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are potentiometers very heat sensitive?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Mar 28, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    It seems like I keep damaging the pots when I'm rewiring them in my
    electric guitars or my amps. I'm assuming the heat from my soldering
    iron is wrecking them. But I'm surprised they would be so sensitive to
    heat. The hottest iron I use is 40 Watts.
  2. Andrew Holme

    Andrew Holme Guest

    Wrecking them how? How long are you applying heat for? It shouldn't take
    more than 2 or 3 seconds per joint.
  3. He's probably talking about soldering ground leads to the metal can of
    the pot for shielding. Using a 40W iron, it takes a long time to get
    the metal hot enough to solder to. He needs a trigger type gun in the
    140W range. This will get the metal hot enough in short enough time to
    prevent damaging the pot. Of course the lugs only need the smaller
  4. Guest

    Actually, I AM talking about soldering the lugs. I don't think I'm
    applying the heat too long. But sometimes when I'm done, the pots
    don't work quite right. Sometimes they cut out while turning them.
    Replacing them always seems to work.

    Recently, I had a pot on my guitar amp that I took out and put back in.
    When I was finished, the volume wouldn't turn off and the it didn't
    behave the same. So I replaced it with another pot then it worked
  5. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest


    Especially if you're using old, surplus, or recycled pots.

    This kind of pot is notorious for intermittent connections. It isn't
    soldering heat, it's just crud between the element and wiper. Get some
    proper potentiometer cleaner spray, sometimes called contact cleaner,
    or contol cleaner, or the like - look for something guaranteed to leave
    no residue.

    But just plain old ordinary dust in the air can cause this kind of
    behavior in potentiometers. (I'd have said "pots", but didn't want
    to open the thread to the bean cookers. ;-) )

    Good Luck!
  6. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    I wonder if these might be conductive plastic pots?
    You might want to pry open one of the damaged ones
    and see what it looks like under the hood. If this
    doesn't tell you at a glance what is happening, you
    could then experiment by soldering the connector
    and watching what happens. If it's not actually
    melting the polymer, it might be causing it to exude
    something non-conductive to the surface.

    Best regards,

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
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