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Roland RE-201 Space Echo Rotary Switch Replacement Reverb/Delay Processors (HW)
Old 1 week ago
Here for the gear
Yohonis's Avatar

Thread Starter
Roland RE-201 Space Echo Rotary Switch Replacement

Hi Folks,

The mode selector rotary switch on my RE-201 is, well, spacey... but in the worst way. It makes bad connections, it's noisey and farty and I don't like it. I'm considering the following:

Plan A - Spray some contact cleaner/lubricant in the innards of the switch. And do the switcheroo spin a few times to see if everything gets better. If not, plan B.

Plan B - Remove all connections to the switch, disassemble it, manually clean all of the contacts with isopropyl and qtips, pray that I can reassemble it. If everything works . If not, plan C.

Plan C - Replace the switch that I broke while carrying out the failed Plan B... I found the following rotary switch that has an option for an 12-point 'shorting' or 'non-shorting' switch.

Elma Rotary switch Type 04 Eyelets 1 Wafer 1 x 12 Non-Shorting �3

Very robust and versatile 12 Position Multi Wafer Selector Switch
I looked up the difference and apparently shorting means that the connections between each selection will be temporarily shorted when switching from one mode to the next. (Eg. when I switch from mode 1 to mode 2, the signal would go through both mode 1 and mode 2 circuitry at the same time for a split second while I'm making the switch).

Do any of you electronics gurus have some knowledge to pass along? Like, does this seem like the right type of switch? Do I need a 'shorting' or 'non-shorting' switch. Maybe it doesn't matter? Anyone have any alternatives that would offer a good replacement for the RE-201 mode selector?

Thanks for any support you can offer.

Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
emrr's Avatar
My memory is that it's a 3 or 4 deck switch, very hard to find these days. It is open frame, and it is easy to spray out and exercise back to life.
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear

i remember having some emi eqs that had really bad switches. they were sealed elmas but the probably got wet. the switches were so oxidated that they did not pass audio. people recommended deoxid gold and that stuff cleaned them perfectly. they still run nicely 4 years later. give it a try. good luck.
Old 6 days ago
Here for the gear
Yohonis's Avatar

Thread Starter
Ok that's good news. I'll give the clean a try before jumping into any switch replacements. Thanks for everyone's help!
Old 6 days ago
Lives for gear

Plan A only.
Plan B doesn't exist. You cant disassemble the switches nor would anyone with any competency try.
Plan C is only a method of last resort and I simply don't see a need for every having to go there.

First you would try cleaning contacts chemically first.
If you still had issues you would typically tighten the contacts. Since you probably don't know what I mean by tightening the contacts you probably lack the skill to do it properly. If you botch tightening the contacts you can wind up buggering them up or snapping them off which would forcer you to replace the switch.
If you've never tightened rotary switch contacts before this is not the piece of gear you want to begin on the job training on it. The switching is very complex and if you make a mistake you're screwed.

On the other hand, the contacts are in fact designed to be tightened. I in fact own a tool I got many decades ago specifically for that purpose. It reforms the contact and gives it better pressure on the contact plate. You can typically get by using a small jewelers screwdriver and needle nose. The goal is to tighten the gap and maintain even pressure. Some rotaries use spring steel and the contact clips are riveted into place. You don't want to over bend the clip or loosen the rivet. Break one off and you're screwed big time. Soldering the clip back is a pretty big fail. I've done it but it no longer flexes and will undoubtable fail quickly.

I've even gone as far as drilling a rivet out on an unused clip then replacing it with the damaged on. You sometimes have to resort to those extreme measures doing repairs because they don't make allot of rotary switches any more, especially not the multi-ganged rotaries. Digital has replaced them all and reduced the amount of space they require in a circuit.

In any case, the contact cleaner is step 1. It typically takes care of the issue. Just be sure you only spray the contacts and avoid giving the interior a bath. You don't want that cleaner to get on feed belts, motors and tape feed etc.
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