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 Potentiometer fix?

The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.
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spamtrap1888 wrote:
The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.



Have you tried 'working' it - turning it rapidly clockwise then
counter-clockwise (or rapidly up and down if a slider mechanism) - for
20 seconds or so?

That should clear any dust which may be affecting its operation.

HTH
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"~BD~" wrote in message
...
spamtrap1888 wrote:
The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.



Have you tried 'working' it - turning it rapidly clockwise then
counter-clockwise (or rapidly up and down if a slider mechanism) - for 20
seconds or so?

That should clear any dust which may be affecting its operation.



Another old trick of the trade is to rub the carbon track with the point of
a HB graphite pencil.

Apply lightly first & check the result - it can alter the audio curve if
over applied.


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Default Potentiometer fix?

The usual fix is to flush the pot with something designed for cleaning pots
or contacts.

You might also try one of Caig's products.


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"William Sommerwerck" wrote in message
...
The usual fix is to flush the pot with something designed for cleaning
pots
or contacts.



I'm wary of anything involving any kind of solvent - I've seen ABS pot body
molding literally disintegrate before my eyes!




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On Wed, 14 Dec 2011 09:43:27 -0800 (PST), spamtrap1888
wrote:

The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?


Spray contact cleaner. Alcohol, kerosene, or WD-40. Just about
anything works. I keep running into the same problem with various
"Mod-Pot" clones, where the pot is inside a square enclosure. Scratchy
pots are typical. I have to drill a hole in the side, and use a
syringe to inject whatever cleaner falls off the shelf first.
Unfortunately, my batting average is not perfect. If the pot lube has
turned to tar, solvent cleaning usually works. However, if the wiper
has gouged a groove into the carbon resistive material, it will
continue to be noisy. I've also used Aquadag to fill the groove on
larger pots, but have never tried it on small pots. As I vaguely
recall, the older cheapo imported radios had pots with an unplated
copper wiper. When corroded, it causes erratic connections. Cleaning
with any oxide remover (i.e. 409 cleaner) should fix that.

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.


Maybe sell it to a radio collector and let them deal with the noisy
pot? Good luck.

--
# Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
# 831-336-2558
# http://802.11junk.com
#
http://www.LearnByDestroying.com AE6KS
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Default Potentiometer fix?

spamtrap1888 wrote:
The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.


You can try a spray. Try either caig deoxit or crc 2-36.

Greg
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Am 14.12.2011 18:43, schrieb spamtrap1888:
The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.



If there are loud "scratching noises" from the speaker during moving the
pot, then, aditional to the cleaning tips from the others, look for bad
elytics that may have leaking currents causing DC at the pot.

Jorgen
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"~BD~" wrote in message
...
spamtrap1888 wrote:
The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.



Have you tried 'working' it - turning it rapidly clockwise then
counter-clockwise (or rapidly up and down if a slider mechanism) - for 20
seconds or so?

That should clear any dust which may be affecting its operation.

HTH



That should work - for about 20 seconds or so.

Mark Z.

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I still go with flushing it.

Someone said they'd seen ABS [sic] components of a pot destroyed. ABS is a
fairly stable plastic, so I doubt it was that. And this was the first I'd
ever heard of compounds specifically designed to clean pots damaging the
pot. It's not impossible -- just very unlikely.




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"William Sommerwerck" wrote in message
...
I still go with flushing it.

Someone said they'd seen ABS [sic] components of a pot destroyed. ABS is a
fairly stable plastic, so I doubt it was that. And this was the first I'd
ever heard of compounds specifically designed to clean pots damaging the
pot. It's not impossible -- just very unlikely.



Not unlikely at all! - most motorcycle helmets are ABS and carry dire
warnings not to paint, apply stickers or clean with *ANY* solvent.

Once I gave a VCR mode switch a blast of switch cleaner - in the time it
took to put the can back on the shelf, the cam wheel had literally turned
into a pile of granules in the bottom of the chassis.

After such an expensive mishap you soon learn to respect the danger.


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Default Potentiometer fix?

"Ian Field" wrote in
:


"~BD~" wrote in message
...
spamtrap1888 wrote:
The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.



Have you tried 'working' it - turning it rapidly clockwise then
counter-clockwise (or rapidly up and down if a slider mechanism) -
for 20 seconds or so?

That should clear any dust which may be affecting its operation.



Another old trick of the trade is to rub the carbon track with the
point of a HB graphite pencil.

Apply lightly first & check the result - it can alter the audio curve
if over applied.




One trick I used to use was wrapping a single turn of insulated
stranded,flexible wire around the knob or shaft,and using the wire to see-
saw the pot back and forth,it's easier and faster than doing it with your
fingers.
kinda like the bow and stick method of fire-starting,if you know what I
mean.

tuner cleaner-lube spray usually works if you can get it into the pot.
On the Bourns mod-pots,I used to drill a small access hole for a syringe
needle I had fixed to the spray can's tube.

