tima's DIY RCM

dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
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#21
Tim, can you explain how the pump comes into play. Is constantly helping clean the water during the wash cycle or does it get used after the wash cycle is complete to filter the water?
 
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Barry

Member Sponsor
Jan 8, 2012
222
12
18
Somewhere near Philadelphia, USA
#22
Here's my KL Audio RCM filtering system. It's easy and it's cheap. Info sources for information on this are diyAudio, TIMA's DIY Ultrasonic RCM here and his The Vinyl Press update.

You need a pump, a filter and housing, a few feet of 3/8" clear hard plastic tubing, 4 x 3/8" hose clamps and 2 x 3/8" hose barb fittings. I used an Attwood 12VDC water pump mounted on a board with an AC/DC converter, and a 2 3/4"D Flow-Max .35 micron filter in a Pentek 158116 10" tall filter housing. Materials will cost less than $125. (Please double check sizing of hose, clamps, and hose barbs!).

Hook-up is easy. First connect the KLA waste water tubing at the bottom of the unit to the input of your pump. The output tubing of the pump is connected to the input of the filter housing. The output of the filter housing tubing of appropriate length is plugged and hung above the top of the tank somewhere so it doesn't leak out. You'll need to add water to the set-up to fill the tubing and filter canister and maintain the level in the KL Audio machine where it's supposed to be in the resevoir window. It's a little bit of trial and error.

You do NOT run the filtering system when cleaning records! Do it separately. When you want to filter the water in the KL Audio unit's tank, unplug the tubing line that's exiting the filter canister and stick it into the the KL Audio tank filler hole next to the record slot in the top of the unit. Open the resevoir drain valve at the bottom of the KLA unit, and turn on the pump. You'll see the water flow out of the KLA tank, through the pump and filter canister and back up into the KLA unit at the top of the unit. I let it run for 5 minutes or so.

Decide how you want to set everything up near the KL Audio RCM before you order the tubing so you'll know how much you need. I have the KL Audio on a table and the pump and filter on the floor below but I'm guessing any location will work.
 
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tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
761
338
63
#23
Tim, can you explain how the pump comes into play. Is constantly helping clean the water during the wash cycle or does it get used after the wash cycle is complete to filter the water?
Yes - good question.

I turn on the pump before I put records in the tanks and operate the pump+filter throughout the cleaning cycle. Water is constantly filtered down to the .35 micron level. Doing it this way means water on the record while drying is, ime, very clean.

Since the pump+filter operate independently of the USC, I can choose to filter the water any time for any length of time. Sometimes when I refill the tank with all new solution, I'll run the pump+filter for ~10 minutes before starting to clean records.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
761
338
63
#24
Here's my KL Audio RCM filtering system. It's easy and it's cheap. Info sources for information on this are diyAudio, TIMA's DIY Ultrasonic RCM here and his The Vinyl Press update.

You need a pump, a filter and housing, a few feet of 3/8" clear hard plastic tubing, 4 x 3/8" hose clamps and 2 x 3/8" hose barb fittings. I used an Attwood 12VDC water pump mounted on a board with an AC/DC converter, and a 2 3/4"D Flow-Max .35 micron filter in a Pentek 158116 10" tall filter housing. Materials will cost less than $125. (Please double check sizing of hose, clamps, and hose barbs!).

Hook-up is easy. First connect the KLA waste water tubing at the bottom of the unit to the input of your pump. The output tubing of the pump is connected to the input of the filter housing. The output of the filter housing tubing of appropriate length is plugged and hung above the top of the tank somewhere so it doesn't leak out. You'll need to add water to the set-up to fill the tubing and filter canister and maintain the level in the KL Audio machine where it's supposed to be in the resevoir window. It's a little bit of trial and error.

You do NOT run the filtering system when cleaning records! Do it separately. When you want to filter the water in the KL Audio unit's tank, unplug the tubing line that's exiting the filter canister and stick it into the the KL Audio tank filler hole next to the record slot in the top of the unit. Open the resevoir drain valve at the bottom of the KLA unit, and turn on the pump. You'll see the water flow out of the KLA tank, through the pump and filter canister and back up into the KLA unit at the top of the unit. I let it run for 5 minutes or so.

Decide how you want to set everything up near the KL Audio RCM before you order the tubing so you'll know how much you need. I have the KL Audio on a table and the pump and filter on the floor below but I'm guessing any location will work.
Thanks Barry! As far as the parts and setup goes, sounds like you've got it covered.

