Electronics Repair (sci.electronics.repair) Discussion of repairing electronic equipment. Topics include requests for assistance, where to obtain servicing information and parts, techniques for diagnosis and repair, and annecdotes about success, failures and problems.

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Default Hints for finding replacement buttons?

I deal with a number of vintage devices, refurbishing and reselling
them. One of the annoyances I have is dealing with missing or broken
buttons (and knobs, dials, etc.). As silly as it may seem, something
like a missing button cap, that has no functional effect on the device,
can dramatically lower the value and salability of a device.

Now, if there's an electronic component that's broken, I at least know
how to look for it, by its electrical specs or even its model number.
However, if I need to replace a button, I'm lost. Buttons rarely have
useful identifying markings on them. And there must be thousands of
buttons on the market, with many variations on shape, size, physical
characteristics, ..., from dozens, maybe even hundreds of manufacturers.
At least, so it seems from the searches I've attempted. I've been
unsuccessful at finding replacement buttons and such, except in the
cases where I had the luxury of the specific manufacturer and part
number.

How do you find a replacement button? Are there any tricks to it?
Any hints appreciated.


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Default Hints for finding replacement buttons?

Hamad bin Turki al Salami wrote in message
...
I deal with a number of vintage devices, refurbishing and reselling
them. One of the annoyances I have is dealing with missing or broken
buttons (and knobs, dials, etc.). As silly as it may seem, something
like a missing button cap, that has no functional effect on the device,
can dramatically lower the value and salability of a device.

Now, if there's an electronic component that's broken, I at least know
how to look for it, by its electrical specs or even its model number.
However, if I need to replace a button, I'm lost. Buttons rarely have
useful identifying markings on them. And there must be thousands of
buttons on the market, with many variations on shape, size, physical
characteristics, ..., from dozens, maybe even hundreds of manufacturers.
At least, so it seems from the searches I've attempted. I've been
unsuccessful at finding replacement buttons and such, except in the
cases where I had the luxury of the specific manufacturer and part
number.

How do you find a replacement button? Are there any tricks to it?
Any hints appreciated.



From tips files on URL below

For making reasonable looking copies of old bakelite or
unconventional equipment knobs.
Requirements:-
Flexible moulding liquid(obtainable from craft shops for casting chess
pieces
etc),polyester resin and hardener,mould release agent if
required,colourant,
broken rare earth magnet,iron filings,modern-day knob smaller
than required knob,engraving tool for vibration.
Procedu-
Clean and polish knob from which a one-part mould can be taken{no severe
undercuts).Fix any old potentiometer to a metal plate locateable to a small
container (for precise alignment of knob),mount with shaft downwards.Remove
grub screw from the origional knob,place a small plug of cable sleeving in
the hole and reinsert the grub screw.Fix this knob to the shaft (fast but
removeable by pulling).Assemble mould jig and pour in moulding
rubber,vibrate
with engraver to rid of air bubbles,allow to cure.
Mix resin and colourant,preferably keep cool to reduce viscosity.
Prepare the modern knob;mark radial position of grub screw on the rear
surface of the knob,repeat grub screw plug as above,fix to pot shaft..Extend
the grub screw hole with a piece of cable sleeving,plugged at outermost end
with glued magnetic material (length just clearing the side of the mould).
Mix hardener with the resin/colourant and pour in mould,vibrate with
engraver as above.
Allow to cure.Demount mould,then with iron filings locate axactly the
extended grub screw hole and drill down to the grub screw,grind rear face of
knob if required,remove plug from centre of knob.
A refinement is to add punched discs,shapes or press-formed domes of brass
shim lightly gummed to the mould base to provide pointers or contrasting
finish.
The colourant can be ground down broken bakelite knobs , if you can be sure
there is no asbestos fibre reinforcement to the knob/s.


--
Diverse Devices, Southampton, England
electronic hints and repair briefs , schematics/manuals list on
http://home.graffiti.net/diverse:graffiti.net/


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Default Hints for finding replacement buttons?

Hamad bin Turki al Salami wrote in message
...
I deal with a number of vintage devices, refurbishing and reselling
them. One of the annoyances I have is dealing with missing or broken
buttons (and knobs, dials, etc.). As silly as it may seem, something
like a missing button cap, that has no functional effect on the device,
can dramatically lower the value and salability of a device.