--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
at
localnet
dot com
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On Dec 15, 10:06*am, Jim Yanik wrote:
"Ian Field" wrote :







"~BD~" wrote in message
...
spamtrap1888 wrote:
The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?


Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.


Have you tried 'working' it - turning it rapidly clockwise then
counter-clockwise (or rapidly up and down if a slider mechanism) -
for 20 seconds or so?


That should clear any dust which may be affecting its operation.


Another old trick of the trade is to rub the carbon track with the
point of a HB graphite pencil.


Apply lightly first & check the result - it can alter the audio curve
if over applied.


One trick I used to use was wrapping a single turn of insulated
stranded,flexible wire around the knob or shaft,and using the wire to see-
saw the pot back and forth,it's easier and faster than doing it with your
fingers.
kinda like the bow and stick method of fire-starting,if you know what I
mean.

tuner cleaner-lube spray usually works if you can get it into the pot.
On the Bourns mod-pots,I used to drill a small access hole for a syringe
needle I had fixed to the spray can's tube.

--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
at
localnet
dot com- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


I just liberally dose the pot with after-shave lotion applied with an
eyedropper. May have to apply it where the 3 terminals come out the
side, or maybe down the actual shaft itelf. Works every time for
me. The alcohol apparently dissolves some of the dirt and grime and
things are fine for at least a year or two.
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"Lund-Nielsen, Jorgen" wrote in message
...
Am 14.12.2011 18:43, schrieb spamtrap1888:
The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.



If there are loud "scratching noises" from the speaker during moving the
pot, then, aditional to the cleaning tips from the others, look for bad
elytics that may have leaking currents causing DC at the pot.

Jorgen



Lucky someone remembered - that's the next place to look if cleaning doesn't
help.


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"William Sommerwerck" wrote in message
...
The usual fix is to flush the pot with something designed for cleaning
pots
or contacts.

You might also try one of Caig's products.


A few months ago one of the UK hobby magazines published an email for a
company giving free samples of pot lube.

Nye synthetic lubricants.

Distributed by:

www.newgatesimms.co.uk

The sample was; Fluorocarbon gel 813-1

The sample was tiny, so it hasn't been possible to try it on a variety of
pots to see if any of the plastic parts suffer damage.




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spamtrap1888 wrote in message
...
The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.



Why does no one ever seem to mention desoldering the pot and taking it
apart. Then you can actually see whether it is wear,dirt, hardened
lubricant, weak wiper springing or misalgnment, bad paxolin rivets, cracked
paxolin etc.


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"N_Cook" wrote in message
...
spamtrap1888 wrote in message
...
The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.



Why does no one ever seem to mention desoldering the pot and taking it
apart. Then you can actually see whether it is wear,dirt, hardened
lubricant, weak wiper springing or misalgnment, bad paxolin rivets,
cracked
paxolin etc.



Because its best to look on the bright side till all else fails.


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Default Potentiometer fix?

Ian Field wrote in message
...

"N_Cook" wrote in message
...
spamtrap1888 wrote in message

...
The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.



Why does no one ever seem to mention desoldering the pot and taking it
apart. Then you can actually see whether it is wear,dirt, hardened
lubricant, weak wiper springing or misalgnment, bad paxolin rivets,
cracked
paxolin etc.



Because its best to look on the bright side till all else fails.




As something in excess of 95 percent of the "dirty" pots I come across are
anything else but dirty, I've long since been in the habit of removing and
dismantling rather than wasting time with various potions.


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Default Potentiometer fix?

On 12/18/2011 12:32 AM, N_Cook wrote:
Ian wrote in message
...

wrote in message
...
wrote in message

...
The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.


Why does no one ever seem to mention desoldering the pot and taking it
apart. Then you can actually see whether it is wear,dirt, hardened
lubricant, weak wiper springing or misalgnment, bad paxolin rivets,
cracked
paxolin etc.



Because its best to look on the bright side till all else fails.




As something in excess of 95 percent of the "dirty" pots I come across are
anything else but dirty, I've long since been in the habit of removing and
dismantling rather than wasting time with various potions.


Absolutely, pots that don't get 'twiddled' much might be dirty but a
volume pot is prone to being worn 'out'. Sometimes a little bend of the
contact wiper to an unworn part of the track (on older pots) can extend
the life.

Rheilly P
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Rheilly Phoull wrote in message
...
On 12/18/2011 12:32 AM, N_Cook wrote:
Ian wrote in message
...

wrote in message
...
wrote in message


...
The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.


