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Send/Return 1/4 inch socket by-pass switches going open circuit

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by N Cook, Feb 27, 2007.

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  1. N Cook

    N Cook Guest

    I often come across corroded or dirty contacts so the amp stops functioning.
    If the spriginess of the metal has failed then replace obviously, but what
    about the more usual case where it is only corrosion/airborn contaminaion,
    not really necessitating pulling the amp apart to replace them. Any ideas
    how to deal with.
    1/ solvent clean the contact/s
    2/ abraid the contacts with file
    3/ coat the contacts with something
    3/ add compressible material , glued in place, over the spring section to
    add closure force
    4/ if the sockets are never used for effects etc , bridge tightly across the
    contact with fine copper wire, soldered in place, "shorting" the switch - if
    plugged into at some future point then the wire will break
    5/ any other ideas to reduce the possibility of re-occurance
  2. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    With what make of jack ?

    It varies hugely. I've spent ages on the issue from a design angle myself.

  3. N Cook

    N Cook Guest

    I'm not going to desolder any of the present problematic ones but I would
    say they are the same as Cliff UK, No 3 type.
    I've seen the airborn grime problem on gold-flashed contacts though, adding
    extra closure force would not a bad thing, I would have thought for this
    grime/corrosion problem and more reliable active, in use, in/out contacts
    via the plugs.
    On that line, including on the design/manufacturing side, I was thinking.
    1/ socket with no plug in so switch closed
    2/ cover the switch area with a piece of plumbers PTFE tape. (if new
    sockets, then wrapping the PTFE right around each of the contact areas would
    keep most of the grime out, it should stretch easy enough to allow entry of
    plugs, and soldering temperatures will not affect the PTFE)
    3/ a section of cut down neoprene cordage, diameter the size of the slot or
    slightly bigger, pushed into the "slot" in the plastic housing above.
    4/ Push down the rubber with a small PTFE covered rod of some sort while
    filling the top with hot-melt glue, extract the rod when cold
    Unfortunately grime can still enter through the plug hole but if much
    reduced air flow out of the back of the socket then perhaps less grime going
    into the plug hole
    5/ Another idea "flap valves" on the external holes of the sockets
  4. Dave Curtis

    Dave Curtis Guest

    By all means NO. Don't file, sand or otherwise remove metal from
    switch contacts. That will make matters worse. If I can get in the
    right spot, I'll "polish" them with a dollar bill (open the contacts,
    put the bill between the contacts, close the contacts and work the
    bill around or pull it out a few times.)
    Caig D5 usually does the trick.
    Nah. If it's worn out, replace it.
    You're better off just using a short patch cord from Out to In.

  5. Lord Valve

    Lord Valve Guest

    This thread is gettin' funny.

    OK, school-time: what you need is a GC Electronics 9337 "Plastone"
    contact burnishing tool. This particular one is exactly the right size
    for cleaning Cliff's (and Re-An and other Cliff's-clone) jacks. The
    tool is flexible, and can be bent into any necessary shape to
    reach the jacks' switch contacts. You insert a plug into the jack
    to open the contacts, stick the burnisher between them, and
    remove the plug, allowing the contacts to close on the burnisher.
    You then saw the burnisher back and forth a few times to remove
    regardless of what you might see posted here by anyone else.
    Finsh the job off with a shot of Caig D-5 or D-100 between the

    This GC tool is from the heyday of the telco era, and was designed
    to service the phone system when it was largely electro-mechanical.
    There is a larger size - the GC 9338 - which is ideal for cleaning
    Switchcraft 12A and other American-style open-frame jacks found
    on older Fender amps. Best thing about these tools is that they cost
    less than two bucks each, and last virtually forever. Here's a dopesheet:

    If you can't find them locally, I sell 'em - and so do a lot
    of other distributors. They're an essential part of any
    PRO amp tech's kit.

    Lord Valve

    I specialize in top quality HAND SELECTED NOS and
    current-production vacuum tubes for guitar and
    bass amps. Good prices, fast service.
    Authorized dealer for QSC amps, Sovtek/Electro-Harmonix,
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    NBS Electronics, 230 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80209-1510
    Phone orders/tech support after 1:30 PM Denver time at 303-778-1156

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    "It ain't braggin', if ya can do it." - Dizzy Dean
  6. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    This does the sum store of ZERO for the switching contacts on either a Cliff or
    Re-an jack.

