Soldering connection for keyboard ribbon

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Soldering connection for keyboard ribbon

My PowerBook G4 developed a problem on the motherboard. The square (female type) fitting that the keyboard ribbon connector fits into has come off the board. It must have been soldered in place, however I can't seem to find any evidence of that. I would like to re-attach it, but I'm afraid I'm at a loss as to what type of solder would be best, and what heat setting. I was told by a tech locally that it was not able to be reattached, but I find it hard to believe I would have to buy a new motherboard because of something that seems so easy to fix. Ideas??

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I'll stick my neck out here...

I haven't looked at the PB G4 manual, or peered inside my iBook G4 (I'd like to think there'd be a similar setup for the keyboard Smile ), but I'd be willing to bet that the board connector for the keyboard ribbon was soldered down. I can't see any other way for that to work.

Solder-wise in compact electronics, use a low wattage, 3-wire
(as in grounded) iron. I use some fine gauge rosin core solder I got second hand from a computer hardware design company. If you have access to a soldering station, that's great. I don't have any idea what temp to tell you in that case, as I've never had tools that nice. Others here can spot you that.

You would think that little connector would be through-soldered with pins. I suppose a surface mount connector like that is possible, but I haven't gone looking for or seen one in the wild.

If no one else has laid your problem to rest by the evening, I'd be glad to peer into my G4 (as far as I can without dissassembling it!!) and see if I can be of some help.

good luck,
mike

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soldering

Mike-Thanks very much for your input. To expound further on my issue, I was able to get the PB to start up simply by holding the loose item in the right spot, making sure the (8 or 10) small pieces of wire protruding from it contacted their respective areas. This gave me the idea that even a small amount of epoxy or super glue would do the same. I haven't the nerve to try that yet, just waiting for others like yourself to voice their ideas.

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If that works, and there's st

If that works, and there's still some solder on the pins and the pads, you might just need to lightly touch each pin to reflow the solder. You might want to file or sand your iron's tip (or a spare one) down to a really fine point. Epoxy will give you time to move it around before it sets. You want a tiny tiny dot of it though, and it's a one way trip, so make sure it all lines up right. Use a magnifier.

Solder each corner first to pin it in place. Touch each pin for the absolute shortest time you can, and give the chip time to cool down before you do the next one. Work opposite sides so no one area gets too much heat into it.

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Thanks for the tip

Thank you for the soldering tip. I have epoxied the item in question, and after all was aligned perfectly, let it set. I then reconnected the ribbon, and it started up fine and continues to run. If in the future it gives up, the first thing I will do is investigate all of the connections and apply your technique.

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glad to hear it's working

So it sounds like you have pins, if even really small ones. Not that Dr. Bunsen needs my seconding, but he's exactly right. If your repair doesn't hold, then you can always reflow the joints for the connector. His suggestions about heating are good. In something as densely populated as a laptop mobo, you do have to mind what you are doing with an iron.

With any luck epoxy will hold, and you won't have to go back in. No playing rugby with your PB anymore, though. Smile

sorry it took so long to write back, I didn't notice the thread had continued until today. Good luck...

mike

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Hey well done! I bet that fe

Hey well done! I bet that felt satisfying.

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soldering

Mike-thanks for your input. As it turns out, even though the epoxy held the piece in place, and all 16 tiny wires were touching their respective spot, I wasn't happy with that for the long term. I contacted a local tv repair man that I knew, and mentioned I would like to have the (16) points reflowed. He took a look at it and said it would be NO problem for him, as the new tv's have several circuits of similar size. He reflowed them the same day for $30!!! Much better than the possibility of buying a new logicboard down the road for $420.
I just thought I'd mention it for anyone else with a similar problem. Just because it's a computer doesn't mean it's rocket science.

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$30! Ultra sweet!

$30! Ultra sweet!

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