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Author Topic: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?  (Read 728 times)

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BadMouth

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I'm having trouble with a single button on an Onkyo remote, but same principle.
The rubbery keypad is backed with carbon pads that make contact with the traces on the PCB.

When I took it apart the first time, there was a clear oily substance on the PCB.  (maybe from some kind of plastic or rubber breaking down)
Cleaned everything off and it worked fine for about 6 months.  Repeat, but less oily substance...last only a couple months.
Repeat, lasts only a week.

There is only ever a problem with one button; volume down.
The pad is thin, but still makes good contact.

Anyone know what is going on here?
Ever use something like this? https://www.amazon.com/Keypad-Restore-Conductivity-Carbon-Copper/dp/B0026PRMVM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498153173&sr=8-1&keywords=keypad+repair

« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 02:00:45 pm by BadMouth »

knave

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2017, 02:59:48 pm »
Try washing all the parts...ie. rubber and plastic parts in 90% or greater alcohol. the oil might be flowing around from somewhere else.

ChadTower

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2017, 03:01:19 pm »


Yeah, have to take the whole thing apart and figure out where that oil is coming from.

BadMouth

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2017, 03:50:14 pm »
I cleaned it with 91% isopropyl alcohol each time.  The last time I poured alcohol over both the membrane and pcb, and wiped them until they both appeared spotless.
I will give it another go and look for sources for the contamination.  :-\

I don't think that's the primary issue though because no other button has ever failed to work including the volume up button which is right next to it and used just as much.
(but for some reason seems to have a thicker contact pad)

I was thinking maybe the contact pads are impregnated with something and the oily stuff or my cleaning has diminished it.

I could just glue a piece of metal or another pad in there, but thought maybe someone on here knew a more professional solution.
The real professional solution is probably to throw the remote away (or at least the membrane) and use a new one rather than spend time on it.  :lol

pbj

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2017, 04:00:52 pm »
I'd superglue a piece of aluminum foil to the back of the membrane.  That repair will outlast you.


BadMouth

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 07:14:02 pm »
Used a circuit writer pen that I haven't found any other use for to paint the offending pad.  It works fine, but it always works fine immediately after messing with it.
There wasn't anything visible on the PCB or pads this time.

ChadTower

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2017, 09:31:29 am »
I'd superglue a piece of aluminum foil to the back of the membrane.  That repair will outlast you.


I have done that before in low use pads (things that aren't game controllers).  It does work.

RandyT

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2017, 12:40:26 pm »
I just cleaned up a couple of remotes for friends of mine.  Same situation.  a good portion of both boards was coated with a layer of oil.

I don't think it's leeching out of the rubber, unless it's absorbing skin oils like a sponge (which is very well could be).

Regular isopropyl is ok, but 92% is better.  If it still doesn't work well, then the little black portion, which is impregnated with conductive material, has likely skinned over with rubber lacking this ingredient.  If it's thick enough, you might want to try roughing it up a tiny bit, with some very fine sandpaper.  If it is skinned over, this should expose more of the conductive material.

Otherwise, yeah, any thin, conductive material glued onto that area should work until it wears out the material or the traces on the PCB.


Howard_Casto

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2017, 09:25:16 pm »
White printing paper works better than sandpaper for cleaning the rubber pads.... less abrasive.  Also don't put alcohol on the rubber membranes as it will dry them out enough to where thy might start breaking down. 

RandyT

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2017, 09:40:57 am »
White printing paper works better than sandpaper for cleaning the rubber pads.... less abrasive.  Also don't put alcohol on the rubber membranes as it will dry them out enough to where thy might start breaking down.

Oils need some kind of solvent to break them down and remove them. You could try something less aggressive, but alcohol is generally low impact in the world of solvents, and leaves little residue, which is important. Nowadays, most remotes use a silicone based rubber, which alcohol doesn't affect.  Here is some data showing alcohol resistance of silicone and other rubbers.

If white paper has enough tooth to remove the top layer, then I don't see any reason not to use it.  If it works, it's more accessible to most than 2000 grit sandpaper. :)

dkersten

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2017, 10:27:57 am »
Any chance that "oil" is dielectric grease used to prevent the contacts from corrosion?

RandyT

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 10:39:07 am »
Any chance that "oil" is dielectric grease used to prevent the contacts from corrosion?

Virtually none.  My theory is, being that the membranes are silicone, oils from your skin (or the french fries you were eating before you picked up the remote  :lol) transfer to the buttons, and over time, creep inside the units simply from gravity. 

The other possibility is that the oils in the silicone leech out due to age.  But that's usually a clean, clear fluid.  The stuff I found in my friend's remotes was neither.  It looked more like new motor oil.

pbj

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2017, 10:40:13 am »
What did it taste like? 

RandyT

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2017, 10:42:15 am »
What did it taste like?

If I'd have known you wanted to eat it, I'd have saved it for you.

ChadTower

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Re: Anyone have experience repairing contact pads on controllers?
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2017, 11:40:00 am »



Randy's remote be like...



  
 

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