Fixing The Blue Compass Boom Arm
The Blue Compass is a fantastic tube-style broadcast microphone boom arm with one major flaw, the handles are made from cheap plastic and will break with use. If you have a Blue Compass and one of your plastic handles has broken off making it impossible to tighten and secure your boom arm, I'm here to tell you the arm can be fixed for about $2.
Root Cause Analysis
The internals of the boom arm use a stainless steel bolt and nut through a plastic assembly. In my case, the plastic handle broke from the inside allowing it spin freely and happened during a broadcast.
Sadly the breakage wasn't something that occurred during tightening or setup. From where I was sitting, the handle broke during a freak moment in time, and was caused by the build quality of the handle itself.
Luckily I was broadcasting when it broken, which caused a bit of scene, but had it happened when I was away it could have had the potential to cause a mess; breaking the microphone or some other component.
The Fix is Easy, and Cheap
While I filed a warranty claim to get a rebuild kit, I needed to get my setup back online for future broadcasts. To get things repaired, I made a quick pit-stop at my local hardware store. I brought in the broken bolt and found that the part is a #12 machine threaded bolt. So I bought a stainless steel bolt of a similar length, along with a fender washer. The idea is to use the existing internal assembly with a larger washer to retain the knuckle whilst not damaging any of the internal components.
The bolt exactly matches the nut on the inside, and will thread into the assembly smoothly.
The fender washer is used to hold back against the knuckle, increasing the tension surface area on the outside of the mechanism. I didn't want the bolt to recess into the knuckle because its not a factory component, and could warp or otherwise break some of the internal plastics. By using the fender washer, the bolt head remains outside but provides the ability to retain the arm.
The end result is a functionally equivalent to the original setup, with the one exception that there's no longer a simple thumb screw handle. The arm retains all of its mobility we just have to tighten the retention knuckle with a screwdriver, which isn't the end of the world 😉
When Logitech sends me the required parts I will re-assemble to get it back to factory specifications; however, for now, my Blue Compass microphone boom arm is operational and that's what's important.