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I have a flexi cable that has had some of the copper removed through wear and tear. What is the easiest way for an amateur to fix this. I though of a conductive pen but is that too thick?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ that looks like a flexi not a ribbon cable? \$\endgroup\$ – JonRB Jun 17 '18 at 14:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I’m sorry. My mistake. I have changed it. \$\endgroup\$ – Dylan Murphy Jun 17 '18 at 14:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is Kapton FPC and cracked tracks maybe repaired with Xacto knife and AWG 30 bridge \$\endgroup\$ – Sunnyskyguy EE75 Jun 17 '18 at 15:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why is replacement not an option? \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Jun 17 '18 at 16:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DylanMurphy: You might have missed the point here. It's a vintage computer and the original manufacturer of the computer may be out of business. However, this particular cable type is not vendor-specific. \$\endgroup\$ – MSalters Jun 17 '18 at 21:34
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Depends a lot on what is at either end, how it is terminated, and why it is flexible. It's just a conductor to connect two assemblies together, and it was done this way partly to keep manufacturing costs down. But if you really want to fix the gadget sometimes you can get rid of these things altogether and use discrete wires soldered to the board. It depends on the way it is made, your skill/bravery with an iron, and how badly you want it to work again. I don't think the cable itself stands much chance of being repaired.

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Fairly easy on Kapton** cables, as long as the tracks are fairly wide and spaced. If it is fine, you need a fine tip, and magnifiers or binocular microscope if you have it.

Use a scalpel with a curved blade, with the blade perpendicular to the surface to scrape (abrade, not chisel) the Kapton coverlay off the conductors either side of the break. You should scrape off an 8mm length. Scrape to bright copper.

Using fine tin-lead solder, tin the tracks the whole exposed area.

Cut a 3" length, and strip 1/2" of insulation off the end of some wire wrap wire - it is silver plated and very nice to solder with. Tin 10mm of the end. Sweat it down onto the track at one end with the soldering iron, then the other end. Then cut off the wire carefully with the scalpel.

After repair it will be electrically good, but it can't be allowed to flex in the repaired region as it will fail.

Cover and reinforce an area wider than the repair with Kapton tape, hotmelt, flowable silicon or something else suitable.

**Orange/goldy Kapton doesn't melt under soldering iron heat. White PVC flat cables can be nightmare as the totally melt.

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