Why does no one ever seem to mention desoldering the pot and taking it
apart. Then you can actually see whether it is wear,dirt, hardened
lubricant, weak wiper springing or misalgnment, bad paxolin rivets,
cracked
paxolin etc.


Because its best to look on the bright side till all else fails.




As something in excess of 95 percent of the "dirty" pots I come across

are
anything else but dirty, I've long since been in the habit of removing

and
dismantling rather than wasting time with various potions.


Absolutely, pots that don't get 'twiddled' much might be dirty but a
volume pot is prone to being worn 'out'. Sometimes a little bend of the
contact wiper to an unworn part of the track (on older pots) can extend
the life.

Rheilly P



This is my consensus view, assuming not due to being abused. Old pots tend
to be worn. Modern small ones as used in multichanel mixers - misalignment
of the flimsey wiper, plastic bodied ones - compacted grease under the
flimsy wiper. I don't remember coming across a worn failing modern pot,
probably swings and roundabouts of flimsey wiper metal. Stout and it wears
the track and light the wiper gets mispositioned too easily




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I forgot the rider , assuming the crackly pot problem is not due to DC
getting on the pot


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"N_Cook" wrote in message
...
I forgot the rider , assuming the crackly pot problem is not due to DC
getting on the pot




L-NJ already said that.


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On Dec 20, 12:59*am, "N_Cook" wrote:
Rheilly Phoull wrote in message

... On 12/18/2011 12:32 AM, N_Cook wrote:
Ian *wrote in message
...


*wrote in message
...
*wrote in message


...









The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?


Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further, it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.


Why does no one ever seem to mention desoldering the pot and taking it
apart. Then you can actually see whether it is wear,dirt, hardened
lubricant, weak wiper springing or misalgnment, bad paxolin rivets,
cracked
paxolin etc.


Because its best to look on the bright side till all else fails.


As something in excess of 95 percent of the "dirty" pots I come across

are
anything else but dirty, I've long since been in the habit of removing

and
dismantling rather than wasting time with various potions.


Absolutely, pots that don't get 'twiddled' much might be dirty but a
volume pot is prone to being worn 'out'. Sometimes a little bend of the
contact wiper to an unworn part of the track (on older pots) can extend
the life.


Rheilly P


This is my consensus view, assuming not due to being abused. Old pots tend
to be worn. Modern small ones as used in multichanel mixers - misalignment
of the flimsey wiper, plastic bodied ones - compacted grease under the
flimsy wiper. I don't remember coming across a worn failing modern pot,
probably swings and roundabouts of flimsey wiper metal. Stout and it wears
the track and light the wiper gets mispositioned too easily


So if this were a modern plastic bodied pot, would squirting it with,
say WD-40 be appropriate, because grease would be compacted under the
flimsy wiper?
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On Dec 21, 9:33*am, "Ian Field"
wrote:
"N_Cook" wrote in message

...

I forgot the rider , assuming the crackly pot problem is not due to DC
getting on the pot


L-NJ already said that.


I took N_C to be summarizing all responses, for which I thank him.
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"spamtrap1888" wrote in message
...
On Dec 20, 12:59 am, "N_Cook" wrote:
Rheilly Phoull wrote in message

... On 12/18/2011
12:32 AM, N_Cook wrote:
Ian wrote in message
...


wrote in message
...
wrote in message


...









The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?


Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further,
it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.


Why does no one ever seem to mention desoldering the pot and taking
it
apart. Then you can actually see whether it is wear,dirt, hardened
lubricant, weak wiper springing or misalgnment, bad paxolin rivets,
cracked
paxolin etc.


Because its best to look on the bright side till all else fails.


As something in excess of 95 percent of the "dirty" pots I come across

are
anything else but dirty, I've long since been in the habit of removing

and
dismantling rather than wasting time with various potions.


Absolutely, pots that don't get 'twiddled' much might be dirty but a
volume pot is prone to being worn 'out'. Sometimes a little bend of the
contact wiper to an unworn part of the track (on older pots) can extend
the life.


Rheilly P


This is my consensus view, assuming not due to being abused. Old pots tend
to be worn. Modern small ones as used in multichanel mixers - misalignment
of the flimsey wiper, plastic bodied ones - compacted grease under the
flimsy wiper. I don't remember coming across a worn failing modern pot,
probably swings and roundabouts of flimsey wiper metal. Stout and it wears
the track and light the wiper gets mispositioned too easily


So if this were a modern plastic bodied pot, would squirting it with,
say WD-40 be appropriate, because grease would be compacted under the
flimsy wiper?
vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Once Im sure the plastic body won't be damaged by the solvent, I use GT85 -
you'd think the PTFE content would interfere with the wiper contact but it
never has yet.




