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Help fix my stomp box button / internal switch


(@corbind)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1744
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I've been having some trouble with my Vox ToneLab SE (TLSE) multieffects unit. A few of the pedal stomp buttons have stopped working. I have 9 total buttons, and at a gig last month I had to play with 2 not working. It was quite a dance I assure you. I have another gig in 2 days and now 4 buttons are not working.

I took the thing apart and did not see much dust/dirt in it. I put some DeoxIT ( http://www.amazon.com/CAIG-DeOxit-Cleaning-Solution-Spray/dp/B0002BBV4G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1294849466&sr=8-2 ) contact cleaner on the buttons (man they are tiny) I mechanically pushed the buttons maybe 30 times each. I plugged the TLSE in and all the buttons worked!

But I got to band practice the next night all proud I had “fixed” all my buttons only to find now 2 of them not working again, ugg. Here is a close up on just one of 9 switches (outside):

Here is a close up of one internal switch (tiny suckers):

So I'm not a mechanical or electrical engineer. I can't see how or if this DexIT can penetrate the buttons (where the silver ring meets the black outer part – see the picture).

-- Do you know if these things are sealed?
-- Should I continue to try to get the DexIT into the switches and mechanically work them?
-- Any suggestions on what I can do to revive the buttons?

They all worked one night so there is hope! I'm thinking of buying a can of compressed air to shoot at the things. I'm all ears, please HELP ME!

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

not sure if those switches are cleanable, Dennis -- I suspect they are sealed. but one more thing to check: flip over the circuit board and make sure the switch solder connections are not cracked or poorly soldered and therefore intermittent. it's a common problem electromechanical components -- especially switches, as they receive a lot of stress.

-=tension & release=-


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(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1309
 

I've been having some trouble with my Vox ToneLab SE (TLSE) multieffects unit. A few of the pedal stomp buttons have stopped working. I have 9 total buttons, and at a gig last month I had to play with 2 not working. It was quite a dance I assure you. I have another gig in 2 days and now 4 buttons are not working.

Put something firm and non-conducting (chunks of cardboard box, wood strips. chunks of old car floor mat) under the circuit board where the switches are to give them extra support, and see if that helps. That circuit board is kind thin, and on mine, flexed enough to keep the switches from switching. Adding support underneath solved the problem.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

good point, Doug. I've used those stick-on rubber feet from Home Depot for similar purposes.

-=tension & release=-


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(@corbind)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1744
Topic starter  

not sure if those switches are cleanable, Dennis -- I suspect they are sealed. but one more thing to check: flip over the circuit board and make sure the switch solder connections are not cracked or poorly soldered and therefore intermittent. it's a common problem electromechanical components -- especially switches, as they receive a lot of stress.

Hey Greg, I was actually hoping you'd drop in to help since I have a gig tomorrow! My heart sank when I read it's likely those switches are sealed. :( But I could not help myself. Last night I went out to Office Depot to buy a can of compressed air. I shot it into each button and pretty much all over the inside of my ToneLab SE. Sprayed in the input jacks, too, just for fun.

Today I cut up another shirt into small squares which I cut out small square holes to put around the buttons. Since I had my buddy's DeoxIT stll here and time, I went ahead and covered the circuit board with a old, clean shirt and sprayed the heck outta those buttons (see all the pink?):

Then I pushed the buttons in/out about 30 x each, then rested for 5 min. Repeated the application twice more. Cleaned up any that got on the circuit board, put it all back together, then tried it.

IT WORKS! All 9 buttons! The tuner button and bank up button work. I was really concerned the tuner button would freeze. If that happened at a gig I would get no sounds or just plain guitar sound (blech). And the bank up button just caused the dance I mentioned in the original post.

So far so good. I'm praying all the buttons will still work tomorrow at the gig. I think I'll not hit the tuner button and just rely on my external Peterson tuner at the gig.
http://feed2.tinypic.com/rss.php?u=QgRhgGGZEpJgR%2B9lBHJbAQ%3D%3D

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


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(@corbind)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1744
Topic starter  

Here is the after:

This thread may not be over. I had "fixed" my buttons the day of our practice 1-7-11 only to find at practice the buttons magically did not work again....so I'll take my victory cautiously. See if it stays fixed....

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

how is it working. Dennis? still good?

-=tension & release=-


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(@corbind)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1744
Topic starter  

how is it working. Dennis? still good?

By nature I'm a person who needs structure and have things in order to a point. That is one of the reasons I made this thread! It's amazing I was able to function at one point having 4 of my 9 stomp buttons not working! It took me out of my comfort zone.

To answer your question: yes, it is working and all 9 buttons worked at my gig Friday night. But that is gonna lead into another thread I'll make tomorrow. I have not even unpacked any of my gear from my gig Friday night yet. I literally took home all my gear instead of dropping it back off at band practice. I have some serious trouble shooting to do...

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


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