I salvage good components and precious metals from old electronics, one of the reasons I do this is cost and the other is availability. The closest electronics store to me is a day trip just to find out if they carry what I want, and just because you can view it on line doesn’t mean they ship to where you live.
A large amount of old high tech electronics like this radar unit is made with solid high grade silver and gold components and wires. The problem with a lot of these high grade silver components is they oxidize like these BNC connectors, and you can’t just polish them like silverware. But they can be restored to like new condition.
In this Instructable I am going to show you how to restore these components with the least invasive or corrosive method available.
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Step 1: Tools & Materials
1 Liter or 1 quart Water
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
A Piece of Aluminum Foil
1 Soldering Iron to remove the core conductor from the core pins.
1 Screwdriver if needed to remove screws.
1 Tablespoon, When measuring your ingredients you do not have to be precise so an ordinary tablespoon will do.
Thin wrenches or needle nose pliers and ordinary pliers, the slots on these BNC and coaxial cable connectors is very narrow and broad pliers and wrenches will not fit into the slots.
Fine Screened Sieve, you want a sieve with small enough holes in it to capture the BNC core pins.
Soft Dry Rags
Soft Dry Brush
Step 2: Disassemble the BNC Connectors
When you dissemble the connectors this is a good time to make a schematic or diagram of the connectors. Schematics and assembly diagrams are hard to get for older components so make your own. The schematics and diagrams are also helpful when you go to assemble the parts if you want to reuse them. You can label the parts or just make an assembly diagram.
Male core pin
Female core pin
Male BNC body
Female BNC body
Most of the parts just unscrew with thin wrenches or pliers and pull apart, however on these BNC connectors the male core pin and the female core pin is soldered to the core conductor of the coaxial cable. The core pins will need to be de-soldered.
Separate the non-silver parts from the silver parts; you do not need to remove the body insulators from the BNC bodies.
Step 3: Cleaning the Silver
This is the most non invasive methods of cleaning silver I know and it works on everything from silverware to jewelry.
Start by putting a pot with 1 liter or 1 quart of water on the stove to boil.
Form the piece of aluminum foil into a bowl and submerge it in the water.
When the water comes to a full boil add the one tablespoon of baking soda and the silver BNC parts in the center of the aluminum foil. The water should foam up a bit when you add the baking soda.
Let the parts simmer for a minute, for really dirty parts let simmer for five minutes.
Dump the contents of the pot into a fine screen sieve and rinse with cold water so you can handle the parts.
The BNC parts will be coated with a white powder and flakes of silver oxide.
Using a clean dry cloth and a soft dry brush wipe off the water, white powder, and silver oxide.
Step 4: Like New BNC Connecters
I partially assembled the BNCs to keep track of the parts, now you have BNC connectors that look and work like new. With a step by step assembly diagram, all I need now is a project to make use of the parts.