EMAG Emmi-40D / 60D cleaner or good ole Crest plus an alternative to branson EC


Hi everyone, here's yet another dutchman who dabbles in logic board repairs. I'm looking at some important lab upgrades and I believe the most pressing matter is gaining the ability to clean boards properly. Its beyond time for me to toss the ole alcohol infused toothbrush 'n eardiggers and upgrade to an actual ultrasonic cleaner device.
Being a regular watcher of Louis' vids, it is clear to me that getting a Crest CP500 would be a fine choice. However, I did want to look around and see if there's an alternative without giving up any of the positive properties of the Crest. Because the Crest is an expensive son of a bitch and if I can get the same thing for less money, I wouldn't be Dutch if I didnt go for it.
But, it better be the same or better, or I'll cut myself in the fingers. And who would want that? It hurts, and there might be blood. Anyway...

What the UC needs to have
Sweeping frequency functionality
Heating to about 60-70 celcius
Basket with identical or larger dimensions than the Crest CP500
Lid, to limit the stinks.
Same or better durability
A lower pricetag

Now, I did some googling, looked online at the crest a lot and then asked my GF to google UC's for me (ha!). She found this:

This one costs €805 including basket, lid and shipping.

Well, thats all in Dutch, so here goes:

Outside 330x175x290 mm
Inside 302x152x150 mm
Basket 280x135x135 mm

Inside tank: 6,0 Liter
Holds up to: 5,4 Liter (1.42 Gallons)

Cleaning 'bath': Stainless steel 1.4301
Outside: Stainless steel 1.4301
Protection class: IP 32
Tap: No
Timer 1-60 min or continuous
Adjustable heating 20-80 °C
Adjustable power 50 and 100 %
Sweep function (raises normal ultrasonic power) for severe contamination
Degas function (degasses tap water) for optimal cleaning.

Technical stuff:
Schwingsysteem: 3 PZT element
HF-Generator: prevents overload and overheating.
Constant power, constant temprature control
Frequency: ca. 45 kHz
Ultrasonic power: max. 240 Watt
Heating: 120 Watt
Netspanning: 50/ 60 Hz
Power: 220-240 V
24 months warranty

Stainless steel Lid
Stainless steel Basket

As mentioned above, this one costs €805. Now, compared to the Crest CP500, which I could order from sonikem for €960 (see thread here, thanks @G.Beard!), I'd save 155 and get what looks like exactly the same thing and has all the same features on paper.

Now one more thing. Crest has a smaller model available which I believe is too small to hold 15" and larger mac boards, the CP360 with inside dimensions of 237 x 134 x 150cm. Its shorter, and thats before taking the basket into account, which reduces space further. A ~26cm long logic board like in the 15 and 17 inch macbooks wont fit. I presume this is why that model is not an option.
However, the smaller model of this Chem brand, the Emmi 40D, has basket dimensions of 280x140x85 mm. Same length as the larger one, just less height. All other specs are identical, save for the ultrasonic power, which you can set to 80 or 160 Watt max (Crest CP500 is 120 fixed).
If I calculated this correctly, it will fit a 15/17 inch board, it would just 'lying down' in the basket more than it would be in the larger models, if you know what I mean. This one costs €705, knocking another 100 off compared to the Crest CP500. Also, I would wager that a smaller tank heats up quicker, which doesn't hurt.

To anyone that made it this far: Does putting a board into a basket at less of steep angle matter in terms of cleaning? Also, would the option of having twice the ultrasonic power (240 Watts) compared to the Crest be an upgrade and clean them better, or just destroy boards instead? And, of course; does anyone have experience with this brand of cleaners?

This post is far too long, but one more thing. During the search for UC stuff, another potential alternative for Branson EC turned up, this stuff:
Tickopur TR14

For those in the Netherlands, get it here: http://www.ultrasoonreiniger.com/tickopur.htm?p=3

I know jack shit about EC fluids, but its meant for pcb cleaning. It contains a bit of Ammonia, so it probably stinks greatly. Also, its a bit cheaper than branson or EC132 at 39 euros excl shipping for 1.3 gallons. I'll give it a try once I decide which cleaner to get.
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Time for an update. I postponed my UC purchase until after finishing my new workplace, which finally happened a few weeks back. I'm now the owner of an EMAG Emmi-D40 cleaner. I got it straight through EMAG, who are selling it at a discount: €386 before taxes, including shipping (from Germany to the Netherlands). I ended up getting a different cleaning solution than mentioned in my first post; Flux Remover Ultrasonic Cleaning Solution from Allendale Ultrasonics. Also got me some demineralized water. Sadly, and perhaps stupidly, I only had two boards on hand that were worth the bother testing with.

The first thing I checked when I got this cleaner is whether logic boards actually fit in there, and thats where a disappointment came in. While the EMAG site states that the insides of the basket are 280 x 140 x 85 mm, which should be just right (15" retina board is a little over 26cm wide), those boards don't actually fit in there, because the basket gets narrower towards the bottom. It's actually more like 24cm x 10cm down there.
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I could, however, bend the basket a little bit out of shape to make these boards fit. I was told by EMAG that the effectiveness of the cleaner will not be hindered if I do that, as long as the sides of the machine are never touched. Perhaps I could even cut out part of the basket. Doing that, the larger boards would no longer stick out the top. This is a small letdown, but fixable, so not a big issue. On to cleaning!

