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Re: Switchcraft Input Jack Maintenance

6/30/2005 7:50 PM
Re: Switchcraft Input Jack Maintenance
How are you cleaning the contacts? I use a fine diamond burnisher, but frankly a corner of a matchbook cover will work pretty well. SLide it between the contacts, squeeze them a bit for pressure and back and forth with the cardboard a couple times.  
That cleans it, but if you want it to stay that way, apply a bit of Deoxit.
6/30/2005 11:09 PM
The switchcraft jacks are the best of all jacks I have used and that is saying a lot. I usually just retention them(maybe a little sanding on the contacts) and their fine. I was really just trying to make everyone realize that some maintenance on even the best jacks is necessary, that a non shorting unused jack can be the source of new hum and that you should try there first before checking anything else on an amp that was fine before. I was also wishing for the perfect beast when it comes to components.  
7/1/2005 8:48 AM

Has anyone tried electrical contact/lubricant cleaner after burnishing the connection to aid in reducing the corrosion that can cause the problems on this post? I have used chincy assed radio shack goo it seems to work for my pots etc...Just curious  
When I worked at A&M studios in Hollywood in the 70s-80s we used this liquid called "tweak" it filled up the porosity of the contact to decrease resistance between connections…this stuff worked great if the instructions are followed to the tee. You might look into that stuff or something like it - seems to me that corrosion is the culprit so after cleaning the jack a contact lubricant may solve the problem. When I lived in Guam where the motto is “In god we trust in Guam we rust” I was doing 4 nights a week playing in a country band… I had to clean the jacks on my Fender silver faced vibrosonic every couple of months I used a VERY FINE burnishing file made especially for burnishing and some contact lubricant the Air Force had – solved all my problems
7/1/2005 9:30 AM
Input Jack, Pots, Switch, Tube Socket Maintenance
Caig labs D5 or Dn5 deoxit cleans and protects and I use it on the bench for repairs on every amp that comes through here (not a huge shop but I have seen my share of repairs). I use it for pots, jacks, and switches.  
The matchbook and burnishing tool is a good thing if they are more heavily corroded or the Deoxit isn't good enough. I have had to retension them as well - not an uncommon problem either. But the usual cleaning with Deoxit takes care of it 90% of the time, and retensioning another 8% - that leaves about 1 or 2 out of hundred requiring more than that (usually replacement).  
Caig makes a substance called "Progold" that sounds to be like the Tweak product you talk about. It is supposed to be fairly clean before you used it, but it enhances the connectivity and keeps it from corroding again. They sell it in various forms (liquid, spray, and pen applicator).  
I use the pen applicator Progold+ for tube pins because this stuff handles high temp. It *REALLY* quietens most tube pin/socket issues. There used to be a high temp version (progold+) that I use, but they quit making it replacing the current version with a high temp version that still is suitable for tube pins. Look at the temp indicator on the version you buy if you use it this way. This is good stuff - but expensive per pen applicator ($20-30)! But one pen applicator has lasted me years and I use it quite a bit on the bench. I have a second one for when the first one finally goes out. I bet I used it for 4 years or so for hundreds of repairs. Just about every time I check a tube I progold it. A normal user would have to worry more about losing it then ever using it up.  
A spray or liquid version might work better on shorting input jacks just because it would be difficult to get a pen applicator in there.  
7/1/2005 10:57 AM
Hello Thorny - excellent post - thanks for the info - Roland
7/1/2005 11:38 AM
Al Lang

Can someone tell me how to retention the Switch Craft Jack without ending up with the shorting leg not touching the tip?  
I always seem to bend the shorting tap toward the tip and the tip bends a little too but when I let up I have a gap I'm forever trying to close with the right tention.  
What am I doing wrong? I have ruined many good Switch Craft jacks and the China ones you can't even retention without destroying them.  
7/1/2005 3:49 PM

I get a needle-nosed or flat-nosed pliers and bend the switch part toward the tip (I bend near the base of the structure, not near the tip). Sometimes I may have to also bend the tip part to be tighter as well.
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