We differ on use. I'm curious why you do not run the filtering system while cleaning records? Is it because there is not enough room for the filter's return hose in the KLA 'slot' with a record in place?
 

dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
825
78
28
#25
Barry is helping me as I figure out how this works and what parts I need.

My understanding is:

The KLAudio drain is 3/8". This connects to intake of the pump which is either 1/4" or 1/2".
Assuming I use 3/8" tubing I guess I need to get the right fitting to go from 3/8" to either 1/2" or 1/4".
The pump discharge is 1/4". This tube goes into the filter canister which is 1/4". The tubing here is 1/4"
The outflow from the filter is also 1/4". This tubing goes into the KLAudio water input opening. The tubing here is 1/4"

Any comments would be appreciated.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
761
338
63
#26
Barry is helping me as I figure out how this works and what parts I need.

My understanding is:

The KLAudio drain is 3/8". This connects to intake of the pump which is either 1/4" or 1/2".
Assuming I use 3/8" tubing I guess I need to get the right fitting to go from 3/8" to either 1/2" or 1/4".
The pump discharge is 1/4". This tube goes into the filter canister which is 1/4". The tubing here is 1/4"
The outflow from the filter is also 1/4". This tubing goes into the KLAudio water input opening. The tubing here is 1/4"

Any comments would be appreciated.
It's certainly possible to find hose barbs that fit a certain sized opening and reduce or enlarge that to a different size. You'll wnat to be aware if the product you're looking at is male or female, which will be dictated by the intake/output opening you're fitting to. I would expect KLA specifies or can give you a spec for the drain.

For example: if the drain has an 1/2" female fitting, then something like this might work: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VGSFM...&pd_rd_r=65a7683b-29da-11e9-9ba3-db60abb02adc

There's a certain language of pipe fittings. FPT = female pipe thread, MPT= male pipe thread. NPT = national pipe thread; this just refers to compliance with American National Standard Pipe Thread standards. It's funny all the stuff you learn doing audio. There's a boatload of plumping and pipe-fitting outlets online and thousands of different types of fittings made from differemnt materials. Brass, stainless steel or nylon are usually good choices for what you're doing.

Take a look at the drop down selector at this page and you can get an idea of what is possible. https://www.amazon.com/Anderson-Met...id=1549436669&sr=8-25&keywords=NPT+hose+barbs

Remember it never hurts to use a bit of teflon plumbers tape when making connections.
 
Likes: Barry

dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
825
78
28
#27
It's certainly possible to find hose barbs that fit a certain sized opening and reduce or enlarge that to a different size. You'll wnat to be aware if the product you're looking at is male or female, which will be dictated by the intake/output opening you're fitting to. I would expect KLA specifies or can give you a spec for the drain.

For example: if the drain has an 1/2" female fitting, then something like this might work: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VGSFM...&pd_rd_r=65a7683b-29da-11e9-9ba3-db60abb02adc

There's a certain language of pipe fittings. FPT = female pipe thread, MPT= male pipe thread. NPT = national pipe thread; this just refers to compliance with American National Standard Pipe Thread standards. It's funny all the stuff you learn doing audio. There's a boatload of plumping and pipe-fitting outlets online and thousands of different types of fittings made from differemnt materials. Brass, stainless steel or nylon are usually good choices for what you're doing.

Take a look at the drop down selector at this page and you can get an idea of what is possible. https://www.amazon.com/Anderson-Met...id=1549436669&sr=8-25&keywords=NPT+hose+barbs

Remember it never hurts to use a bit of teflon plumbers tape when making connections.
Thanks Tim. I did a little research to understand the lingo. I just wanted to make sure that I was understanding your instructions correctly.
 
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dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
825
78
28
#28
I ordered everything this morning. The fun begins next week.
 
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Barry

Member Sponsor
Jan 8, 2012
222
12
18
Somewhere near Philadelphia, USA
#29
Thanks Barry! As far as the parts and setup goes, sounds like you've got it covered.

We differ on use. I'm curious why you do not run the filtering system while cleaning records? Is it because there is not enough room for the filter's return hose in the KLA 'slot' with a record in place?
Yes, there is not enough room to stick a tube in the record slot with a record in it. The KLA resevoir tank round filler hole is next to the record slot on the top of the unit. It's also the vent for the unit's fan for drying records. It works great for the return line when the machine is not running, but I wouldn't want to stick the tube from the newly built pump/filter system in that hole while it's on the dry cycle!

Thanks again for your RCM update on the .35 micron filter!!!
 
