Silicone on Graphic Equalizer
I have a graphic equalizer with pots that are rough or sticky. The unit functions fine, and there is no scratchiness in the audio from the fader motion, but this just can't be how they are supposed to feel.
Not being able to purchase CAIG products locally (sigh), I tried another brand of cleaner (MG Contact Cleaner with Silicones) on several of the pots. I used it as directed in the Audio 9-1-1 article on the CAIG website), it actually made things a bit stickier, because the lubrication had been stripped by the cleaner (even though it was listed as "with silicones").
I talked with my long time tech who recommended DeoxIT, then FaderLlube. Then I figured I'd call the manufacturer (CAIG) and get the story from the source. You had recommended DeoxIT D100S-2 only. I was surprised to hear only the one product, but ordered it from Parts Express.
While I waited, I took the unit apart, and removed one of the pots from the PC board. I cleaned it thoroughly with alcohol, fully expecting to find corrosion galore. Things were a little dirty, but cleaned up nicely.
The metal fingers that contact the carbon were shiny. I put it back together. I figured it was, as CAIG suggests, in need of a chemical reaction to dissolve oxidation, which perhaps I couldn't see. So I waited for the DeoxIT.
I did one burst, moved it 5-10 times, waited a few minutes, then another burst, and moved it 5-10 times. (this is under "Potentiometer Maintenance" in Audio 9-1-1). I read somewhere else about waiting a day, so the next day I did one cycle of 1 burst and some motion.
The result was exactly the same as MG Contact cleaner, initially making things stickier, then relaxing back to where I started. At times it would require several pounds of force to move the pot, and I held back for fear of breaking the mechanism. Now several more days later things are exactly the same.
That's where I'm at. If I get desperate enough I'm going to pay my tech to show me how he cleans them, and get use of his supply of DeoxIT and FaderLube.
Using a product containing silicone is not advisable for the following reasons:
1. Silicone is almost impossible to remove completely.
2. Silicone degrades plastics and rubber over time.
3. Silicone attracts dust and dirt.
There is a process that should work, and it includes both the DeoxIT and the FaderLube as your tech suggested. It is as follows:
(*If the equipment is under 5 yrs old)
1. Turn OFF and UN PLUG equipment
2. Flush faders with 3-4 bursts of D5 (D5S-6; D5MS-15); moving the faders (20-30 times) to help remove the silicone and any other contributing contaminants on the surface.
3. The following day, spray 1-2 bursts of DeoxIT FaderLube 5% (F5S-H6; F5MS-H15), and leave on for about 30-minutes, or so.
4. Finish with 1-2 bursts DeoxIT FaderLube 100% spray (F100S-L2); moving faders (20-30 times) to distribute the lubrication.
5. Plug-in and turn on equipment.
We also have a DeoxIT FaderGrease that could be used as a final step if the F100S wasn’t successful. It also has properties that encourage contaminants to attach themselves to the surface, so if we don’t have to use it, let’s not do so.
*If equipment is more than 5 yrs old, there may be some concern about the D5 removing some of the carbon from the surface.
Note: Above part numbers represent 1200 sprays vs. 150 sprays per can, respectively).