Microphones UV Sterilizing tool for Microphones?

dvsDave

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So, I got this video in my inbox recently showing off this potentially interesting product. I wanted to get some thoughts and opinions from the CB community on whether this would be of interest to you or not?

 
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Lextech

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Interesting. My TD just got a UV enclosure for sanitizing goggles, I am trying to figure out if it is safe for mics. In particular for my personal mics that I am using on our musical that i will post in a thread once i have started recording.
 

DaveySimps

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Seems very time consuming if you have many mics to account for. Still does not address the handheld portion of the mic that would still need to be sanitized. I wonder what the price point of the device would be?

We have gone to a wipe system that has a product with a 1 minuet kill time with no rinse needed. This is working well for us, and is quite economical. Finishes on the equipment are holding up with it. I did buy a stock of extra wind screens / grills for each mic to be able to put a clean one on each time in a 3 day cycle out of an abundance of caution.

~Dave
 

jtweigandt

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Would have to dig for references, but newer info has shown that although you can swab an area and still detect via PCR coronavirus on some surfaces for days,
in hospital settings they actually followed through with culture to see if viable virus survived. Turns out survival of the virus on surfaces is much shorter than we thought at first by detecting it's dead carcass on stuff. Bottom line reasonable disinfection efforts are good. Live mic swapping probably should be avoided. But don't fool yourself into thinking if you disinfect the mics you are taking care of the primary means of spread in your theater.

Airborne and particle borne direct respiratory is still the name of the game. Masking and distance play a bigger role than surface transmission control.
 

jtweigandt

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As to the gizmo.. anything that is producing UV in tiny amounts that doesn't have to be sheilded from human contact, probably isn't worth much.
I installed some hospital grade UVC air units in my Vet office way back in the spring. The big UVC tubes are in a highly reflective box
that is sheltered from the outside world by baffles. Fans pump filtered air through the chamber. Real UVC is nasty s*&^ and works by direct action.

Other UV units... like you see in the hospital hallway work with a different wavelength.. They produce ozone..when they interact with the air (ionized oxygen) and it's the
Ozone that does the disinfection.. High enough concentrations are a respiratory irritant though.
 

JohnD

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There are a metric crap-ton of so-called mic sterilizers on the market that don't use uvc, just standard uva sometimes just deep purple-blue led's. So, check the specs.
 

jtweigandt

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while we're at it also... most of our common disinfectants are quaternary ammonium compounds. Dont put it on Lexan/polycarbonate. It will craze and disintigrate. I learned this the hard way years ago, but cleaning my polycarbonate lenses in my glasses with windex .. they got all crackly and broken near the rims where the contact time was longer.
 

dvsDave

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while we're at it also... most of our common disinfectants are quaternary ammonium compounds. Dont put it on Lexan/polycarbonate. It will craze and disintigrate. I learned this the hard way years ago, but cleaning my polycarbonate lenses in my glasses with windex .. they got all crackly and broken near the rims where the contact time was longer.
I use reagent-grade (ACS >95% pure) Isoproypl Alcohol for cleaning camera lenses and sensors. I have an alcohol push dispenser to keep it from evaporating (https://amzn.to/39t3OVq) and I use KIMWIPES (https://amzn.to/3pxkD7p) for cleaning. For my glasses, I really like Zeiss Lens Cleaner. (Not the wipes, I can't stand those) Get the spray bottle, https://amzn.to/3j0E1Hp
 
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dvsDave

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I bought one of the cheap UV "wands" that supposedly used UV-C. Then I bought a UV dosimeter card that tests for UV-C from a reputable supplier (Amazon B08R82JBBS). Turns out the wand did not emit UV-C.
View attachment 21460
That's a good idea.
 

TimMc

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Since you asked... I was an "author" on Covid in audio production for an Audio Engineering Society presentation at the October 2020 convention . If anyone is an AES member you can probably watch the hour+ presentation on line, still.

Here's the gist, as of the time we recorded: cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection are different things; the "four Cs" of disinfection/sanitizing; procedures for handling, segregating, and inventory control of dirty/clean mics (and comm headsets/belt packs, IEM packs, announcer stations, etc), and personnel training, and what *EPA List 'N'* products were safe to use on various gear.

UV-C doesn't do anything other cleaning methods can't do, and vice-versa, presuming the product can be safely disinfected with chemicals. What UV-C can do, is sanitize on an industrial scale; what it can't do is cut through bulk contaminants - lung cookies, dirt, grease, grime of various types. Those will need to be removed before exposure to UV-C. More on industrial scale UV-C later if there is interest.

