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Inspecting and repairing a American DJ switch

Rating: 3 votes, 4.67 average.
Last night, while cleaning out my living room, I accidentally got one of the American DJ switch assemblies wet. I quickly unplugged it and dried it off, and today I opened it up for inspection. What I discovered was a discolored spot at one of the connections. There was no water inside, fortunately.

Here's how to open one up. Remove it from use, unplug it of course, and remove the two screws from each end.

Using a small flat blade screwdriver, you can pry open the cover via the two built in slots.

This is what you should see

Instead, this is what I found.

All the connections were clean and in good shape, other than that one. Interestingly, it was for the 400w ballast (previously) so perhaps it arced once, or dealt with a power surge.

I pulled off that wire to inspect it more closely. I pulled the plastic sleeve back to discover the metal was only mildly discolored.

By comparison, the other end of that wire.

In my electrical gear, I found a matching connector, and stripped off the red plastic end. I cut off the old one and replaced it with the new one.

All that was left to do was slide the sleeve back over that connector, reinstall it and close up the assembly. I tested it and the outlet is functioning correctly.

I opened up the second one and inspected it, and all was perfect. I still have to inspect the last one to make sure there's no risky issues that could lead to problems in the future. I would recommend others to do the same.

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Updated 02-14-2011 at 11:01 PM by melev



  1. Jnarowe's Avatar
    Looks like there are salt crystals in the close-ups of the box. What I do is give a thorough rinse or bath in rubbing alcohol. I have done this several times for cell phones I have dropped in the water, and always good results. The alcohol will displace and water or salt. I think it works very well. Kudos to you for being pro-active!
  2. washingtond's Avatar
    Wow, I will have to check mine out.
  3. dread240's Avatar
    ok n/m after looking at the pic it wasn't a loose contact, but seems more in line with a bad crimp. On a loose contact generally the entire blade will be scorched as the electricity is jumping from the male to the female spade. Where you're seeing your discoloration is down by the crimp, which could have been a loose crimp connection, or it's inadequate at carrying the load through that connector and getting hot. I would probably reinspect it within a few weeks bare minimum to make sure it is not doing the same thing again. You may need to look into a heavier contact type to carry the amount of amperage your ballasts are pulling.
  4. melev's Avatar
    My ballasts aren't used on these any longer. I'm using the DC-8 for all lighting. The DJ switches are running a number of goodies, but that particular piece was replaced with a new one so I'm not concerned any longer. I do believe the ballast took its toll on that particular piece.
  5. dread240's Avatar
    That's good then I'd hate to see all that work go up in smoke :-\

    I have a new found respect for electricity since I changed jobs, that's for sure
  6. melev's Avatar
    Is that what your username means?
  7. dread240's Avatar
    nah, that's for my tiny motor project... Now I just deal with 78 liter 4500hp motors at work lol
  8. dahenley's Avatar
    Marc, i would take a pair of pliers and jiggle all the connectors to make sure the the crimps on the female connectors are tight on the male connectors. (if any are loose, pop them off and squeeze the female portion and then slide it all back together..)

    and dont forget about building those acrylic splash guards. (or covers)
    (have you looked any closer at those?)
  9. melev's Avatar
    I did a good once over, but I didn't tug on every last connect. That would have been 48 connectors per DJ. Out of all three, I only saw the one burned one and one that looked like it needed to be better seated.

    Here's the shelf I'll be using for the frag tank. It's the drop from my countertops that I got at Ikea. That small piece was a perfect fit. I still need to figure out some type of drip guard to prevent water from running under the shelf and down into the electrical.

  10. Cagey's Avatar
    hey mark,
    make an acrylic drip pan w/ a hole for a drain to a convienent flr drain or bucket. the pan slightly larger and mount the frag tank on small blocks all around under the frag tank. kinda look like a bldg over a parking lot. Just a thoght. maybe jolt another idea from you or someone else.
  11. melev's Avatar
    It sounds a little like a zero edge tank to me.
  12. melev's Avatar
    I added a few pictures to the beginning of this blog entry to explain how to open up the DJ assembly. I felt that was missing.