avatar

resolectric

Gold Finger

Posts: 647 Member Since: 26/01/2011

Lead

Feb 14 11 12:47 PM

Tags : :

The faders in my analog console aren't as smooth as they were when new.
I mean, they're clean, their conductivity is correct (no noise or glitches) but the physical fader travel is different and they sometimes seem to be "stuck" at some points.
They're Alps faders.

Since there are no electrical/audio problems related to them i would like to know what you suggest, other than contact cleaning spray.

Thanks!

Quote    Reply   
avatar

ssltech

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,058 Member Since:22/01/2011

#2 [url]

Feb 14 11 1:29 PM

There are different models of ALPS faders, but I've restored the lovely 'glass-like glide' to several by dismantling the fader (being VERY careful not to 'snag' the wiper tines) and using Mother's chrome polish or -if you can find it- "Simichrome" by Happich (German... and most excellent!) or 'Autosol' chrome polish works well also.

A tiny dab on a paper towel... rubbed into the metal slide rail(s) and then -usually once the polish has discolored to a dark grey- a CLEAN piece of towel to thoroughly polish off the residue.... followed by one more (for obsession/superstition) polish with a clean piece.

Sometimes it's unwise to completely remove the rod from the slider which carries the wiper assembly The P&G faders in SSL's had a sprung friction collar which was VERY fiddly to re-fit if you ever slid the slide rail out completely), so the method in these circumstances is to slip the slider to one end and clean the other, then swap ends and do the rest.

Once the rail is polished (which removes all surface pitting/corrosion/tarnish as well as any airborne contaminants which have settled, and leaves a fantastically smooth finish) he final thing is to add a dab of silicone lubricant. Penny & Giles sells it for maybe ten bucks per tiny bottle (less than a fluid ounce) but it's the EXACT same stuff as "Hellerine", which costs less for more. -Only problem is Hellermann products are not that common in the US, so this is easier to source in Europe. (-They get ALL the good stuff!)

one tiny drop on each side of the rail is all it takes. -Then slide the wiper assembly from one end to the other to distribute the lubricant and push all the excess toward the two ends, and dry the two ends with a clean piece of towel.

While the fader is out, you may clean the wiper contact tines, using a LINT-FREE material. -the best thing I can think of is the 'artificial chamois'-tipped tools for  cleaning video heads. A little alcohol and a quick wipe -in the direction which doesn't bend the tines "against the grain", so to speak- is all it takes to do that.

Wipe the surface of the fader track with something DRY and lint-free, a clean, dry coffee filter actually works well for this- to remove any dust and/or debris from the conductive track surface, then gently blow the wiper dry, and reassemble, paying attention to not 'catch' or bend the wiper tines.

You should now experience good-as-new sliding happy-joy-fun-time.

On some P&G faders, the nylon/delrin/whatever collars wear too much, and they don't clean up easily, but that's fairly rare. In my experience ALPS faders with moderate use usually clean up mechanically just fine.

Keith

-Keith Andrews -If I can't fix it, I can fix it so [i]NOBODY[/i] can fix it!

Quote    Reply   
avatar

resolectric

Gold Finger

Posts: 647 Member Since:26/01/2011

#4 [url]

Feb 15 11 6:06 AM

Noah, thanks for the link! Very informative. There's also a mention there about using silicone oil, as Keith suggests.

Keith: your post is a well of information. Concise but detailed when needed, clear and very informative. I agree with Mike: this could be a sticky!

I have already dismantled all the faders before, right after i bought the console (used). There was alot of maintenance to be done so, all the faders were repaired the way you suggest. I didn't remove the rod from the slider, as you caution me about. It all went smoothly and all the faders were "as new" when finished, except for the feel.
That silicone lubricant you mention is the "trick" i wasn't aware of. Great tip!
I think i've seen some Hellermann products in a nearby store so, i'll check for Hellerine there. I'm in Europe... ;-)

Once again, thankyou both for the prompt assistance!

Quote    Reply   
avatar

thomas northward

Silverado

Posts: 139 Member Since:10/02/2011

#5 [url]

Feb 15 11 7:42 AM

I'm a complete amateur when it comes to tech stuff, be we've had good success using 'silicon oil' on the rails in both Alps and P&G faders. We just put a bit on the sliding rails and moved the fader a few times up and down. Done this about 5 years ago, they are still really nice & smooth  today.

