How to Fix Glitchy Faders and Jog Wheels


A pretty common question I see on the DJ TechTools forum is about channel faders that are acting up, jumping around and not responding like they should. The normal answer is to clean and lubricate your cross-faders – that will usually fix the problem. However, when my cross-faders started to act up, I couldn’t find any good info on what exactly needed to be done. So as I was doing my maintenance, I shot some video and did a little walkthrough to make it a little easier for people who might be having the same problem. As a bonus, while I was inside the VCI I went ahead and lubricated my jog wheels as one of them felt like it was grinding a little when I spun it.

BILL OF MATERIALS

What you’ll need to complete this little bit of maintenance is a phillips screwdriver, canned air, isopropyl alcohol, fader lubricant and jog wheel grease. The Caig line of lubricants and cleaners seems to be highly regarded throughout the DJ community so I went with their DeoxIT G5 lubricant. Whatever you decide to use make sure it’s safe for electrical connections with plastic. For lubricating the jog wheels I used a very small amount of carbon-enriched conductive silicon grease.

GETTING TO IT

  1. First you’ll need to remove the fader knobs and the bottom faceplate, then remove the six screws for the faders. The faders will fall through the slots as the knobs aren’t on them, but that’s fine.
  2. Then turn over the VCI and remove the one screw towards the bottom rear of the unit and the four screws on the sides. Slide the baseplate forward a little, lift up and set it to the side.

FADER CLEAN AND LUBE

Your faders will be loose inside, so all you have to do now is unplug them one at a time (see photo for where to grab the plug), blow a few short bursts of canned air inside the fader slot to get out large pieces of dust and contaminants.

Set your fader in a small container and pour just enough alcohol in to cover the top of the fader. Move the fader back and forth while the whole piece is submerged in the alcohol to clean out any contaminants that may have built up over time.

Remove the fader from the bath and gently tap out the bulk of the alcohol that remains inside. Next you’ll take your canned air and gently blow off any remaining alcohol. Eye protection is a good idea here as alcohol that might blow into your face probably wouldn’t feel too good.

Next spray just a quick, short burst of lubricant inside the fader and slide it back and forth to distribute the lubricant evenly inside, plug it back in and repeat the procedure for the remaining faders. You can also put in a drop or two of a more heavy type of fader lubricant, although I chose not to because I have a dog and a cat and I live in an old dusty house. My thought was that with all of these things combined a heavier lubricant might attract some pet hair and dust, which would just cause me more problems later on.

JOG WHEEL LUBRICATION

If you’re going to lubricate your jog wheels, remove the three screws holding the white plastic piece on. If you look inside you’ll see a thin plate that contacts the rotary post acting as a ground finger. You want to get your conductive lubricant between the plate and the rotary post. A very small amount of conductive lubricant should do the job fine. In case you missed it, I said conductive. If it’s not conductive you’ll lose your touch sensitivity on the jog wheels!

You don’t need to take the jog wheel apart. This photo is just to illustrate what it looks like inside and give you a better idea of where you’re trying to put your conductive grease.
It’s important to make sure the bushing is in alignment when you put it back on. Follow the steps outlined in the video to make sure it’s put on securely and centered just right.

REASSEMBLY

One final thing you can do before putting everything back together is to check the cardboard piece and make sure it’s secure. A once over of all the plugs is also a good idea while you have the VCI open.

You’ll want to screw the faders back in while the back is off so you have access to them from the other side. Make sure you don’t have any wires between the faders and the faceplate as they’ll get pinched, and that could potentially cause problems. Another thing I want to point out is that it’s possible to screw the fader screws into the slot the fader slides in, so make sure you’ve got all the holes lined up just right.

So that’s it. A good detailed walkthrough of how to do a relative simple procedure that will keep your VCI running smoothly and letting you bust out more super-awesome mixes.

Song credit in the video goes to DJ TechTools forum member, Lambox. Check out his Soundcloud page here http://soundcloud.com/lambox

After serving as the resident DJ in several different clubs in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Chris (photojojo) has recently returned to the DJ world after a long hiatus. A regular contributor to the DJ TechTools forum, he’s glad to have found the new internet home away from home where he can be found offering up help whenever he can.

  • uttam barman

    hello i have my mixtrack pro with some dust got inside in tempo fader it functioning well but not feels smooth feels like rough. should i use compressed air to clean without opening it?

