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IBM 5155 keyboard cable... very oily

spaghetticode

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
16
Location
Italy
Hi, the keyboard cable of my 5155 portable computer keeps exudating some oily substance.

I wonder if there's any cure for it, if it's a known issue, and if I should start looking for (or building) a replacement. As far as now it works properly, but there's no way I can touch the cable and avoid washing my hands, it's rather annoying.

I have other IBM keyboards, model F from PCs and XTs, and I never noticed any issue with them.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
39,699
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
The jacket is de-polymerizing. About the best you can do is wipe it down with IPA to remove the oil and cross your fingers that the jacket doesn't completely deteriorate.
 

cchhrriiss11

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
65
Location
Duncan, BC
This might sound really bizarre, but when cleaning cords, I've had good luck with WD40! I tried it on a hunch and it works great, especially on the "rubbery" cords. It's also great for removing sticker residue or any other type of "Goo". Maybe try it on a short inconspicuous section of the cord and see if that helps?
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
39,699
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
Regardless of whatever solvent you use on the effervescing plasticizer, the vinyl jacket is breaking down and will eventually start disintegrating. I imagine that mineral spirits will work just as well.
 

DDS

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2013
Messages
585
I have 3 IBM Type F keyboards in my "to do" pile. One of the keyboards has a very sticky coiled cable. The other two are fine, so far. AFAIK, they have all been kept/stored in similar conditions. Given my experience with the infamous "green goo" problem known to anyone who ever worked in a #1ESS/#1AESS environment, the deterioration of these polymers is likely confined to certain production batches and/or plants. Further, once the polymer starts deteriorating, the process continues until it all turns to goo.
 
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