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dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
825
78
28
#30
Tim, for the pump you used is a standard lamp cord sufficient for power? I am assuming that the pump doesn't come with anything.
 

dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
825
78
28
#31
Success?

I think so. The remaining parts arrived today and I spend 2-3 hours assembling the pump and the filter. I then attached it to my KLAudio, turned it on and opened the drain plug. This began the filtering process. The filtered water was deposited back into the KLAudio. I let it run for 5 minutes.

I have to figure out what is the best way to empty all the water than remains in the filter system once I close the drain plug because when I do that the water stops flowing.

Here are some pictures.

2019-02-09 13.43.10.jpg 2019-02-09 13.43.20.jpg 2019-02-09 13.43.30.jpg 2019-02-09 14.21.52.jpg
 
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tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
761
338
63
#32
Nice job David! And good pictures.

Belatedly to answer your earlier question: yes standard lamp cord works fine. The one I used had an in-line switch on it.

I have to figure out what is the best way to empty all the water than remains in the filter system once I close the drain plug because when I do that the water stops flowing.
I'm not intimate with the KLA unit, so I may get this wrong - your model is the one without the external resevroir?

Let's see if I understand your process. You run the KLA tank water through the filter after you're done cleaning one or more records? To do that, you insert the filter's return tube into the KLA record slot. You open the drain then turn on the pump? The pump/filter run until you turn off the pump. Please correct my account as needed.

I'm thinking maybe you don't need to do anything with the water in the filter system once you close the drain. Can you turn off the pump and close the drain together, or pump first then immediately close the drain? Allow the return hose in the tank to dribble out some water, then remove it.

You could then insert the return hose into, say, a milk container or find a way to fix its end higher than the cannister. Water should not come out of the return hose with the pump off and the drain closed - or not more than a few drops. As long as the pump+filter system is open to air only at one end, water should not flow through it.

That's mostly what I do with my setup. But I don't close the drain. The whole system pump+filter+tank holds more water than the tank alone.

One thing to consider: if you're changing out the water entirely, you'll want to fill the filter cannister with water as well as the KLA. I unscrew the cannister from its lid, leaving the hoses intact, fill the cannister then screw it back onto the lid. I found it really helps to have the Pentak wrench - its only a few bucks.

Thanks for your postings on this.

Edit: if you keep the lid on the Cantex housing box, you may want to drill some holes in the side opposite the fan blades for air flow.
 

dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
825
78
28
#34
Tim,

Thanks for the comments.

My KLAudio has the internal tank. Your comment about filling the filter canister is what I was thinking about. If I don't do that then when the system starts up it first fills the canister. Yesterday when I was all done with the cleaning, the KLAudio tank was far from filled since a good amount of that water ended up in the system, including the canister.

Now that I have a filtration system I have to think about whether it is worth it to add the USC and rotisserie and just have a complete cleaner. I like the KLAudio and I like the fact that it dries. However, I have started to hand scrub records with l'art du son and a brush first and then run it through the KLAudio. I find this method clears some of the crud that the KLAudio does not. I am not sure that the DIY cleaner is a good replacement for the hand scrubbing.

Are there any DIY setups that scrub too?
 
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tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
761
338
63
#35
Tim,

Thanks for the comments.

My KLAudio has the internal tank. Your comment about filling the filter canister is what I was thinking about. If I don't do that then when the system starts up it first fills the canister. Yesterday when I was all done with the cleaning, the KLAudio tank was far from filled since a good amount of that water ended up in the system, including the canister.

Now that I have a filtration system I have to think about whether it is worth it to add the USC and rotisserie and just have a complete cleaner. I like the KLAudio and I like the fact that it dries. However, I have started to hand scrub records with l'art du son and a brush first and then run it through the KLAudio. I find this method clears some of the crud that the KLAudio does not. I am not sure that the DIY cleaner is a good replacement for the hand scrubbing.

Are there any DIY setups that scrub too?
Yes, you want the filter cannister full as you can get it before you turn on the pump. It can be a bit messy with extra water, but having it full is much more effective, less work for the pump and you don't send air back into the tank. If there is enough room where you locate your cleaning system, you might consider putting it inside a tub. I use one designed to go under a washing machine with a lip maybe 2 inches high - keeps all water contained.

I'm not aware of a DIY setup that also scrubs - but it would not surprise me if someone built one. The only thing close that I know of is the AudioDeske.

Let me offer a small editorial on the issue you raise.

