Application Note 12 - Broadcast Equipment
- What is Stabilant 22?
- Stabilant 22 is an initially non-conductive block polymer which when used in a thin film
between metal contacts becomes conductive under the effect of an electrical field. This occurs
at an electric field gradient such that the material will remain non-conductive between adjacent
contacts in a multiple pin environment. In addition, Stabilant 22 exhibits surfactant action,
as well as lubrication ability providing a single component resident solution to virtually all
When applied to electromechanical contacts, Stabilant 22 can provide the connection reliability of a soldered joint without bonding the contact surfaces.
- What are its uses in broadcast equipment?
- Stabilant 22 can be used wherever electrical contacts are used, whether this is connectors, or in switches. In broadcast applications the number of
places where Stabilant 22, 22A or 22E can be employed are almost too numerous to list. When a entire audio mixer is treated (including socketed
ICs and card-edge connectors) it not unusual to find that the distortion and signal-to-noise figures are improved substantially as well as increasing
the reliability of the mixer.
Many consoles employ ITT-Schadow switches; these can be serviced very quickly using Stabilant 22A, by first flushing them out with isopropyl alcohol and then injecting the switch with Stabilant 22A.
TV switches often suffer from erratic switching as well as noise, Stabilant 22 or 22A will cure these problems.
Microphonics in connectors can be especially troublesome in portable equipment, Stabilant 22 or 22A will stop this.
In critical Audio work involving long signal runs, Stabilant 22 on the XLR connector will not only cut noise, but will, in many cases, improve the sound by stopping high-order harmonic distortion caused by thin film rectification effects.
In audio patch bays, Stabilant 22 is recommended for ring, tip, and sleeve plugs and jacks. Unlike some of the other protective oils which will cross-link (varnish) under the effects of the free sulfur in the brass, Stabilant 22 is chemically stable and therefore, need not be periodically cleaned off and replaced.
In video patch bays, Stabilant 22 will cut losses and eliminate noise.
In recording equipment, the connections to the playback heads can be a source of distortion and noise. Stabilant 22A can be applied to the connectors to eliminate these problems.
We have even been told that some stations are applying Stabilant 22 to the finger -stock contacts used on transmitting tubes in order to reduce parasitic.
RF interference is a constant problem. With the passage of time, connectors often build up thin films that act as crude rectifiers. This source of RF interference can be eliminated by using Stabilant 22.
- Why should we use Stabilant over less expensive alternatives?
- Granted that the material itself is expensive, however it is unique in having a very long useful life once in place. Unlike other so-called
contact treatments, Stabilant 22 will not cross-link (becoming varnish-like) under the action of sulfur based curing agents in
elastomers, cutting oil residues, or the sulfur-bearing free-machining metal alloys used in some contacts. In most types of service work,
the cost of the down-time involved in removing and replacing a board will be much greater than the cost of the Stabilant used to treat the
board. Here what is important is that not only will the proper board treatment cure existing contact problems, it will prevent others from
occurring, thus eliminating the necessity of repeating the treatment at a later date!
In other words, why do a job more than once?
- In what forms is Stabilant available?
- The Stabilants are available in several forms. As a concentrate (Stabilant 22), an isopropyl
alcohol-diluted form (Stabilant 22A), and an ethyl alcohol diluted form (Stabilant 22E).
For example, a given size container of Stabilant 22A will cost about one-fifth the amount of a
container of Stabilant 22 as it contains only one-fifth the amount of the concentrate. Another form
of packaging is available. Stabilant 22S packages the concentrate such that it occupies one-fifth the
volume of an otherwise empty container. This allows the end-user to add his own diluent, and thus saves the
added costs of shipping the diluent (e.g.: isopropyl alcohol), as well as allowing the end-user to use an
alternate diluent such as one of the Freon-based solvents.
In addition a 0.5 ml vial of Stabilant 22A is available for manufacturers to include with plug-in circuit boards
- What is the difference in use of these materials?
- Stabilant 22 is most useful where the connections are out in the open - such as card-edge connectors or where the lubricating properties of the material are useful -such as an aid to installing microprocessor IC's or on switches. Where the connections are not too easy to get at or where the user wishes to apply the material to something such as a socketed IC (without removing the IC from its socket), it is easier to use the alcohol diluted form (Stabilant 22A or Stabilant 22E). The alcohol diluent serves ONLY to carry the concentrate into the connector.
- Is it available in a spray can?
- No. Why waste the material? We would like to think we are environmentally responsible and safety conscious. This ruled out
the use of either a chlorofluorocarbon or highly inflammable mixture of butane and propane as a propellant.