  • Rayanaldo Nikola Brkljacic

    Anyone by any chance know how the jogwheel luberication process would be apply to a VCI-400? Thanks

  • Zach

    I bought my VCI-100 MKII today, and everything works except for my sliders. Could this be the problem already? Any and all help would be appreciated! Thanks!

  • Ben Hill 86

    I’ve got a m audio mixer but you have helped heaps thank you

  • Djrepete

     Chris.
     I have looked everywhere for  for carbon-enriched conductive silicon grease. Radioshack, Home Depot, Micro Center, Lowes, Ace Hardware? Where do I find the carbon-enriched conductive silicon grease? Is there some think I can substitute it with?

  • I was wondering if the Radio Shack Control/Contact Cleaner and Lubricant ok to use to clean the faders? I followed a guide a long time ago that suggested to use white lithium grease on the white plastic underneath to resolve the sticking jog wheel issue. Now i am having a issue on lining songs up and backspins.

  • Chris Jennings

    [quote comment=”39748″]The left jogwheel on my vci-100 has suddenly stopped allowing me to do spinbacks or line up songs so I have to do that with the mouse.

    The outer edge of the jogwheel allows me to pitch bend but the metal part does barely responds to touch.

    Will fader lube fix this ? Or am I facing another problem ?[/quote]

    Have you tried to adjust the jog wheel sensitivity on the back of the VCI? If that doesn’t work I would try some conductive lubricant between the finger and the shaft.

  • The left jogwheel on my vci-100 has suddenly stopped allowing me to do spinbacks or line up songs so I have to do that with the mouse.

    The outer edge of the jogwheel allows me to pitch bend but the metal part does barely responds to touch.

    Will fader lube fix this ? Or am I facing another problem ?

  • Savvy

    [quote comment=”38640″][quote comment=”38593″]my VCI100 did not have any springs?? :([/quote]

    The springs were only added just a few months ago so it’s okay that they’re not there.[/quote]

    So what do the springs actually do? do I need them?

  • photojojo

    [quote comment=”38593″]my VCI100 did not have any springs?? :([/quote]

    The springs were only added just a few months ago so it’s okay that they’re not there.

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=”38593″]my VCI100 did not have any springs?? :([/quote]

    If the touch sensitivity on your jogs worked, the springs must have been there.

  • Savvy

    my VCI100 did not have any springs?? 🙁

  • Thegodfather

    Great Video, Chris. I love my vci 100.

  • Chris Jennings

    For those looking for a fix for wobbly jog wheels here ya go

    http://www.djtechtools.com/2010/10/08/how-to-fix-jog-wheel-vci-100-300/

  • Teiko

    Can you say about when it will come?

  • Teiko

    Thanks so much for your video. The axis of my right jog is loose a little bit and its runs much easier than the left one, so i wanted to check this but was afraid of opening the housing.
    Looking forward to your next video hopefully helping me with my problem 🙂

  • John Gilmour

    I use “starting fluid” if things are really gunked up I do this outside as it is “Richard Pryor” flammable …. And I use radio shack “tuner cleaner and lubricant” which is made for cleaning contacts like those on 1970’s TV sets channel knobs that spin. Most of the time I just use this stuff…. Any reason not to use tuner cleaner? It’s a one shot deal for me and even works if a drink is spilled in if you use it before it dries…. Wait too long like I did with champagne from new years ….. I waited 2 weeks! So I had to use starter fluid (from the automotive aisle in supermarkets and convenience stores. Keep a spray bottle with me on gigs in case of a spill…. Works in seconds .

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103700

  • Chris Jennings

    [quote comment=”36339″]question: my left Jog wheel on the vci-100 is real tight how do i loosen it up so its more easy to do spin backs. i loosened some screws but not much difference . Im thinkin I have to take the whole faceplate off[/quote]

    I’m working on an article that covers just such a fix. Stay tuned.

  • question: my left Jog wheel on the vci-100 is real tight how do i loosen it up so its more easy to do spin backs. i loosened some screws but not much difference . Im thinkin I have to take the whole faceplate off

  • I uses methylated spirits to clean out mine – works just as well as alcohol.

    Id also recommend cleaning your cleaning solution out a couple of times as you go with something like a coffee filter so your not transfering gunk from one fader to the other fader. It pays to clean our your fader once, then clean it again with a clean solution to make sure you get out all of the gunk that you possibly can. If you havent cleaned yours in a while you will be amazed how the gunk just keeps on comming out – so take your time to do this step right so you don’t put it back together and still have problems.

