SynScan GOTO v4 controller – trouble with buttons

SynScan GOTO v4 controller

Over the last year of using my SynScan GOTO controller, I’ve noticed that the ESC button doesn’t always work as expected. Somehow I lived with it limitations. Last time the left Ra button, also began to fail and did not always connect. I could live with it for some time and it was, but lately it was even worse. After pressing the Ra button, this one did not always bounce up and the mount started to rotate like a carousel. After all, I have to mention that I had many trips together with my equipment and it is not a set that was used in the static way. A red light came on in my head – something needs to be done against trouble coming. There were not many options available, just two. First I am sending the controller to the service or second I will do something myself to fix those issues. My engineer nature took over (as always), I started to solve the problems myself.

I assumed that some dirt or substance, had to get inside somehow and it begin to be sticky over time and hold the button. I do not remember that I flooded the controller with some liquid, but I can not exclude the situation in, which some less careful colleague with a beer in hand, watching or trying to look at the stars through the eyepiece, accidentally flooded my controller.

Jak to bywa na różnych zlotach astronomicznych, gdy kogoś nie widzisz długo, trzeba to obowiązkowo uczcić i świętować.

As it happens at various astronomical rally, when you do not see someone a long time, it is necessary to celebrate.

My recent experience with electronics, especially made in China, preceded me with what I can find inside, so I prepared a few things for work.

Spray contact – a pretty cool tool for cleaning and degreasing electronics, but also optical devices, including removing dirt from glass, without damaging the optical coatings.

Ear sticks are mandatory.

Plastic 70 at spray – with my electronics actions, I usually use plastic spray (colorless varnish). It creates a thin, transparent and hermetic coating. It perfectly protects soldering places, against oxidation of tin components and the cold solder in a relatively short time, right after service operations. Some small so-called artistic brush is needful to spread the plastic evenly over the clean PCB.

Lets start of activities.

Unscrew the controller, it is held by 4 cross screws.

There are no catches, so slowly and gently but without stress, we have to remove the back cover. On the left, carefully disconnect the white wire tape with the white plug and the second plug with the colored wires.

Grab the PCB on the left side and slowly, gently turn it over to the right.

There is dirt in the place where the white tape is soldered. Below you can see dirty ESC button pads. Now I found the source of problems with unequal operation, once worked and once non – annoying.

On the photo you can not see it, but the direction buttons pads, wasn’t clean either. It was good sin under the strong light.

The opposite end of the controller was also dirty. Soldering points for disconnected plugs, looks dramatic. On the pads, the shit also. Hell, my hands are falling. There is no way out, I will need to clean the entire PCB.

How to clean and not to spoil? To removed stopper from contact, spray a little substance and dip a stick in it. Lightly wipe out dirty places. Repeat the action, until you are satisfied with the result.

Once you clean all the places, you need to secure the soldering places. Plastic 70 and a brush will do this. The procedure is very similar to cleaning above. Sprey some plastic substance into the removed stopper. Using a brush, apply plastic to soldering areas. Repeat actions, until you get a satisfied result. Wait 10 min. to dry the applied plastic.

After cleaning electronics soldering places, pads and applying a protective plastic coating on soldering places:

I think it worked out quite well. In my opinion, that’s all. Just screw the controller and take some tests is it operationl.

Works like a charm 🙂 No problems that occurred before.

SynScan GOTO v4 controller