If you use Aviom mixers, then you probably already know their dirty little secret: The channel select buttons stores all of the energy from being constantly poked week after week. Then, when they reach critical mass, they launch themselves from the little blue case in an effort to break planetary orbit and escape their life of torture. You could send it back to Aviom to be repaired for a flat fee of $100, or you can fix it yourself.
OK, so maybe the exploding buttons are not self-aware, but just tip a music or mic stand over and when the attached Aviom A-16ii mixer hits the stage floor, get ready to start the scavenger hunt.
Make sure to find the black button, the post and most importantly, an ever so tiny convex copper disc. Without this tiny disc (see Image 1), the button will not work. When the button is pressed, the interior post flattens the convex disc and closes the circuit for the button.
If you are lucky, then only the black pastic button popped off. Just line it back up with the post in the button cavity, lightly push and voila! You have repaired the mixer.
What typically happens though is that the black plastic button pops off with the internal post still and the mounting bracket attached (see Image 1). There is no way to just snap this back into place as the tiny plastic nibs that hold the post in place have broken (this is why the mounting bracket is no longer mounted…). So grab a phillips head screwdriver and set aside about 30 minutes – things are about to get interesting!
Remove all of the phillips head screws on the bottom of the mixer- there is one hiding behind the Avion QA sticker (see Image 2). Now would be a good time to mention that this repair will more than likely void the warranty. Our Aviom mixers are almost 5 years old- so there is nothing to lose in attempting an in-house repair first.
Once the bottom of the mixer is off, you will need to remove all of the knobs and buttons from the front of the mixer. The buttons can be a bit tricky to remove. Apply some upward pressure by pulling up on the button. Insert a small flat head jeweler’s screwdriver under the button. Keep the button centered and slowly twist the blade of the screwdriver to provide enough leverage to pull the button off of the post.
It is very important to keep the button centered and to provide even upward pressure. Unequal force can easily break the nibs that connect the post to the circuit board. Do that and you’ll be repairing two buttons (consider this the Voice of Experience talking…)
Put the small copper disc into the base of the button’s housing so that the outside edges of the disc are facing down and touching the bottom of the housing (see Image 3).
Next, insert the post into the button housing. Line up the four tiny holes on the mounting bracket with what is left of the nibs on the housing wall. As I mentioned before, the nibs are most likely broken, so you can not depend on it just snapping into place and holding on it’s own. So what’s a DIY repair tech to do? Grab some Super Glue.
As a luthier, I prefer Super Glue Gel. It is thicker and much easier to control during application. It also takes longer to cure, so you have some wiggle room when aligning a repair. Once the repair is set, I use Super Glue Accelerator to instantly cure the glue. I also prefer to use a pipette to apply the glue, especially when dealing with such tiny components.
Apply just enough Super Glue to cover the plastic nib and the corner of the mounting bracket (see Image 4). Notice I am using a jeweler’s screwdriver to hold the mounting bracket in place. These components are much to tiny for me to risk getting my fat fingers anywhere close to the Super Glue, insta-skin-bonding, Danger Zone. You will want to be very careful not to get any glue on the post lest it be immobilized (this is why using Super Glue gel and pipettes are so important).
Once the glue is applied, hold the Accelerator bottle 6-8 inches above the repairs a give just one quick pump. The accelerator acts as a catalyst with cyanoacrylate glue, so you just need a light coating to start the process. For a repair this size, the glue will cure in a few seconds.
Now, just reassemble and test the unit. If you don’t mind examining the guts of electronic toys, this is an easy way to keep your budget from taking too much of hit for such a simple repair.