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Thread: The achille's heel of modern electronics....pin connectors. Any cure?

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    The achille's heel of modern electronics....pin connectors. Any cure?

    I'm so so sick of dealing with internal multi pin connectors that tend to make intermittently lousy contact with one of more pins. Seems like with some of them it;s not a matter or whether that will happen, but when. My latest PITA is with an amp i really love when it sounds right, a fender GT100 mustang. This think has had several volume and tone issues that seem to have gone away once i dealt with one particular connector. It's not a ribbon or wire type, but a multi pin connection between 2 boards. They type where on board has pins soldered to the board and the other board has a female connector soldered directly to it and the smaller board presses into it when positioned into place. The thing is so flimsy, and the fact it is the send/return board tells me we're dealing with a analog signal path which is likely where these intermittent tonal and volume fluctuation are happening, and seems to be proven by the fact it stopped after i modded it. It's all common stuff with many owners, not just myself. But the mod was a crude one and a PITA.....18 (at least i think theres 18 pins) 3-4" pieces of wire soldered to the connector pads on each board to keep all connections solidly intact even when the pin connections fail. A real PITA and tedious/long mod. I tried deoxit initially and that worked for a time then started again. I did the same mod to the other such connector in it thats on the footswitch board. The FS issues topped after that so these connector types are truly crap.

    Question is, i intend to buy a second one as a backup and to keep at a friends rehearsal space. I also have a friend who likes the amp and wants to buy one but i advised him of this issue. So my question is, does anyone know of any tricks to make connectors like this reliable? I thought long and had but all i could come up with is the mod i did which i really do not want to go thru again if i buy another and then again if my buddy buys one. What a garbage design ! Gotta be a easier way to deal with it and there are a lot of electronic wizards here so i gotta think someone has come up with a way around this.

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    Supporting Member mozz's Avatar
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    You need to gold plate them. Ok, not feasible. Tin whiskers on the contacts? Maybe some type of sealant?

    I've bought outdoor chinese led christmas lights strings, the light bulb into the socket rusts, yes steel.

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozz View Post
    You need to gold plate them. Ok, not feasible. Tin whiskers on the contacts? Maybe some type of sealant?

    I've bought outdoor chinese led christmas lights strings, the light bulb into the socket rusts, yes steel.
    They are gold. But it's the crap quality of the relatively loose pin to sleeve connections that are the problem. I thought about coating ech pin with solder but that might make things worse.

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    Member HaroldBrooks's Avatar
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    Junk is Junk.

    I've only been at electronics for a couple of years, but I have a lot of experience using cheap parts for auto rebuilds, and you get what you pay for (cheap part and cheap tools = disaster car).

    I wouldn't spend too much time trying to "Fix" a cheap connector, other than perhaps replacing it all together with a more reliable type, or hard solder wires as you suggested.

    One last ditch attempt may be to try some type of conductive grease (sparingly). That works well in some applications, but I don't have that much experience of using this on amp voltage with those types of connection, to recommend it whole heartedly.

    I hate junk.

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    Last edited by HaroldBrooks; 07-11-2019 at 11:54 PM.

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HaroldBrooks View Post
    Junk is Junk.

    I've only been at electronics for a couple of years, but I have a lot of experience using cheap parts for auto rebuilds, and you get what you pay for (cheap part and cheap tools = disaster car).

    I wouldn't spend too much time trying to "Fix" a cheap connector, other than perhaps replacing it all together with a more reliable type, or hard solder wires as you suggested.

    One last ditch attempt may be to try some type of conductive grease (sparingly). That works well in some applications, but I don't have that much experience of using this on amp voltage with those types of connection, to recommend it whole heartedly.

    I hate junk.
    Maybe not a bad idea. (con. grease) Maybe others can chime in on that idea.

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    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Conductive grease will probably add resistance where you don't want it (between pins).

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    Conductive grease will probably add resistance where you don't want it (between pins).
    Good to know, thanks.

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    It’s usually easier to hardware the mess.

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    Ford makes a grease for use on both brake parts (caliper slides) AND ignition wires. It's clear & cones in a toothpaste-like tube. Pretty thick, and can go on thin. I wouldn't hesitate to use it if I had to... Cuz crazy-ass temperatures & stupid-high voltages...

    Maybe I'd try it on some beater amps first, but I bet it'd be okay...

    Justin

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    "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
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    Supporting Member Randall's Avatar
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    You are experiencing the future now. I predict once us dinos who remember when products didn't suck as bad, and could be repaired reasonably are extinct, the acceptable norm will be disposable everything. Or, when the bottom falls out and new goods are no longer available, being able to cobble together broken electronics will be a skill worth much indeed.

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    It's weird, because it WAS working fine.....

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randall View Post
    You are experiencing the future now. I predict once us dinos who remember when products didn't suck as bad, and could be repaired reasonably are extinct, the acceptable norm will be disposable everything. Or, when the bottom falls out and new goods are no longer available, being able to cobble together broken electronics will be a skill worth much indeed.
    And now we know your true heart. I'll see you when the zombie apocalypse starts

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    I avoid connectors like the pest they are an solder whenever possible.

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    And now we know your true heart. I'll see you when the zombie apocalypse starts
    We can build our own weapons from surplus electronic junk.

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    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Electronic junk?

    No need to build anything, weapons are already there!!!!

    We can poison them with mercury from batteries, lead from solder, cadmium from batteries/Fender_roaches/chassis plating and ................... oh .................. wait ................... maybe that´s what created Zombies to begin with!!!

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    ...
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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Master Destroyer nosaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    Electronic junk?

    No need to build anything, weapons are already there!!!!

    We can poison them with mercury from batteries, lead from solder, cadmium from batteries/Fender_roaches/chassis plating and ................... oh .................. wait ................... maybe that´s what created Zombies to begin with!!!
    or a EMP cannon from a microwave

    nosaj

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    Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

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    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    Safety First!

    Nice demo.

    But what a bunch of idiots.

    No eye protection or face shield.

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  18. #18
    "Thermionic Apocalypse" -JT nickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz P Bass View Post
    Safety First!

    Nice demo.

    But what a bunch of idiots.

    No eye protection or face shield.
    ...or Faraday suit.

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    Experience is something you get, just after you really needed it.

  19. #19
    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz P Bass View Post
    But what a bunch of idiots.

    No eye protection or face shield.
    I have a feeling they'd say 'oh that's nothing, you should see Chernobyl'.

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    Just because they don't have tubes doesn't mean they don't have feelings! - glebert

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    Master Destroyer nosaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    I have a feeling they'd say 'oh that's nothing, you should see Chernobyl'.
    Saw this in one of the comments

    for all the comments which are regarding the safety of these scientist. Don't worry, they are professional Russians

    nosaj

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    Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

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