The Preventive Maintenance Monthly: Clean contacts, clear signals

Clean contacts, clear signals

Dirty and corroded contacts on the SINCGARS vehicular antenna mean intermittent or broken traffic. Worse yet, dirt and corrosion can lead to high reflected RF power, which can damage the receiver-transmitter.

Here are a few tips for clean contacts:

* Unhook the RF cable before you begin cleaning. Don’t take a chance on getting burned.

* Unscrew the top and bottom antenna elements and clean the contacts with isopropyl alcohol, NSN 6810-01-190-2538, and a soft cloth. Clean the contact on the antenna base the same way.

* Clean stubborn dirt and corrosion off the top element contact with 550 cord, NSN 4020-00-01-6699. Loop the cord once around the contact and pull it back and forth to clean out the ridges. Then wipe it down with isopropyl alcohol.

* After cleaning, apply a light coat of silicone compound, NSN 6850-00-177-5094, on the top and bottom element contacts. That’ll help protect against corrosion.

* If you remove just the top element for any length of time, put a piece of electrical tape to keep out dirt and moisture. If you remove the bottom element, put a rubber dust cap, NSN 5340-01-316-0883, over the antenna base’s contact to keep it clean and dry.

SEE? SOMETIMES IT’S NOT ME, IT’S THE ANTENNA!

COPYRIGHT 2004 PS Magazine

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group