In addition even Stabilant 22A for example, has only about 71200th the solvent impact as conventional contact cleaning solvents, over a three year time span. As Stabilant 22 contains no solvent it has absolutely minimal environmental impact and is, therefore, becoming the treatment of choice for many service organizations!
- Is Stabilant 22 just another contact cleaner?
- No, Stabilant 22 is a resident potentially electrically active material which through a synergistic combination of effects enhances conductivity within a contact without causing leakage between adjacent contacts. Thus large quantities of the material do not have to be "hosed" on, as is the case with cleaners.
- Just how much should be used?
- Normally, a final film thickness of from 0.5 to 2 mils of the concentrate is all that it necessary. In other
words, you want just enough to fill up the interstices between the contact's faces. When using Stabilant 22A,
or Stabilant 22E, use enough so that once the isopropyl alcohol (or ethyl alcohol), evaporates the desired
0.5 to 2 mil film of Stabilant 22 remains.
In applications to moving surfaces, such as in slip-rings or potentiometers, film thickness should be minimized to the point where "hydroplaning" won't occur.
- What is the 15 ml service kit?
- This was made up at the request of several manufacturers who wanted a standard kit that they could issue to their service personnel. It consists of a 15 ml dropper bottle of Stabilant 22A and some applicators, all in a small capped cardboard tube that can be tossed into a tool box without damage. As noted, we can provide these kits with special labels when large volume orders are involved.
- Why would anyone want to buy large quantities of the concentrate?
- Many manufacturers make large volume purchases, diluting the material for specific applicators used on their production lines.
Many end users have found that the material cuts their service costs so much that is more economical to purchase Stabilant 22 in the larger container sizes rather than run any risk of being without the material. The number of uses tends to increase users discover the large number of problems that can be solved by the material. One user routinely applies it to the flashlight switches and batteries it issues to its security guards and has reported that the number of requests for replacement units has dropped appreciably.
- How can I be sure that Stabilant works?
- The best way to find out just how well it works is to try it out; that's why we have samples available. Almost every service shop or manufacturer has equipment available where the switches or connectors have become erratic over the years. Use Stabilant 22/22A/22E on them and satisfy yourself. A word of caution. Don't try to evaluate Stabilant 22's performance on brand new connectors. Instead, use it on connectors that are corroded, or dirty or just plain unreliable. We are sure that any organization dealing with electronics will have at least one piece of unreliable equipment on which the Stabilants can be tested!
- What are some pieces of equipment on which Stabilant 22 has been used?
- McCurdy Consoles - SS 8824e, SS 8400, SS 8448, SS 8700, SS 8600
- Ampex - ATR 100
- ITC Cart Machines - Deltas
- Broadcast Electronics - BE 250
- McMartin - B801
- and many, many others.
- Can I use Stabilant 22 in other equipment?
- Yes, it can be used in test equipment, cameras, just about everywhere there's a low-voltage signal or control connection. For example,
the effect of Stabilant 22 in Computers is to reduce the number of times the system locks-up or crashes, sometimes it even
eliminates non-software crashes completely.
When used on socketed IC's, photo-couplers/isolators, rotary, push button, or slide switches, or even on BNC connectors, the net effect is usually to make the proper operation of the equipment less erratic, and in the case of IEEE-488A buss- controlled equipment, to cut down on the potential for system lock-ups.
- Is Stabilant hazardous to use?
- Stabilants have very low oral toxicity. Under normal workplace conditions no skin sensitization effects have been noted. In the undiluted form, it is non-flammable although if heated above 200° Celsius the decomposition products would burn. And Stabilants are environmentally friendly materials.
- What is the best way to apply Stabilant to a contact?
- The 15 ml (and the 50 ml) container have "controlled-dropper" type caps that allows Stabilant 22A to be applied directly to such components as socketed IC's, switches, connectors, etc. Some end users prefer to use industrial syrettes to apply the material. Camel's hair brushes can be used to brush it on card-edge connectors or they could be dipped into the dilute material. Most metering type liquid dispensing systems can be used as well.
- Does the action of Stabilant deteriorate with age?
- In some field trial applications lasting over fifteen years Stabilant 22 has shown no sign of reduced effectiveness. With a high molecular weight and a very low vapor pressure, little is lost by evaporation. Unlike some other contact protection oils, Stabilant 22 will not cross-link when exposed to free machining materials such as high sulfur brass, or when used on contacts where agents used to promote cross linking of thermosets or elastomers are present in the environment or in the actual connector components. Unlike non-saturated oils, Stabilant 22 does not "varnish".
Stabilants™ are a product of Dayton Wright research & development and are made in Canada
NATO Supply Code 38948
15 ml of S22A has NATO Part # 5999-21-900-6937