ZX Spectrum 48K keyboard ribbon repair.

Hell_Labs

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Just got given a speccy, took it home, cracked it open, and immediately see that the fatter of the two ribbon cables has snapped. What do I do now?

Also, i tried taking a photo but it came out really blurry.
 

salaxi54

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I don' think there's any easy way to repair a keyboard ribbon, unless it's cracked real close to the edge, but still it's a short length thingy, and real hard to "etch" the covered traces in order to have exposable contacts again.
Thus, i'm afraid you're headed for a new one! :( Keep in mind that the rubber-key model has a different membrane type from the +'es!
There's a UK establishment that actually sells brand new ones. Dunno if you're willing to pay what they ask for, but since it's not on the other bay, and not an auction, i suppose i can mention the link...
http://www.rwapsoftware.co.uk/membranes.html
Don't browse too much around the site though, for you might get into weird ideas! ("hmmm, should i also get a...") :LOL:
 

JLPedro

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Hi, probably you have to buy a new membrane.
I don't think it's possible to solder wires to connect the ribbon cable, probably you can with a thin wire and a 30w iron... but it's very difficult.

You can buy one from here.
 

UberFreak

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Unfortunately, its impossible to repair.
I have here ~10 units with the same problem, to this day I was only able to find 1 Speccy with a (barely) functional keyboard, all the rest were DOA :(

Just shows how cheaply they were built...
 

Hell_Labs

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£8.50 doesn't seem so bad. :)

Cheaply built indeed, it looks pretty much hand made. Even the crappy ribbon cable wasn't stuck together properly. Though I'm impressed that it's got some metal in it.

Are they supposed to feel so cold?
 

rkauer

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For skilled enough people only:

First grab an unused nail paint from missus (clear nail varnish is the best for this purpose) and powdered graphite (the one used to lubricate door locks) and mix both on the nail varnish glass.

The correct consistence is near solid and the appearance grind coal.

Now, if the membrane traces are exposed, all you need to do is glue a piece of plastic on the back of the ragged part and scratch the traces side and then "paint" the traces with your newly made conductive ink.
 

salaxi54

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Just shows how cheaply they were built...

Cheaply built, but still cheaply sold too! Back in 83, it was the only micro i could buy for 32000 Drachmae (roughly 100 Euros) so i consider the Speccie an honest product when it was out. Heck, for its age, i wouldn't complain.. (y)
 

Merlin

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A guy called Sintech on t'other Bay *cough* sells some really high quality ones. I bought one a few months back and they are really well made and guaranteed not to crack.
 

ptp170

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If it's snapped very close to the connector on the circuit board, you can simply cut a small piece off to form and 'new' end. Depending on how far you cut up the cable you may end up using a sharp knife to scrap some glue/adhesive off to expose the contact area underneath.

I've done this quite a few times on ZX81's and 16K/48K'ers.
 

Hell_Labs

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Just plugged it in, picture is unstable, but I can just about read "(c) 1982 sinclair research" or however it goes.

I thought "I'll just adjust the tuning". Nothing.

I thought "I'll have a go with the screw on the RF Modulator". Screw is seized solid, forcing it ends up with some rusty bits flying everywhere. Picture still shite.

Give it up for Sinclair everyone! Between this and the keyboard I'm having a very unhappy day. (n)

The two retro tape decks (C batteries and carrying handles, oh yes!) more than make up for it though. Need to give the black one a good run though with the cleaner though:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpJDKs46kb0
 

ptp170

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Was going to mention the composite video modification as well. You can (carefully) try it out on the outside of the modulator by resting the outer part of the plug against the modulator shielding and then touching the centre of the plug on the video feed wire...
 

Hell_Labs

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just tried that actually...

Got nothing. I'm at a loss here. I'll have to leave it for a while cos I'm too skint to go buy a soldering iron.
 
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