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Sticky buttons


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I'd welcome some advice please.....

 

Sticky buttons: this is actually on my dive computer, a Scubapro G2. The three chrome buttons which activate the controls are a little sticky largely through, sadly, lack of use over the last few months. What's the best thing to use to get them moving more smoothly?

 

I guess this could also apply to buttons on a camera housing?

 

Thanks!

 

 

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Sticky as in you press it and it get stuck / takes time to bounce back?

 

With camera buttons after every dive I wash it with fresh water and press all the buttons (even those I didn't pressed on that dive) under the water stream, and then dry it with a towel by pressing the buttons while holding the towel.

Usually that keeps them working.

 

I had a button that got stuck once, my housing manufacturer told me to do my regular routine and if that doesnt work to try soak it in a 50/50 solution (viniger - water), play with the button until it gets free and then wash it with fresh water.

 

I'm not sure about computer buttons as I'm not sure it has the same isolation as housing buttons.

 

My recommendation to you is to ask your dive shop or email the company.

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I would soak it in warmer water with a mild vinegar solution. Since it is a small dive computer a small bowl will work and need just a bit of vinegar. Soak for an hour and work all the buttons under water. 

 

If you have or can buy some silicone spray, follow up with some of that after the soak. 

 

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3 hours ago, TimG said:

Sticky buttons: this is actually on my dive computer, a Scubapro G2

 

I had the same computer and problem years ago. Same solution suggested by David and a strong spray of contact cleaner (alcohol isopropylic) solved it.

 

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1 hour ago, Davide DB said:

 

I had the same computer and problem years ago. Same solution suggested by David and a strong spray of contact cleaner (alcohol isopropylic) solved it.

 

And if that doesn't work, put some bicarbonate of soda in with a stronger vinegar solution then drop the computer in.  The fizzing is pretty good at clearing off organic debris, and might help loosen any stubborn crystals.  

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Many thanks, guys. All excellent suggestions. Much appreciated. I'm used to using the vinegar/water mix for other things but just wanted second opinions. 👍

 

And, yep, as Sarthur1 asks, very slow to return to the "open position" after the button has been pushed in.

 

The computer has indeed always been rinsed thoroughly after use. I think this is a case of it feeling neglected after diving almost every day for 3 years and now not diving since October. Betrayal? Sulking? 

 

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I’d be careful with the contact cleaner /silicon oil spray. Underneath the buttons there probably are O-rings, so I would not use very light silicon oil. It will diffuse into the O-ring and dilate it, eventually this can provoke leakage. Essentially the same story as with the O-ring for the housing.
But a little lubrication is sometimes needed on those hard to reach surfaces. This is what I do:

I have a small bottle of medium-viscosity silicon oil (around 250 cSt I believe) and place 2-3 DROPS into a bucket of water. Then I stir this vigorously to create a suspension (does not dissolve but the droplets get smaller). I then bathe the equipment in this shortly and work the buttons while submerged. You really need only very little of the silicon oil, because it will find its way to the hydrophobic surfaces by diffusion (@Chris: Ostwald’s principle for colloids…). The medium viscosity silicon oil is still not really the best for the O-rings, but this approach deposits only a really small amount. The rest of the plastic case will also feel a bit sticky when you take it out, because this also got coated. I rinse with clean water+ wipe dry, after a few days the plastic will feel nice and smooth again. The silicon oil diffuses into the plastic. This can be good for older equipment, as the silicon replaces the softeners that the plastic looses over time and hence this restores a certain elasticity. But as always - too much of this and you will wreck the case. I try to do this procedure only once every two years at max.

 

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