Recovering a coaxial cal kit from PFD

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New for February 2024, with update May 2024 (see bottom of page)...

What do you do when your cal kit standards are suffering from putrid foam disease (PFD?) Hopefully the cal standards have dust caps protecting them. If they don't, this is going to take a lot more effort.

The idea for this page came from Alan, who supplied this photo of a cal kit he is trying to recover:

Hopefully he will be successful and send us an "after" picture soon!

Cal kits can be cleaned up using an ultrasonic cleaner. You might try Fantastic, Simple Green, Alconox… etc.  If more cleaning is required, maybe isopropyl alcohol?  Stay away from harsh stuff like acetone, toluene, or any of the cancer-causing ingredients used in nail polish industry…

As for making a new frame to put the pieces in, you need two things:  buy some polyurethane foam (Granger, Amazon, etc.) and somehow make a template for cutting it.  The template could be carved from anything that yields to an X-acto-knife blade, like a thin sheet of aluminum or hard plastic.  If you want to get fancy you could create the frame using a 3D printer.

Then put the frame over the polyurethane, compress it a little and start cutting!

If the wooden box is messed up, there are various furniture cleaning products that can help. Worst-case you might have to sand the inside with very fine sandpaper. If you need to refinish the wood, a little tung oil is probably a good choice as it won't flake off.

Update May 2024: Here is the cleaned up cal kit with new foam.  Alan used a bit of photo mount foam for the template.  It came out great!   Alan leaves you with the following sage advice:

Well.. the ones which had dust covers on were a *lot* easier to clean than those that did not.  So I guess they demonstrated their value!



Another Microwaves101 success story. Time to crack a beer!

Author : Unknown Editor