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Soldering to Ribbon Cable

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  • Soldering to Ribbon Cable

    I have some flat transparent ribbon cable with copper lines between clear plastic. I need to solder wires to the cable. How do I do this? Can I just solder through the plastic?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    No, you can't solder through the plastic.
    You need to seperate the wires, strip the ends bare and solder each one individually.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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    • #3
      What I mean is the flat clear stuff, I think its called flex cable (The stuff used to connect lcd to controller board). Not the computer stuff used for IDE. Do I need to scrape the clear coating off?

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      • #4
        That clear coating is insulation. You need to clean it off to solder to the wires underneath. It doesn't matter whether it's flex cable or an IDE cable or what.
        Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
        How about the Wiki?



        Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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        • #5
          hrmmm- that's just a basic piece of knowledge that you should have before ever considering a project like this.

          If you don't know that virtually all wires have a protective covering, and that in order to solder to the wire you have to remove that covering, then I would suggest learning a bit more about electricity first.
          Jan Bennett
          FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

          Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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          • #6
            http://www.mediacollege.com/misc/solder/index.html
            Jan Bennett
            FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

            Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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            • #7
              strip the coating off. tin the wires. hold the wires together. heat them up together and bam!!!! dont forget to use "electrical" tapeafter you do this.

              practice on wires that you can throw away until you feel comfortable soldering. and get yourself an actual solder iron. that coldheat iron you see on tv is just a piece of crap.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by yrean
                that coldheat iron you see on tv is just a piece of crap.
                amen.

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                • #9
                  I do actually have several years of electrical experience. However, I've never come across wires like this before. It all been PCB work and hookup wire until now.

                  Yeah, I guessed I needed to scrape the insulation off first. But back in high school we had some cool spray coating that you can solder through. I was just checking to see if this clear plastic may have been similar. Otherwise I would have been wasting my time scraping.

                  Thanks for all the help. Will try it out today.

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                  • #10
                    good luck!
                    Jan Bennett
                    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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                    • #11
                      Done and done!

                      Used sandpaper to rub off the plastic. This doubled as a priming for the copper tracks. A one second touch with the iron and the solder went on the track and only on the track.

                      Wires joined like a dream.

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                      • #12
                        congrats!
                        Jan Bennett
                        FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                        Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by royandrews
                          Used sandpaper to rub off the plastic. This doubled as a priming for the copper tracks. A one second touch with the iron and the solder went on the track and only on the track.

                          Wires joined like a dream.
                          That's really handy info...lots of people on the forum will likely benefit from your positive experience and results...I know I was always afraid to try soldering to ribbon cable!

                          An amateur built the Ark. The Titanic was built by professionals.

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                          • #14
                            I know this thread is over a year old but I would appreciate it if anybody could help...I ran into a similar problem last night looking over my Tveiw indash mobile video system..taking the screen off I snapped the ribbon cable connected to the screen board which provides power to just about everything (tv, aux, etc.) What I'm wondering is if can sandpaper off the ribbon and solder each connection individually (in which case what grade sandpaper should i use) or is this thing headed for a future in spare parts. It's not the best quality, the reason I opened it up was to fix a malfunctioned button but it works and don't want my money to blow up in smoke so fast

                            sorry camera phone pic, lost usb cable for camera but that's another problem.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by scion_nole View Post
                              I know this thread is over a year old but I would appreciate it if anybody could help...I ran into a similar problem last night looking over my Tveiw indash mobile video system..taking the screen off I snapped the ribbon cable connected to the screen board which provides power to just about everything (tv, aux, etc.) What I'm wondering is if can sandpaper off the ribbon and solder each connection individually (in which case what grade sandpaper should i use) or is this thing headed for a future in spare parts. It's not the best quality, the reason I opened it up was to fix a malfunctioned button but it works and don't want my money to blow up in smoke so fast

                              sorry camera phone pic, lost usb cable for camera but that's another problem.

                              I can't tell for sure from your picture, but it looks like the ribbon cable may have just be released from the connector...if so, open up the connector, slide the ribbon cable in and lock it shut. Otherwise I would look for a replacemnt cable. I don't think you'd be able to solder all those connections.

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