4U- Have You Had to Replace Any Panel Pots, Jacks, Switches and LEDs?

Discussing some incredible modules that don't quite fit into the other forum categories.

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KSS
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4U- Have You Had to Replace Any Panel Pots, Jacks, Switches and LEDs?

Post by KSS » Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:24 pm

What the thread title says.
The goal is to discover if being able to easily change panel pots, jacks, lamps and switches is important to your 4U modules?

Which parts did you find needed replacement?
I'm really looking for what actually went bad -if anything- and had to be replaced.

For everybody else, Does the use of modern SMD and 'panel' PCB in 4U result in fewer panel control failures? Have you ever wished you'd been able to change out panel parts as easy as you could if they had individual connectors instead of being all on the same panel PCB ?
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Note for MW Moderators. I'm asking this in multiple threads on purpose. I want to see how the answers differ among the formats. Putting a single post in general modular will not give the result I'm looking for.

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dksynth
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Re: 4U- Have You Had to Replace Any Panel Pots, Jacks, Switches and LEDs?

Post by dksynth » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:30 pm

I’ve had to replace pots, switches, and LEDs. No bananas yet. I swapped out ALL my cheap pots on one pan el which was hell and then threw out the rest of the cheap crap.... I don’t try to save money on pots anymore. Never had another one go bad. Same with switches. Had to change cheap stuff.

I think the slight increase in repair difficulty is worth the time savings in building. Also, the parallel panel PCB style of construction stiffens the front panel significantly.

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Re: 4U- Have You Had to Replace Any Panel Pots, Jacks, Switches and LEDs?

Post by CLee » Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:10 pm

With my Serge modules/Panels from the early '80s I've had to replace a few pots that got too scratchy. It was mostly damage from the period in the late 90's that it sat unused in my closet. Easy fix with the Panel/Rail design.

I've mostly gotten used to the PCB/Panel PCB design, it's how my last few designs were made. The one problem is that banana jacks don't come out through the back, so they need to be disconnected to do any fixes that involve panel components. It's why I design my panel PCBs to connect to them with short wires instead of soldering the lug to a pad on the PCB.

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Re: 4U- Have You Had to Replace Any Panel Pots, Jacks, Switches and LEDs?

Post by ArguZ » Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:18 am

People have asked me to replace numerous "wobble"pots on Buchla e modules.
And i have to to say the way they are constructed is absolute genius.
The fact that the front panel , all the bananas, tinis etc are on a dedicated cable loom is priceless.
Desoldering pots is not super trivial but with the right tools doable.
Especially on the pitch sensitive inputs the plastic pots are a problem as i have hear em change due to vibration or even a cable just slightly touching them.
The Alpha pots are a direct drop in replacement and give the modules aproper feel.

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Re: 4U- Have You Had to Replace Any Panel Pots, Jacks, Switches and LEDs?

Post by teleport » Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:58 pm

I have a few banana's in a CGS panel that currently need re-tightening, just haven't opened the boats and dug through the wiring to address. My take on the situation is that with circular holes in panels this is a vulnerability of banana's, since it's tricky to firmly grip the receptacle side when installing the backing nut without marring the plastic. Since building the panel with the now wobbly jacks, I've found a method with an electric handheld driver where a higher-than-manual velocity spin seems to set the fasteners snugly (i guess the inertia of the jacks prevent them from spinning up before they get pulled down), but it is for this reason that I really like the Random Source approach of using the "barrel" shaped panel holes that prevent the banana jack from spinning, (the through hole that's shaped sort of like this (‾_) - rotated 90°).
This also has the somehow very satisfying effect of making all the solder tabs mutually aligned, which is even more pleasant when soldering up the parallel panel mount PCB's - an approach about which I'd agree with some of the above comments, has it's ups and downs. Lacking wires accelerates the build, and avoids rats-nests, but increases some dependencies in a situation like the loose jacks, and potentially transfers more stresses into the PCB. Clee's point about the short wire-to-jack rather than direct-to-board is especially relevant to that issue.

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Re: 4U- Have You Had to Replace Any Panel Pots, Jacks, Switches and LEDs?

Post by zzelig » Fri Oct 30, 2020 12:09 am

I had to replace the reverb pot on my BEMI Music Easel as it was the wrong taper (audio vs linear). Buchla USA sent me the proper linear taper pot.

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Re: 4U- Have You Had to Replace Any Panel Pots, Jacks, Switches and LEDs?

Post by batchas » Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:23 am

ArguZ wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:18 am
And i have to to say the way they are constructed is absolute genius.
The fact that the front panel , all the bananas, tinis etc are on a dedicated cable loom is priceless.
I agree. The way Buchla did connect the panel components on the 200e modules is awesome.
ArguZ wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:18 am
Desoldering pots is not super trivial but with the right tools doable.
I recommend cutting the legs of the pot. As it's gonna be replaced anyway it doesn't matter anymore. Then it's easier to desolder each pin/leg one by one. Then I clean the holes (desoldering hand pump) so it's easier to place the new pot.
Same with LEDs. Easier to take a leg out and it's longer than the pot leg or remaining metal piece which was cut, so it's super easy. Then I cut the legs of the new LED to the right length (a bit longer) before placing it, so I don't need to go through the holes the full length if you know what I mean.
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FS: KESAKO Player & Reverb for Serge and Buchla

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Re: 4U- Have You Had to Replace Any Panel Pots, Jacks, Switches and LEDs?

Post by KSS » Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:29 pm

teleport wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:58 pm
the "barrel" shaped panel holes that prevent the banana jack from spinning, (the through hole that's shaped sort of like this (‾_) - rotated 90°).
Holes like that are called "Double-D". With one flat, they're simply called "D" <-- see these on fuseholders and toggle switch bushings.

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@ArguZ
Those too easily moved pots you're replacing are conductive plastic with incredible lifetime and low temperature coefficient. By changing them to carbon Alpha's, you're getting *much* shorter life, and more variation in resistance with temperature. Rather than replace them you can add friction to their rotation between the pot body and its shaft, the panel and shaft, or the panel and knob underside -I recently wrote a couple replies on how to do it in the DIY section of MW.

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Does anyone have photos of the desirable wiring harness described for Buchla's 200e?

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Re: 4U- Have You Had to Replace Any Panel Pots, Jacks, Switches and LEDs?

Post by ArguZ » Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:48 pm

They still feel like shit ....
..and they are flimsy...
What good is this lifetime if they are unusable in a live act where one touched a pot and it changes tone ?
The 227e is exceptionally bad...people come and say , hey, i paid 2000$ for this, and it feels like a casio from a garage sale.
And i agree to all the technical superiorities you mentioned...
But still...they are utter garbage to touch...there need to be a middle ground.
And not a DIY solution...if that is the only solution then let us have it and we deal with it DIY wise...

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Re: 4U- Have You Had to Replace Any Panel Pots, Jacks, Switches and LEDs?

Post by KSS » Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:16 pm

Adding friction fixes the 'live act' bumped it problem. To me that's a faster, better, more repeatable result than changing the pots.

I don't disagree about the too-loose rotation. I don't care for it, and have avoided pots I'd really like to use -for their *other* virtues- because of it.
But we'll have to disagree about the "flimsy". That's a perception, rather than a reality. Trees also bend and don't break.

The main point is that if you are going to replace them, try to use cermet types where pitch is concerned.

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