Ecler HAK320

Headphones and Fader Fix

The Ecler HAK 320's have poorly designed headphones sockets that will eventually fail. The designers choose to use a nonstandard solution, which is not only uncommon, but also uncommonly stupid since it's made from fragile plastic. Solution is very simple, solder or wirewrap a new standard 1/4" jack socket in the existing front panel hole. Additionally this mixer had poor contact in one of the line faders, which is of identical design as the crossfaders, so that one was fixed as well.

I take no responsibility what so ever for any action you chose to make. You'll need a solder iron, solder, Phillips screwdriver, flat screwdriver, and electronic cleaning and lubing stuff. Optional stuff like the crocodile teeth clamps I use to keep things under control makes the job easier, but is not strictly necessary.

Unfortunately this job was done early in the morning after some very strong coffee, so the pictures are of very poor quality. Sorry! Will take new ones and replace this guide when the opportunity comes around next time.

Note that these instructions are for carbon based faders! Plastic faders, like PCV and Penny&Giles, should not be treated with anything but water. Plastic fader cleaning instructions here.


(click thumbnails for larger pictures)

As most dj-equipment the Hak320's are really easy to work on and have plenty of space around the commonly abused parts.

First, lets fix the headphone socket. Ecler placed it on a small printed circuit board with the usual tiny white removable contacts.


Open the contacts with the aid of a tiny flat screwdriver, never pull on the cable it self! This was done to show how to handle the contacts, actually you could cut them straight off since we're only interested in the wires.

The tiny circuit board have three wires, two for left/right and a common ground. You can solder the signal leads first and the ground afterwards to avoid confusion.

Being on the cheapish side and considering headphones a non-critical area I used an old contact from some part bins equipment laying around. If you want better looks on the front panel, get a nickel plated socket, or do as I do, take whatever you have at hand.

Finished result with el cheapo plastic socket looks like this



Now, time to do the fader, in this case the right hand line channel had a problem with poor contact. Actually what the problem is isn't so important, as the fix is almost invariably the same, clean and lube the poor abused thing. Take off the faceplate, unscrew the two screws holding the fader unit onto the casing.

Unplug the now familiar looking white contact on the fader. Now, this is what you'll be working on. Notice the two big solder blobs in the middle. They have no electrical purpose, they're only there to make a physically stable connection. Unsolder these last when removing the solder and solder them first when resoldering, it'll make sure the rest of the connections are held stable while soldering.

You'll have to remove the solder from all the contacts on the fader. Do not touch the three solder pads for the white contact, but use a solder pump or a solder wick to remove the rest. When all pins are free from solder, carefully pry the green green circuit board from the fader with a tiny flat screwdriver. Notice the small tabs holding the metal piece, bend them upwards so you can remove the metal piece.

If you've gotten this far, you're ready to dig into the real part of the fader, the carbon(or plastic) tracks and the brushes touching down on them.

The carbon tracks are sensitive, only use cleaning solution designed or approved for electronics. Carefully clean the tracks of any debris and apply a thin layer of contact lube. The bushes making the actual contact as they slide along the carbon tracks are the most delicate part, make sure you do not use force as you clean and lube them.
The sliding action itself is mostly carried out in the top of the fader(normal view, in the top when held upside down), not along the contacts. Plastic rubs against the metal housing of the fader and provides a fairly sealed operation with not much physical force being transmitted to the carbon tracks. If the fader against all presumption is slow or notchy, use some lithium free grease along the top of the fader, where there should be a thick layer of grease from the factory.
Now, if you really want to be smart and maybe have a set of useable pictures while you're at it, wait with that big cup of excellent coffee until after you've done it all.
Better pics of fader internals and stuff will be available when the need to open one commes around next time!  

Back to more technical recipes.

Andreas Nordenstam Okt 2003 - updated september 2004 BTM-info


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