    I can't really see how it'll help on Switchcraft pattern jack either.

  7. Lord Valve

    Lord Valve Guest

    You are an ass and an ignoramus.

    Field experience trumps your opinion, wanker. Get stuffed.

  8. Put a U-jumper. Normalled contacts have no place
    in a high-vibration environment anyway... unless they
    are doing non-critical (input shorting) work.
  9. N Cook

    N Cook Guest

    The trouble is calling them contacts is mutton dressed as lamb.
    The static part of the "contact" is just the cut end of metal strip that is
    touched by the moving part of the switch, likely to score any burnishing
  10. RonSonic

    RonSonic Guest

    Clean the ones that respond and replace the ones that don't. The worst part
    about this is that you will have to test clean to know if it works. This is not
    nearly so big a deal as you make of it.

    Burnishing works. I can't see why you object to the concept.

    The Cliff type jacks are not usually problems and really don't require this
    overcomplication you're bringing to the subject. Annual execise by the user and
    the occasional professional cleaning keep them in shape. You can complain about
    the aesthetics, but they work fine and have for decades.


    Effect pedal demo's up at
  11. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Well LV............

    You're *WRONG* ! And I can assure that I have vastly more experience on this subject.

    The only solution is to REPLACE the defective jack socket. Any problem will simply
    'come back' after supposed 'treatment'.

    So there.

  12. TD Madden

    TD Madden Guest

    unless it works.
  13. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    I'm sure that I'm probably opening myself up to a bunch of abuse here, but I
    have to say that in over 35 years of repairing group amps, the number of
    occasions that I've found the effects send and return socket switches
    causing a problem of intermittent output, has been so small that I would
    consider it negligible as a problem, and certainly not one that would
    warrant doing things like wrapping the sockets up in plumber's tape or
    shorting across them with breakable wires.

    I would absolutely refute that replacement is the *only* way to deal with
    any such bad contacts, and that any sockets treated with a contact
    burnishing tool and then with a protective contact oil, will bounce any
    quicker than if a replacement socket had been fitted.

    There is absolutely no reason at all that if an oxide layer is chemically or
    physically removed from a contact surface, without removing any material
    from the actual contact material, or if airborne contamination is removed
    from a non-reactive precious metal plated contact surface, that those
    contacts are not restored to the exact same condition that they were when
    they left the factory. You could buy a *new* socket that had sat in a bin in
    a supplier's warehouse for two years, and had plenty of time for the
    contacts to start oxidising, so fitting that may not in fact be any better
    than correctly cleaning the already-fitted socket.

    Over the last few months, Mr Cook has voiced some very odd concerns on here,
    and seems to have had more than his fair share of - how shall we say -
    unusual ? - problems. If my working day was filled with such concerns all
    the time, I would never make any money, and would be considering it time to
    give up, I feel ...

  14. N Cook

    N Cook Guest

    Going by the rusty cabinet screws on a lot of the kit I see they must be
    stored in sheds or garages.
    Anyway this example I "abraided" with a cut segment of nylon cable tie and
    "Brasso" metal polish, cleaned off by a strip of card dampened with meths.
    Drilled a hole through the board either side of the switch and tied some
    silicone rubber cordage around the switch passing through a piece of plastic
    barrel that seated neatly in the top of the flexing metal strip.
  15. Lord Valve

    Lord Valve Guest

    Slick, I've been servicing this stuff for forty years. 'Nuff said.

  16. Lord Valve

    Lord Valve Guest

    You're wrong.

    I supposed you're used to that, though.

  17. Lord Valve

    Lord Valve Guest

    N Cook wrote:

    Holy shit!

    Never mind...

    Lord Valve
  18. RonSonic

    RonSonic Guest

    Yeah, you may have been servicing it, but you don't have the valuable experience
    of making your own solder and flux to an ancient family recipe, drawing your own
    wire or rebuilding amps using parts from a 1920 Indian Chief.


    Effect pedal demo's up at
  19. Lord Valve

    Lord Valve Guest

    Sez you.
    You pluralized a word with an apostrophe. That's a hanging offense where I come
    from, pardner.

  20. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Well said. There was a letter in my Sunday paper just last week about
    exactly that ...

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