Flat Flexible Cable termination

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by krnx2oh7, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. krnx2oh7

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 17, 2011
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    I want to connect a flat flexible cable to a rigid pcb that has conductive pads.

    Now I know I can't solder directly so I have to have some female connector with conductive leads.

    Is there a simple plug straight in female connector that has leads. Or do you need to have machinery to terminate the FFC end into a connector. Hopefully I can just buy the ffc and connector and that be it.


    thanks
     
  2. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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  3. Dyslexicbloke

    Active Member

    Sep 4, 2010
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    If you are talking about the flat grey stuff with a pitch of about 1.25mm, used in many different widths as board to board jumpers then the simple is yes it can be terminated without a proper tool.

    However as with most things none professional together you do need to be careful or the joint will fail.

    You are talking about ribbon cable, which comes in several guises but the most common one you find is untwisted, yes you can get ribbons of twisted pairs, with a pitch of 0.05" which is about 1,27mm.
    Connectors are usually female, double row and designed to fit 0.1", that 2.54m, pin headers.

    The plugs, well sockets really, come in two or three parts.
    The board side is the socket and houses all the conductors, the top of which have little fork like structures pressed into them.
    The cable is placed between the connectors and a cap strip, sometimes bent back under a second cap for mechanical strength.
    Once lined up all you do is press it together, the the conductors push through the insulation the cap snaps into place and you are done.

    Having the cable in exactly the right place is very important and that means that as you press you need to put the same amount of pressure on the entire length of the connector and not apply any side load either or it will slide out of place.

    Small ones aren't too bad a 50 way, even if you use something like a vice to press the two parts together, can be tricky to get right.

    Commercial tools are like little presses, but hand tools are available that aren't too bad although you want a well made one so that the movement is constrained well.
    A poorly made hand tool is worse than a vice or a block on the bench.

    Lastly if you are working with strip-board you will either have to put the pin header in the middle and mount components both sides or use the cores doubled up.
    pin order is like this...
    1 3 5 7 9 ...
    2 4 6 8 10 ...

    hope that helps you.
    Al
     
  4. Dyslexicbloke

    Active Member

    Sep 4, 2010
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    OOPs ... looks like I was talking rubbish, well about the wrong thing anyway.
    FFC looks tricky to prep, is it?
     
  5. krnx2oh7

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 17, 2011
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  6. krnx2oh7

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 17, 2011
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    Also can both fpc and fcc leads be inserted into these zif connectrs?
     
  7. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    yes I believe so.. I'm pretty sure the only difference between FFC and FPC is how they are made.. FPC being chemically etched to create the conductors.
     
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