  • MMK

    HELLO I HAVE A NUMARK NS7 WITH A CP-PRO CROSSFADER, CAN I CLEAN THE CROSSFADER OF THE NS7 WHITH THIS METHOD? THE ALCOHOL NOT DAMAGE MY FADER? THANKS AND I APPRECIATE YOUR HELP.

  • ARTUROMMK

    HELLO I HAVE A NUMARK NS7 WITH A CP-PRO CROSSFADER, CAN I CLEAN THE CROSSFADER OF THE NS7 WHITH THIS METHOD? THE ALCOHOL NOT DAMAGE MY FADER? THANKS AND I APPRECIATE YOUR HELP.

  • photojojo

    [quote comment=”35912″]My right jog wheel is not spinning freely like my left one does. How can I fix this? My vci-100 SE is brand new! Please help

    thanks![/quote]

    I’m working on a tutorial to fix this. In short there’s a collar inside the jog wheel assembly you can adjust.

  • Jsooze

    My right jog wheel is not spinning freely like my left one does. How can I fix this? My vci-100 SE is brand new! Please help

    thanks!

  • FrankW

    Will try the alcohol cleaning on the fader & 16 knob pots in my original-style X-Session controllers. Several of the pots have become erratic after a few years. All parts are soldered on the circuit board so probably won’t be able to use the “dunk” procedure, but maybe an eyedropper will work. Thanks for the info!

  • Now how do you do that to an xponent? lol

  • kunststoff

    [quote comment=”35190″]did that a while ago for my vci 300!![/quote]

    Could you pls next time post a video ? should be interesting

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=”35162″]My Xone:4D faders behave strangely these days (sometimes only one channel out of the two transmits sound if I slightly tilt the fader cap on the left or right side). Do you think cleaning the faders the same way as the VCI-100 will help? Thanks.[/quote]

    Might help. I had this problem with the channel faders on another mixer and cleaning helped a bit although in the end it was poor quality but with your Allen & Heath, I think a bit of cleaning will do the trick nicely.

  • now how to do this with an APC 40?

  • photojojo

    [quote comment=”35265″]just spent the first min trying to figure out why it was only coming outta one speaker.LOL[/quote]

    Sorry about that, it has to do with the way I saved the video. Next one will come out of both speakers, I promise.

  • Anonymous

    just spent the first min trying to figure out why it was only coming outta one speaker.LOL

  • Zilmad

    Very good tips I don’t have my VCI 100 yet but it will be a great help when I get my vci 100

    http://www.aruba.com

  • ManDingo

    ManDingo wants to know where he can get the Black Jog Wheels!!?

  • Big up on the ace post Chris! Simple and clear. I’m looking forward for more posts from you.

  • tom

    sweet thanks for the fast reply.. looks like i’ll be taking it apart!

  • Jes.C

    Nice Video…(beavis voice) you said lub! hehehehe

  • photojojo

    [quote comment=”35198″]What do you do when you lose the “lube straw” for your Caig canisters? I have two canisters that are pretty much useless because I can’t find the little plastic straw, and have no idea where to find one that fits. Any suggestions?[/quote]

    The one in the air can fits in the Caig can so You might try and rob one from another can you have laying round. You can also buys them.

    http://littleredstraw.com/spray-aerosol-can-replacement-straws.html

  • What do you do when you lose the “lube straw” for your Caig canisters? I have two canisters that are pretty much useless because I can’t find the little plastic straw, and have no idea where to find one that fits. Any suggestions?

  • photojojo

    [quote comment=”35196″]great video!

    could it be possible jsut to keep everything in place.. and blow with air can with a needle and then lube with a needle between the gaps of the faceplate?

    thankyou! awesome stuff!!![/quote]

    You could probably do it that way, but you would lose the benefit of cleaning the faders with the alcohol. You would also need to be careful not to get lube inside the unit. I’m not sure what the effect would be on the motherboard if it got lubed.

  • tom

    great video!

    could it be possible jsut to keep everything in place.. and blow with air can with a needle and then lube with a needle between the gaps of the faceplate?

    thankyou! awesome stuff!!!

  • Steve

    Great, helpful video man. Glad we have some DJTTers in N. Texas.

  • Nice quality video. Now we have a post to send people to when they ask how to do this on the forum.

  • f0tif0

    did that a while ago for my vci 300!!

  • calvin01

    i’ve been looking for some electrically conductive grease through maplin in uk but had no luck.does anyone know where to get some?.nice write up photojojo and thanx!

