[rescue] Repair of mylar ribbon cables

Robert Darlington rdarlington at gmail.com
Mon Apr 14 15:27:27 CDT 2008

I understand this problem all too well.  This happened to my iPod (old
30GB model).  I solder almost every day, mostly surface mount (0402
sized parts usually).  I've done this for terrestrial systems and
space systems, I have favorite solder alloys for different types of
soldering.   I threw out my iPod when this happened to me.

I didn't toss it because the connector came off the solder pad on the
cable, I tossed it because it ripped the pad off the cable.  This was
just too much work to rework the cable with tiny gage wires when faced
with buying a brand new 80GB Xune for $200 (which I did).

If your solder pads are still on the ribbon cable (probably not), it
should be no problem to solder them back down.  Use a good quality
iron with a small tip (hint, don't even think about using anything
from RadioShack or anything like them).   I use a Metcal MX-500 sysetm
-you can pick em up cheap on eBay, $300 or so.    I recommend using a
63/37 eutectic alloy solder, hair thin, no rosin core with pretty much
any standard Kester flux (even the liquid stuff).  I can send you a
bunch if you need it.  Never use 60/40 (RadioShack) alloy for this
type of thing.

If you like, I'm very happy to do the soldering for you if you want to
send the part out to me.  Mail me off list and we'll exchange contact

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 1:54 PM, Nadine Miller <velociraptor at gmail.com> wrote:
> Robert Darlington wrote:
> > Can you be more specific?  Molex makes about 20,000 different
> > connectors, of which about 500 can attach to ribbon cables!   If you
> > take a picture and send it to me, I'll let you know how to fix it (or
> > will be happy to fix it for you if it can be done).
> >
>  http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/2/3/0/0/0/5/webimg/53604174_o.jpg
>  It's the black connector on the upper left in this photo.
>  I can give you a macro photo if that's not good enough.
>  The pins look like those on a small IC, where the leg is an "L" with the
> vertical pin going up into the plastic friction-fit connector, and the short
> leg flattening out on the end to attach to the copper trace in the ribbon.
> There are 12 pins total.
>  Thanks--
>  =Nadine=
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