Detailed analysis of a Strymon potentiometer fault

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Detailed analysis of a Strymon potentiometer fault

Postby jaycobie » 04 Nov 2019, 17:45

Short version: Don't step on the knobs of Strymon pedals! The pot might break!

I bought a Strymon BlueSky pedal that had the "Mix" knob turning freely through all 360°, which is bad. Only the normal range of the pot gave sound. If the pot was turned into the range it doesn't normally go to, the sound cut out.
It was obvious the pot was broken, so I fixed it by replacing the pot with a strymon replacement.

I've read that other people have had this problem with Strymon pedals, so I figured I'd document what is going on, for future reference. I think this might be a common Strymon repair in the future, due to a flaw in the design of the pot itself.

Instead of making this post a mile long, I made this Imgur album. It's got pictures and plenty of needlessly detailed info about why and how this happens:

https://imgur.com/a/Heahp3i#ynbCGhq


Because the Strymon pedals have those plastic-shafted potentiometers, I've heard tell of a "Metal shaft mod" for Strymon pedals. This obviously indicates that people would replace the pots with metal shafted ones to increase ruggedness. I haven't found any info about it though, nor have I seen anyone point to suitable replacement pots. I found some that should work:

BI Technologies P0915N-FC15BR10K
https://octopart.com/p0915n-fc15br10k-b ... -20069602#

These pots seem like dead ringers for replacements, besides just having the three solder pins and a slimmer outside diameter of the thread. But their shafts are made in such a way as to remove stress from the top and transfer it into the body of the pedal through the nuts, instead of potentially damaging the potentiometer itself.

I'd love to hear if anyone has replaced their pots with metal shafted ones, or if they know of a better replacement pot than the ones I found.
jaycobie
 
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