I bought one of the cheap UV "wands" that supposedly used UV-C. Then I bought a UV dosimeter card that tests for UV-C from a reputable supplier (Amazon B08R82JBBS). Turns out the wand did not emit UV-C.
View attachment 21460
I have little LED UV-C wand that failed the dosimeter test... until I removed the plastic diffusion cover. The plastic blocked the UV-C while passing the UV-A component. The dosimeter card you link to should be used with new UV sources to determine wavelength and relative level of emissions. Good on you for knowing that proof is needed!

The primary issue is what to use that won't break or ruin our gear or void warranties. We sought guidance from most of the pro audio world and heard back from DPA, Shure, Sennheiser, Telex/RTS, Clear Com, Avid, DigiCo, Lawo, Yamaha, many others. We sought to find the most common products manufacturers approved of as not injurious: 70% isopropyl alcohol, and quaternary ammoniums (Clorox Disinfecting Wipes - non-chlorine version, specifically). With those 2, a 30 second wet time is sufficient to disable SARS-CoV-2 on most solid surfaces. Any quaternary ammonium disinfectant with the same concentration of active ingredients as the Clorox wipes will work, too. As noted, Lexan® will not tolerate ammonium/ammonia and some other clear plastics can be crazed or clouded by alcohols.

About 70% IPA - Victor Arko (from Eigth Day Sound) found documents from US Homeland Security about the efficacy and use of IPA; it turns out that 70% stays wet (contact time) longer than purer solutions that evaporate before completing contact time. HS also determined the 30 second time as the minimum to that the virus was sufficiently disabled as to not cause infection. When our previous research had recommended 3 minute contact time for 70% IPA, it required multiple applications. In my own testing at home (I have one of the Cleanest SM-58s on the planet), a wipe down with 70% IPA took between 28-34 seconds to evaporate.

Personnel and training: you can't just spray stuff with chemicals. Nope, don't even think about it. If using IPA, spray it on a microfiber cloth, you want it damp but not wet. If using BZK/ammonium wipes, it's easy. Set up a triag table with marked spaces for "used", "cleaning", "drying"). Wear nitrile or latex gloves, remove a used item from the bucket, wipe it down and set it in a drying area; repeat until the drying area is full. Sanitize your gloves. Take each item from the drying area, move it to a packaging station; place each item in a separate zip lock bag, seal with white label tape. Initial, date, and note the process (CDW, IPA, etc) used. Return bagged items to inventory. Repeat until done.

I have links to videos I scripted with Carlson Audio in Seattle I can privately supply to those interested.

Edit ps: the only pro audio manufacturer to specially suggest UV-C was Avid (who also cautioned about using alcohol on their clear plastics).
Edit pps: DPA has guidance on their web site, but specifically I will say "do NOT use alcohol on DPA miniature mic cables, it will ruin them."
 
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What Rigger?

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Seems very time consuming if you have many mics to account for. Still does not address the handheld portion of the mic that would still need to be sanitized. I wonder what the price point of the device would be?

We have gone to a wipe system that has a product with a 1 minuet kill time with no rinse needed. This is working well for us, and is quite economical. Finishes on the equipment are holding up with it. I did buy a stock of extra wind screens / grills for each mic to be able to put a clean one on each time in a 3 day cycle out of an abundance of caution.

~Dave
@DaveySimps brings up a good point: the extra time things will take to do in the post-Covid era. Film production is already seeing this, finding that on a typical day everything takes 3 times as long.
I imagine in my setup with 6 performances a day, there will need to be a schedule adjustment to allow for this- especially if a performer gets pulled to a different venue midway through the day and we have to pull out the replacement's mic setup (mind you, I'm using headset mic's not handhelds).
I also have a consideration for ham-fisted, "I don't care if I break it" types, so if we went this way not only would we need enough units to sterilize mics in use, but an adequate number of backups/replacements so we don't have to order after a breakage (Hey, I wouldn't have to say this if it hadn't already been going on with other gear....)
 
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Lasermike

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I have a warning about alcohol and polycarbonate. I spent many years in the compact disc industry and found that alcohol would instantly destroy a cd. A single quick wipe would leave the disc looking ok but it would explode if bent.

Michael
 

TimMc

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I have a warning about alcohol and polycarbonate. I spent many years in the compact disc industry and found that alcohol would instantly destroy a cd. A single quick wipe would leave the disc looking ok but it would explode if bent.

Michael
Yes, this is why two console manufactures specified "soap and water" as acceptable (damp cloth, no drips no runs). Disinfecting consoles requires a different approach from cleaning microphones, headsets, belt packs and other compact, high-touch devices.
 

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