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DIY Coating for Conductive Rubber Switches

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Robert Scott, Jan 2, 2007.

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  1. Robert Scott

    Robert Scott Guest

    I had some prototype circuit boards made containing traces that form an array of
    targets for conductive rubber switches. I know from taking apart dead phones,
    calculators, etc., that these switch on the circuit board are normally either
    gold-plated or coated with carbon - I suppose to combat corrosion. But to save
    money, I didn’t get that done on these 20 developmental prototypes. The swtich
    targets are just bare traces (no solder mask). At this stage, is there anything
    I can do myself to improve the longevity of these prototype boards? How
    beneficial is that plating or coating on conductive rubber switch targets
    anyway? Or course the production boards will be commercially coated, but I
    would like the prototypes to last as long as possible.

    Robert Scott
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
  2. Bret Ludwig

    Bret Ludwig Guest

    Some type of brush-on plating, I'd say.

    The rubber pads can be rejuvenated by a product sold by Mike Sandman's
    phone supply company.
  3. mkaras

    mkaras Guest

    I have worked proto boards with solder plated intermingled trace
    fingers for carbon pad and for click disk applications and they worked
    fine for more than the time I needed to keep the proto going. Worse
    thing that would be required would be to shine up the solder plate with
    some good flux followed by a hot water bath.

    - mkaras
  4. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Ttin/lead solder may be the lest expensive; next is Nickel plate.
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