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January 27, 2014

Comments

4nradio

DeoxIT is not the best product for potentiometers; you need Caig's FaderLube product for all carbon pots. If the wiper contact is metal the best product is DeoxIT D100S-2, but if you don't know the pot's construction then FaderLube is a safe choice. Save the regular DeoxIT for known metal-to-metal situations (connectors, jacks, etc.)

I've never seen any radio that gives access to the volume pot's internals after simply removing the knob. Unfortunately you have to open the case and sometimes remove a good amount of boards, hardware, and circuitry just to reach the pot's body. Even then, you may be faced with a type of control that has no access hole or openings in which to spray FaderLube.

If you're lucky, the thin plastic tube that comes with FaderLube in the spray can formulation will be able to reach a crack, opening, or hole in the sheet metal casing of the pot. Then you can spray a minimal amount through the opening and work the volume knob back and forth, hopefully cleaning & lubricating the control. In rare instances I have made a small hole with an awl or punch in the sheet metal body of the pot to make an access hole towards the "front" of the control (better chance of the spray reaching the carbon surfaces). I don't like drilling holes because a single metal chip can cause major damage on the pot's carbon traces.

In an ideal world you would replace the worn pot with a brand new one of equal value and appropriate size.

Good luck!

Angelo

I'm a technical dummy----so I don't mean to challenge 4nradio, who sounds like they know quite a bit more than I do. But on several old radios with scratch volume knobs, I just removed the knobs, sprayed tuner spray in the crevice (using the long tube) and turned volume up and down a few times----scratchiness gone. I guess sometimes you can get lucky and the spray makes it to the right spot.

4nradio

The older the radio, the more likely there's small openings or gaps in the body of the potentiometer where you can reach the carbon traces with the spray. Sometimes, there's a fairly wide slot where the three lugs protrude and you can actually see the arc of the carbon trace. Lubricating the pot is a snap in this case.

I think the larger, older controls are just more accessible for maintenance this way.

Indeed, sometimes you can get a bit of the cleaner/lubricant flowing down between the shaft and the sleeve. If you're lucky it will spread out from the shaft and reach the carbon. In fact, that would be the first trick to try... there's no use in fully disassembling the radio if luck's on your side :^)

Angelo

But I also wonder if that spray makes it to parts where it's not a good place to be. By disassembling, you can pinpoint exactly where you want it to go----my way----it's pot luck (no pun intended!).

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