Now, if there's an electronic component that's broken, I at least know
how to look for it, by its electrical specs or even its model number.
However, if I need to replace a button, I'm lost. Buttons rarely have
useful identifying markings on them. And there must be thousands of
buttons on the market, with many variations on shape, size, physical
characteristics, ..., from dozens, maybe even hundreds of manufacturers.
At least, so it seems from the searches I've attempted. I've been
unsuccessful at finding replacement buttons and such, except in the
cases where I had the luxury of the specific manufacturer and part
number.

How do you find a replacement button? Are there any tricks to it?
Any hints appreciated.



Another more basic tip.

If one of 5 matching knobs is missing.
Move them so the missing one is in the centre and add one of right colour
and shape but larger say, to the centre. Or if 2 of one size, say volume and
dial scale knob , one is missing , replace both with 2 from somewhere else.

--
Diverse Devices, Southampton, England
electronic hints and repair briefs , schematics/manuals list on
http://home.graffiti.net/diverse:graffiti.net/



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Default Hints for finding replacement buttons?

N Cook wrote:
Hamad bin Turki al Salami wrote in message
...
I deal with a number of vintage devices, refurbishing and reselling
them. One of the annoyances I have is dealing with missing or broken
buttons (and knobs, dials, etc.). As silly as it may seem, something
like a missing button cap, that has no functional effect on the device,
can dramatically lower the value and salability of a device.

Now, if there's an electronic component that's broken, I at least know
how to look for it, by its electrical specs or even its model number.
However, if I need to replace a button, I'm lost. Buttons rarely have
useful identifying markings on them. And there must be thousands of
buttons on the market, with many variations on shape, size, physical
characteristics, ..., from dozens, maybe even hundreds of manufacturers.
At least, so it seems from the searches I've attempted. I've been
unsuccessful at finding replacement buttons and such, except in the
cases where I had the luxury of the specific manufacturer and part
number.

How do you find a replacement button? Are there any tricks to it?
Any hints appreciated.



From tips files on URL below

For making reasonable looking copies of old bakelite or
unconventional equipment knobs.
Requirements:-


snipped for brevity

Something you might possibly not be aware of is a material called
Polymorph.
It`s a white nylon like substance supplied as granules, which melt in
hot water (below boiling point) into a transparent mouldable mass. It`s
cool enough to mould by hand and when fully cooled, immensely tough -
virtually unbreakable in fact - it machines very much like nylon, and
can be drilled and tapped. Ideal for prototyping parts and for making
replacement knobs and handles and for modelmaking.

I got mine from Rapid Electronics

Ron(UK)
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Default Hints for finding replacement buttons?

Ron(UK) wrote in message
...
N Cook wrote:
Hamad bin Turki al Salami wrote in message
...
I deal with a number of vintage devices, refurbishing and reselling
them. One of the annoyances I have is dealing with missing or broken
buttons (and knobs, dials, etc.). As silly as it may seem, something
like a missing button cap, that has no functional effect on the device,
can dramatically lower the value and salability of a device.

Now, if there's an electronic component that's broken, I at least know
how to look for it, by its electrical specs or even its model number.
However, if I need to replace a button, I'm lost. Buttons rarely have
useful identifying markings on them. And there must be thousands of
buttons on the market, with many variations on shape, size, physical
characteristics, ..., from dozens, maybe even hundreds of

manufacturers.
At least, so it seems from the searches I've attempted. I've been
unsuccessful at finding replacement buttons and such, except in the
cases where I had the luxury of the specific manufacturer and part
number.

How do you find a replacement button? Are there any tricks to it?
Any hints appreciated.



From tips files on URL below

For making reasonable looking copies of old bakelite or
unconventional equipment knobs.
Requirements:-


snipped for brevity

Something you might possibly not be aware of is a material called
Polymorph.
It`s a white nylon like substance supplied as granules, which melt in
hot water (below boiling point) into a transparent mouldable mass. It`s
cool enough to mould by hand and when fully cooled, immensely tough -
virtually unbreakable in fact - it machines very much like nylon, and
can be drilled and tapped. Ideal for prototyping parts and for making
replacement knobs and handles and for modelmaking.

