Electronics Help

I have a computer joystick that has lost some range on the right extremity, almost certainly due to a potentiometer issue. The replacement part available from digikey (REPPOT604) is £3.42 before carriage and about £18.50 with…

Any clues on finding a comparable one with a different brand/part number for a more economical cost?

Are potentiometers serviceable in any way?

A replacement joystick is around £100 so a £20 repair is not out of the question, however…

Possibly some dust on the resistive track inside. If you can hold of some compressed air or contact cleaner then it wouldn’t hurt to give it a blast whilst rotating the spindle.

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It depends on what the problem is, but often the answer is Yes.

The first thing to try after vacuuming out the dust is a small squirt of Servisol 10 Contact Cleaner, this is the electronic equivalent of a magic potion or the elixir of life. Then some gentle exercise of the pot cures the problem in most cases.

If you find you’ve used too much, wipe off the surplus with a tissue and a quick squirt of isopropyl alcohol will clean up the rest.

The Servisol removes tarnish and leaves a thin lubricating film to protect against future tarnish. It does not seem to have changed in the five decades I’ve been using it.

Late last year I fixed an expensive analogue mixer desk that had been in storage for twenty years and was unusable because half the switches had stuck and several pots and faders were crackly. After the Servisol blessing only two parts needed replacement, and that was only because of mechanical damage.

In the past I’ve tried several other products from well known brands claiming to be “contact cleaners” but they never came close.

Edit 20/11/2020
A week or two ago I used some on the switch contacts in an iffy tape/rec push button on my 1980s home brew amp. From sometimes on/off/nothing to perfect in five seconds. It is truly a miracle cure.


When working on audio gear i’ve found kontakt 60 and kontakt 61 does a very nice job at cleaning pots.

It’s not the cheapest cleaner around though.

I’ve found that it does a better job if you blast it with the cleaner then do it again about a day later.