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Thread: Torn Flat Ribbon Cable - Can Anything Be Done?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Torn Flat Ribbon Cable - Can Anything Be Done?

    I have one of those awful orange, semi-transparent flat ribbon cables that were used for interfacing hard drives and floppy drives back in the early 90's laptops. Looks like this:

    40185850-flat-ribbon-cable-on-a-white-background.jpg

    The damn thing tore on me, and I'll be damned if I can think of anyway to repair the stupid thing. I'm hoping someone else has run across this before and knows of a way to fix it. Unfortunately, it happens to be a custom cable for a laptop, and the laptop itself happens to be a rather uncommon model, so buying another one just isn't an option.

  2. #2

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    Search for " Flexible Flat Cable " on ebah or google it, I hate those type of cables, Had lots fail years ago in old laptops, They tend to go brittle with heat and age.

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately, it isn't the same on both ends, the contacts are spaced out on one end, but they are bunched together and smaller on the other end. No stock cable would work.
    Last edited by Paralel; May 20th, 2020 at 12:56 PM.

  4. #4
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    If you have a pair of calibers, it would be a pretty straight forward project to translate the design into an EDA tool (like the FOSS KiCad). iTead will make flex circuits up to 10 cm for a pretty reasonable cost.
    "Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions; hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - Me

  5. #5

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    Can you desolder the connectors on both ends, replace with single pin headers, and use one of those rainbow cables with dupont connectors?
    -- Lee
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  6. #6
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    I have had to do repairs like this in vintage keyboards. For each damaged track, I would use a scalpel (fitted with a curve edge blade) to slowly scrape away the track coating on both sides of the crack (to expose the copper). Then I would bridge the crack by soldering on a small length of wire-wrap wire (insulation completely removed).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bladamson View Post
    Can you desolder the connectors on both ends, replace with single pin headers, and use one of those rainbow cables with dupont connectors?
    I wish, but unfortunately, they picked flat ribbon cable because it is in an exceptionally small space.

    Quote Originally Posted by modem7 View Post
    I have had to do repairs like this in vintage keyboards. For each damaged track, I would use a scalpel (fitted with a curve edge blade) to slowly scrape away the track coating on both sides of the crack (to expose the copper). Then I would bridge the crack by soldering on a small length of wire-wrap wire (insulation completely removed).
    This is what I am hoping I can avoid, if at all possible. However, it may well come to this.

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