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Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:21 pm

It was probably just a matter of time, given that I frequently consume malt-based alcoholic beverages while sitting at or working near the computer. Tonight, after owning this keyboard for quite a few years, it happened. About half a pint of Stone Arrogant Bastard, right into the middle of the keyboard. Damnit!

I immediately removed it from the casing, and pulled off all the keycaps. There was definitely beer down in a number of the switches (they didn't feel right if you pressed them).

I rinsed the PCB and switches thoroughly under running water, then gave it a brief soak (complete immersion) in warm tap water while working all of the switches to try and get as much of the beer out as possible. The guts of the keyboard are now upside-down on a stationary rack in our clothes dryer, with the dryer running on its lowest setting. According to the thermometer I stuck in there with it, it is at 150F; I *think* that will be OK for the plastic switch housings.

The keycaps were thoroughly rinsed too, and are spread out on a towel to air dry.

I guess I'll know in a few hours whether it survived. If it does, it'll be cleaner than it has been in years. If there are a small number of dodgy switches, I do have about a half dozen spare MX blues I could swap in.

I'm currently using my spare keyboard (a Ducky Zero)...
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:36 pm

Well that sucks...hope all is well once it's all dried out. I just got my RK-9000V2 RGB this evening from the 12 Days Rosewill giveaway. Loving it so far! It has a few quirks, but that's mostly because I'm used to my other keyboard.


On the beer-related note, if you like stouts give Founder's Brewing Company's Breakfast Stout a shot. Good stuff.

The coffee lover’s consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and two types of coffee, this stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever.



And around the April timeframe, be on the lookout for Founder's KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout).

What we’ve got here is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. Makes your taste buds squeal with delight.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:47 pm

I did that a few months ago with my HTPC keyboard.  I managed to kill only the trackpad on it, but having the trackpad there is kind of the whole point for an HTPC, so it was off to Amazon I went to get a new one.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:06 pm

Just checked on the keyboard. The switches are starting to feel normal again when pressed, so I think the internal mechanisms are drying out nicely. I'm gonna give it another hour (at least) in the dryer, then we'll see if it sustained any permanent damage.

@curtisb - Yup, Founders makes some really nice beers. I've had both of those. Their Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale is really nice too.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:28 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Just checked on the keyboard. The switches are starting to feel normal again when pressed, so I think the internal mechanisms are drying out nicely. I'm gonna give it another hour (at least) in the dryer, then we'll see if it sustained any permanent damage.

@curtisb - Yup, Founders makes some really nice beers. I've had both of those. Their Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale is really nice too.

How long has it been?  Unless you have a pressing (haw) need for it, I would give it at least an overnight rest in the warmer.  Even a slight amount of moisture retained in a mechanism can cause havoc later.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:55 pm

I did the same thing to my current Unicomp Customizer (Model M remake) a couple years back. I attempted to clean it up and dry the keyboard out but the beer managed to soak into the matrix board. A few of the keys cease to work. I was forced to sent the keyboard back to Unicomp for service.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:58 pm

ludi wrote:
How long has it been?  Unless you have a pressing (haw) need for it, I would give it at least an overnight rest in the warmer.  Even a slight amount of moisture retained in a mechanism can cause havoc later.

Yeah, you're probably right. I'm not planning to stay up all night to keep resetting the dryer cycle though. I suppose I could just set it on top of a heat vent when I go to bed.

Krogoth wrote:
I did the same thing to my current Unicomp Customizer (Model M remake) a couple years back. I attempted to clean it up and dry the keyboard out but the beer managed to soak into the matrix board. A few of the keys cease to work. I was forced to sent the keyboard back to Unicomp for service.

