Scroll wheels - rotary switches or rotary encoders?

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
dincz Regular Member • Posts: 439
Scroll wheels - rotary switches or rotary encoders?

Questions about faulty/intermittent scroll wheels come up fairly often and one of the common suggestions is to blast them with electrical contact cleaner.

However I wonder if they do actually use electrical contacts. In many other applications rotary (optical) encoders are used as I assume they're cheaper and easier to manufacture, and possibly more reliable.

The main risk to their reliability is the buildup of dust and fluff, in which case a blast of air would be effective and preferable to squirting contact cleaner into the innards of the camera.

I'm only thinking out loud here and wondering if anyone here has experience with repairing or at least dismantling digital cameras. Any comments?

KCK14 Senior Member • Posts: 1,022
Re: Scroll wheels - rotary switches or rotary encoders?
1

The digitals that I serviced, all encoders for external wheels were simple finger contacts rubbing against a PC board with a circular pattern on it.  Internally some encoders for diaphragm setting (i.e. Nikon) that required very quick response time and constant use were optical.

 KCK14's gear list:KCK14's gear list
Nikon D7000 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus PEN-F Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro
OP dincz Regular Member • Posts: 439
Re: Scroll wheels - rotary switches or rotary encoders?

KCK14 wrote:

The digitals that I serviced, all encoders for external wheels were simple finger contacts rubbing against a PC board with a circular pattern on it. Internally some encoders for diaphragm setting (i.e. Nikon) that required very quick response time and constant use were optical.

Thanks for your reply. What was your preferred way of cleaning/repairing faulty scroll wheels?

KCK14 Senior Member • Posts: 1,022
Re: Scroll wheels - rotary switches or rotary encoders?
2

If possible, disassemble and clean both wipers and the PC board.  Squirting some cleaner in from outside is asking for trouble with excess.   Some are enclosed in a plastic case that is glued together.  Best bet was to replace.

If you are in the repair business long term, shortcuts can comeback to bite you and are not worth the risk.

 KCK14's gear list:KCK14's gear list
Nikon D7000 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus PEN-F Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro
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