Creative Labs FPS 2000 Volume Control ‘fix’…

I have had a Creative Labs FPS 2000 sound system attached to my computer since who knows when, at least 12 years because I had it before I moved here to NC. This is the beastie:

Creative-FPS2000It’s actually a really good system even though I don’t use the surround sound capabilities, it just sits under my desk. Anyway, the volume has been all over the place for quite a while, quiet one second, LOUD the next. Yesterday I had finally had enough of it and decided to take a look at it.

The system has an external control that is a combined on/off switch, front/rear balance and volume control and it seems that the combination switch/potentiometer inside the unit failing is a common problem. and it seems the unit does not work at all without the volume control attached.

I guess I ‘could’ have called Creative to see if they had it as a spare part but this is me after all so instead I took an alternative approach (of course).

Basically I desoldered the switch/pot unit from the little circuit board then replaced the switch part of the circuit with a jump lead so it is always on (I guess I could have soldered a switch in there if I had one but I did not). Then I replaced each potentiometer with a small bridge made from two 100k resistors (I have a draw full of this stuff from past projects) so that the center point went into the wiper part of the circuit board for each potentiometer.

The result is that the system is now always on and at about half volume, which is fine, so I just use the PC’s software volume control to adjust the volume now. Job done and no more crazy volume shifts.

This is the circuit diagram for the original switch:

FPS2000VolumeControlCircuitI replaced each potentiometer in the circuit with the following:

FPS2000ResistorArray

This is what the finished unit looked like:

FPS2000VolumeControl1

FPS2000VolumeControl2

FPS2000VolumeControl3

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