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can the magnetic ribbon/tape be repaired on cell phone to make display operable again? Answered

I have a samsung "rugby" flip phone which is less that 4 months old.  in going for a walk, i dropped it leaving the magnetic tape/ribbon (i believe i'm using the correct term(s) here) torn apart.  is there a way that i can connect the ribbon  or put the ribbon back together to make my display work again and if so, what kind of materials would i need to get this project done


You must mean the flex PCB. The simplest answer is no., the "wires" (traces or tracks in PCB layout terms) are far too narrow to properly repair in a home setting for all but the most well-equipped home lab.

What's more, these flex pcbs are often multilayer which compounds the issue. My former Cell (which uses a four layer flex PCB to connect the main cell body to the fliptop) died in much the same way, although "slightly" more catastrophically. (complete disconnection)

It took me all of 5 minutes to realize I'd need to replace the phone. Some things just aren't worth the trouble for results that you cannot guarantee up front. (said another way, unless you're a bit of a whiz, you probably won't even be capable of replacing the flex pcb. No offense intended. I considered it and AM a bit of a whiz, but I decided it didn't have a high enough probability of success to warrant the expenditure or effort.

Are you speaking about a ribbon cable? (I don't know of anything else in a phone which might be ribbon shaped.)

Assuming that is what you meant: It's electrical wiring, not magnetic.

A ribbon cable is essentially just a group of very flat and flexible wires. It could, in theory, be replaced by another set of wires that makes the same connections. But that wouldn't be anywhere near as compact or as flexible (or stand up to repeated flexing as well). You might be able to get the phone running, but you could pretty much forget about folding and unfolding it., which pretty much defeats the purpose of having a cell phone in the first place.

The right answer, if the ribbon cable is damaged, is to replace it with another ribbon cable, preferably one with exactly the same dimensions. Unless you can find another broken phone of the same model to swipe that part from, I think your best bet is to send the phone back for repair. Especially since, at only 4 months old, they might be willing to cheat and call it a warranty repair.

That's assuming you haven't damaged anything else. If you have... it's an ex-parrot, and it's time to shop for a replacement phone. My Motorola flip is pretty basic (no camera, just numeric keyboard), but it works well and the phone company was willing to sell it to me for just US$25; at that price, it may be cheaper than trying to get a repair done.

(I've dropped -- and sat on -- a number of electronic devices over the years; I apparently have insufficient dignity. I think it simply has to be counted as a learning experience...)

+1. Ribbon cable is virtually impossible to repair...ebay might sell a 'your phone model number- ribbon cable replacement kit'. I know dealextreme sells replacement ribbons for a handful of stuff...

+1, and if you decide not to fix it, be sure to part out all of the goodies. :)