Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Bad Contacts In The PC Slots - A Solution

I did not encounter any problem when I first installed an analaog TV card into an empty PCI slot in my PC. With the necessary software installed, Windows XP can detect the card and I can watch and capture TV programs on my computer.

The Problem Starts Slowly

However, after about 6 weeks or so, I began to encounter a strange problem - the TV card will become undetectable while in the middle of watching or capturing. Shutting down and rebooting Windows XP did not help. The only thing that works is to reseat the card and it will be detectable again by Windows XP. But the same problem will occur again after about 4 weeks and periodically, like clockwork every 4 weeks or so. Moving the TV card to another PCI slot did not help either - I have tried. Nor did cleaning the PCI slot and TV card's metallic pins (the part that goes into the PCI slot) with contact cleaner and cotton buds.

A Solution

Searching in Google led me to 2 articles about contact enhancers:

18 paragraphs down from the top in Harold Kinley's article describes my problem exactly.

I got myself a 200ml can of Electrolube EML Contact Cleaner Lubricant and sprayed it into the PCI slot and onto the metallic pins (the part that goes into the PCI slot) of the TV card. I then reseated my card into the PCI slot. It has been 7 months now and the problem never occured again.

Update: 30th March 2015: Works like a charm in the PC's memory and in my Nintendo DS Lite expansion slots too.

DeoxITGOLD GN5 Mini-Spray, nonflammable 5% solution 14 g - GN5MS-15 Note: Another notable contact enhancer product that I know of is DeoxIT GOLD. They have quite a good number of user reviews on Amazon with people using it not on just PCs but on digital cameras, cellphones and stereo amplifiers too.

My Only Complain

The only complain that I have about Electrolube is that it is really hard to get their products in Ipoh, Malaysia - the place where I live. I have tried asking some local computer stores and they do not even know what "contact cleaner lubricant" is. In the end, I ordered it online from RS Components Sdn Bhd and they promptly couriered it to me once they received my payment. I did not try looking for Stabilant since Google could not find anybody in Malaysia selling it.


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