I am hoping that the quick disassembly, followed by thorough rinse and dry, will prevent any issues in my case. We shall see.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:06 am

You'll have no issues reviving it. The wife spilled a Stone Imperial Russian Stout on my Rosewill Apollo...I took it apart, put it through the dishwasher, and after a drying period? Right as rain. Hell, better than it was, since it was cleaned of everything that had accumulated over a year. :lol:

Mark it as keyboard #3 I've put through the dishwasher after a drinking-related incident. All live today. :)
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:10 am

Waco wrote:
You'll have no issues reviving it. The wife spilled a Stone Imperial Russian Stout on my Rosewill Apollo...I took it apart, put it through the dishwasher, and after a drying period? Right as rain. Hell, better than it was, since it was cleaned of everything that had accumulated over a year. :lol:

Mark it as keyboard #3 I've put through the dishwasher after a drinking-related incident. All live today. :)

Huh... it would appear that Stone beers and Rosewill keyboards have an affinity for each other. That's a pretty weird coincidence.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:44 am

For some reason, I'm getting thirsty...

Hope everything turns out fine.
 
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:49 am

Success! Everything is re-assembled, all the keys work (and feel) fine, and it is cleaner than it has been in years. Had a minor "oh sh*t" moment when I got to the end and the 'c' key was missing. Found it folded up in the towel I'd dumped all the keycaps on to dry after rinsing them off.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:58 am

Awesome...great news! Glad it all worked out!
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:27 am

It probably helps that mechanical keyboards are based on older, simpler tech, and need to be a certain size to serve their intended function. The traces on the PCB and large enough and spaced far apart enough that galvanic corrosion isn't going to damage anything unless it is left wet with the power on for an extended period of time. As long as the switch contacts are clean and everything is dry, you're good to go.

I also found (after the fact) the thermal specs for MX switches; they are rated for up to 70C (158F), so the 150F dryer was just about right.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:04 am

Congrats.

keyboards are 5v USB and low current so the only real risk during spillage is if the controller isn't diode-protected and the short feeds too much power into it.

A good mechanical keyboard is unlikely to skimp on the $0.002 those diodes cost, so you can effectively do whatever you want to them as long as they're cleaned up quickly before corrosion sets in or before the spillage turns to hard glue.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:19 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
Congrats.

keyboards are 5v USB and low current so the only real risk during spillage is if the controller isn't diode-protected and the short feeds too much power into it.

A good mechanical keyboard is unlikely to skimp on the $0.002 those diodes cost, so you can effectively do whatever you want to them as long as they're cleaned up quickly before corrosion sets in or before the spillage turns to hard glue.

Given that a spill is most likely to soak the keyboard matrix (which generally doesn't have power voltages running around it), the controller should be relatively safe. In the RK-9000 the controller is in the upper right corner (under the LEDs), so the spill is also likely to run *away* from the controller once it hits the PCB, since the PCB is on an angle.

I did kill a controller (in my other RK-9000) once, by having a massive static electricity arc jump from my fingertip into the keyboard. It died in a very specific way: the Shift keys both stopped functioning. Turns out the original RK-9000 has a dedicated row in the keyboard matrix for the Shift keys, and I apparently killed the sense line for that row.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:01 pm

One of the keys is intermittently squeaking. Haven't been able to figure out which one yet, because it only happens rarely, and so far it has only happened when I'm typing really fast. Probably one of the "wide" keys like Spacebar, Enter, or Shift, since those have the hinges and wire stabilizers under them (the stabilizers are the usual culprit if a Cherry based 'board is making squeaking noises).

Rinsing the beer off probably washed away a lot of the existing lube. I should've just preemptively lubed all of the stabilizers when I put it back together.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:04 pm

Just lube it with another pint of ale.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:18 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Just lube it with another pint of ale.

Unfortunately that's only a temporary fix (until the ale dries). Well, I suppose it actually does cure the squeaking permanently... but not in a good way! :lol:
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:30 pm

Somehow I knew when I saw the title of this post on the front page that you were the topic author :wink:
 
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:48 pm

Meh. This is just some karma to pay back for that prize haul. :D
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:03 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Just checked on the keyboard. The switches are starting to feel normal again when pressed, so I think the internal mechanisms are drying out nicely. I'm gonna give it another hour (at least) in the dryer, then we'll see if it sustained any permanent damage.

