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Hand Paddle maintenance

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#1 Digital Don

Digital Don


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Posted 25 December 2012 - 02:25 AM

My CPC 1100 has been 'living' in my roll-off observatory for the past 5 years or so. Recently, the buttons on the hand paddle have required more pressure than normal before they would respond. The buttons weren't harder to press, they just weren't responding as they should. Basically I was having to hold the back of the paddle to "pinch" the key before it would work.

Since it's been getting colder - temperatures in the 20s and 30s - I attributed this effect to the weather. However, this is the first time I've had this occur since I've owned the scope. Once it started getting cold I began bringing the hand paddle inside while the scope is hibernating, but that didn't seem to help.

Here's what did help however. Under each key on the hand paddle's circuit board is a small component - possibly a switch but I'm not sure. On either side of that component are two small pads that look like magnetic tape. I'm guessing this assembly is some type of 'membrane switch', but I don't know.

On the underside of each key, there are two round 'buttons'. When you depress a key, these buttons contact the pads on the circuit board, and the key may possibly affect the component mentioned above as well.

I used alcohol and a cotton swab to clean all the pads and buttons. There was only a tiny bit of residue on the cotton swab so I figured it hadn't really done anything. I reassembled the hand paddle and plugged it into the scope, woke it from hibernation and gave it a try. Everything worked like new! Go figure!

If you've experienced similar issues with your hand paddle, you might want to give the above procedure a try.


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