The cleaning
I filled the cleaner with 3 liters of demineralized water and 350 ml of cleaning solution. Its recommended to use 5-10%, so I was a little over that. I had expected to fit a little more water in there seeing that the specs list a 4 liter tank, but good luck fitting that in there without it pouring over the edge.
Allendale recommends always degassing the solution first, so I did that for for 10 mins. After that, I set the temp to 65 degrees and waited... and waited... and waited. It took about two and a half hours to reach 65 celsius. 2.5 hours! I heard that these cleaners take a while to warm up, but this seems a bit excessive. Fine, this too is fixable. I'll get an immersion heater from china to speed it up.
Time to dump the basket 'n board in there. I have two boards to put in there. One scrap board from china with some green and other assorted goop on there, and a water damaged board which I've already got into working state, but still has some corrosion and flux on it.

I first put the boards in 1 minute cleaning sessions in four orientations. This cleaned some of the gunk away, but much remained. I followed up with another sessions of 2 minutes per orientation, so thats 12 mins of cleaning in total. After that, most of the nasty areas looked pretty clean, I think. Before/after images are attached. One particular row of pins on IC 51125 refused to get clean. I cleaned that spot for like ~20 minutes but it wont budge.

With some modifcations, this cleaner will fit 13 and 15 inch boards, heat up fast with a seperate heating element and it does clean shit off of board, even if it takes a little longer than a Crest would.
It is also, at least currently, priced extremely favorably. However, that is all useless if it doesn't clean properly. Due to my lack of experience with these cleaners I dont know if the cleaning is any good. The boards I tried the device with weren't terribly badly corroded to begin with. I'm going to quickly try and get me some more seriously nasty boards so I can run those through. I want to hurry this up, because if this cleaner is poor I want to try and return it ASAP. Hopefully I can get some shit boards quick and post some results.

Besides the cleaner, the cleaning solution might also make a big difference, but I cant get Branson EC in Europe. Again, I cant compare. Sadness. :(


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i have emag 40-hc, i use allendale flux remover pcb cleaner. it clean the board fine. i do sometime use brush as a helping hand to remove stubborn corrosion and flux


I can't find any more water damaged boards on such short notice. Shame I tossed some of them out a while ago. A friend of mine repairs phones, he's got some water damaged boards. I'll try a few of those tomorrow. EMAG already mailed me that I can return the device, I'm thinking I'll do that and get a Crest after testing it with the phone boards. Already spoke to the guy (John?) from Sonikem in the UK, really pleasant conversation. I'm of a mind to order a crest with him right now, but I'll hang on another day.
Alan.L, I was hoping not to have to break out a brush at all anymore. If it can't clean whats on the side of an IC, how is it going to clean whats underneath a bga? Either way, will report what happens with the phone boards tomorrow.


it clean under BGA alright. not sure how to explain. i checked before and after all ultrasonic cleaning cleaning. i fixed a beeping macbook retina board last week. i didnt know you can get crest in the Uk.
then again i cant complain as i only paid £150 for my emag from ebay.


Didn't get my phone boards, so I ended up doing a few tests using frames with tin foil between them, as I hear that's a way to at least find out how well the cleaner is doing its job in a hopefully somewhat repeatable manner. The cleaner is supposed to mess the tin foil up and punch holes through it. The fewer tin foil left at the end, the stronger the cleaner. While the results of my test look pretty good, I've decided to return the Emag. I'm not so convinced about returning it and paying double what I did for a Crest, especially with Alan.L using an EMAG with allendale and getting good results. But damnit, I just want to know how a Crest does now. Below are the results of the 1 minute tests with the Emag.
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I finally got my Crest CT500, filled it up with the same solution I had in the Emag cleaner and put in the same board I had in the Emag. Results not too impressive, see image. This is some stubborn corrosion. The Crest heats up a lot faster, though I still got me an immersion heater for it which speeds things up a lot.


With all my tin foil properly perforated, I think I'm done worrying about ultrasonic cleaning for now. :)


Atomrepair Hi, so what results did you get with ES132 solution?

It's working well, boards are coming out as clean as I'd hoped. I can't compare it to anything besides Allendale, and even that comparison isn't based on anything substantial. The one board I tried to clean in my posts above turns out to have had extremely tough corrosion I doubt any combination of cleaner and solution would've gotten completely off without destroying the rest of the board.
At any rate, I'll continue using ES132 because its doing good and I don't like experimenting too much when I have something that's doing its job.


New member
Thank you for your reply. I'm using Chemtronics ES132 with distilled water. Boards come out "clean" from corrosion, but after I'm done with drying, there are stains on board which go away if I take alcohol and a cotton swab. I would like that alcohol bath (after UC) or preheater takes all that away. Just like Louis does it.

Any similar experiences or solutions?

Chemtronics ES132 Specifications:
  • For use with ultrasonic, batch and in-line cleaning systems,
  • Quickly removes all rosin and no clean flux types,
  • Removes encrusted, hard, baked fluxes,
  • Powerful cleaner leaves no residue, (not really in my case)
  • Water dilutable,
  • Nonabrasive and noncorrosive,
  • Nonflammable,
  • RoHS compliant,
  • Requires a water rinse
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