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Please help me identify conductor

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Feb 10, 2007.

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  1. Guest

    I need to replace a conductor in my son's toy bank. It is about
    eight inches long, 3/8" wide, with two 1/8" conductors. It looks like,
    and is as thin as, clear tape, but with two conductors buried in it.
    One end simply pushes into a connector where friction provides the
    electrical connection. The other end becomes a switch.
    What is this product called, and where can I buy it? Hopefully with
    a name, I can also find how to prep the ends to make the connection at
    the sound effects box and turn the other end into a switch to be
    operated by a person's finger.
    Thank you for your time. Mike
  2. Is there enough clearance for conventional wires? Conductors are conductors
    are conductors, if there is adequate room to install them.
  3. Guest

    There is room, but no access. It really needs to be that "tape"
    stuff. Thanks, anyway!
  4. AFAIK you can't buy these off the shelf. They are basically flexible printed
    circuits. Often the connecting end is electroplated. I would replace it with
    hook-up wire.
  5. Dear Mike,

    The style of "wiring" that you describe was originally
    invented by DuPont and called Parlux. It was used
    when extreme flexibility was desirable. It was originally
    a dull yellow.

    Typically copper traces are deposited on one side, and
    the connectors accept the thickness of the plastic strip
    and have matching electrodes to connect to bare areas
    of the traces. Typically the traces were then coated
    with a plastic layer to embed them. The areas that are
    mated often have a thin layer of silver coating to make
    for a superior connection.

    There are two ways to connect to them:

    1. Assure rigidity, scrape until you see
    bare copper, flux and use a very
    low wattage soldering pencil

    Note: these traces have no strength
    They were never intended to be soldered

    Thus the reason you need to make the
    area rigid.

    For example, if one of these strips tears, and
    is not used for its repeated flexibility --
    such as power to print head electronics

    Tack down both torn pieces, facing each
    other as they were. Carefully scrape
    to copper on both sides. Then bridge using a single
    strand of wire out of say a wire that is
    10 x 30 (10 strands of 30 guage tinned wire)

    This is an exacting process

    2. The second way to make the bridge requires that
    the copper be exposed, but uses a copper
    immersed in cement to make the bridge.

    Again, this needs backing

    Again, this will be rigid

    The product that makes these bridges
    is Permatex (sold by NAPA) "Quick Grid
    Rear Window Defogger Repair Kit." Product
    Item# 765-1460

    Neither repair will be pretty.

    If you wish to go from these "traces" to standard wire --
    again -- use the same technique, but now glue the standard
    wire to the backing you use. Make sure that the tips of
    the bared wires never move. I would typically use 5 minute
    epoxy, but, sometimes you must roughen the parlux with,
    say, a 220 or 330 grit sand paper, or the epoxy will just
    peal away. A lacquer such as nail polish may work because
    the acetone/toluene and/or the methyl ethyl ketone will
    dissolve plastics, but, now, too much lacquer at once will
    simply cause the entire piece to turn to putty. So, carefully
    put down a thin layer, see how it behaves, then another layer,
    then, finally, put the parlux piece to the backing material.
    That material should be rigid. It can be, say, a piece of
    plastic cut from a yogurt cup lid.

    Be careful with modern nail polishes. They now contain
    nylon, and take much longer to harden.

    In general, these strips are unique to each piece of
    equipment. Replacements are only available for high
    end electronics, say Sony, where such strips are used to
    go from board to board.

    Careful. Many of the connectors that accept these strips
    have "locking." There is usually a collar around the
    plastic that accepts the strip. You must raise the collar,
    and that unlocks the contacts. You place the strip in,
    then lower the collar, and now the connector locks to the

    I've even seen tiny motors, that cause the vibration in
    cell phones sold by "All Electronics" with such strips as
    the DC connection to the motor. The catalogue listed them
    as "solder connectors." Again -- these are not intended
    to be soldered. They are intended for the locking connector.
    So, to reliably connect to such a connector from such a motor
    one must again glue a backing strip that holds "both sides" --
    then complete the brige with either very thin wire strands
    or using the defogger repair cement.

    There were no standards I know for the width or spacing
    of these traces, so expect each situation to be unique.


    Curtiss Priest
  6. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    They are often called " Flexiprint ". What has happened to the one you have

  7. Guest

    Thanks to all for your fast, and thorough, responses. Looks like I'll
    be buying him a new bank.
    Again, Thanks!
  8. mkaras

    mkaras Guest

    Check out the Digikey catalogue page link here:

    You will find 8" and 10" long multi conductor ready-made flex cable
    strips. If you picked out the 6 conductor version (about 3/8 " wide)
    you could adapt it in as a replacement. (Use two or three of the
    conductors to replace each of your existing conductors). It is
    possible to solder to the ends of these cable cables if you use care
    and as low of temp as possible. Digikey also sells small 1mm spacing
    connectors by Hirose that accept the ends of these cables as an
    alternative to soldering to the cable itself. You can use the Hirose
    connectors and carefully solder to the connector leads and the glue
    the connectors in place at the flex end points.

    Good Luck
    - mkaras
  9. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    Can't you just solder in some wires? You can get some pretty thin wire,
    stuff made for wire wrapping, or magnet wire might work.
  10. bz

    bz Guest

    Radio-Shack sells a conductive 'Pen' that lays down an ink that contains
    silver in a polymer base. It CAN be used to lay down traces and to connect
    things like this.

    Google also gives this:

    It can also be soldered to.

    He could conceivably use clear mylar tape.

    Cut a piece long enough, fold it over, so that it is half width and the
    sticky side is stuck to sticky side.

    Draw your conductors as needed.

    Cover with another piece of tape (perhaps half width?), leaving some
    exposed at each end to which to make connections.

    bz 73 de N5BZ k

    please pardon my infinite ignorance, the set-of-things-I-do-not-know is an
    infinite set.

    remove ch100-5 to avoid spam trap
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