Odyssey, slider cleaning

With the critical power supply issue sorted out, I figured the next thing to do would be to test and clean up the controls. After all, there’s hardly any point doing calibration if the controls give unstable readings etc. etc.

The sliders were pretty unusable as is; doing fine adjustments with them was completely impossible, as they’d either get stuck at random points or require a quite a bit of force to even move. After spending several days searching around for options and going through specs it came evident that finding pin compatible sliders would be a relatively difficult task. So, to actually _advance_ the project instead of pointless browsing I decided to go for cleaning the existing sliders. And what a better way to evaluate this process than to remove one slider from the board and take it apart!

Opening the slider was a bit tricky since the locking clips tend to break easily. On both ends of the slider there are these metallic clips which at the same time both serve as mounting supports and lock the two halves of a slider together. To remove them, you have to straighten these two small pins which lock the clip in place. I did manage to break some of them, but I deviced a fix for those (more on that shortly). These clips simply can’t be just tossed because of their “dual functionality”.

A slider with the locking clips removed

And this is how the dismantled (and dirty) slider looked like. Notice the rather huge amount of dirt in the white wiper element, no wonder the sliders were difficult to move :)

Various parts of a slider

If you compare the previous picture with picture of a cleaned slider (below) you’ll see what kind of an amount of dirt came off from the contact surfaces. Even the change in color on the wiper surface (the metallic one with a single solder pin) is quite noticeable.

A cleaned wiper element and locking clips

The cleaned halves of a slider feat. the q-tip that has been used to clean them ;)

To fix the damaged locking clips I decided to put a couple of cable ties around the slider. The easier (and cheaper) option would’ve been to use some glue, but that’d leave a risk of the glue breaking up and in turn causing contact issues inside the slider. I also wanted to maintain the sliders more serviceable, it’s a nice option to be able to open them up later for cleaning. Even though I’m thinking, the next time they’re going to be worked on it’s most likely going to be a complete replacement job (provided I come across some spares)!

Anyway, luckily older pieces of gear have plenty of room inside the case since either surface mount devices or hundreth-of-a-millimeter exact CAD didn’t exist in the early 70s.. At least for synth companies ;). So, there was no need to worry whether or not the cable ties would fit once the sliders would be mounted back to the board. Verified it nonetheless..

Board A with a fixed slider in place

Getting this one slider off the board, all cleaned up and installed back took a bit over 30 minutes. Thus going through all the sliders (34 all in all ) is not exactly going to be a swift part out/in treatment. One less slider to go now, nonetheless :)

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