Discussion:
sort of OT: UVC motherboard decontamination- ok or not ok?
(too old to reply)
OJ Oxford
2020-09-10 15:32:15 UTC
Permalink
This may be a bit OT, but since the latest Ubuntu will be installed on
the result, I thought I'd take the chance to ask this. The motherboard
on my laptop recently went bad and I received the new replacement
yesterday. Now, as with any package that has arrived here so far in the
last four months, I bathe all sides of enclosed items in UVC light for a
specified period of time to kill any bacteria or viruses present. All
items that have arrived so far have been either food, like soup cans,
sauces, etc or household items like extension cords, light bulbs, etc.
Sometimes I will just dip something like extension cords into a bleach/
water solution for 5-10 minutes, while not exposing the copper
conductors, and then spray the conductor ends separately with alcohol (I
am worried about a possible bleach- copper reaction over time causing
premature decay of the copper). The motherboard brings a new challenge:
will the UVC light affect any of the MB components in a negative way?
It was in an antistatic bag and I bathed both sides of the bag under the
UVC, but I'm not sure I want to do this with the motherboard itself as I
have read that some IC's, transistors, etc might be sensitive to UVC
light. Your thoughts would be welcome here. If UVC seems to risky, I
suppose I could let the board sit for a week before I handle it as I
don't see any other way to decon. One certainly can't spray it with 70%
iso and risk water damage.

Thanks in advance.
Dirk T. Verbeek
2020-09-10 15:40:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
This may be a bit OT, but since the latest Ubuntu will be installed on
the result, I thought I'd take the chance to ask this.  The motherboard
on my laptop recently went bad and I received the new replacement
yesterday.  Now, as with any package that has arrived here so far in the
last four months, I bathe all sides of enclosed items in UVC light for a
specified period of time to kill any bacteria or viruses present.  All
items that have arrived so far have been either food, like soup cans,
sauces, etc or household items like extension cords, light bulbs, etc.
Sometimes I will just dip something like extension cords into a bleach/
water solution for 5-10 minutes, while not exposing the copper
conductors, and then spray the conductor ends separately with alcohol (I
am worried about a possible bleach- copper reaction over time causing
will the UVC light affect any of the MB components in a negative way? It
was in an antistatic bag and I bathed both sides of the bag under the
UVC, but I'm not sure I want to do this with the motherboard itself as I
have read that some IC's, transistors, etc might be sensitive to UVC
light.  Your thoughts would be welcome here.  If UVC seems to risky, I
suppose I could let the board sit for a week before I handle it as I
don't see any other way to decon.  One certainly can't spray it with 70%
iso and risk water damage.
Thanks in advance.
UVC that can kill a virus is hard, although the times of EPROM's is far
behind us I'd be careful around a motherboard and other sensitive
electronics.

If you are /that/ worried I would suggest handling it with gloves and
wearing a face mask until done.
Andrew
2020-09-10 16:01:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
This may be a bit OT, but since the latest Ubuntu will be installed on
the result, I thought I'd take the chance to ask this. The motherboard
on my laptop recently went bad and I received the new replacement
yesterday. Now, as with any package that has arrived here so far in the
last four months, I bathe all sides of enclosed items in UVC light for a
specified period of time to kill any bacteria or viruses present. All
items that have arrived so far have been either food, like soup cans,
sauces, etc or household items like extension cords, light bulbs, etc.
Sometimes I will just dip something like extension cords into a bleach/
water solution for 5-10 minutes, while not exposing the copper
conductors, and then spray the conductor ends separately with alcohol (I
am worried about a possible bleach- copper reaction over time causing
will the UVC light affect any of the MB components in a negative way? It
was in an antistatic bag and I bathed both sides of the bag under the
UVC, but I'm not sure I want to do this with the motherboard itself as I
have read that some IC's, transistors, etc might be sensitive to UVC
light. Your thoughts would be welcome here. If UVC seems to risky, I
suppose I could let the board sit for a week before I handle it as I
don't see any other way to decon. One certainly can't spray it with 70%
iso and risk water damage.
Thanks in advance.
If you're worried about COVID19, my understanding is that the latest
evidence shows it doesn't survive long on hard surfaces. Any virus
particles will almost certainly have "died" during shipping, but to be
safe, and if you can afford to wait, why not just let the motherboard sit
for 3 or 4 days longer?