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In message , Ian Field
writes

"spamtrap1888" wrote in message
...
On Dec 20, 12:59 am, "N_Cook" wrote:
Rheilly Phoull wrote in message

... On 12/18/2011
12:32 AM, N_Cook wrote:
Ian wrote in message
...


wrote in message
...
wrote in message


...









The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?


Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further,
it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.


Why does no one ever seem to mention desoldering the pot and taking
it
apart. Then you can actually see whether it is wear,dirt, hardened
lubricant, weak wiper springing or misalgnment, bad paxolin rivets,
cracked
paxolin etc.


Because its best to look on the bright side till all else fails.


As something in excess of 95 percent of the "dirty" pots I come across

are
anything else but dirty, I've long since been in the habit of removing

and
dismantling rather than wasting time with various potions.


Absolutely, pots that don't get 'twiddled' much might be dirty but a
volume pot is prone to being worn 'out'. Sometimes a little bend of the
contact wiper to an unworn part of the track (on older pots) can extend
the life.


Rheilly P


This is my consensus view, assuming not due to being abused. Old pots tend
to be worn. Modern small ones as used in multichanel mixers - misalignment
of the flimsey wiper, plastic bodied ones - compacted grease under the
flimsy wiper. I don't remember coming across a worn failing modern pot,
probably swings and roundabouts of flimsey wiper metal. Stout and it wears
the track and light the wiper gets mispositioned too easily


So if this were a modern plastic bodied pot, would squirting it with,
say WD-40 be appropriate, because grease would be compacted under the
flimsy wiper?
vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Once Im sure the plastic body won't be damaged by the solvent, I use GT85 -
you'd think the PTFE content would interfere with the wiper contact but it
never has yet.

I would also suggest WD40 (as it's something that most DIYers have
immediately at hand. Just a drop (don't drench things too much). After
some time, it may need re-doing. But most pots, once they turn noisy,
also tend to need an occasional re-do, regardless of what you use as a
cleaner/lubricant.
--
Ian
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"Ian Jackson" wrote in message
...
In message , Ian Field
writes

"spamtrap1888" wrote in message
...
On Dec 20, 12:59 am, "N_Cook" wrote:
Rheilly Phoull wrote in message

... On 12/18/2011
12:32 AM, N_Cook wrote:
Ian wrote in message
...

wrote in message
...
wrote in message

...









The volume control of the cheapie Sony "transistor" AM FM radio I
bought about a year ago does not operate smoothly at low volumes.
Could I try spraying it with something, and if so, what do people
recommend?

Even if not cost-effective, I hate to throw things away. Further,
it
has the best FM performance of any small radio I have ever had.

Why does no one ever seem to mention desoldering the pot and
taking
it
apart. Then you can actually see whether it is wear,dirt, hardened
lubricant, weak wiper springing or misalgnment, bad paxolin
rivets,
cracked
paxolin etc.

Because its best to look on the bright side till all else fails.

As something in excess of 95 percent of the "dirty" pots I come
across
are
anything else but dirty, I've long since been in the habit of
removing
and
dismantling rather than wasting time with various potions.

Absolutely, pots that don't get 'twiddled' much might be dirty but a
volume pot is prone to being worn 'out'. Sometimes a little bend of
the
contact wiper to an unworn part of the track (on older pots) can
extend
the life.

Rheilly P

This is my consensus view, assuming not due to being abused. Old pots
tend
to be worn. Modern small ones as used in multichanel mixers -
misalignment
of the flimsey wiper, plastic bodied ones - compacted grease under the
flimsy wiper. I don't remember coming across a worn failing modern pot,
probably swings and roundabouts of flimsey wiper metal. Stout and it
wears
the track and light the wiper gets mispositioned too easily


So if this were a modern plastic bodied pot, would squirting it with,
say WD-40 be appropriate, because grease would be compacted under the
flimsy wiper?
vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Once Im sure the plastic body won't be damaged by the solvent, I use
GT85 -
you'd think the PTFE content would interfere with the wiper contact but it
never has yet.

I would also suggest WD40 (as it's something that most DIYers have
immediately at hand.


GT85 is sold in direct competition to WD40 and is rapidly catching up.

Its more expensive but the PTFE additive makes it worth the extra.


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Default Potentiometer fix?

spamtrap1888 wrote in message
...
On Dec 21, 9:33 am, "Ian Field"
wrote:
"N_Cook" wrote in message

...

I forgot the rider , assuming the crackly pot problem is not due to DC
getting on the pot


L-NJ already said that.


I took N_C to be summarizing all responses, for which I thank him.

+++++++

This was for rotary pots, not sliders where there is much more opportunity
for crud to get onto the track.
As for WD40 etc on congealed?/compacted grease. Perhaps detergent squirted
in , if compatible with the plastics.


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