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A novice's questions about scratchy volume controls

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by ~db~®, Mar 19, 2007.

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  1. ~db~®

    ~db~® Guest

    Is there any point in trying to repair them, or is
    it best to replace scratchy pots? If cleaning
    them is a workable solution, how is this best
    accomplished? What is the best cleaner to use?
    Which would you avoid? TIA!

  2. N Cook

    N Cook Guest

    Scratchy normally means worn , if a standard pot (usually isn't) then
    If not standard, then dismantle an "recondition", details on one of my tips
    files off URL below.
    Squirting anything is usually pointless .
  3. Jim Land

    Jim Land Guest

    Depends on what's causing the "scratchy" behavior.

    It can be as simple as a speck of dust on the resistive element, so each
    time the wiper goes over it, there's an abrupt change in resistance. In
    that case, you can sometimes cure the problem by turning the knob back and
    forth many times to sweep the speck of dust off the element (or grind it
    down to dust).

    Another case is a very cheap resistive element which has a rough surface.
    Replace it. A proper resistive element, after extensive use, may develop a
    rough surface. Replace it.

    Of course, if the volume control is specialized, you might have a hard time
    finding a replacement. An internet store such as
    might be helpful.
  4. hr(bob)

    hr(bob) Guest

    Can you get at the part of the volume control that has three
    terminals, or only from the front of the radio/tv set/whatever/ It is
    almost impossible to do anything from the front. If you can get to
    the back of the control where the three terminals are located, you can
    spray tuner lubricant into the control throught the spaces where the
    terminals go into the control. I have also sprayed naptha into
    controls. After spraying, with the device UNPLUGGED, rotate the
    control back and forth several times. Then allow the lubricant to
    dry, at least 15 minutes, maybe more, and then use the device. The
    lubricant will help loosen dirt that may be on the track, It may not
    help, but it should not make things any worse. I have also sprayed a
    little WD-40 when nothing else was available, it helpd noticeably.

    H. R. (Bob) Hofmann
  5. GregS

    GregS Guest

    If I tried replacing every switch or volume control I came across,
    I would spend most of my time doing that. Alcohol
    is probably most common cleaner and works well. A
    lubricant after cleaning often helps or is necessary.
    There are not many lubricants made for volume controls.
    CRC 2-26 is not a bad product. I used a product once that was
    made in the 60's, was a white grease spray for controls.
    The pure red form of deoxit wold probably be very good, and
    there is a blue lubricant from Caig made especially for controls.

  6. Jim Land

    Jim Land Guest

  7. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    I have used Servisol Super 10 aerosol switch cleaner / lubricant for many
    years, and the genuinely dirty pot that this excellent product cannot
    recover, is rare indeed. As others have said though, mechanical wear on the
    track is a different matter, and control replacement is usually the only
    long-term solution.

  8. J.P.

    J.P. Guest

    Go to Radio Shack if you are in the US and buy Deoxit...spray a shot
    in the pot and turn it lock to lock about 10-20 times and try it
    again...Deoxit Gold is not for pots... see website for details...J.P.
  9. Jim Yanik

    Jim Yanik Guest

    wrap a wire or string around the pot's knob and use that to see-saw the pot
    lock-to-lock;you can do it much faster and easier.
  10. BILKS

    BILKS Guest

    lawl mang i ned help fo my projet i alredy posted biout i really ned
    to no ;___;
  11. sgeorge


    Mar 20, 2007
  12. ~db~®

    ~db~® Guest

    Thanks, everyone ... in this case, deoxit did the
    trick. And this is a good thing since the volume
    control is integral to the on-off switch -- or
    vice versa.
  13. Jack

    Jack Guest

    If you get DC through any of these things you get a scratchy volume
    control. Check for screwed electro.
  14. MW

    MW Guest

    Another way to clean the pot, but not a long term solution is turn off
    the set and turn the pot from end to end lots of times, it moves the
    dirt about on the track.
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