I got mine from Rapid Electronics

Ron(UK)


New one to me, looks interesting
http://www.rapidonline.com/productin...=Educational+P
roducts&tier2=Graphics%2c+Art+%26+Design&tier3=Mat erials&tier4=Polymorph&mod
uleno=34444
30 deg C is too low for practical uses though.
I wonder if it takes colourants/additives.
Unfortunately probably no use with moulding rubber as that melts at about
100 deg C


Last week I came across, for the first time, this veg in Waitrose that seems
too pretty to eat. Fibonacci Series gone mad
http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/po...anesco1024.jpg
Sometime I intend trying the craft moulding rubber on one, to take a cast.

--
Diverse Devices, Southampton, England
electronic hints and repair briefs , schematics/manuals list on
http://home.graffiti.net/diverse:graffiti.net/







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Posts: 501
Default Hints for finding replacement buttons?

N Cook wrote:
Ron(UK) wrote in message
...
N Cook wrote:
Hamad bin Turki al Salami wrote in message
...
I deal with a number of vintage devices, refurbishing and reselling
them. One of the annoyances I have is dealing with missing or broken
buttons (and knobs, dials, etc.). As silly as it may seem, something
like a missing button cap, that has no functional effect on the device,
can dramatically lower the value and salability of a device.

Now, if there's an electronic component that's broken, I at least know
how to look for it, by its electrical specs or even its model number.
However, if I need to replace a button, I'm lost. Buttons rarely have
useful identifying markings on them. And there must be thousands of
buttons on the market, with many variations on shape, size, physical
characteristics, ..., from dozens, maybe even hundreds of

manufacturers.
At least, so it seems from the searches I've attempted. I've been
unsuccessful at finding replacement buttons and such, except in the
cases where I had the luxury of the specific manufacturer and part
number.

How do you find a replacement button? Are there any tricks to it?
Any hints appreciated.


From tips files on URL below

For making reasonable looking copies of old bakelite or
unconventional equipment knobs.
Requirements:-

snipped for brevity

Something you might possibly not be aware of is a material called
Polymorph.
It`s a white nylon like substance supplied as granules, which melt in
hot water (below boiling point) into a transparent mouldable mass. It`s
cool enough to mould by hand and when fully cooled, immensely tough -
virtually unbreakable in fact - it machines very much like nylon, and
can be drilled and tapped. Ideal for prototyping parts and for making
replacement knobs and handles and for modelmaking.

I got mine from Rapid Electronics

Ron(UK)


New one to me, looks interesting
http://www.rapidonline.com/productin...=Educational+P
roducts&tier2=Graphics%2c+Art+%26+Design&tier3=Mat erials&tier4=Polymorph&mod
uleno=34444



30 deg C is too low for practical uses though.


What do you mean too low for practical uses? at room temp it`s rock
hard. You wouldn't make a valve base out of it, but that`s not what it`s
for.



I wonder if it takes colourants/additives.


You might be able to kneed in some kind of colouring, possibly a
powdered nylon dye

Unfortunately probably no use with moulding rubber as that melts at about
100 deg C


Works nicely with pourable silicon tho
  #7   Report Post  
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Posts: 1,220
Default Hints for finding replacement buttons?

Ron(UK) wrote in message
...
N Cook wrote:
Ron(UK) wrote in message
...
N Cook wrote:
Hamad bin Turki al Salami wrote in message
...
I deal with a number of vintage devices, refurbishing and reselling
them. One of the annoyances I have is dealing with missing or broken
buttons (and knobs, dials, etc.). As silly as it may seem, something
like a missing button cap, that has no functional effect on the

device,
can dramatically lower the value and salability of a device.

Now, if there's an electronic component that's broken, I at least

know
how to look for it, by its electrical specs or even its model number.
However, if I need to replace a button, I'm lost. Buttons rarely have
useful identifying markings on them. And there must be thousands of
buttons on the market, with many variations on shape, size, physical
characteristics, ..., from dozens, maybe even hundreds of

manufacturers.
At least, so it seems from the searches I've attempted. I've been
unsuccessful at finding replacement buttons and such, except in the
cases where I had the luxury of the specific manufacturer and part
number.

How do you find a replacement button? Are there any tricks to it?
Any hints appreciated.


