Do not go gentle into that good night (Buttons nonresponsive)
Hey all got some micro-switch arthritis on my Nemo lately. A couple of buttons take some considerable effort to engage, which makes double clicks a PITA. I'll see what can be done with some switch cleaner or if possible dismantle the switch to remove gunk... Otherwise its a replacement job. If anyone know the part please let me know and I'll order a few.
I'm pleased to say I was able to restore the responsiveness once again on the dodgy buttons (for some time at least) and service all the micro-switches.
In a nutshell what causes the issue is a transfer of finger gunk! These lovely rolling ball bearings also aid the transfer of grime.
As they roll residual grease is deposited onto the micro-switch button pillar and that in time works its way into the switch casing causing the contacts to diminish and eventually fail.
I will share the steps I took to fix my Nemo. Following a quick disclaimer...
I cannot, in any way whatsoever, be responsible for your use of the information posted.
Opening the case
Ensure your space is clean and clear. I had an anti static mat handy.
I rested the Nemo face down and removed the six bottom screws and one small centre rear screw (as pictured)
Once done the bottom section is loosened.
Release some cables and detach the from panel PCB
First thing I needed to detach some cables to be able to work.
I pulled the ribbon cable labelled "AORTA" and unbolted the hex bolted green/yellow (ground link)
At this point the rear panel is still attached, but by much longer black/red wires (I could work with this and left these attached)
Next I rested the rear section behind (as pictured)
On the front panel (not pictured) the cream boundary needed to be lifted up (this was very easy just gently slide it up off the standing posts)
I then put the cream boundary under the front panel (prevents the ball bearings rolling out when the panel is detached)
That done I could remove the 8 hex bolts securing the front panel to the PCB (keeping the bits safe and out of the way)
I look at general look at the PCB all clean except for the micro-switch pillars, all greased and grimy (close up attached for viewing pleasure)
Cleaning with Isopropyl alcohol 99.9%
With Isopropyl alcohol and a nylon brush I dipped and brushed the dirt from the switches.
I took care not to overdo it working small brush dips and scraping the switches. Some grim would that would not budge I scraped off with a sponger (plastic edge) keeping at it until all the switches sparkled,
Switch Cleaning Lubricant
Once the residual crud was cleaned I wanted to try an improve the switch contacts (ideally without having to disassemble the switch body)
Switch cleaning lubricant helps to improve the conductivity despite there being some muck in the switch body I hoped this would improve the contacts sufficiently well.
This switch cleaning lubricant stuff if is quite sticky stuff so I took care not to spray it on (and make a bloody mess)
I sprayed into the cap a small measure then dipped the brush, tapping half a dozen micro-switch pillars. The surface tension allowed the lubricant to transfer from the brush to the pillar, but not overspill further.
Once a run of 6-8 switches had lubricant on the switch top I used the other end of the brush to press the switches to work in the liquid. This worked very well the switch absorbed the lubricant into the casing body.
Kept working around all the micro-switches. Reworking the especially problematic switches I then finished up by cleaning the switches and surrounds by brushing some Isopropyl alcohol removing any spills and lubricant residue.
I reassembled the Nemo. Fired it up and to my relief the dodgy buttons came back to life 😀
For how long I don't know, but flaky buttons are a real pain arse so glad its sorted.
In the future if I cannot resurrect a switch it is possible to disassemble the (popping of the switch lid), however if it came to that de-soldering and replacing would be easier and better. Cheers!
Many thanks for such a detailed explanation - I will be getting the products needed to clean up my switches.
Ohh, and I will no longer be eating fish & chips when I'm using the Nemo !!!
All the best,
Yep, thanks, Wilson! I actually have the replacement ball bearings now and was planning to refurbish my Octopus. I'm really glad you posted this because I'm clueless and was considering DeoxIT on the switches and then whipping it off with a q-tip. In retrospect, that would probably help in the short term and later make things worse. I'll post the exact purchase info on the bearings once I've confirmed the correct size.
🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺
Is there a preventative regime that would be appropriate?
My best practices are to keep a swiffer duster handy and not roll the buttons. I also try to avoid double-clicking when there is a two button gesture available to do the same thing.
Added some well deserved bling to my trusty Nemo - should be an anniversary edition really.
In case you are wondering, its 24 carat gold plating with added cobalt for strength (same spec as satellite plating) - how cool is that ?