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Cleaning switch contacts on Scope

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by amdx, Dec 1, 2010.

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  1. amdx

    amdx Guest

    I have a scope and one channel has poor connections on the Volts/Div switch.
    What product would you use to clean the contacts on the wafer switch?
    PS. I've been dealing with it to long, time to fix it!
  2. JW

    JW Guest

    Assuming that the problem is dirty and/or oxidized contacts, Deoxit D5.

    What model scope is it? Sometimes all that's needed is adjusting the bends
    in the contacts a bit.
  3. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Be careful which contact cleaner to use, don't just grab something from
    the garage. The aggressive stuff for cars is not advised for such
    delicate jobs. Make sure it leaves no nasty residue either. I use "Tuner
    600" but bought it in Europe, not sure if you can get it here in the US:

    For potmeters many audio professionals (not audiophools but the guys
    that actually run concerts) prefer "Fader Lube".
  4. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Contact cleaner?

    Good Luck!
  5. amdx

    amdx Guest

    Ok Larkin,
    I took your advice and stopped at Radio Shack and bought their
    I sprayed every switch and pot that I could get the spray tube to except for
    one I could not reach.
    That one was the delayed sweep position pot, 10 turn wire wound.
    I rotated everything many times, put it all back together and it works like
    I should have done this 3 years ago..
    Hope it lasts!
    The delayed sweep is smooth so no worry for now.
    Thanks, MikeK
  6. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest

    ::>I have a scope and one channel has poor connections on the Volts/Div
    :> What product would you use to clean the contacts on the wafer switch?
    :> MikeK
    :> PS. I've been dealing with it to long, time to fix it!
    :I gave mine a dose of "CO contact cleaner" and worked the switch back &
    :forth a heap of times, better but not perfect.
    :Years ago there used to be stuff called "microscrub" for cleaning telecoms
    :relay contacts but I havent seen it anywhere for years. There was also slips
    :eek:f pink paper looking material impregnated with solvents & a lubricant that
    :was used for cleaning instrument contacts but again I have not seen this in
    :catalogues for many years. Not much help hey!

    Microscrub was a 3M product if I recall correctly. It was boomed up as the
    wonder non-destructive contact cleaner for telecoms relays but in Australia its
    use was discontinued in the mid 70's due to the fact that it deposited small
    particles of debris on the contacts to insulate them. Telecom Aust thereafter
    recommended only using the traditional flat metal spring type contact burnishing
    tool. The metal blades could not contain abrasive materials such as carborundum
    or diamond dust either.

    I've still got a couple in my tool collection.
  7. JW

    JW Guest


    Use it or don't, but I've never had any problems with it. I worked part
    time as a repair technician for one of the larger test equipment salvage
    companies, and the stuff repaired countless numbers of pieces that came
    across my bench. Now I do the same work out of my home, and it's still
    part of my arsenal. Lots of very knowledgeable folks in the Tek and
    Agilent Yahoo groups swear by it as well.
  8. amdx

    amdx Guest

  9. amdx

    amdx Guest

    What is your time worth? (Not talking about all the time it's been
    Can you just buy a new switch and install that?

    The scope is probably 30 years old. If I could get a switch, it
    would cost more than the scope is worth. The switch assembly
    is about 5" long, has 4 wafer sections and has a pot. on the end.
    I would buy a new scope before I would replace the switch.
    I cleaned it, that solved the problem.
    Not sure I understand the "time worth" question, 15 minutes
    to clean the switches, hours to replace the switch.
    Ah.. maybe this helps, it is a scope for hobby use.
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