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How To Repair Carbon Conductors Under Rubber Keypads


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#1
superstar

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Ok so everyone has a pc keyboard, label printer, tv remote, garage remote, or video game controller at home. What do all of these share in common? Well most if not all use black circular carbon conductors underneath the rubber keys to complete a circuit when they are pressed, performing your requested action.

I have an issue now... What do you do when those black carbon conductors begin to wear out do to years of usage, and continuous pressing? Well the likely solution would be to chuck the device away, and buy a new one! Wrong...

There are apparently conductive paints available, conductive pens, goos, stickers of some sort, and homemade foils you can use to supposedly restore the keys. Now from what I read some of these are gimmicks, and do not hold up to continuous usage, or don't work at all.

So I figured I'd create this thread since many of you have highly intelligent minds, and could potentially offer me the best solution to repair/renew black carbon conductors under rubber keypads. That will hold up to the pain of multiple presses, and massive usage. & no I don't want to cut the carbon conductors off a spare keyboard, or calculator and glue them on my faulty ones. As that could mess up timing in things such as a video game controller due to height issues.

If you know of a rock solid way that can withstand a beating like it stole something let me know! Links would be good, homemade advice, or whatever you can offer. I need a long lasting solution specifically for some old video game controllers I use on my pc that they do not sell anymore. The keys on the controllers have to withstand a pounding! I also have tv remotes I would like to renew that have buttons you have to press so hard just to get them to work, as well as other old video game console remotes [Nes, Snes, old stuff like that].


Thanks

Edited by superstar, 15 November 2011 - 12:57 PM.

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#2
Akabilk

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Remote Key-Pad Repair (the kit costs about $24)
http://www.keypadrepair.com/

Or:

Worn Conductive Material on Rubber Buttons
Compare the bottoms of frequently used keys with those that are rarely pushed. If you can see the rubber through the conductive material after cleaning, the pad is likely worn to the point of being non-functional. This may be repaired with conductive Epoxy or other similar conductive paint or ink. A sliver of aluminum foil can sometimes be glued to the rubber surface. 3M makes EMI/RFI foil shielding tape, type 1181, that should work very well for this. Another source for small quantities of metal tape would be a shop that makes stained glass or sells supplies for making it. Pencil lead (graphite) may also work though for how long is unknown (though some have reported good success with this readily available material).

MCM Electronics at 1-800-543-4330 lists a Rubber Keypad Repair Kit for $24.95. It is supposed to contain enough material to repair 400 contacts (2 containers each good for 200 contacts). Their part number is 20-2070. Not cheap but 400 contacts covers quite a few typical remotes. Note: I do not know whether it is easy to mix only enough material for just 1 or 2 contacts - it would be worth confirming that this is possible before ordering. Or else, invite a few dozen friends (and their flakey keypads) over for a remote repair party. :-)

For a similar price, Remote Control Keypad Repair also has a kit for coating the worn out rubber. It consists of a little bottle of some conductive paint which doesn't appear to need mixing.

There is also a material called 'resistive coating' or something like that that goes on like paint. It may be available from an electronics distributor. Or, if you are friendly with your local repair shop, they may be willing to spare a few drops.

Occasionally, the conductive material is not actually worn off entirely only on the surface and there may still be some beneath surface. Light sanding may help.

Unfortunately, there is no single best solution since the material used for the conductive rubber pads in remotes is not all the same.

(From: Paul Weber webpa@aol.com

"If you're looking for aluminum or copper foil tape with adhesive on it, visit your local hardware store, in the plumbing and/or roof rain gutter sections. Alternatively, try an auto parts store. I've found a variety of adhesive foils (including stainless steel) in these kinds of establishments.

As for as repairing conductive rubber keypads: I've not used the metal tape method, but will probably try it. I've had great success with a thorough cleaning and light buffing of the contact area with very find (1000 grit) wet/dry sandpaper."

From: Rufus (Pink@Floyd.Edu

"If you can find similar pads on another remote's membrane, trim them off square and use them to replace the defective pads. You can use silicone glue to attach them. Be careful to trim off the same amount from each pad so the buttons throw will be the same, and don't trim too deep as to damage the rubber dome."

from: http://www.repairfaq...rfaq.htm#irrwcm

As for your Keyboard, you could try and obtain an old IBM Model M Keyboard (a real typist keyboard). I bought mine about 1990 new and I'm still using it and do a lot of fast typing. "Clickity Clack' but the feel is amazing! They are so well built, you could kill a man with it.

See: IBM Model M: The Best Computer Keyboard Ever http://lowendmac.com...in/07/0115.html

You might find and old one in a junk shop or you can buy one new from pckeyboards at http://pckeyboards.s...et/en104bl.html
Now called SpaceSaver M $79.00 in peal white or Raven black.They also make a "quiet" rubber dome model.

Edited by Akabilk, 15 November 2011 - 04:45 PM.

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#3
carbon pill

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Hi Superstar,
you can get some carbon ink and use stick or something other to press on the bad keypad pos.
Off course you need to roast it.
This cost a piece of cake!
I don't know how to buy carbon ink in US but we got many in our factory.
In fact we are a factory taht produce carbon pills for keypad,listen, carbon pill not carbon ink,
they are 2 ways but both for keypad and with the same function.
You can check here Carbon Pill .


Another way:you can get some carbon pill in fit size and use silicone glue to glue it on keypad pos.
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