6 pack of favorite adult beverage, and a a nice sunny afternoon.

That's my problem, ... I left out the adult beverage. Then again, some of the stuff we used to drink overseas would probably clean aluminum pretty good!
Tom WA4ILH

Or probably disolve it..:p:D

W9PSK
01-21-2009, 11:22 PM
Try some good old fashioned lighter fluid, the kind used in ZIPPOS.

KF6NFW
01-21-2009, 11:46 PM
Try some good old fashioned lighter fluid, the kind used in ZIPPOS. Why would you use lighter fluid?

My thoughts are that the oils will eventually dry out, but not before attracting a thick layer of dirt, and other particles in the air.

I can see it being used for short term weatherizing but that would be really short term in my thought, likely no more then a month. as the oil would also drip and pool at the bottom of the contraption.

One danger I see is also loose connections causing an arc in which you may ignite the fuel oil on the antenna, creating a really HOT situation in a bad place, above you, and likely above the house. Oil stays lit for a while hence why Zippo lighters are band in some environments, and with the burning for a while it doesn't stop being on fire simply because it falls, thus allowing it to potentially ignite a roof top, which will go over very well with the wife, who may not already be fond of our hobby, and have now a pretty darn good excuse for saying no more antennas!

I could be entirely incorrect on this idea, but either way, my luck my logic, and my antenna say no way to the idea!

W8ATA
01-22-2009, 02:07 AM
I have had a lot of experience rehabbing old antennas so I will just share my own experience. The Blue Coral and Nano-Polish can make the aluminum look good with a lot of rubbing. But consider they are made for the Harley type guys who have no intention of spraying their finished job with Krylon. I did some experimenting with both on some oxidized tubing. Sure looked pretty but didn't give an absolutely film free surface for later sparying of Krylon. I have settled on a product called Nice n Easy sold at most True Value hardwares. It's a clear liquid with the viscosity of water. Use it in the shade to keep it from quickly drying and paint on a couple of coats. After it sort of lathers into a white foam hose it off well before it starts to dry. You will find about 95% of the oxidation is gone. Then for a nice finish some rubbing with the fine Scotch Brite pads mentioned above. There are other products that are undoubtedly out there and may be regional. But looking for something for the purpose at hand which contains phosphoric acid and a small amount of hydroflouric acid is what you want.

And I certainly agree with Pentatrox or No-Alox on all joints. Then after you are finished tuning the antenna to the best you can is the time for a spray of Krylon. Don't spray it before final assembly. And of course all the above is just my experience and humble opinion.

73 and best to you,

Russ

K5FH
01-22-2009, 03:52 AM
Hello all OM's, YL's,

I am about to dismantle my Hustler 6BTV vertical for a cleaning, and was wondering if anyone has suggestions on what I could use to clean the aluminum. There's oxidation at the contact points, that is, where the tubing inserts into.

Brillo? Steel wool?

Once cleaned I plan to coat the contact surfaces with Penetrox. Anyone have experience with this?

Use the brown version of Scotchbrite pads - these are made for use on metal surfaces and are what we use in the aircraft industry to remove corrosion from aluminum surfaces. I used it recently to refurb my 5BTV.

W8ATA's suggestion of Krylon on the outer surfaces of the antenna (after it's assembled and tuned, of course) is a good one. I'll have to give that one a try when I refurb the antenna again next year.

The green version of Scotchbrite is designed for general kitchen use and is not as effective on corroded aluminum surfaces. Home Depot or Lowe's should have them. You can use them dry or with water.

Penetrox grease works very well, especially at a junction between dissimilar metals (i.e., stainless steel and aluminum). I used it when I reassembled my 5BTV and had no problems.

W9PSK
01-22-2009, 04:07 AM
Why would you use lighter fluid?

My thoughts are that the oils will eventually dry out, but not before attracting a thick layer of dirt, and other particles in the air.

I can see it being used for short term weatherizing but that would be really short term in my thought, likely no more then a month. as the oil would also drip and pool at the bottom of the contraption.

One danger I see is also loose connections causing an arc in which you may ignite the fuel oil on the antenna, creating a really HOT situation in a bad place, above you, and likely above the house. Oil stays lit for a while hence why Zippo lighters are band in some environments, and with the burning for a while it doesn't stop being on fire simply because it falls, thus allowing it to potentially ignite a roof top, which will go over very well with the wife, who may not already be fond of our hobby, and have now a pretty darn good excuse for saying no more antennas!

I could be entirely incorrect on this idea, but either way, my luck my logic, and my antenna say no way to the idea!

Lighter fluid is very good to use as a cleaning agent. Also, have you ever left a Zippo lighter laying around unused? The fluid will evaporate very quickly, especially on something exposed to air. The likelihood of an antenna catching fire is so slim it's almost laughable to suggest it.

