Contact cleaner and lube options??

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Old 12-12-17, 11:53 AM
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Contact cleaner and lube options??

Hello all, I have 2 pieces of audio equipment with the very same symptoms [Numark Preamp and Digitech RDS 8000 Digital Delay], when I turn the volume knob the music cuts off and on with scratching noise, once I leave it alone the music plays fine no matter at which point the volume is at.

Searching the net I found this video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZxNtxOoeWA

where the guy is using Radio Shack Control Cleaner and lubricant:

https://www.radioshack.com/products/...BoCA-IQAvD_BwE

What I would like to know is since isn't a radio shack store near me anymore, what else can I use to clean and lubricate the Potentiometer please which I might find locally?
 
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Old 12-12-17, 12:02 PM
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Home depot sells contact cleaner from CRC.
Deoxit will work better, but expensive. Some potentiometer is sealed and contact cleaner may not be able to clean. In that case, you may have to replace the potentiometer.
 
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Old 12-12-17, 12:10 PM
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Oh I see, the potentiometer will need to have a hole as in the video in order to use the spray so I will need to open the unit first to check, thanks.
 
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Old 12-12-17, 01:31 PM
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Well, I am not sure with this, if you can look at the attached pic please, seems to me the Output Level's knob Potentiometer is possibly soldered onto the circuit board? Also, I can't tell for sure if that is a hole where the red arrow is pointing? Only way to know for sure would be if I could turn it somehow.
 
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Old 12-12-17, 01:52 PM
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That type of pot may be possible to clean even if there is no hole. That brown circuit board has carbon trace printed on it and the wiper sweeps along the carbon trace. There will be enough gap between the circuit board and metal housing for liquid to flow in. Just spray generous amount of contact cleaner and move pot back and forth.
 
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Old 12-13-17, 04:03 AM
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Will try the CRC from Home Depot and will report back here, thanks!
 
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Old 12-13-17, 07:35 AM
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Potentiometers are made with a lubricant inside that makes the control feel silky smooth and helps keep oxidation at bay for years. Contact cleaner will flush out the lube along with the dirt & some of the oxidation. It'll sound better for a while but may FEEL scratchy. It makes slider pots feel especially rough.
The Deoxit mentioned earlier is a product designed to clean away oxidation and leave behind an oil coating to keep it clean & smooth.
It is a little pricey but worth it for good equipment.

I prefer contact cleaner for connectors & terminals, or as a first step on pots.

Edit to add: NEVER use WD40 for this.
 
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Old 12-13-17, 04:32 PM
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Many contact cleaners come with lubrication and CRC sold in Home depot does as well. It is not as good as grease applied from the factory, but it will keep it lubricated for a while.
 
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Old 12-13-17, 11:45 PM
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Deoxit is the Cadillac of cleaners for controls like that.

The problem with many contact cleaners is they can eat the carbon traces inside the pots. A dedicated volume control cleaner has only a small amount of cleaner as opposed to a lubricant.

The first three controls in the picture are dual controls. A front wafer and a rear wafer. (right and left). The fourth control looks like a balance control. I would use just a drop on each wafer. Try that first. Add a second drop if needed. Less is better.

How do you get a drop..... saturate a q-tip and place it against the wafer.
 
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Old 12-14-17, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by lambition
...CRC sold in Home depot does as well...
"No Residue" means no lube.
 
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Old 12-14-17, 12:03 PM
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I was going to add a comment but its already been covered.
 
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Old 12-14-17, 01:15 PM
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Here's a handy pro tip: Don't throw away the straws when cans are empty. You can heat them with a match and bend to different angles that are a great help in getting sprays into pots that are mounted on faceplates and circuit boards.
Twirl & heat slowly and once the right temp is reached (gets shiny) the end will fall of it's own weight.
 
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Old 12-14-17, 03:18 PM
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"No Residue" means no lube.
I must have looked at a different product. The one sold at home depot (blue can, 11oz) also does not have lubricant.

Contact Cleaner & Protectant, 10 Wt Oz - 03140
I think this is what I looked at before.

FYI. Contact cleaner 2000 in your picture not not safe for use on some plastic.
 
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Old 12-15-17, 04:08 AM
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Thanks for the help guys, I will heed the advice given here and get the best thing which is this deoxit:

https://www.amazon.com/Hosa-D5S-6-De...ords=deoxit+d5

When I get and use it, will report back here, thx.

@guy48064
Thanks for that tip, will definitely try that!
 
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Old 12-15-17, 07:51 AM
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@OP: I've been using Caig Labs' Deoxit for 35 years, when it used to be named "Cramolin". They have a dizzying number of products now and a new-ish one is Fader F5. Seems to be very similar to D5 but has more lube content. I haven't tried it but it's regularly recommended on musician forums for both sliders and rotary pots.
You can't go wrong with either D5 or F5.
 
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Old 12-16-17, 07:20 AM
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I agree with Pjmax and guy48065 on the DeOxit / Cramolin. Was introduced to Cramolin many years ago by an engineer at a recording studio. Good stuff!!
 
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Old 12-19-17, 01:36 PM
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Well guys, using just one short burst of spray and waiting for 30 minutes, no more noise on the Output knob of the Delay unit and maybe mind over matter but the unit seems to sound much more cleaner and better now or maybe because I just put it up for sale?

Anyway, should I leave as is or give another burst of spray? I don't want to sell and the owner should have the same problem reappear and think I was being dishonest.
 
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Old 12-19-17, 02:24 PM
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Anyway, should I leave as is or give another burst of spray? I don't want to sell and the owner should have the same problem reappear and think I was being dishonest.
Include with the sale a can of Deoxit
 
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Old 12-19-17, 03:29 PM
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One shot should last a good long while. There is no guarantee that it will remain clean forever. If it gets noisy.... hit it again.
 
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Old 12-19-17, 04:03 PM
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Got it, thx. On the Preamp, will wait until tomorrow to power on and test on my rig, will report back.
 
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Old 12-20-17, 10:11 AM
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Great news guys, problem on preamp solved. Both Bass and volume knobs have no issues now. Can't thank you guys enough for the knowledge and help, Happy Holidays!
 
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