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Can you fix a zebra strip?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by mike, Jan 27, 2013.

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  1. mike

    mike Guest

    I have a meter with intermittent display segments.
    I've cleaned the board and (carefully) the LCD glass contacts.
    Not much help.
    Neither did cleaning the zebra strip.
    Is there anything I can do to the zebra strip to help?
    I've thought about shaving down the plastic to get more compression
    on the strip...but there's no coming back from that.
  2. mike

    mike Guest

    Thanks for the link.
    It's a UEI EM150 vacuum gauge.
    It's been sitting for a year. I figgered it would cold flow
    and make connecti0n eventually. I was wrong. ;-(

    I don't think the thing is worth the postage to order a new strip.

    Think I'll try squeezing the strip sideways and heating it a little.
  3. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    "There are 8 possible ways to reinstall the strip, 7 of which won't
    work" ?
    The point of zebras is they have very great latitude for mis-positioning,
    I've found replacing back-in in another 1 of 8 orientations often works,
    admittedly I flip in a vertical sense and flip longitudinally ,not
    necessarily solved the problem for very long though.
    Assuming the zebra is nominally held in a plastic well, then "shaving down
    the plastic " does work , and is a more long term solution. I mark and use a
    file to remove about 1/3mm all round, just freehand, again zebra latitude
    comes to the fore again - I wonder who thought up such a clever solution.
  4. I had a microwave display where the metal contact points under the zebra
    strip were just soldered. Cleaning with solvent didn't help, a pencil eraser
    was needed.
  5. Ian Malcolm

    Ian Malcolm Guest

    Filing it is drastic and not reversable.

    Instead, I recommend shimming between the bezel and the LCD glass (on top
    of the glass) using a narrow strip of self-adhesive tape. You only
    really need to shim the edge with the zebra strip. The glass then sits a
    little closer to the PCB complessing the zebra strip slightly more.

    It is the ONLY satisfactory method I have found if the clamping pressure
    comes from plastic clips, not screws.
  6. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    yes the order is

    clean all contact surfaces
    tighten with spacers/shims where applicable
    double flip the zebra
    parts mule for a replacement
    file job

    My work-a-day DVM kept randomly loosing segments , went through 1 a few
    times, 2 not applicable, 3 lasted a few months, 4 no mule found, finally 5
    and has been reliable since then , perhaps 2 or 3 years now
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