Mice in Synths: Polymoog + Mouse = Polymouse

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Mice in Synths: Polymoog + Mouse = Polymouse

Postby minime123 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:44 pm

we were recently offered a polymoog by a seller who I believe bought it from a storage auction. it was in rough shape externally so we asked for pics of the inside. in one of the pics was a ball of wall insulation. this is usually an indication that a mouse attempted to build a nest inside, and mice can be pretty destructive...and disgusting. so we asked for more pics and noticed chewed wires in 3 spots and a pretty big mess around the power supply... and this was just what was super-obvious without removing pcbs etc.

we've seen instruments that mice peed in, pooped in, and nested in and have turned them down due to health concerns and the fact that we dont want to deal with the nasty mess and stink they leave behind. however, im wondering if our concerns about health risks are valid since some of these instruments might make good parts donors (once the parts have been properly sterilized).

i did a little research into hantavirus, which is one of the nasty diseases mice can carry, and what i read seems to suggest the virus dies within a relatively short period of time. im wondering if other diseases mice carry might last longer and still be hazardous to one's health after a long time.

does anyone know about this stuff? if so, please chime in.

thanks!
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Re: Mice in Synths: Polymoog + Mouse = Polymouse

Postby HideawayStudio » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:14 pm

Hi Mini..

I've received many a piece of vintage kit with ex mouse inhabitation issues...

I wouldn't worry too much - as with most things its all about being pragmatic and practical.

Older kit is less of a risk in terms of survival/repair after such infestation but more modern pcbs can potentially be ruined by pools of mouse pee! Very sadly one of my client's mighty Waldorf Waves has been destroyed in this manner having come out of storage with something lurking inside!!

If the price is right I wouldn't be too hasty turning this one down - could be a good source of Polycom cards at the very least... and you never know - under all that horror just might be a nice synth worth saving...

The process I usually undertake in cases like this is to take the unit outside and carefully remove the larger debris by hand using gloves and a brush - DO NOT use compressed air. Then spray over everything with an anti-bacterial surface spray - ie. the kind of thing you'd go over your kitchen worktops with. Then wipe everything down with anti-bac wipes and allow it all to dry.

To be honest this is pretty much the process I go through anyway with vintage kit that arrives in a very dirty state internally - especially old tube gear!
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Re: Mice in Synths: Polymoog + Mouse = Polymouse

Postby blueknob » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:01 am

I love the title :lol: it's one I could have written myself, my sense of humour. Mice too. I grew up on a farm, mice and rats were just a part of everyday life, as was pee and poop. I'm quite used to rodent droppings so know what they are and just sweep them up, usually there are a few carcasses to remove and dispose of, thankfully they are usually fully dried. I tend to be wary of anything wet, recently I was involved in canals here in the UK and I know rat pee can carry a serious health issue, it gets into the canal water. So basically as long as it's dry stuff, we're ok :lol: I also keep an eye open for rodent poison in it's many forms, that can make us very ill too.

I do wonder about people in hot countries, I know Oz is the land of dangerous creatures so wonder if someone there ever opened up some equipment and there behold is a deady critter eyeing you up! :shock:

As for a Polymouse, I did once come upon a vintage mouse-organ, it came from a church.
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Re: Mice in Synths: Polymoog + Mouse = Polymouse

Postby madtheory » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:39 am

HideawayStudio wrote:Then spray over everything with an anti-bacterial surface spray - ie. the kind of thing you'd go over your kitchen worktops with.

Your advice from your extensive experience is highly valued, as always :)

Can you share what specific brand you usually use? I think it might be dangerous to generalise- some of these sprays contain an amount of bleach that would definitely erase IC labels, capacitor labels and front panel graphics (I learned this the hard way years ago).

Now give me a few moments to stop feeling sad about the Wave :(
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Re: Mice in Synths: Polymoog + Mouse = Polymouse

Postby minime123 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:43 pm

HideawayStudio wrote:Hi Mini..

I've received many a piece of vintage kit with ex mouse inhabitation issues...

I wouldn't worry too much - as with most things its all about being pragmatic and practical.

Older kit is less of a risk in terms of survival/repair after such infestation but more modern pcbs can potentially be ruined by pools of mouse pee! Very sadly one of my client's mighty Waldorf Waves has been destroyed in this manner having come out of storage with something lurking inside!!

If the price is right I wouldn't be too hasty turning this one down - could be a good source of Polycom cards at the very least... and you never know - under all that horror just might be a nice synth worth saving...

The process I usually undertake in cases like this is to take the unit outside and carefully remove the larger debris by hand using gloves and a brush - DO NOT use compressed air. Then spray over everything with an anti-bacterial surface spray - ie. the kind of thing you'd go over your kitchen worktops with. Then wipe everything down with anti-bac wipes and allow it all to dry.

To be honest this is pretty much the process I go through anyway with vintage kit that arrives in a very dirty state internally - especially old tube gear!


hey dan
thanks for the info.
being in the big city, we dont have an outdoor space to work in, so we're hesitant to deal with nasty cleanup jobs. we normally use a shop vacuum with a hepa filter for removing vintage dust and filth and then use cleaning solutions as well - this is pretty much standard for every high end item we restore here too. what antibacterial spray are you using and do you also use it on pcbs?
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Re: Mice in Synths: Polymoog + Mouse = Polymouse

Postby blueknob » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:35 pm

:lol: townies! .. eek-a-mouse! I must disinfect! I could contract some deadly disease!! :o

It's a dried mouse corpse not anthrax :lol:

Hmm.. that reminds me, I need to lay a few mouse traps in my hallway. The expression on their little faces when the bar comes over and kills them.
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Re: Mice in Synths: Polymoog + Mouse = Polymouse

Postby briandc » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:08 am

I read this thread title and thought it was about a new Moog softsynth. :D

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