@curtisb - Yup, Founders makes some really nice beers. I've had both of those. Their Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale is really nice too.

Next time clean it with isopropyl alcohol (IPA in short, but not type of ale!), after you have washed it in water. I keep always some at home, after my wife washed my Westone earphones (which worked just fine after IPA bath)
 
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:21 pm

Just lubed the stabilizers on all of the large keys (Vaseline, applied with a toothpick). We'll see if the squeak is gone.

bronek wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Just checked on the keyboard. The switches are starting to feel normal again when pressed, so I think the internal mechanisms are drying out nicely. I'm gonna give it another hour (at least) in the dryer, then we'll see if it sustained any permanent damage.

@curtisb - Yup, Founders makes some really nice beers. I've had both of those. Their Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale is really nice too.

Next time clean it with isopropyl alcohol (IPA in short, but not type of ale!), after you have washed it in water. I keep always some at home, after my wife washed my Westone earphones (which worked just fine after IPA bath)

I thought about doing that, but in order to have much effect I would've probably needed to completely immerse it, which would've taken a couple of quarts of the stuff (which I did not have on hand). If it acts up I'll try that, but so far so good (other than the squeaking issue, which is hopefully fixed now).
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:03 pm

morphine wrote:
Meh. This is just some karma to pay back for that prize haul. :D

I thought the loss of the brew already covered that....
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:12 pm

Oof, you're correct. Double punishment.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:26 pm

Guess I'll have to wait a while longer to see if the squeak is gone. I've decided to headbang to some Periphery and Animals As Leaders while cranking out some code, so I won't hear it even if it isn't fixed. :wink:
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:13 pm

Oh wow, I didn't realize your connoisseur tastes delved that deep into heavy territory.
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:26 pm

It has been a fairly recent thing (past couple of years). Discovered Opeth and it has been all downhill from there. :lol:
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:37 pm

Ah, Opeth, one of my favorite bands-turned-boring. "We're too good to make metal anymore."

But anyway, this is waaay too off-topic now. :)
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:40 am

I skipped other replies and went straight for the reply...  I saw this thread on the homepage and just KNEW it had to be JBI.  I can think of worse ways for a mechanical to go out :D

Edit: Damnit... I just read a few comments, I guess I wasn't the only one who knew it was you :lol:
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Re: Aaaaaargh... gave my RK-9000 a beer bath!

Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:18 am

morphine wrote:
Ah, Opeth, one of my favorite bands-turned-boring. "We're too good to make metal anymore."

But anyway, this is waaay too off-topic now. :)

Hey, I started the thread, I can continue the off-topic tangent if I want. We already had a beer tangent, we can have a music one. :wink:

I thought Pale Communion was fantastic. The latest one (Sorceress) has some great moments, but is perhaps a little less consistent, and even more blatantly derivative of the '70s. That said, I like both the early metal version of the band and the current retro prog rock version; it's just difficult at times to imagine them being the same band!

I do think Still Life and Blackwater Park are high points.

It's possible I have a very different perspective on Opeth than most of their long-time fans, having discovered them only recently (around the time Pale Communion was released). I essentially worked my way backwards through their releases starting from there (completing the journey by acquiring Orchid last). Kind of like "Benjamin Button Does Opeth", I guess. :lol:

Welch wrote:
I skipped other replies and went straight for the reply... I saw this thread on the homepage and just KNEW it had to be JBI. I can think of worse ways for a mechanical to go out :D

Edit: Damnit... I just read a few comments, I guess I wasn't the only one who knew it was you :lol:

If you'd read further, you'd also see that the keyboard lives! (I'm typing this reply on it...)

***

At the end of the day, if you want to get down to root causes I blame this incident on AMD (for never updating the Socket AM3+ platform to include native USB 3.0 support) and ASMedia (for making crappy USB 3.0 chipsets). Explanation here. :D
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