You also mentioned bacteria - if your concern is something else or you
want to be extra cautious, I don't know enough about the hardware to say
what exposure to a strong UV source would do.
--
Andrew Woodward
OJ Oxford
2020-09-10 16:13:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew
Post by OJ Oxford
This may be a bit OT, but since the latest Ubuntu will be installed on
the result, I thought I'd take the chance to ask this. The motherboard
on my laptop recently went bad and I received the new replacement
yesterday. Now, as with any package that has arrived here so far in the
last four months, I bathe all sides of enclosed items in UVC light for a
specified period of time to kill any bacteria or viruses present. All
items that have arrived so far have been either food, like soup cans,
sauces, etc or household items like extension cords, light bulbs, etc.
Sometimes I will just dip something like extension cords into a bleach/
water solution for 5-10 minutes, while not exposing the copper
conductors, and then spray the conductor ends separately with alcohol (I
am worried about a possible bleach- copper reaction over time causing
will the UVC light affect any of the MB components in a negative way? It
was in an antistatic bag and I bathed both sides of the bag under the
UVC, but I'm not sure I want to do this with the motherboard itself as I
have read that some IC's, transistors, etc might be sensitive to UVC
light. Your thoughts would be welcome here. If UVC seems to risky, I
suppose I could let the board sit for a week before I handle it as I
don't see any other way to decon. One certainly can't spray it with 70%
iso and risk water damage.
Thanks in advance.
If you're worried about COVID19, my understanding is that the latest
evidence shows it doesn't survive long on hard surfaces. Any virus
particles will almost certainly have "died" during shipping, but to be
safe, and if you can afford to wait, why not just let the motherboard sit
for 3 or 4 days longer?
This is what I'm leaning toward, just letting the MB, still in
antistatic bag, sit for a week before I install. There's no rush to
install as my backup is working fine. The goal is Covid elimination,
yes. I could decontaminate while it was still in the bag as the UVC
wouldn't have penetrated beyond the bag, but the actual board is a
different story.

My issue has always been the almost shambolic information about Covid,
some sources say a day, for example, concerning shipping boxes, then I
read that one of the early cruise ships still had areas of contamination
from swipes done 17 days later. I am assuming because maybe the virus
was in the ventilation system, but who knows.
Post by Andrew
You also mentioned bacteria - if your concern is something else or you
want to be extra cautious, I don't know enough about the hardware to say
what exposure to a strong UV source would do.
Dirk T. Verbeek
2020-09-10 17:06:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
My issue has always been the almost shambolic information about Covid,
some sources say a day, for example, concerning shipping boxes, then I
read that one of the early cruise ships still had areas of contamination
from swipes done 17 days later.  I am assuming because maybe the virus
was in the ventilation system, but who knows.
Inherent to our live there are risks.
You can try but will never succeed to eliminate all those risks and
personally I think the chance of catching a virus off of the shipped
motherboard is not worth worrying about.

Just consider, how long ago was it put into the anti-static bag?

So wear some gloves and wipe it, the content should be clean anyway.

