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Author Topic: Stabilant 22 contact enhancer (not expelled from snakes!)  (Read 217 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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Stabilant 22 contact enhancer (not expelled from snakes!)
« on: February 27, 2018, 04:10:29 PM »
The most common audio problems for me over the years as a taper have revolved around connection intermittencies.  Dirty contacts, loose or ill-fitting connections, cracked solder joints, extension cables.. the more components that are chained together and the more channels I'm running, the more potential points of failure there are, not so much from the components or microphones themselves as the connections required to join them.

I long ago learned the value of using a quality contact cleaner whenever such problems arise and working that in to a more regular maintenance routine. 95-99% alcohol works well to banish intermittency and static based on finger oils and other accumulated dirt and grime on contacts, and the Radio Shack and Caig products have worked even better in this regard, also providing a degree of protection and insertion-lubrication.

I'd come across Stabilant 22 on the Posthorn site years ago. [link-]

It is described as being- "an initially non-conductive long-chain organic block polymer that switches to a conductive state only when used in a thin film within the interstices of a contact pair. It remains non-conductive on the insulating surface between adjacent contacts. Thus, by remaining resident within the contacts, it improves connector reliability within a contact set without causing signal leakage problems between adjacent contacts.  Its advantage lies not in making new contacts better, but in keeping contacts operating as if they were new, while making old contacts function perfectly despite the ravages of time and adverse environments. In simple terms, Stabilant 22 provides the reliability of a soldered joint without producing a mechanical bond."

Seemed rather costly and somewhat veiled in mystery about exactly how it did what it claimed, so I filed away the info in the back of my mind as something to look into further at some point. 

Recently I've had a recurring intermittentcy issue with a multi-conductor connector (6-pin mini-XLR) which thorough cleaning alone could not remedy completely, and I did not have the time to secure and re-solder a new connector prior to an upcoming event.  I wasn't certain if it was the solder joints to the connector, loose pin-mating with the opposing connector, or what.  This was one of those "hold it just right and it works" type problems which was getting progressively worse, so I decided to give Stabilant 22 a try.

Bought some, mixed it as directed, and applied it to this problematic connector as well as all the others in the rig.  It worked a charm, completely eliminating the problem.  I didn't have a problem all weekend, despite jostling and repeated disconnection and reconnection.  Did it also make the otherwise non-problematic connections sound better as some claim?  Possibly. Certainly didn't hurt.  I sort of put it in the prophylactic category of helping preventing a common problem before it occurs and ruins a recording. 

Anyway, I'm now convinced it's not snake oil.  I've since mentioned it to a electronic repair acquaintance who winked and said it's his secret weapon for IC pins, memory cards, and bus card connections.

Application note on microphone connections-
Application not on stereo connections-

[edit- I've no connection with the company, the stuff just worked really well for me.  Seems expensive for a tiny container, but it seems to go a long way, I only needed a single drop on each connector]
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 04:13:06 PM by Gutbucket »
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
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