First, after using a variety of cleaning methods, including the Loricraft and ADS, I'm convinced that surfactants are necessary for cleaning records. In my opinion, water alone in an USC is simply not enough - at least as a general rule. It is difficult to remove mold release agents, grease (fingerprints) and other non-soluable substances without some kind of surfactant. (I know some KLA users will disagree, that's okay.) Time is also a factor. I have not used water alone in an USC for a lengthy period (30 minutes +), so I can't speak to whether that could do the same job as having a surfactant in the water.

If you really want to scrub or think scrubbing is needed, my suggestion is to go with something like the Loricraft or Monks. The job of these machines is to rotate the record while vacuuming off liquid. The end-user's job is to add cleaning solution and lightly agitate (not scrub) the liquid on the record with a brush. Let the solution do the work. Agitation keeps the dislodged dirt suspended in solution so it doesn't settle back onto the record. This approach does work - see my kinda long article on the topic here as part of a discussion on cleaning fluid and technique. You can get records very very clean with that method, but the downside is it's messy and very time consuming. Those reasons alone brought success to the KLA, ADS, type machines.

The best thing desktop machines have going for them is convenience. And, without an external filter they take up less space. I try to be agnostic when it comes to the slotted vertical desktop machines. It is great to have these in marketplace because they make cleaning easy and that encourages people to play records.

Of course I'll pitch the DIY approach to anyone interested in the best solution with today's technology. :)

A primary advantage of DIY is you control (almost) all aspects of clearning: solution composition, cleaning time, temperature, ultrasonic frequency. Open stainless steel tanks are so much easier to keep clean.

With DIY you can clean more records in a given amount of time than a single-slot unit. That's a function of the rotisserie and tank size one chooses. I clean 10-11 records in an hour - that's from taking out of their covers to putting them back in.

The desktop machines do offer fan-based drying. The case I make in my third DIY article is that by using a filter to keep the solution clean then air drying is viable. A little wetting agent in the solution helps sheet water off the record when removed from the tank. I find a spindle of 5-6 records drys in 10 miuntes. If you don't have a removable spindle, use a small dish rack. Whether with a fan or air drying, ensuring whatever water is on the records is very clean when drying starts - that's the key.

The entry point for DIY can be fairly inexpensive. A cheap chinese US tank and a cheap rotisserie should be less than $500. You already have the filter built (congrats). The unit I ended up building costs about as much as an ADS or KLA, but that's with a commercial US tank and a top quality rotisserie. You can start for less. I think a Loricraft should be under $2k (£1311.56 ) check here for more info; they used to have a U.S. distributor, but no more, afaik. I"m not suggesting that approach but it is an option.

Thoughts?
 
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dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
825
78
28
#36
Tim, you are a wealth of information.

My current cleaning process is 2-step for many records. I usually hand scrub the record using l'art du son cleaning solution and a Record Doctor brush while the LP rests on a micro fiber towel. Once I scrub and hand dry (not entirely) both sides I give it a spin in the KLAudio. What I find, especially for used records, is that the hand scrub step results in a MUCH quieter final LP. I also use this process with brand new records since we all know the potential for them to come with manufacturing crud, for lack of a better term.

So, I am already of the notion that the KLAudio (or ADS since I used to own one of them) alone does not do a good enough job for many records.

Do people ever use something other than plain distilled water in the KLAudio? Since I have a filter system maybe that is solution to improve the performance of the KLAudio, assuming it doesn't break the machine.

The question is, will "your" DIY USC cleaner plus solution do the same job that my hand scrub + KLAudio does? I guess there is only 1 way to find out!

Do you think that the solution you use in the USC likely does the same good job that the hand scrub does?
 

dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
825
78
28
#37
I wrote the folks at KLAudio and they do not recommend using any surfactants due to the potential harm to some of the parts inside.

So, I am at a cross roads since the cost of the Elmasonic is close to $3k.

Edit: I found the P120H for $2,549 all in. That is probably the lowest price I will find.

I can deal with the Kuzma costing $1k.

I have to see what alternatives I have for the USC if I want to try to reduce the total cost.
 
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tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
761
338
63
#38
I wrote the folks at KLAudio and they do not recommend using any surfactants due to the potential harm to some of the parts inside.

So, I am at a cross roads since the cost of the Elmasonic is close to $3k.

Edit: I found the P120H for $2,549 all in. That is probably the lowest price I will find.

I can deal with the Kuzma costing $1k.

I have to see what alternatives I have for the USC if I want to try to reduce the total cost.
That is a really great price for an Elma P120H !
 

dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
825
78
28
#39
That is a really great price for an Elma P120H !
The Kuzma RD MSRP is $1400. Do places discount this at all?
 

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