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Wico Command Controller - how to clean potentiometers


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Hi!  Has anyone who's owned a 5200 Wico Command controller needed to clean the potentiometers to fix  erratic joystick behavior like a delayed response when playing Pac-Man, you move the stick, but it does nothing or needs a moment before the movement is shown?


The blue bearings look sealed (grumble), but based on the dust on the other parts I'm certain the innards also have some decades'old-grime  and just need a cleaning.  The axles feel smooth when rotating them...


Or are there replacement units one can purchase somewhere? If nothing else it looks like an easy solder job...






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Thanks for the info.  I'll remove the solder, pry with a spudger, then bathe 'em in contact cleaner overnight. But I think Quadrunner is right; I have a feeling it's due to the conductive material wearing off and the contact is sporadic at best...  I'll look up the ohm rating; maybe rigging a generic pot can be a workaround as I'm sitting here thinking of ideas with absolutely zero grounding on how the thing is constructed. ?   (noting the square locking mechanism it's probably less of a realistic goal and more of a Quixotic one...)  If nothing else, the keypad is working and can recoup some of the loss.  A shame as these Wicos are otherwise built like tanks...  Will follow up...

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I have yet to pry out the blue part to get at the stuff within.  


With multimeter in hand, one  pot went from 0 to 500 - but 0 didn't go up until maybe 25% into a turn.  Or down from 500 until after 25% of a turn as well. Either which way, the resistance count was not smooth.  The other pot was even more rough, less responsive, also topping at 825K (to my understanding, these are 500K ohm pots - so this one definitely is worn out.)   Dust or other tiny particles getting past the seals is possible, but my impression is that they're just worn out.


I've seen a gaggle of various pots online. I saw Bourne referenced from another post, complete with Dremel being used to shape the shaft.  All brands I've seen only have split shafts rather than the half-moon (boo!), so to rig this I need find a comparable half-moon or rig the joystick's coupler to accept a split shaft via drilling out the other side where the half-moon locks into... This is potentially a $5-20 fix, depending on brand and time needed to rig the things...



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