And never believe anything you read on Social Media!
OJ Oxford
2020-09-10 18:09:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk T. Verbeek
Post by OJ Oxford
My issue has always been the almost shambolic information about Covid,
some sources say a day, for example, concerning shipping boxes, then I
read that one of the early cruise ships still had areas of
contamination from swipes done 17 days later.  I am assuming because
maybe the virus was in the ventilation system, but who knows.
Inherent to our live there are risks.
You can try but will never succeed to eliminate all those risks and
personally I think the chance of catching a virus off of the shipped
motherboard is not worth worrying about.
Just consider, how long ago was it put into the anti-static bag?
So wear some gloves and wipe it, the content should be clean anyway.
And never believe anything you read on Social Media!
I'm in the US, so I used the CDC info as a guideline for either decon or
virus death. Even so, some of the info has been questionable all along.
I haven't paid any attention to their contagion reports, for example,
since the start, totally chaotic!

Will wait a week, then start the replacement.
Andrew
2020-09-10 18:38:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by Andrew
Post by OJ Oxford
This may be a bit OT, but since the latest Ubuntu will be installed on
the result, I thought I'd take the chance to ask this. The
motherboard on my laptop recently went bad and I received the new
replacement yesterday. Now, as with any package that has arrived here
so far in the last four months, I bathe all sides of enclosed items in
UVC light for a specified period of time to kill any bacteria or
viruses present. All items that have arrived so far have been either
food, like soup cans, sauces, etc or household items like extension
cords, light bulbs, etc. Sometimes I will just dip something like
extension cords into a bleach/ water solution for 5-10 minutes, while
not exposing the copper conductors, and then spray the conductor ends
separately with alcohol (I am worried about a possible bleach- copper
reaction over time causing premature decay of the copper). The
motherboard brings a new challenge: will the UVC light affect any of
the MB components in a negative way? It was in an antistatic bag and I
bathed both sides of the bag under the UVC, but I'm not sure I want to
do this with the motherboard itself as I have read that some IC's,
transistors, etc might be sensitive to UVC light. Your thoughts would
be welcome here. If UVC seems to risky, I suppose I could let the
board sit for a week before I handle it as I don't see any other way
to decon. One certainly can't spray it with 70%
iso and risk water damage.
Thanks in advance.
If you're worried about COVID19, my understanding is that the latest
evidence shows it doesn't survive long on hard surfaces. Any virus
particles will almost certainly have "died" during shipping, but to be
safe, and if you can afford to wait, why not just let the motherboard
sit for 3 or 4 days longer?
This is what I'm leaning toward, just letting the MB, still in
antistatic bag, sit for a week before I install. There's no rush to
install as my backup is working fine. The goal is Covid elimination,
yes. I could decontaminate while it was still in the bag as the UVC
wouldn't have penetrated beyond the bag, but the actual board is a
different story.
As an afterthought, you could always install the motherboard now using
suitable PPE, then stress test the laptop for a few hours - the heat
would destroy any potential virus particles ... ;)
Post by OJ Oxford
My issue has always been the almost shambolic information about Covid,
some sources say a day, for example, concerning shipping boxes, then I
read that one of the early cruise ships still had areas of contamination
from swipes done 17 days later. I am assuming because maybe the virus
was in the ventilation system, but who knows.
I agree. It seems to me that, understandably, the science is evolving as
new evidence come to light. This is after all a *novel* Coronavirus. But
more importantly, the politicians only follow the science as long as it
agrees with their own agendas :(
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by Andrew
You also mentioned bacteria - if your concern is something else or you
want to be extra cautious, I don't know enough about the hardware to
say what exposure to a strong UV source would do.
--
Andrew Woodward
OJ Oxford
2020-09-10 19:04:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew
Post by OJ Oxford
My issue has always been the almost shambolic information about Covid,
some sources say a day, for example, concerning shipping boxes, then I
read that one of the early cruise ships still had areas of contamination
from swipes done 17 days later. I am assuming because maybe the virus
was in the ventilation system, but who knows.
I agree. It seems to me that, understandably, the science is evolving as
new evidence come to light. This is after all a *novel* Coronavirus. But
more importantly, the politicians only follow the science as long as it
agrees with their own agendas :(
I pulled the plug on the TV a year ago and haven't had it on since.
Most info I get online, but even that can be tricky these days.

