Hi, the rotary controller on my TSU9800 does seem to have quite a lot of friction. I only bought the TSU last year and have no reference, but I guess it's supposed to rotate a little smoother. Does anyone know a way to clean this thing without having to disassemble the whole device?
You can try using canned air around the outside of the wheel. You can also try on the inside around the 4-way cursor.
There is a spring-like piece of metal in the unit that exerts very minute pressure on the wheel. That is the source of some of the friction.
Aside from this, the only other recourse is disassembly. Which, if you do disassemble, I would recommend cleaning all the contact for all buttons with an engineering pencil eraser as over time, they do oxidize. Note that just cleaning with isopropyl alcohol will not work very well, hence the eraser. And while you are at it, clean the grime off the docking station board contacts. :-)
Thank you! I was hoping that there was a way to access this thing from the front (e.g. by removing D-Pad...), but apparently there isn't.
I tried canned air and also folded a piece of paper two or three times, drenched it in isopropyl alcohol and used it to clean the gaps next to the rotary controller. It looks like that helped a little, so for now I'll refrain from disassembling the device. But I fear that day might come eventually... ;)
A technique that I've used to clean contacts in general is to operate the switch or control throughout its full range a zillion times. The theory is that there is that a thin oxide coating has formed and the repeated operation simply wears the coating down. Adding a small amount of contact cleaner, when possible, is helpful.
Electrically, everything on my works fine - I've seen older "normal" remotes where often used buttons develop a kind of numbness and you need to push them harder to execute the button's function. Never had this with any of my Prontos, though.
Anyway, that's not the issue here. I just noticed that the controller ring does not turn as easy as one might like. When only pressing on it lightly while turning, my finger slips over the surface even though the ring has this 3D shape to increase the grip. To me it feels like there might be some grease/dust inside the controller assembly. It does seem to develop a little less friction when operating the ring constantly for a short while.
When cleaning the spaces next to the ring with isopropyl alcohol, it seems that the moisture lubricates the controller ring and I can rotate it very easily. Of course, the alcohol evaporates after a few minutes max and we're back to start ;) I'm not sure if applying some drops of silicone oil into the gaps would do more harm than good.
I'm a little hesitant to disassemble the whole unit. For one, there's no service manual (at least not that I'm aware of) and I don't want to risk damaging the device. I also haven't been using the rotary controller much, so this isn't a big problem for now.
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