What's wrong with my Shure SCM810 mixers?!?
March 9, 2014 2:35 PM   Subscribe

I have three Shure SCM810 mixers, #1 linked to #2 linked to #3, and each is about 15 years old. A few weeks ago the mics on #2 began not working until around noon when they would work just fine for the rest of the day. This seemingly random occurrence has now become predictable in that the mixer won't work in the morning but works just fine later in the day. The feed from #1, which passes thru #2, was seemingly unaffected and continued to work regardless. In addition, the mics from #3 will sometimes exhibit problems gating on in the morning, requiring a much louder speaker volume than normal, but this also seems to resolve by later in the day. Any ideas? Is this a hardware failure inside the unit? Is this something else? And why the hell does it only work later in the day?!?
posted by Jamesonian to Media & Arts (2 answers total)
Something, most likely a capacitor several or capacitors, has failed in #2 in such a way that it works after a period of time. I don't know about #3; it could be the same thing manifesting in a different way or something caused by the way #2 is linked to it. Shure support has always been a joy for me to work with so ask them about it and whether they still provide repair service on them.
posted by Candleman at 3:38 PM on March 9, 2014

Best answer: Yeah, most likely one or more components are going bad in the units, and you need a pro repair person to take a look at it. Could be capacitors, could be other things, could be some internal solder points where components are connected to the circuit board(s).

Seconding Candleman on Shure support being good. Since it's still a current model, they should be able to repair them. When you contact Shure, it might be worth asking if there's an authorized repair center reasonably close to you that could do the repair locally, which might save you some time & shipping charges.

I have, on occasion, gotten similar symptoms from gear when it's dirty, especially if it's the kind of thing that sits in an A/V closet and the knobs never get turned and cables never unplugged. If you feel reasonably savvy about taking things apart (and putting them back together the right way . . .) you could try a DIY cleaning job with a can of compressed air and a can of electronics contact cleaner. Disconnect all cables (including unplugging from power), take the top off, blow any obvious dirt out with the compressed air, use the skinny tube that attaches to the nozzle of the contact cleaner to spray into the input & output jacks, then spray into the pots and work them around some. (Here's a video demonstrating the technique.)

Despite what other advice you may find online, don't use WD40 to clean, and don't worry about disassembling the entire pot - that's an enormous P.I.T.A. and only worth doing if you're trying to restore some vintage piece of equipment and are desperate to not replace the part.

And why the hell does it only work later in the day?!?

Heat, most likely, IME - some combination of some failing components will begin working properly only after they've warmed up and/or bad connections (like barely-visible-to-the-naked-eye cracks in a solder joint) will expand just enough so that electrons can jump the gap and signal will flow again.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:34 PM on March 10, 2014

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