Jittery Servo Repair

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Introduction: Jittery Servo Repair

About: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby

I have dozens of servo motors operating in a project called "Santa's Shop," and one servo joint developed the "jitters" or "shakes." I replaced the offending motor and that restored the operation to normal.

Now that it is summer, I decided to examine the jittery motor and see if I could restore it (as a spare) and I found an easy cure for the shakes.

Step 1:

Remove the four screws that hold the motor shell together.

Step 2:

You are trying to get to the feedback pot, which is usually located beneath the circuit board.

Step 3:

With the board lifted (on my servo), you can see the pot.

Step 4:

Remove the screw that secures the pot.

Step 5:

Locate the tabs that secure the back of the pot.

Step 6:

Using a small screwdriver, bend the tabs so that the back of the pot can be released.

Step 7:

This looked a little worn and dirty, so I cleaned it with a readily available safe cleaning wipe (toilet paper--good for cleaning black stuff). Yes, I wiped it with plain old toilet paper (two ply) for about ten seconds.

I reversed the process and put the servo back together--now it works like new :)

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    3 Discussions

    Masha Allah, thank you for this, basically it was a worn variable resistor :-) the next time I get this happening I'll know where to check

    Nice fix. Thanks.

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    gm280

    1 year ago

    A jittering servo is trying to find a neutral position with the incoming signal. Dirty pots are a cause as you have found out. They make a contact cleaner that you spray on the pot and it washes off the dirt without damaging the resistive material. However, over time the wiper rubbing on the resistive material will wear beyond cleaning anymore and you either replace the pot (probably cost more then a new servo) or replace the servo itself. Good project though for others to learn from.