Cleaning RK05 packs (Was: LGP-30 Memory Drum Update)

Lyle Bickley lbickley at
Thu Jan 5 17:49:18 CST 2017

On Thu,  5 Jan 2017 08:22:05 -0500 (EST)
jnc at (Noel Chiappa) wrote:

>     > From: Klemens Krause  
>     > We clean our RK05 disks in a very robust way: with cheap
>     > burning spirit and paper towels. ... We rubbed away thick black
>     > traces from occasional head crashes and we never removed the
>     > oxide coating with this torture.  
> I am about to get a large batch of RK05 packs, so I am interested in
> the details of this.
> First, what is 'burning spirit'? (I assume this is a straight
> translation into English of some German term, but not knowing
> German... :-) After poking around with Google for a while (hampered
> no little by the fact that it's the name of a band, and also a term
> in World of Warcraft :-), it seems like it might be acetone?

I'm sure I've discussed cleaning packs on this list before, but here
goes again :)

I've cleaned a LOT of RL02 and RK05 packs. Both are relatively easy to
clean, but patience is definitely a virtue.

1) I clean the external surface of the pack with a damp cloth to
eliminate dirt and dust. Then I dry off any dampness with a clean, dry

2) I open (unscrew or unclip depending on the model) the pack and
carefully set the screws (if any) in a clean (dust free) plastic box.

3) I examine the pack surface for crashes - and if there are visible
"hits" or "groves" in the pack, I discard it immediately.

4) Assuming the surface is good, I then use Lint Free Professional
Swabs saturated with Pure Anhydrous Isopropyl Alcohol (99.953% pure) to
clean the entire surface of the disk.

5) If there are any dirt buildup spots (NOT the result of a crash), I
use Lint Free Professional Chamois Swabs, saturated with the above
Alcohol, to gently clean up the spot. BTW, in my experience, this step
is rarely required.

6) After cleaning, I use a Lint Free Texwipe to GENTLY clean the entire
surface of any dust or other particulate.

6) I then clean all of the internal casing using Texwipe and the
above alcohol.

7) I re-assemble the disk and examine it for any dust particles with a
bright LED flashlight. If there are any visible dust particles, I use a
filtered air supply to blow away the dust.

NOTE: When replacing screws in packs, be super careful not to tighten
the screws too hard. Tightening too much can strip the plastic threads
and introduce plastic particulate on to the disk.

I've cleaned over 40 RL0x and RK05 packs using this method - and all
have subsequently worked perfectly.

NOTE: All of the above products are available online or at any
electronic supply house. The Pure Anhydrous Isopropyl Alcohol on the
container says: "For cleaning fiber optics, semi-conductors, contacts,
magnetic tape, medical equipment and other electronic devices. Zero
residue". Cost here in Silicon Valley is about $8 for 1 Litre.

73                AF6WS
Bickley Consulting West Inc.

"Black holes are where God is dividing by zero"

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