W8XV
01-22-2009, 04:56 AM
Why would you use lighter fluid?

My thoughts are that the oils will eventually dry out, but not before attracting a thick layer of dirt, and other particles in the air.

I can see it being used for short term weatherizing but that would be really short term in my thought, likely no more then a month. as the oil would also drip and pool at the bottom of the contraption.

One danger I see is also loose connections causing an arc in which you may ignite the fuel oil on the antenna, creating a really HOT situation in a bad place, above you, and likely above the house. Oil stays lit for a while hence why Zippo lighters are band in some environments, and with the burning for a while it doesn't stop being on fire simply because it falls, thus allowing it to potentially ignite a roof top, which will go over very well with the wife, who may not already be fond of our hobby, and have now a pretty darn good excuse for saying no more antennas!

I could be entirely incorrect on this idea, but either way, my luck my logic, and my antenna say no way to the idea!

:eek: :eek: :eek: It is being used as a cleaner. It isn't used to fill the inside of the antenna to the top once assembled. :D

KD8DEY
01-22-2009, 12:57 PM
:eek: :eek: :eek: It is being used as a cleaner. It isn't used to fill the inside of the antenna to the top once assembled. :D

Only as an emergency measure when the light goes out on the tower. :D

PY7CPC
01-22-2009, 01:42 PM
I operate from Recife, Brazil. My qth is on a beach bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. My aluminium antennas get oxidized presenting a white rough surface (reaction of sea water spray with the tubing). My local ham colleagues advise me not to polish the tubing when I remove the antenna for maintenance. They advise to only clean with fine abrasive paper the contact points where the screws (stainless steel) go in and apply a covering of penetrox in the region. The reason is that the aluminium surface of the tube
is eletrocoated (galvanized?) and polishing would remove this treatment. I would like to hear comments in this regard i.e. if this procedure has a scientific basis.

W7GIB
01-22-2009, 01:49 PM
Why? I can see cleaning the connection points and appling a thin coat of NOLOX. However the oxide coating on aluminum actually prevents oxidation.

If you want a PRETTY antenna that is one thing. But it will not make it work better, electrons just do not appreciate that kind of thing.

Wash with clean water and soft cloth. Any abrasive rubbing just opens up the aluminum to more contact with the air.

The same applies when Silver turns black. The oxidation does not harm the connection at all, it just looks black. Removing the oxidation, just speeds up the oxidation process.

KA4DPO
01-22-2009, 06:04 PM
I have had a lot of experience rehabbing old antennas so I will just share my own experience. The Blue Coral and Nano-Polish can make the aluminum look good with a lot of rubbing. But consider they are made for the Harley type guys who have no intention of spraying their finished job with Krylon. I did some experimenting with both on some oxidized tubing. Sure looked pretty but didn't give an absolutely film free surface for later sparying of Krylon. I have settled on a product called Nice n Easy sold at most True Value hardwares. It's a clear liquid with the viscosity of water. Use it in the shade to keep it from quickly drying and paint on a couple of coats. After it sort of lathers into a white foam hose it off well before it starts to dry. You will find about 95% of the oxidation is gone. Then for a nice finish some rubbing with the fine Scotch Brite pads mentioned above. There are other products that are undoubtedly out there and may be regional. But looking for something for the purpose at hand which contains phosphoric acid and a small amount of hydroflouric acid is what you want.

And I certainly agree with Pentatrox or No-Alox on all joints. Then after you are finished tuning the antenna to the best you can is the time for a spray of Krylon. Don't spray it before final assembly. And of course all the above is just my experience and humble opinion.

73 and best to you,

Russ

If you want a film free surface after polishing simple rub them down with alcohol. Then spray all Krylon you want..........

KB4QAA
01-22-2009, 07:10 PM
Scotch Brite pads from the grocers or hardware work fine, and do even better when used wet with water, alcohol or mineral spirits.

The ultimate cleaner is something called Aluma-Prep, which is a mild acid etching solution available at automotive paint stores in quart containers. It bubbles and fizzes a bit when applied. Rinse with water and let dry.

The ultimate anti-corrosion preparation is Alodyne, a chromium chemical surface treatment, again available in automotive paint stores in quart containers. Keep this off your hands and out of the environment. Aluma-Prep and Alodyne are used on aircraft aluminum parts and antennas can be bonded directly to the aircraft skin so treated.

Bill

N2HUN
01-22-2009, 10:54 PM
Well I want to thank all of you for your kind consideration and ideas, I think I have enough to go by to start a successful cleanup.

73's to all and thanks again.

N2HUN

KA0GKT
01-25-2009, 05:48 AM
Rollite metal polish works really well, plus, if you use a little elbow-grease, your antenna will shine as if it was chrome plated!.

Rollite is used to polish aluminum aircraft and when applied to an airstream trailer makes the surface mirror-like.