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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

Expression 2/3 Buttons Not Working


Perform repair work at your own risk. ENSURE ANY POWER FROM DEVICES HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED BEFORE BEGINNING ANY REPAIR WORK.  If you do not feel comfortable performing the repair work, please contact ETC or your local service center.  Be aware that ETC is not responsible for any damage or injury caused by repair or service of ETC Products by anyone other than ETC or its authorized repair agents and such damage is excluded from ETC’s warranty.


A button or buttons (bumps) on the console aren't working.

Description/Explanation of Issue

There are two main reasons for this issue, one of which is field-repairable, but both are easily identified.

If the bumps don't click and may feel a little squishy, then it's likely the bump is just seized, most often due to non-use or low-use. Consoles that are stored for long durations are susceptible to this problem. Even new switches are susceptible to seizing.

If the bumps do click, then test other bumps in the same column and row as the faulty bump. The bump controls for the Expression and Insight families are multiplexed by rows and columns. If most or all of the bumps in the same row or column are not working, then there may be PCB damage, corrosion to the PCB that has severed a trace or traces, or a failed chip.

If the bumps do click and other bumps in the same rows and columns as the faulty button also work, then most likely the bump is just bad.


For bumps that feel squishy and don't click, follow these steps:

  1. With the console powered off, identify all bumps that are not clicking
  2. Remove the keycap of all squishy, non-clicking bumps
  3. (Preferred Method) Using a flat head screwdriver, carefully press down on the spring inside the switch until it clicks. The click sound may be faint, depending on where the spring is pressed. This should restore correct operation of the bump
    1. Alternately, with the keycap still on, the bump can be pressed fairly hard until the bump clicks. Make sure the PCB is fully secured and screwed down before doing this!
  4. Rapidly press the bump, making sure the bump continues to click
  5. Power on the console and test all the questionable bumps to be sure they're working

Cleaning the Switch Contacts

The switch contacts are well-covered and the plastic housing is made of bonded plastic, so cleaning the contacts is difficult. 70% isopropyl alcohol is one option for cleaning the contacts. This method may not work for bumps that are seized. See above for a method to break a seized bump contact.

  1. With the console powered OFF, use a cotton swab to squeeze some isopropyl into the slot of the switch housing. You may need to do this several times to ensure enough isopropyl is inside the switch housing.
  2. Quickly put the bump cover back on the switch.
  3. Press and hold the bump, rocking back and forth to break up any corrosion.
  4. Repeat as necessary and allow to dry before powering up the console again to test the bump.

For bumps that do click but are not functioning, please contact ETC for options.



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