Thomas Jouanjean Northward Acoustics

Quote    Reply   
avatar

wireline

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,123 Member Since:24/01/2011

#6 [url]

Feb 15 11 8:12 AM

When I took possession of my Wheatstone SP5a, the faders were...rough.   We used the proper cleaning techniques as recommended by P&G, but there were still a couple of faders that just would not work properly, even after maintenance (the facility I bought the board from advised of this before hand)

Turns out, on the bad faders, some of the tiny wiring traces had broken.  Unknown if they were from the console setting upright on its side for years, abuse, or were just manufactured wrong - Greg W (my tech, formerly from Showco/Clair Bros) looked like a surgeon as he retraced the faulty wiring, then relubed to make triple sure.  

How much of a difference is there in tactile response between Alps and P&G faders (just curious)

Ken Morgan

Please...Give It A Rest

Quote    Reply   
avatar

ssltech

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,058 Member Since:22/01/2011

#7 [url]

Feb 15 11 8:41 AM

Alright guys... sticky it is!

-Thanks for the kind words.

-Keith Andrews -If I can't fix it, I can fix it so [i]NOBODY[/i] can fix it!

Quote    Reply   
avatar

arconaut

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,005 Member Since:21/01/2011

#8 [url]

Feb 15 11 8:55 AM

When I took possession of my Wheatstone SP5a, the faders were...rough.  

-wireline

When this console started out it was nice... and rough. But now that it's been cleaned it's nice... and easy.

-noah

Quote    Reply   
avatar

resolectric

Gold Finger

Posts: 647 Member Since:26/01/2011

#9 [url]

Feb 16 11 7:17 AM

...
How much of a difference is there in tactile response between Alps and P&G faders (just curious)

-wireline

Not exactly answering your question but there is a noticeable difference between Alps faders themselves.I had a Soundtracs MRX console, bought in 1988, lasted until 1999 and the Alps faders in it were so fragile it was even scary to do simple cleaning maintenance.
The one i have now, Altair, made in Spain, has some pretty nice "heavy-duty" Alps faders. I don't know the model number but i've never seen these before. Hope all they need is the silicone oil since i really like them for robustness and, electrically, they're just fine.


Quote    Reply   
avatar

brewery

Tin Man

Posts: 47 Member Since:08/02/2011

#10 [url]

May 26 11 8:25 AM


Once the rail is polished (which removes all surface pitting/corrosion/tarnish as well as any airborne contaminants which have settled, and leaves a fantastically smooth finish) he final thing is to add a dab of silicone lubricant. Penny & Giles sells it for maybe ten bucks per tiny bottle (less than a fluid ounce) but it's the EXACT same stuff as "Hellerine", which costs less for more. -Only problem is Hellermann products are not that common in the US, so this is easier to source in Europe. (-They get ALL the good stuff!)
one tiny drop on each side of the rail is all it takes. -Then slide the wiper assembly from one end to the other to distribute the lubricant and push all the excess toward the two ends, and dry the two ends with a clean piece of towel.

-ssltech

keith, are you sure about hellerine? i was just about to order a bottle, but it says everywhere that it's plant based and silicone free...just want to make sure i get the right stuff, i have to clean 60 ultimation faders soon.

btw i didn't forget about the ssl directory, really swamped with work at the moment...

Quote    Reply   
avatar

studiochap

Gold Finger

Posts: 254 Member Since:05/02/2011

#11 [url]

May 26 11 8:34 AM

 How much of a difference is there in tactile response between Alps and P&G faders (just curious)

-wireline

Hi Ken,

IMHO P & G set the standard in this respect by which others are judged - they just feel that bit smoother....

Of course, when they're full of crap ( fluff and illegal substances etc.) they both aspire to  equal degrees of loserdom.

Cheers,

Gwyn

Gwyn Mathias Mixer Madness in one form or another since 1972... Happy Sequoia user!

Quote    Reply   
avatar

ssltech

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,058 Member Since:22/01/2011

#12 [url]

May 26 11 10:10 AM


Of course, when they're full of crap ( fluff and illegal substances etc.) they both aspire to  equal degrees of loserdom.

-studiochap

-Just like musicians, actually.

-Hmmmm.... I'm pretty sure that I've been using the hellerine. -It's in an unmarked bottle, which I've had for YEARS. -Perhaps the forumla has changed?

Without absolute certainty, i'd say hold off... for motorized fader applications, some trumpet valve oil is an excellent alternative, and also helpfully comes in a dropper-bottle. 'La Tromba' used to be excellent, but I've not been able to find it in the US, so I've just used 'Al Cass'. Lat Tromba is rather better functionally, but has a slight odor to it, as the only drawback I've noticed.

