[AMRadio] Cleaning volume controls (pots)

David Knepper collinsradio at comcast.net
Thu Dec 12 04:53:34 EST 2013

It was time that someone with the credentials that Don possesses to debunk 
De-Oxit.  I agree that WD-40 is a much less expensive and does a better job 
in cleaning pots.  No doubt that cheaper is better!

Thanks, Don

David Knepper - W3CRA/W3ST
Collins Radio Association
Join the CRA today
-----Original Message----- 
From: Donald Chester
Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2013 2:41 AM
To: amradio at mailman.qth.net
Subject: [AMRadio] Cleaning volume controls (pots)

>>From: Dave Rothermel <k9dvl at comcast.net>

I have always used lighter fluid to clean wipers on volume controls.
Is this a good idea? Is there something better with no electronics store

WD-40  is  the best stuff I  have ever used. I had a noisy pot on my 75A-4.
Tried commercial contact cleaner; it would quieten the pot for a month or
so, then the noise re-appeared. As a last resort I squirted WD-40 in it.
That immediately cleared up the noise and it hasn't returned. And that was
at least 10 years ago.

It also works for switch contacts, but I wouldn't squirt it out of the can
onto a rotary switch. Best to restrict it to the contacts and not get it on
the switch wafers, especially Bakelite. I have squirted it into toggle
switches and it not only fixed the contacts but also restored the mechanical

Something I have found to work for applying a small drop to rotary switch
contacts is a hypodermic needle, about #22 gauge. My wife used to bring them
home to me from her work, but then they practically declared them a
controlled substance, and she said she would get fired if she got caught
removing one from the clinic, but I found another source: veterinary needles
and syringes can be purchased from any agricultural supplier. They are dirt
cheap; 5 needles cost less than $2, and the plastic syringe that goes with
them, a buck or so.

I  have used the same syringe over and over without the WD-40 dissolving the
rubber seal,  but the things are cheap enough to  be a one-use item, just as
they were intended for their original purpose. I have also used them to
squirt a tiny drop of epoxy into a hard-to-reach place. Of course, in that
case it is indeed a one-use item, and a larger gauge like #18 is needed
because of the viscosity of epoxy.

I spent a lot of money for a bottle of De-Oxit at Dayton one year. I could
best describe it as worthless.

Don k4kyv

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