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Battery Explosion Victim - too far gone? (SE/30 Logic Board)

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I took a risk on a non-bootable SE/30 in the hopes it was just a dead hard drive.


Well, the hard drive works. And it came with an Ethernet card. The Sony power supply seems to be working fine, and I would imagine the screen is probably OK too.  


But sadly, the logic board does not due to a battery acid exploding some time when Michael Jackson was still alive.  And that thing, it caused some of the frame to rust, caused part of the interference-shield cover to get eaten away, and frankly was pretty impressive on how much evil was originally contained in that battery. 


I thought to take some photos of the damages - you can see traces, metal pins and entire components gone.  I did a light isopropyl alcohol (90%) wash with a brush to get the pileup off of the board, but I'm feeling a bit skeptical about either trying to do further cleanup or whether it's even worth it.


Pics for highlights - hopefully it's high enough resolution for you to enjoy the carnage and give some feedback.  How much would it cost for me to send to someone who is skilled in fixing these things?


Also - I have access to an ultrasonic cleaner - I do see professional repair outfits using this to get rid of some of the horrible stuff on boards (water damage, corrosion, etc.) -  I understand the caveats and of course won't even power it up because it's missing so many components anyway - but would it make sense to do that even before sending it out for further repair (or component replacement attempts)?


Close up of where the battery used to be and the aftermath:



Corresponding back-side of board - note some pins have corrosion, some seem to be black?



Some of the hell-slurry flowed down the first SIMM (with seemingly minimal damage) and seemed to pool a little in the corner



Backside of the pooled corner


Edited by gogopuffs
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Dang. Sorry to hear the news.


Well, I've got a mostly happy Mac SE/30 with a repaired Astec power supply (had to replace the input filter caps with modern versions) that does NOT have an ethernet card, which this Mac will donate.  Would it be worth swapping in the Sony power supply from this Mac?


The external case appearance is in good condition, and even the rusty bits could be sanded down and primed, so it'd be a shame to completely trash the lot.


Ultimately I guess I'll chalk this up to a slightly expensive and convoluted Ethernet card purchase.  I think I'll throw it in the dishwasher just to see what kind of visual difference it makes - it's already a sunk cost at this point!




PS - Louis Rossmann doesn't do these kind of oldsters either. ;)


Edited by gogopuffs
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FYI - (dish and others) Soap is a base, which neutralizes any kind of acid that would be active (if there were any left - the battery and its holder were removed if you noticed in the photo).


Note that the acid basically wore itself out eating up various components and is no longer active. 


Lots of people use the dishwasher to clean electronics components - if this was a legitimate concern, the practice would not be as popular as it is with many repair communities.



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Too bad about your board - I got a motherboard with the same damage, but even so, my SE/30 was still a good deal, and it sounds like yours was too.  I view my MB as a potential source of spare parts.


Not sure that washing the boards in the family dishwasher is the best idea - not so concerned about battery acid, but more about the lead contained in old electrical components.  The dilution that occurs may be sufficient, but without doing a bit of qual/quant analysis, I would not give it a blanket approval from the anecdotal evidence.


That being said, I've done the same thing.  Until I start washing more boards than dishes, I'm not too worried.

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Sooooo... washing a PCB in a dishwasher is stupid? Hmmm... ok. Considering we wash PCBs that come out of the wave soldering machine at our shop in basically the same thing, mostly to get the flux residue off. Just an industrial version of it. 

Edited by techknight
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techknight, perhaps you missed the earlier posts about doing this in a domestic dishwasher which usually people use to wash their food dishes. Why would I care about washing PCBs in a machine designated for that purpose?


Some people may not care about contaminating their domestic dishwasher with lead, battery acid, electrolytic fluid, and whatever other nastiness is on a 30 year old pcb. Yes, I call that stupid. If they want to risk exposing their family to those chemicals, fine. I point it out so that at least it's a conscious decision instead of just going along with a "popular practice" they read on the internet. Just don't invite me over for dinner.

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I seen worse. If you are very lucky, it might be salvageable. If these old Macs had the same PDF style Ctrl+F schematics with the digital board views like newer logic boards have, repairs like this would be much easier..


Dishwasher is a nice idea, but I doubt it will help. This residue that these red Maxell leave is extremely resistant. I even had to use polishing wheel with a dremel do get all off in some boards.

I wouldn't hesitate on putting in a dishwasher with the regular dirty dishes, as this acid is inert by now.

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Some people may not care about contaminating their domestic dishwasher with lead, battery acid, electrolytic fluid, and whatever other nastiness is on a 30 year old pcb. Yes, I call that stupid. If they want to risk exposing their family to those chemicals, fine.

If you choose not to do it, that's fine, but let's be realistic here: with any chemical compound the harm is in the dose, and realistically speaking, how much of these poisonous compounds do *really think* could be transferred to your dishes by washing them in a dishwasher that had an old PCB washed in it at some point? (I'll grant that washing the dishes *with* the PCB probably wouldn't be a brilliant idea, but I assume you wouldn't be doing that regardless because you shouldn't be using dish soap on your PCB.) What chemical *in particular* do you think is so toxic and pervasive that your dishwasher will be ruined forever if you wash a board in it?


The lead concern is pretty laughable: lead doesn't actually vaporize at temperatures less than 450 degrees C, which means unless you're using *far* too hot of an iron the risk of inhaling lead is actually pretty minimal. The only lead likely to come off a circuit board in your washer would be small loose particles of lead dross/dust, and that's going to be readily rinsed down the drain. For it to pose any risk at all a sizeable chunk would have to come loose, wedge somewhere inside the washer's re-circulation pump, and then sit there poisoning the water that passes by it, but even that's unlikely because for lead to leech into water it generally has to sit there; flowing water past lead is generally fairly safe; if you live in a city that has any plumbing more than 40 years old or so there's probably lead joints in the municipal water supply that, unless your water supply gets switched over to some horribly caustic source (IE, like Flint) that removes the protective lead oxide layer, aren't too much to lose sleep over.


As for the other things, well, sure, it's hypothetically possible something like a battery electrolyte might have trace amounts of mercury or something, maybe, but again, how much do you *really* think is going to stick all over your dishwasher and then get transferred to your food? Let's imagine there's a few micrograms of mercury lurking on the motherboard you wash off, and miraculously all that mercury ends up coating every internal surface of your dishwasher instead of getting washed down the drain: how much of that is then going to subsequently end up on your plate, and then transfer from your plate to your mouth when the food touches it? (What percentage of that mercury leaves the washer to deposited on the plate with each load, anyway?) In no time at all we're looking at positively homeopathic-levels of dilution, and if you're worried about that, well, hate to break it to you, the whole world is coated with toxic and carcinogenic compounds in likewise (or, in many cases, substantially less) minuscule amounts.


Technically speaking every time you eat a chunk of grilled protein you're intentionally ingesting mutagenic compounds so, by extension, if you've ever washed a dish that had a nice charred steak on it in your dishwasher you've already coated it with potential carcinogens. So... I dunno, maybe we're getting a little to heavy with the condemnation here.

Edited by Gorgonops
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