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Discussion Starter #1
I'm interested in getting suggestions for reasonably priced and effective cleaning/lubrication solutions for HDMI (or any other electrical signal) connectors. I live in Florida and over the last couple of years I have been noticing especially during the springtime connection issues. Occasionaly digital noise and dropouts (either white or black half screen intermittent flashes) on my Blu-ray/DVD player output. My signal chain is from a Sony BDP-360 to Onkyo AVR to Panasonic Plasma HDTV.

It seems if I clean the connections with some Radio Shack Color Tuner Cleaner spray I had around the house it goes away for about a year then comes back. Anyone have any similar problems and maybe some cleaning suggestions that are more permanent for high humidity evironments?
 

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An eraser works well or using a q tip with a little isopropal alcohol works also.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
An eraser works well or using a q tip with a little isopropal alcohol works also.
You sound as though you have worked with PCBs. For edge card connections on PCBs that was a decent idea and generally helped. However, with HDMI (and the 18-20 micro sized) connection points that are difficult to see, let alone physically get to especially without doing any damage is the trick (or risk).

I would think that a spray on solution with some cleaning and lubricating properties that are not hazardous to the connetors materials would be great.

What does everybody use (if anything)?
 

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The best thing I know of is De-Oxit (formerly known as Cramolin).
Is this what you are referring to "CAIG Laboratories DeoxIT Gold"? It seems Caig has a large number of products! The connections that I am interested in cleaning and keeping clean are not visibly oxidized nor dirty. Mainly, HDMI or low level signal type connections.

Have you used this product or is it something else? Any long term problems with it's use?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is this what you are referring to "CAIG Laboratories DeoxIT Gold"?

Have you used this product or is it something else? Any long term problems with it's use?
Has anyone else used a different connector cleaning solution for HDMI connectors? The problem that I seem to have is probably with high humidity and light corrosion (not visible with the naked eye). I have even had the same problem with computer USB connections that have not be used on a regular basis.

Anybody?
 

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Is this what you are referring to CAIG Laboratories DeoxIT Gold? It seems Caig has a large number of products! The connections that I am interested in cleaning and keeping clean are not visibly oxidized nor dirty. Mainly, HDMI or low level signal type connections.

Have you used this product or is it something else? Any long term problems with its use?
Yes, they also have a product specifically for treating to prevent future oxidation. The cleaner has some effect on that but is primarily for cleaning.

Most problems with HDMI connectors are the fit and tension from the weight and inflexibility of the cable. I recommend some form of strain relief if you are having problems.
 

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Most problems with HDMI connectors are the fit and tension from the weight and inflexibility of the cable. I recommend some form of strain relief if you are having problems.
This makes sense. It could be that the reason they work after you clean them, is that because you had to disconnect and reconnect them for cleaning.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Is replacing the cables an option....
Well, that would certainly clean 1/2 half the connection point - the new cable end, but not the mating surface. As another poster suggests that removing and reconnecting the existing connection point does in fact does bring temporary relief after several insertions. However, without some type of permanent electrical lubricate that remains, the connection gets noisy again after several months or a year.

Does anyone on a regular basis clean there connectors - like once a year? What do you use? Or is this just a Florida curse?
 

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I have never had to clean any HDMI connection here in Gainesville. Every connection problem Ii ever saw was due to cable strain or broken or loose connectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have never had to clean any HDMI connection here in Gainesville. Every connection problem I ever saw was due to cable strain or broken or loose connectors.
That may be a possiblity. The connections do get bumped around when I try and vacuum the dust from the 5 cooling fans and ventilation holes on the back of my plasma HDTV. However, the signal does not degrade after the dust removal. It unsually happpens when no one has touched anything - picture goes black or half white or digital noise throughout. This also only seems to happen in the springtime, the AC is not on continuously and windows are sometimes open, therefore higher humidity.