From tips files on URL below

For making reasonable looking copies of old bakelite or
unconventional equipment knobs.
Requirements:-
snipped for brevity

Something you might possibly not be aware of is a material called
Polymorph.
It`s a white nylon like substance supplied as granules, which melt in
hot water (below boiling point) into a transparent mouldable mass. It`s
cool enough to mould by hand and when fully cooled, immensely tough -
virtually unbreakable in fact - it machines very much like nylon, and
can be drilled and tapped. Ideal for prototyping parts and for making
replacement knobs and handles and for modelmaking.

I got mine from Rapid Electronics

Ron(UK)


New one to me, looks interesting

http://www.rapidonline.com/productin...=Educational+P

roducts&tier2=Graphics%2c+Art+%26+Design&tier3=Mat erials&tier4=Polymorph&mod
uleno=34444



30 deg C is too low for practical uses though.


What do you mean too low for practical uses? at room temp it`s rock
hard. You wouldn't make a valve base out of it, but that`s not what it`s
for.



I wonder if it takes colourants/additives.


You might be able to kneed in some kind of colouring, possibly a
powdered nylon dye

Unfortunately probably no use with moulding rubber as that melts at

about
100 deg C


Works nicely with pourable silicon tho


"Polymorph is one of a new generation of polymers with all the
characteristics of a tough, machinable engineering material, yet it fuses
and becomes easily mouldable between 30C and 62C."
from the rapidline URL before.

Reading up about it , it is supposed to be related to hot-melt glue.
Hot-melt material is remeltable so can easily take different colours on an
ad hoc basis. Is polymorph one-time-use ? so it will not remelt if exposed
to 30 to 62 . Is polymorph one-time-use ? so it will not remelt if exposed
to 30 to 62 C ?

I assume it is a harder resulting material than hot-melt glue stick.

--
Diverse Devices, Southampton, England
electronic hints and repair briefs , schematics/manuals list on
http://home.graffiti.net/diverse:graffiti.net/



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Default Hints for finding replacement buttons?

N Cook wrote:
Ron(UK) wrote in message
...
N Cook wrote:
Ron(UK) wrote in message
...
N Cook wrote:
Hamad bin Turki al Salami wrote in message
...
I deal with a number of vintage devices, refurbishing and reselling
them. One of the annoyances I have is dealing with missing or broken
buttons (and knobs, dials, etc.). As silly as it may seem, something
like a missing button cap, that has no functional effect on the

device,
can dramatically lower the value and salability of a device.

Now, if there's an electronic component that's broken, I at least

know
how to look for it, by its electrical specs or even its model number.
However, if I need to replace a button, I'm lost. Buttons rarely have
useful identifying markings on them. And there must be thousands of
buttons on the market, with many variations on shape, size, physical
characteristics, ..., from dozens, maybe even hundreds of
manufacturers.
At least, so it seems from the searches I've attempted. I've been
unsuccessful at finding replacement buttons and such, except in the
cases where I had the luxury of the specific manufacturer and part
number.

How do you find a replacement button? Are there any tricks to it?
Any hints appreciated.


From tips files on URL below

For making reasonable looking copies of old bakelite or
unconventional equipment knobs.
Requirements:-
snipped for brevity

Something you might possibly not be aware of is a material called
Polymorph.
It`s a white nylon like substance supplied as granules, which melt in
hot water (below boiling point) into a transparent mouldable mass. It`s
cool enough to mould by hand and when fully cooled, immensely tough -
virtually unbreakable in fact - it machines very much like nylon, and
can be drilled and tapped. Ideal for prototyping parts and for making
replacement knobs and handles and for modelmaking.

I got mine from Rapid Electronics

Ron(UK)
New one to me, looks interesting

http://www.rapidonline.com/productin...=Educational+P
roducts&tier2=Graphics%2c+Art+%26+Design&tier3=Mat erials&tier4=Polymorph&mod
uleno=34444


30 deg C is too low for practical uses though.

What do you mean too low for practical uses? at room temp it`s rock
hard. You wouldn't make a valve base out of it, but that`s not what it`s
for.



I wonder if it takes colourants/additives.

You might be able to kneed in some kind of colouring, possibly a
powdered nylon dye

Unfortunately probably no use with moulding rubber as that melts at

about
100 deg C

Works nicely with pourable silicon tho


"Polymorph is one of a new generation of polymers with all the
characteristics of a tough, machinable engineering material, yet it fuses
and becomes easily mouldable between 30C and 62C."
from the rapidline URL before.