I think what irritates me the most is that, apparently, folks "in the
know" didn't study the previous SARS enough to have any idea how to deal
with the current one. I guess long as it didn't affect money, political
power, and the like they just ignored it and the world is sure paying
the price for that now. Now, in all honesty, this is just my theory and
I could be way off base. I'm sure there's a lot more involved than
that, but I haven't had the time or desire really to study further.
Wes Newell
2020-09-10 17:23:22 UTC
Permalink
One certainly can't spray it with 70% iso and risk water damage.
I washed lots of circuit boards, including motherboards, with all kind
of chemicals, including soap and water, and rinsed them in hot water
then used a hair drier to dry them. Alcohol, no problem, many times.
--
http://wesnewell.ddns.net
https://github.com/wesnewell/Functionality
Jonathan N. Little
2020-09-10 17:56:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wes Newell
One certainly can't spray it with 70% iso and risk water damage.
I washed lots of circuit boards, including motherboards, with all kind
of chemicals, including soap and water, and rinsed them in hot water
then used a hair drier to dry them. Alcohol, no problem, many times.
Yes the import thing is the board must be dry and no residue is left
before power is supplied. What "kill" electronics is stuff like soda
which leaves a hygroscopic residue that absorbs water and is conductive
shorting connections. Also corrosive substances that causes oxidation
and resistance.

As others have said, yes COVID-19 is real but no real evidence it is
spread on hard surfaces. But if you want to be super-safe some 90%
isopropyl alcohol from a pharmacy works okay. Rossmann who does Mac
board level repairs liberally uses it on everything he touches...
--
Take care,

Jonathan
-------------------
LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
Allodoxaphobia
2020-09-11 15:52:27 UTC
Permalink
......
But if you want to be super-safe some 90%
isopropyl alcohol from a pharmacy works okay.
Unobtainium around here.
Jonathan N. Little
2020-09-11 16:51:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Allodoxaphobia
......
But if you want to be super-safe some 90%
isopropyl alcohol from a pharmacy works okay.
Unobtainium around here.
I was more wishful thinking. I have just a dribble left in my bottle,
and the stores here have been "alcohol-free" since March.
--
Take care,

Jonathan
-------------------
LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
OJ Oxford
2020-09-11 17:19:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan N. Little
Post by Allodoxaphobia
......
But if you want to be super-safe some 90%
isopropyl alcohol from a pharmacy works okay.
Unobtainium around here.
I was more wishful thinking. I have just a dribble left in my bottle,
and the stores here have been "alcohol-free" since March.
I have about ten bottles of 70% iso that I ordered from Walmart.com.
It's not always available there, but when it is/ was, I would try and
get the limit of 2 bottles. Reasonably priced and free shipping since I
almost always exceed the $35 minimum anyway. That being said, the
remaining water content is unknown in purity and I wouldn't have risked
it with electronics or anything else sensitive. One thing that needs
cleaned every so often are my UVC bulbs as dust or grease will affect UV
output. Just as an experiment, I cleaned a bulb one day with the 70%
iso and another with Everclear 190. Only the latter did not leave any
residue.
Mike Easter
2020-09-11 17:30:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
Everclear 190
That is also the most practical way for pharmacists to get modest
amounts of EtOH to be used as a diluent. Pay the tax as if it were a sin.

It is (otherwise) a big pain to get medical EtOH.
--
Mike Easter
OJ Oxford
2020-09-10 18:11:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wes Newell
One certainly can't spray it with 70% iso and risk water damage.
I washed lots of circuit boards, including motherboards, with all kind
of chemicals, including soap and water, and rinsed them in hot water
then used a hair drier to dry them. Alcohol, no problem, many times.
The only alcohol I've been able to get with any regularity since all the
mess began is 70% iso, but I don't trust the water mixed in that it
wouldn't have contaminants. The only thing I have more pure is
Everclear 190. I suppose I could put some into a spray bottle and then
dry with hair dryer if I wanted to.
Loading...