  • Darrel

    Awesome!!!!

  • Cool vid…I’ve been debating on which controller to get for about a year for smaller gigs. Lugging turntables around is getting old. The easy maintenance and amount user replacable parts makes a strong argument for the VCI-100. If those problems with channels sticking and touch sensitivity happened with one of those cheap controllers I would just be sh*t out of luck. I had finally settled on getting a numark mixtrack since the price is a no-brainer, but the thought of one spilled drink ruining the whole thing scares me. Years go I watched someone spill a glass of wine on my then brand new cdj-800. If I cheaped out and bought a some other lesser quality CD deck I would have just thrown away the money.

  • sgb

    One minor correction, I do not believe that the “ground finger” or “contact plate” is an accurate description of that metal finger. This description implies that the center axis of the jog wheel is grounded. However, the actual jog wheel is a capacitor, and the metal finger is an electrical contact to the jog wheel that is isolated from ground.

    The whole purpose of the jog wheel is that it acts like a capacitor. When a person touches the metal plate over the platter, the capacitance changes. The VCI detects the change in capacitance to determine jog wheel contact (a touch).

  • Shpongler

    [quote comment=”35179″]Does anybody know the name of the type of screws used that secure the top faceplate down?
    One of mine got loose a few weeks ago by the channel faders and is now lost. I removed a screw from another area of the faceplate to secure the fader area as that certainly needs to be held into place or the channel faders are way to loose.

    Does DJ Tech Tools have any spares they can send my way for my SE?
    I just need 1.[/quote]

    I used the one, that fastens the HDD inside my desktop computer.

  • photojojo

    Looks like there’s a problem with long url’s on here.

    Caig’s international distributor list
    http://tinyurl.com/3acyzvf

  • photojojo

    Thanks guys, seemed pretty timely as the problems been popping up more and more lately.

    [quote comment=”35177″]Wow… i did all this just a few days ago, i just didnt do it quite as thorough as this.
    Great video Chris. I love that Texas accent..!

    Does anyone in the UK know of an equivalent to the Caig DeoxIT G5..?
    that is available in UK.[/quote]

    I figured someone would say something about the accent. Just remember y’all sound just as funny to us. 🙂

    Here’s Caig’s official international distributor list.

    http://store.caig.com/s.nl;jsessionid=NNJzMvVGClXpGYknSQj4TFrqvHj77PsyRSc2Tt1HTX5lq4cknWl2hfCTPBR2hmjndLpV2BXFc2JKPgqMnLVQ1RQgQh8bM4dG6GgQpns2lDjvJgWnWJ48f7JwLTnsXFp2!403445923?sc=15&category=112&ctype=SS&SS=112

  • Does anybody know the name of the type of screws used that secure the top faceplate down?
    One of mine got loose a few weeks ago by the channel faders and is now lost. I removed a screw from another area of the faceplate to secure the fader area as that certainly needs to be held into place or the channel faders are way to loose.

    Does DJ Tech Tools have any spares they can send my way for my SE?
    I just need 1.

  • Ali

    Thanks photojojo,
    Exactly what I needed since my VCI-300 started acting up at my last gig.

  • Karlos Santos

    Wow… i did all this just a few days ago, i just didnt do it quite as thorough as this.
    Great video Chris. I love that Texas accent..!

    Does anyone in the UK know of an equivalent to the Caig DeoxIT G5..?
    that is available in UK.

  • Fyoog

    You are a legend Chris, been having similar “wobble” issues on the screen. I know what I’m doing this weekend now!!!!

  • Zac Kyoti

    And yeah, Caig lubes are the bomb.

  • Zac Kyoti

    Another thing I found useful for jog wheels that get wobbly over time is to install washers between the two sides of the jog encoder casing. IE, fit each of the four screws through one small washer each. The washers should be no more than 1 millimeter or so high. I use compressed paper ones for grip, but rubber would work fine too. I don’t know why this works, but raising the jogs that tiny bit seems to stabilize them and they don’t get loose as quickly!

  • Waw, im going to start cleaning now… nice tips…

  • Sweet man… i’m going to be arcade modding my vci when my package arrives, might give my faders a little clean while i’m at it too.

    Nice vid fella 🙂

  • dju`

    My Xone:4D faders behave strangely these days (sometimes only one channel out of the two transmits sound if I slightly tilt the fader cap on the left or right side). Do you think cleaning the faders the same way as the VCI-100 will help? Thanks.

  • thank you – just what i needed!