Reading up about it , it is supposed to be related to hot-melt glue.
Hot-melt material is remeltable so can easily take different colours on an
ad hoc basis. Is polymorph one-time-use ? so it will not remelt if exposed
to 30 to 62 . Is polymorph one-time-use ? so it will not remelt if exposed
to 30 to 62 C ?


You can remelt polymorph over and over again with the same results.
Obviously it`s not intended to be used for making something that would
be exposed to heat.

There is a pourable version now that you freeze to harden. I`m not sure
what the uses of that are.



I assume it is a harder resulting material than hot-melt glue stick.


It`s a lot harder, think of screwdriver handle hardness. It has a
slightly soapy feel to it. In fact, it`s great for making special tool
handles.

Order some and try it, it`s cheap enough.

Ron

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On Feb 15, 6:48*am, "Ron(UK)" wrote:
N Cook wrote:
Ron(UK) wrote in message
...
N Cook wrote:
Ron(UK) wrote in message
. ..
N Cook wrote:
Hamad bin Turki al Salami wrote in message
...
I deal with a number of vintage devices, refurbishing and reselling
them. One of the annoyances I have is dealing with missing or broken
buttons (and knobs, dials, etc.). As silly as it may seem, something
like a missing button cap, that has no functional effect on the

device,
can dramatically lower the value and salability of a device.


Now, if there's an electronic component that's broken, I at least

know
how to look for it, by its electrical specs or even its model number.

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Posts: 533
Default Hints for finding replacement buttons?

Hamad bin Turki al Salami wrote:
I deal with a number of vintage devices, refurbishing and reselling
them. One of the annoyances I have is dealing with missing or broken
buttons (and knobs, dials, etc.). As silly as it may seem, something
like a missing button cap, that has no functional effect on the device,
can dramatically lower the value and salability of a device.

Now, if there's an electronic component that's broken, I at least know
how to look for it, by its electrical specs or even its model number.
However, if I need to replace a button, I'm lost. Buttons rarely have
useful identifying markings on them. And there must be thousands of
buttons on the market, with many variations on shape, size, physical
characteristics, ..., from dozens, maybe even hundreds of manufacturers.
At least, so it seems from the searches I've attempted. I've been
unsuccessful at finding replacement buttons and such, except in the
cases where I had the luxury of the specific manufacturer and part
number.

How do you find a replacement button? Are there any tricks to it?
Any hints appreciated.


Post this q' on rec.antiques.radio+phono. A few suppliers hang out
there. Others will provide links and possible sources for specific
pieces...as well as alternative methods of fabrication to the excellent
advice given by Mr. Cook.

jak


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Ron(UK) wrote in message
...
N Cook wrote:
Ron(UK) wrote in message
...
N Cook wrote:
Ron(UK) wrote in message
...
N Cook wrote:
Hamad bin Turki al Salami wrote in message
...


It`s a lot harder, think of screwdriver handle hardness. It has a
slightly soapy feel to it. In fact, it`s great for making special tool
handles.

Order some and try it, it`s cheap enough.

Ron


Which leaves the problem, due to heat , for casting purposes what to use for
the intermediary "plug". What is pourable silicon ?, I've only come across
RTV which is paste consistency. Do you have a trade name ?


--
Diverse Devices, Southampton, England
electronic hints and repair briefs , schematics/manuals list on
http://home.graffiti.net/diverse:graffiti.net/



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Posts: 501
Default Hints for finding replacement buttons?

N Cook wrote:
Ron(UK) wrote in message
...
N Cook wrote:
Ron(UK) wrote in message
...
N Cook wrote:
Ron(UK) wrote in message
...
N Cook wrote:
Hamad bin Turki al Salami wrote in message
...

It`s a lot harder, think of screwdriver handle hardness. It has a
slightly soapy feel to it. In fact, it`s great for making special tool
handles.

Order some and try it, it`s cheap enough.

Ron


Which leaves the problem, due to heat , for casting purposes what to use for
the intermediary "plug". What is pourable silicon ?, I've only come across
RTV which is paste consistency. Do you have a trade name ?


Google is your friend, Try "Pourable Silicone"

Oh what the hell http://www.tiranti.co.uk
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