Very, very carefully.
Use a very fine-point soldering iron and very thin solder.
I am using the guts of a Keypad to make new steering wheel buttons for my car. I need to remove the ribbon cable that goes from the keys to the PCB and add in my own wires (to connect to the steering wheel buttons) but I don't know how. It's all so tiny!! Anyone have a suggestion?!? Here's a pic (sorry, can't find a real camera right now, just my phone). The blue ribbon s the one I need to replace with individual wires...
I just don't have very much experience with soldering tiny crap! LOL I guess more than anything I'm looking for some tricks.
Should I pull the ribbon out and add wires right to the pcb? Or can I use the ribbon as a starting point and solder to it? Or anything else?
You may have to unsolder the connector that is for the ribbon cable and then solder your tiny wires to the solder pads meant for the connector. A microscope helps.
holy crap... this could be tough. I wonder if there might be some kind of electronics repair place I could go to have it done... I was having trouble accurately soldering a 22 gauge wire much less whatever I could get for this! Any other ideas?
check youtube - i think there are some SMD soldering methods recorded there that you can use. I think the clumsiest way might be easiest for a novice - you just bury all the pins and wires in solder, and then use a wick to clean up the excess in between conductors.
I've never done it, but I suppose I would start by splitting the ribbon apart with a razor blade then attempting to extend each individual wire with a strip,twist,solder coupling method. At least this way, you can work on a copper plate (where solder will not stick) individually with each wire for those of us who can not work in miniscule areas w/ a soldering iron.
Well, I don't know what I did (as far as a 'method') but I removed the ribbon and broke the top half of the ribbon 'reciever' off revealing all the metal wires/pins. Then I spaced them by bending half of them up and back, and the other I left as they were, pointing straight forward.
The next thing that made this WAY easier is I realised I could use an old IDE cable to have small enough wires. I just peeled a few off and used every other wire (in between wires for spacing). Put some solder on each and soldered them on. Hot glued the wires in place to keep tension off the joints, perfect! Thanks for the help, I'll have to remember youtube next time!
I had to do something similar to this once to repair a Lilliput LCD monitor. As mentioned by another post, I removed the connector, the used a magnifying head loop (headband mounted magnifying glass) and some wire-wrap wire that I picked up at RadioShack. After I had everything soldered in place and working, I then mixed up a batch of 5 minute epoxy and poured it over my soldering job to hold the wires and make sure nothing broke later due to any flexing.
if you ever give up on the project, you can buy a sony RM-4S and interface it to a PC. There are instructions how to do it via serial port. Also you can interface it via infrared with a SWI-X or SWI-V as is appropriate.