PTO Project: Upgrade Sound System

I think I was 16 when my Dad and I drove to the local Circuit City and picked up a spiffy new Kenwood tuner for me. I think it was a birthday present. The beauty of this tuner was the remote control, you could mute the thing from across the room via remote, and the remote actually moves the volume rocker, so it maintains an analog aesthetic. And the thing has been the main audio engine of my entertainment center ever since.

This isn’t to say that the thing hasn’t seen some wear and tear. The remote had stopped working, especially on the volume. Seeing as how I have a few days PTO where I don’t have to telecommute, I thought I might see if a light internal dusting would fix these issues.

So I took the components off the system table and gave it a through dusting with some Murphy’s Wood Soap and microfiber cloth. I unscrewed the tiny screws in the tuner and tossed them into a clean coffee mug, and nervously removed the top (my brother is the one with training in this kind of thing, not me). I used my trusty power duster to blast out the ancient dust therein, then plugged it in to test. The volume rocker still would not budge for my remote.

I did find two further issues, the first a simple fix: There was a sticky goo on the remote sensor on the tuner’s front. Once I cleaned this up, guess what happened? The remote worked a bit better. Duh.

I also noticed that the volume knob is loose. There appears to be a tiny post next to it that it’s supposed to be glued to, but it has since come loose. If I push the volume unit forward so it is flush with the front panel, the remote works perfectly. But I am a bit too nervous to go injecting any sort of glue into the thing, so I’ve elected to leave this as is for now. I do feel like the dusting did some good, however.

The rest of my setup will also get an upgrade; I mean, why bother removing all the components if I’m not going to put it back together with a bit more care? New 16-gauge speaker wire. Flex-pin connectors are on order so cutting, stripping, and crimping will be a one-time chore. I may not even get all the work done before I’m back to the job on Thursday. Probably won’t, actually. But this time, the thing’s gonna get put together with some care. It’s gonna sound great.


Guilty on all counts. Enjoy spending the rest of your life in solitary, you murdering cop.

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