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Touch panels seem to have a connector that has thin lines on a thin film.

enter image description here enter image description here

Factories should have sophisticated machines to do such thing, but what about for individuals at home? If a person wants to connect such a thing to an Arduino or Raspberry Pi, is it possible? I wonder if there is some kind of adapter that makes the printed lines into common pins.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Magnus Erler's answer refers to buying adapters ready to use. Besides that option, it may be possible to dessolder the original FPC connector from its original board and build an adapter using this connector. I did it once in order to reusing a DVD's stepper motor. \$\endgroup\$
    – mguima
    Sep 20 '20 at 19:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Terminology corrected to flat flex cable so that the question topic can be identified by future readers \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21 '20 at 0:43
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You could get one of these (picture) and solder a few cable to the pin holes which then connects to the Arduino/Raspberry Pi

enter image description here

Picture: https://www.amazon.com/Flexible-Adapter-Raspberry-Sealink-Equipment/dp/B0819V6G9M

6 pins (0.5mm 1mm pitch): https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Converter-Couple-Extend-Adapter/dp/B07RWRK4WX/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=fpc+ffc+5+pin&qid=1600629771&sr=8-4

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The things you refer to aren't called "Ribbon Cables". A ribbon cable looks like this:

actual ribbon cable

They're made of many conductors, each a cyclinder in approximately cylindric insulators.

What you show is FPC cable, flexible printed circuitry cable.

It's more like a PCB than a cable!

FPC

You can design these with normal PCB design tools, and order them in factories.

Then, they'll have the shape you define, and there's a lot of connectors you can "snap" them into, and these come with info on how the connecting parts (golden in your photo) have to be designed.

FFC/FPC connector

There's also "middle ground": FFC, which is basically FPC with "simple" shapes that someone else already designed for you:

FFC

However, the FFC/FPC connectors typically require designed PCBs themselves – it simply makes little sense trying to connect a high-density cable to e.g. a breadboard, geometrically. So, you'd need a breakout board (a type of adapter) to connect your board to a connector to connect a cable that's actually a board to another board.

That might very well be the point where it pays to learn how to design your own boards so that you don't need another adapter. Also: When someone decides that it's best to use FPC like your touchscreen designer did, chances are there's high-speed signals involved, which you can't transport well on anything with a 2.54mm pitch, anyways.

But all that is very much in the realm of possible for individuals – designing PCBs is not that hard anymore, and ordering them has become incredibly easy and cheap. You just upload your KiCAD, Eagle, … file to e.g. oshpark.com, and get your PCB a while later for little money.

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From site referenced:

The FPC is the soldering type, no need connector.

If you check the datasheet for touchscreen, pins appear to have a 0.8mm pitch (P).

enter image description here

You need a 0.8mm pitch FPC to 0.1 inch pitch adapter or Adafruit Multi-pitch FPC Adapter. Doubtful at 0.8mm pitch you will find throughhole connector, but SMT connectors exist.

enter image description here

Or choose one with a connector or adapter board. Solder wires to connector or plug into USB for adapter.

enter image description here

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