I have had other connection issues with CAT-5 ethernet cable for my network and PC USB cables for external hard drive storage. These were corrected with wiping action of doing several insertions. That's why I'm thinking it is cleaning issue for the HDMI connections.

If I were to check for bad cable or bad connector, what would be a method to confirm the intermittent problem?
 

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I have wired basic electrical and complex control panels at a large ranch near the ocean. Over time the air there will completely corrode any connection that is not in a sealed box. (NEMA 4 or 12). The point is that if you have high humidity or salt air then it definitely can affect contacts. Whether that is the case with your situation I don't know but it certainly could be.

What we use in all of our connections is basic anti-oxidation paste. It is primarily for aluminum conductors but it definitely helps against corrosion on copper. The only question in my mind is if there would be cross talk due to the paste being conductive. In which case you would need to take care and apply it to only the contacts and not apply a glob but carefully use maybe a small paintbrush with only enough to put a film on the contacts. Then plug it in and leave it alone.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The point is that if you have high humidity or salt air then it definitely can affect contacts. Whether that is the case with your situation I don't know but it certainly could be.
Yes, we live adjacent to a brackish (fresh and salt water mix) water rentention pond.

What we use in all of our connections is basic anti-oxidation paste. It is primarily for aluminum conductors...
It sounds like your experience is with external AC power distribution. My problem is with inside low level signals. However, I think the problem is similar.

Your anti-corrosion paste suggestion, I think is what the local cable/phone companies use for the underground cable connections around our neighborhood. I believe using it on HDMI connectors would probably be a problem due to it's conductive nature.

I have ordered some "D5S6 Deoxit Contact Cleaner Spray" to try. This is supposed to work for low level electrical signals. I let everyone know if and how it works when I get it.
 

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Correct. Conductive grease is used for discrete connections, not a multi-conductor connection like HDMI. De-oxit is the best choice.
 

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I agree, Icaillo has suggested a product that is hard to improve upon. DeOxit has been around for awhile. Other companies make similiar products but i believe DeOxit covers the full spectrum of connection maintainance needs. I've been using the contact cleaner, contact enhancer and contact sealer/enhancer for many years.



I have not done any research on the various products DeOxit sells but i did notice this one - the D Series. I still have work to do in learning about its history etc, but..., it cleans, protects, and enhances contacts for even HDMA and Cat connections. They are promoting a microscopic protective layer that enhances conductivity and recomended for use with ethernet cables etc etc.



I have to admit if Deoxit says it - i am inclined to believe it. Check it out...



https://caig.com/deoxit-d-series/


If you try it..., Keep us in the loop on this one would you.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, I just wanted to give an update on my experience with this old, but still pertinent question. The HDMI cable that generated the original question was going to our Panasonic Plasma HDTV. This cable was replaced and we had no further problems with that connection. I did purchase and use DeOxit D5 spray for connections that I have problems with - such as video picture artifacts, audio signals that cut out and computer or USB connectors that seem to have more friction or grab instead of inserting smoothly and easily. I have had occasional inconsistent operation of external computer USB hard drives with dirty/contaminated/corroded connectors. Applying DeOxit D5 eliminated or reduced the frequency of these problems, especially if you apply it preventively when doing normal maintenance or cleaning/dusting.

However, just last year I installed a brand new Amazon Basics HDMI cable product between a brand new Sony AVR (for a 3.1 sound system) and a brand new Sony Blu-ray player. Within several months the video or audio (while playing a music CD) would intermittently cut out. If you jiggled the connector or disconnected and reconnected the cable for some wiping cleaning action, it once again would work for several days or weeks but the open connection would ultimately return. Yesterday, I just finished cleaning this connection again with DeOxit D5 after I was listening to a music CD and the music just completely cut out - I thought we had a summertime power loss. I really believe I have to replace the cable. No more Amazon Basics cables for me!

During the summertime in our central air-conditioned Florida house our humidity ranges between 52%-65%. I don't think this helps with delicate/small electrical connections!
 
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