Sansa Scroll-wheel Maintenance
I have 2 first gen e200 series players and they both suffered from a problem where the scroll wheel started to get a mind of its own. It lost the ability to control the menu with any precision. Me and my wife grew very tired of this very fast. I got bored at work and took my Sansa apart and started to look for a mechanical reason since flashing the firmware back to the oldest version did not help. After total dis-assembly of the wheel I found that the problem is indeed mechanical due the the way the scroll wheel is made. The wheel works the same as a potentiometer. It has a set of 3 wipers that make contact with several notches on the base of the switch. The main concern that I had was that the wipers have left two scratches in the base material that could be causing problems with electrical contact. I cleaned the wipers and the base of the switch with
rubbing alcohol and on both units I have they removed a noticeable amount of gunk. Upon re-assembly the units worked as good as when I purchased them. Success! Pics below show how I did it.
Hi-Res pics now available, click the pics! BTW they are large.
Flip over the sansa and take out the four screws.
Remove the back of the device.
Remove the battery.
Locate and remove the four small silver screws and gently pry or pull the faceplate off. Set the button to the side and don’t lose it or the screws!
The white gear snaps onto the switch and the scroll wheel has a cog that locks into this to operate the switch.
On the switch assembly there are four small metal clips that hold the switch together. Gently lift these clips and remove the metal top, it may fly off so be careful.
When you remove the top this is what you will end up with. A top and a wiper.
Here is a close up of the wiper arm.
Here you can see the marks that the wiper arm left on the base plate.
I used an alcohol prep pad on the tip of my screwdriver to scrub the base plate. I also cleaned the wiper arms and increased the gap from the top of the arm and its assembly. After doing this on both of my sansa’s I now have full control again and a much better player. I have been asked what screwdriver I used. It is Husky brand from Home Depot, here is a pic.