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Old 30 November 2009, 12:04   #1
Charlie
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Repair a keyboard membrane..?

Here's a question for which I hope there's a really easy answer - I just don't know it yet!

What do you do if the tracks are starting to wear away where the membrane plugs into the mobo connector?

Today's issue is two-fold:
Membrane #1's connector has seen too much abuse over the years and holes are appearing in the stacks so making for a dodgy connection.
Membrane #2 was fine until some fool (me?) decided to clean the connector with acetone, so partially wiping away the tracks - Oops, that's also made for an unreliable connection.

Replacement of the membrane is not an option - no more spares.

I'm hoping someone here will say something like:
'That's easy, you get a <bla, bla> pen and draw the tracks back on, let it dry and Bob's your significant other.'
Some kind of PCB track pen? Trouble is the ones I've seen need heat and that's just what a keyboard membrane doesn't need.

Thanks.

P.S.
I've seen people soldering patch wires to membranes to repair them, so maybe I could rob an connector from a 'less cherished' keyboard...
...my, that looks really, really tricky.
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Old 30 November 2009, 12:17   #2
Chain
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there is some canned graphite spray for that job, but im not sure if it helps in case of lot of wiped traces. maybe its doable one by one, with some mask

example: http://www.elchemco.cz/GRAPHIT.htm
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Old 30 November 2009, 12:49   #3
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Excellent! Thanks Chain
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Old 30 November 2009, 15:34   #4
Anemos
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if understand good,you want to repair the connection lines of flexible ?
you can use this :ELECTRICALLY SILVER PAINT
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ELECTRICALLY-C...3D11%26ps%3D63
edit: or > http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ELECTRICALLY-C...item2a0304799f

Last edited by Anemos; 30 November 2009 at 15:49.
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Old 30 November 2009, 17:12   #5
rkauer
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A cheap substitute for silver paint is clear nail polish with powdered graphite.

Powdered graphite is exactly the same one used to lubricate door locks. Add it to nail polish without remorse until you get a paint-able thick mixture.
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Old 30 November 2009, 17:29   #6
Anemos
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if mix any powder metal with any varnish,paint ect.. that make it resist to electrical
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Old 30 November 2009, 17:29   #7
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Thanks again chaps,
In the end I've ordered a pot of this: Wire Glue

Looks to be similar in concept to rkauer's suggestion, but rather more expensive!!
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Old 30 November 2009, 17:47   #8
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wire glue??
hehe..
perhapse is same to silver electr.. paint

edit: oh say: microcarbon technology

Last edited by Anemos; 30 November 2009 at 17:53.
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Old 30 November 2009, 21:44   #9
Chain
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wire glue will do it, dont forget to stir it well, it tends to sediment a lot
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Old 01 December 2009, 10:31   #10
Merlin
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@ Charlie

The holes in the membranes can be repaired with clear RTV silicone (bathroom sealant). If you apply it as a thin film it will have a similar flexibility to the original membrane and it can be applied over the top, so that you don't affect the electrical connections.

I've done this before on old keyboards and it works.

Rkauer's idea with graphite also works for keyboards that have the carbon pads on the membranes, e.g. calculators and will get them working again.
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