Keith

-Keith Andrews -If I can't fix it, I can fix it so [i]NOBODY[/i] can fix it!

Quote    Reply   
avatar

bill mueller

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,350 Member Since:20/01/2011

#13 [url]

May 29 11 8:48 AM

There are different models of ALPS faders, but I've restored the lovely 'glass-like glide' to several by dismantling the fader (being VERY careful not to 'snag' the wiper tines) and using Mother's chrome polish or -if you can find it- "Simichrome" by Happich (German... and most excellent!) or 'Autosol' chrome polish works well also.
A tiny dab on a paper towel... rubbed into the metal slide rail(s) and then -usually once the polish has discolored to a dark grey- a CLEAN piece of towel to thoroughly polish off the residue.... followed by one more (for obsession/superstition) polish with a clean piece.
Sometimes it's unwise to completely remove the rod from the slider which carries the wiper assembly The P&G faders in SSL's had a sprung friction collar which was VERY fiddly to re-fit if you ever slid the slide rail out completely), so the method in these circumstances is to slip the slider to one end and clean the other, then swap ends and do the rest.
Once the rail is polished (which removes all surface pitting/corrosion/tarnish as well as any airborne contaminants which have settled, and leaves a fantastically smooth finish) he final thing is to add a dab of silicone lubricant. Penny & Giles sells it for maybe ten bucks per tiny bottle (less than a fluid ounce) but it's the EXACT same stuff as "Hellerine", which costs less for more. -Only problem is Hellermann products are not that common in the US, so this is easier to source in Europe. (-They get ALL the good stuff!)
one tiny drop on each side of the rail is all it takes. -Then slide the wiper assembly from one end to the other to distribute the lubricant and push all the excess toward the two ends, and dry the two ends with a clean piece of towel.
While the fader is out, you may clean the wiper contact tines, using a LINT-FREE material. -the best thing I can think of is the 'artificial chamois'-tipped tools for  cleaning video heads. A little alcohol and a quick wipe -in the direction which doesn't bend the tines "against the grain", so to speak- is all it takes to do that.
Wipe the surface of the fader track with something DRY and lint-free, a clean, dry coffee filter actually works well for this- to remove any dust and/or debris from the conductive track surface, then gently blow the wiper dry, and reassemble, paying attention to not 'catch' or bend the wiper tines.
You should now experience good-as-new sliding happy-joy-fun-time.
On some P&G faders, the nylon/delrin/whatever collars wear too much, and they don't clean up easily, but that's fairly rare. In my experience ALPS faders with moderate use usually clean up mechanically just fine.
Keith

-ssltech


Master Class.

Bill

Quote    Reply   
avatar

ssltech

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,058 Member Since:22/01/2011

#16 [url]

May 30 11 8:13 PM

Let me know what you think of the scent... For me it's instant recall of my teenage years!

-Keith Andrews -If I can't fix it, I can fix it so [i]NOBODY[/i] can fix it!

Quote    Reply   
avatar

ssltech

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,058 Member Since:22/01/2011

#17 [url]

May 30 11 8:13 PM

By the way, if you hate it, I'll ALWAYS buy it from you. (Can't get it here.)

-Keith Andrews -If I can't fix it, I can fix it so [i]NOBODY[/i] can fix it!

Quote    Reply   
avatar

brewery

Tin Man

Posts: 47 Member Since:08/02/2011

#19 [url]

Jun 10 11 5:29 PM

did the first few faders with la tromba - the stuff is amazing! you can't really smell it once it's on the rails, and it's not even that bad to begin with.

doing ultimation faders is definitely a bit slower - what a pain to re-thread the motor!!!
so far i got them all on again, but if anybody has a tip how to do this a bit quicker, it would be much appreciated.

i'm away for a week now, so the rest of the faders will have to wait, but i'm hoping to have the whole switch done soon.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

ssltech

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,058 Member Since:22/01/2011

#20 [url]

Jun 10 11 7:34 PM

Glad it's working out... Do check again to see how it's lasting, although once the rails are 'polished' there should be no reason for any rapid degeneration.

If it's freely available to you, I'll send you my address... brass players go nuts for that stuff!


-Keith Andrews -If I can't fix it, I can fix it so [i]NOBODY[/i] can fix it!

Quote    Reply   
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help