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Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer Review - Audio Ideas

Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer Review - Audio Ideas

Once sold as Tweek across North America, Stabilant 22 has become a standard product in all applications where contacts are critical. Sold in large quantities to such customers as bio-medical laboratories and NASA, as well as to computer suppliers and users, this product has a certain mystique in the audiophile world. Perhaps it is worth-while articulating exactly what it is.

According to the literature from its developer and manufacturer, "Stabilant 22 is an initially non--conductive amorphous-semiconductive block polymer that when used in the thin films within contacts acts under the effect of the electrical field and switches to a conductive state. The electrical field gradient at which this occurs is established during its manufacture to that the material will remain non-conductive between adjacent contacts in a multiple pin connector environment."

"Thus, when applied to electro mechanical contacts, Stabilant 22 provides the connection reliability of a soldered joine without bonding the contacting surfaces together!"

"Chemically, Stabilant 22 is a polyoxyethylene- polyoxypropaline block polymer with a molecular weight of about 2800. It has a very low vapor-pressure and therefore there is no appreciable loss of material from evaporation. It has been in some applications for more than six years without renewal, and it is probably safe to say that in the majority of cases, the equipmetn of which it is used will be retired for obsolescence before the Stabilant must be renewed."

Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer Review - Audio IdeasI quote all of this technospeak partly because I have heard the knock in high end audio circles that a similar product marketed as Tweek eventually wore off and then impeded electrical current flow, some equipment manufacturers for this reason recommending against its use. Tweek was not marketed or packaged by Mike Wright or D.W. Electrochemicals, and was supplied to Sumiko in concentrated form, and then was diluted substantially with alcohol, and this may have contributed to these concerns. While it requires an alcohol content to spread and effectively cover any contact (this alcohol carrier evaporating quickly hereafter), Tweek had an 8-1 ratio of alcohol-polymer, while Stabilant 22 is 4-1, making for a more thorough and lasting contract treatment.

The first paragraph of the description above should be clarified. Unlike water-based liquids, Stabilant 22 is not conductive, and excess will not cause shorts between connections, only that on the electrical contacts will become conductive. It its current higher concentration it does not dry or wear out , something I have proven for myself over the past several years in numerous applications. It should not be used in high-current applications, such as power switches, because it can decompose in situations where heat exceeds 240 degrees celsius, but is otherwise stable in all electrical contract situations.

Its use in audio applications includes any RCA contracts, XLR microphone and balanced line cables, mixer input and selector switches, IC pins, phono lugs, and modular circuit board friction contacts. As well, video coax connections and other antenna contracts an benefit, with reduction of spurious RF, as well as better signal transfer.

There are few audio panacea products about which I can be more confident that this one. Like Stylast, it does exactly what it is supposed to, and use it religiously. For example, when installing a new phono cartridge, a small squirt on all head-shell pin contracts ensures good signal transfer, especially with MC types, where any resistance can affect the quality of sound. As well, RCA cable pins and grounds to head amp and pre-amp should be treated. I have also found FM reception and cable TV picture quality improved by use of Stabilant 22. How do I know it really works over a long period of time? Well, I have used it with my mixer for over three years on the microphone inputs, as well as cables, and the line / mike switches. But one other use convinced me of its long term value. Quite a number of years ago I bought an Integrex Ambisonic decoder from a friend who had bought the kit back from Britain and built it. The unit is full of ICs, 14 or 15 in all, these having friction contacts into sockets rather than being hardwired.

I noticed over the years that the decoder became noisier, with an audible rush of white noise increasing in the surround channels. Eventually, I took it out of the system and removed the cover. With something like 20 pins on each of the ICs, there were hundreds of these contracts, and reasoned that oxidation might be the problem here.

Having just bought a small bottle of Stabilant 22 (only then available for industrial applications) from Mike Wright, I decided to methodically treat every pin on every IC, and having done so, re-installed the Intrgrex in my audio system. Not only was the noise completely gone, but the sound was much cleaner and defined; the ambient field created in the surround channels (I do not use it on the front speakers, but was then employing both side and rear ones) was much clearer and better articulated.

Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer Review - Audio IdeasThis was about four years ago, and the contracts have remained good, with no noise reappearing in the rear speakers I now employ. So the stuff does definitely last. Speaking of which, so little is necessary in each applications that a 15 ml bottle can do you for years. At the price, it is a very inexpensive way to maintain and improve fidelity in a system. Now marketed directly to dealers by its maker, Stabilant 22 is one of those wonder products of high technology that every audiophile should have on hand.

Reprinted with permission from Andrew Marshall's Audio Ideas Guide, Summer / Fall 90 Issue, Vol. 10 #1. 1990 Audio Ideas Ink Limited.

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Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

We carry the complete line of Stabilant products. Looking for something not listed here? Please contact us.
Stabilant 22
APPLICATION NOTES
1. Electronic Equipment
2. Computer cards
3. Schadow switches
4. Mic connectors
5. RTS & Dual plug patch bays
6. Biomedical Electronics
7. Computing & Peripherals
8. Cable TV
9. Robotics
10. Environmental Impact
11. Recording studios
12. Broadcast equipment
13. Mobile Radio
14. Educational computing
15. Stereo systems
16. Aid to IC insertion
17. Navigational equipment
18. Card edge conn. problems
19. Complex process control
20. Automotive service
21. Gold plating/solder alloy
22. Very high humidity
23. High current thermal runaway
24. Car stereo systems
25. Plastic element pots.
26. Farm machinery & trucks
27. Model & hobby
28. RF case seals
29. Outdoor environments
30. Computer crashes
31. Relays & switches
32. Silicone problems
33. Tin-plated contacts
34. Solder flux & resin residue
35. Post application color tinting
36. Aircraft connectors w/ flurosilicones
37. Avoiding unsafe solvents
38. S22 R&D Design Goals
39. Stabilant use on PLCC's
40. Sensor problem solution
41. Repair of flood damage
42. Marine electrical & electronics
43. All Cameras & Video Equipment
44. SCSI removable SCA drives, caddies & connections
45. Home Theater & Computer Connectors

Some of these application notes are repetitive of material in other application notes. We realize this. But some were written as a reference to a contact problem in a particular field or application.

NOTICE: This data has been supplied for information purposes only. While to our knowledge it is accurate, users should determine the suitability of the material for their application by running their own tests. Neither R.A.L. Audio Services, D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd., their distributors, or their dealers assume any responsibility or liability for damages to equipment and/or consequent damages, howsoever caused, based on the use of this information.
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Stabilant 22
REVIEWS
Over the years, Stabilant 22 has been highly parsed in publications that target a wide range of electronics applications including:
* Andrew Marshall's Audio Ideas Guide
* BYTE Magazine (7 articles)
* Windows Magazine
* Q.S.T. Amateur Radio
* Model Railroads (2 articles)
* Motor Magazine
Stabilant 22
TECHNICAL NOTES
1. MSDS - Stabilant 22
2. General Information
4. MSDS - Stabilant 22A
5. MSDS - Stabilant 22E
9. MSDS - Stabilant 22L
20. Military Applications
21. Elastomer Compatibility
22. Effectiveness of Stabilants
24. Connector Harmonic Distortion
39. Signal rise time

There are gaps in the sequence numbers below because some Technical Note s were written by the manufacturer for specific companies and are confidential.

NOTICE: This data has been supplied for information purposes only. While to our knowledge it is accurate, users should determine the suitability of the material for their application by running their own tests. Neither R.A.L. Audio Services, D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd., their distributors, or their dealers assume any responsibility or liability for damages to equipment and/or consequent damages, howsoever caused, based on the use of this information.
Stabilant
Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

We carry the complete line of Stabilant products. Looking for something not listed here? Please contact us.

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