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What would you do if your
H.T. drops into WATER?
The "First Aid" you administer at the
time of the incident can save you money! If an antenna was on the
radio. remove it and submerge it in water until you are done working on
the radio and the battery pack. If it fell into SALT WATER, the faster
you disconnect the battery pack and get the SALT WATER out, the better,
and the quicker you rinse the SALT WATER out of the radio and battery pack
and replace it with fresh water the less damage will result! First
the battery pack: I don't know how well sealed the various brands of battery
packs are, but if the (very conductive) SALT WATER gets in, you need to
get it out, by replacing it with fresh water. If you don't remove it the
electroplating that will take place in the pack before the battery is run
down will make a real mess of things. If some SALT WATER gets in
the pack, and won't shake out and you can't fill it with fresh water (by
submerging it in a bucket or something, add a teaspoon of dish washing
detergent, to improve the "wetting action") you might need to take it apart
or remove one cover, and rinse it out under running tap water many times.
Now the Radio itself: The easiest way to clean out the H.T. itself is to
remove the back and rinse it out under a running stream of water. Repeatedly
drain and re-fill the entire unit a lot of times. Remember the H.T.
has a little battery in it, to maintain the frequencies, offset memories,
tones & etc. when the battery pack is removed. The quicker you
get the SALT WATER out the better the chances are that the wires will be
still be on the lithium cell or nicad pack, but expect the memory to be
wiped out. Dry it as discussed below. Remember to thoroughly
clean the radio's back, it's belt clip, and the antenna before you put
them back on the radio. Removing the fresh water may be easier than
replacing the (highly conductive) SALT WATER with (slightly conductive)
fresh water. Simply gently heat the pack to about 120 degrees f.
with the opening (if any - like the charging connector on battery packs)
down (on some toweling) and periodically pick it up and shake it to "sling"
the water out through the cracks or the charging hole. You can use
a hair drier set on its coolest warming setting or a household vacuum cleaner
(with the dust etc. blown out of the hose) set on exhaust, the motor will
eventually heat up and worm the air passing through it. - no oven!
Once dried you can test it, first on receive, if the speaker is distorted,
plug in an external one or try an earpiece. Some brands of radios
have plastic loudspeaker cones (usually mylar) others are paper, both can
be adversely affected by water immersion, and both types can survive a
"Hosing off." The little speakers can be removed from old (lightning
damaged) cordless 'phones for nothing and are found at surplus outlets
(local and mail order) for 75› or a dollar, usually. Whether you take your
radio straight to a local service center or try to control the damage yourself,
the "First Aid" you administer at the time of the incident can save you
money in the long run!
Ron KA4INM firstname.lastname@example.org