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Author Topic: Parker Fly Input Jack Replacement  (Read 847 times)

Offline LHBassist

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Parker Fly Input Jack Replacement
« on: December 04, 2017, 07:31:57 PM »
PLEASE E-MAIL ME FOR THE PHOTOS.. I'm new here, and cannot figure out how to post them yet.

Well, after having to do this a couple of times, the most recent one, necessitating a search of these forums.. I've discovered surprisingly limited information, on just how to do this infrequent, but much needed repair on Parker Fly guitars. The standard jack, used in switching the 9v battery on and off in the overwhelming majority of active guitars and basses, is not the exclusive battery on/off in these guitars. A small black plastic microswitch is epoxied onto the barrel of the jack. The most recent repair, required a jack replacement, as this instrument is owned and used by a working professional, and has been in service for a very long time. These Switchcraft panel mount jacks have smaller and far more troublesome internal contact points than a good 'ol 1/4" open Switchcraft jack, found in guitars as old as 65 years, and still functioning. I say, in my 45 years as a repairman, that if your Switchcraft barrel jack doesn't fail, someone else's will fail twice. Now, on to the actual method of repairing these input jacks.

The tools you'll need. Cel phone camera with flash! TAKE BEFORE PHOTOS that you can enlarge on your computer, or use these for reference!
A low wattage soldering pencil- like 30 max.
THIN solder.
Tweezers- even the cosmetic counter ones will do
A good Razor blade or X-acto knife
Small Allen wrench to hold the black outer bezel (one that fits into the hole)
Needle Nose Pliers
DE soldering tool if you have one- I don't- see text below.
Dremel Motot tool and some bits- or a cheap Harbor Freight 10 dollar small hand held grinding tool like used in nail salons. It comes with some cool bits, too!

1. Remove the back cavity cover.
2. Loosen the outer bezel. This might require a different method than I used. You do what works best for you. I placed an Allen wrench in the hole, and tapped it until it broke free, then just spun it until it came out.
3. The jack will now be removable from the inside of the guitar.
4. BE CAREFUL, and twist and manipulate the jack out, the ribbon connector is fragile- the one I worked on, broke, because the jack had been moving around inside for some time. I used a work around in the final stage, see pics.
When the jack is in a position to work on, place some protective material on the guitar, to lay it on. You'll need to first, unsolder the top two terminals, one has a black 'batt' cable going to it. Make notes, or take pics like I did!
You can aid this operation, by heating the joints, and using an old toothbrush to wipe away the excess solder as it is liquid. Remember- use something to protect the finish as you do this! Tweezers or needle nose pliers to 'wiggle' the ribbon tape gently, as you lift the terminal area up and off the terminals after the bulk of the solder is removed and the terminals fairly clean. This, is actually pretty easy to do.
5. Unsolder the tip/ring/sleeve posts from the ribbon connector, using the same method. If you're lucky, the ribbon connector will still be unbroken.
6. Take a Dremel or other small moto tool with a small pointed grinder/ stone/ burr, and work the epoxy around the switch. DO NOT cut into the switch itself. You're going to re-use it.
After you get most of the epoxy off, the switch will be pretty easy to pop off. It was for me.
7. Observe how the jack is cut open here. See pics.
Use a caliper to get the SAME width and depth of cut, in the same spot!
8. After marking the lines.. use a small X-acto saw, or even a coping saw to cut into the jack. I used a Stew-Mack .010 saw. The barrel is plated brass, and thin. It's fairly easy to cut through. I used a Dremel with a very small cutter to open the smaller lengthwise cuts. You'll then be able to remove that section, like as if it were a 'hatch.'
Now, I did the following. I checked the switch operation, after filing the opening as square and close to the original as I did this was to insert a 1/4" male jack into the new panel jack, and place the switch where it is going to go..if there's continuity between the two posts, you're good. remove the test jack, and then, carefully apply your glue of choice. Epoxy- NOT the five minute crap- works, I used 'Q-Bond' a powder- Superglue matrix, available at auto parts places, to glue it on.
9. Use the razor saw, or a Dremel with cut off wheel like I did, to cut the OPEN END to the same length as the old jack. This is crucial to mount the black Parker bezel.
10. Resolder your ribbon connector, re-install the jack. If it sticks out too much, or not enough- move the nut on the barrel in the direction you need to go.
10.a. If you were unlucky, like me, and broke the ribbon at the jack- here's what I did. I used my Dremel with a dental- or small burr, to expose a small area on each 'wire' on the ribbon, to facilitate a small blob of solder. I did the large ground strap, and the outer connector on top, and the middle wire, from underneath. This guaranteed my not accidentally soldering the two very close proximity hot wires together. See pic. I used traditional white, red, and black gook up wire to accomplish this.
Good luck Parker owners and techs!
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 07:45:54 PM by LHBassist »

Re: Parker Fly Input Jack Replacement

Offline billy

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Re: Parker Fly Input Jack Replacement
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 12:11:23 PM »
Thanks for taking the time to post this..!

FYI There are instructions on the parker site for replacing jacks on old guitars.

There's also a few wiring diagrams available under "manuals," which could be helpful to you too.

Unfortunately, there are parts of your post which (to me, anyway) are unclear, most likely because the pictures aren't included.

You have to host the pictures somewhere else, and then link to them in your text like so: [ img ]your image link goes here[ /img ] 

I added spaces near the brackets so the code would show.  You can get the [img] code by clicking the mona lisa icon (under the bold icon).  This site has been decent for hosting images:

FWIW I'm not a fan of the switchcraft barrel jack either.  I think that the open style could be used, but you'd have to remove a good bit of wood and also use a jack plate.

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]