Will conductive glue work for a tiny piece on an IPad Air?

Thread Starter

Longshot33

Joined Jul 24, 2017
3
Hello,

I was attempting to replace a part in an IPad Air A1475. The LTE flex cable connector popped off the pcb and there are 5 tiny (micro) pins that need to be reattached. I have a soldering station, but have no experience with something this admits too small for an iron.

Would soldering glue / conductive adhesive work for something like this?

I'm sort of panicking over this and looking for any solution. Also.. and this is a dumb question but I couldn't find the answer in google.. would the conductive glue be able to be spread across all pins or does it have to be each pin separately. I'm sure it has to be separately, but I figured I'd double check. I attached a picture of the tiny piece and the pins it connects to.

Thank you for any help and advice with this.
 

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IMP002017

Joined Jan 28, 2017
192
I don't want to say that it won't work, I haven't tried, however I do have a Micro Soldering system for my Hakko FX-951. I think your going to have to get a replacement for it if you don't have any donor boards. Sadly this can be a Time killer and if this repair is for profit can cost you in the end. Sadly I don't have any.

Not sure what type of Soldering Station you own, At times there are repairs that need a good microscope or Bionic eyes and some micro tips...

If the connector you have isn't damaged, You may want to use the best tip you have, clean off the pads with Wick, Then you could use the smallest solder you have and add a small dab on one side of the pads. Place the connector over the area and apply heat to solder on pad and the pin of the connector. Don't hold it on the connector or pad to long just long enough to make a good connection. try to solder the rest of the pins. If you make a bridge don't stress out, Take some Amtech 559 if you have some, and reflow the pads. As you know in most cases solder only wants to make a connection to the pads and connector. Clean off your tip to clean it up. .62 or .50 solder is to much. For me, I would use Kester 24-6337-7604 .15 Dia. I think .31 solder would still be to large for this IMO.

James
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,190
Conductive glue would be tricky to use because you would have to be careful to not short the pins together. That would be very difficult. Even if such a repair were successful it would likely be unreliable.

A replacement cable is probably the lowest practical level of repair.

Before you order the cable watch this thread for a bit, maybe somebody who is more optimistic will come along.
 

Thread Starter

Longshot33

Joined Jul 24, 2017
3
Thanks for the suggestion Jame, but I can tell that the job you're talking about is beyond my means.

Dick, the cable isn't the issue... it's that little connector hinge piece that popped off the pcb that the cable gets inserted into (then latched).

Looking at the picture I attached, could I possibly tape that flex cable to those pins? The iPad would be sealed so nothing would be touching it or moving it around.
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,190
Sorry, I got it backwards. Yes, you can solder the connector back if you can get your soldering iron onto the pins when they are on the pads.

Make sure the pads and pins are well fluxed and then have at it with the soldering iron -be careful to not teat the pads off with excessive heat or pressure. Remove excess solder with fluxed braid (solderwick). It does not matter that the soldering iron tip is much larger than the pitch of the leads as long as you clean up after.

upload_2017-7-25_16-51-29.png

Below is a link to one tutorial of many on the subject.
https://www.build-electronic-circuits.com/smd-soldering/

The tutorial show the excess solder being removed with a solder sucker. I recommend against that because the solderwick doesn't make a mess of things and tear pads off the circuit board like solder suckers sometimes do.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,066
I’ve tried using conductive glue without success. It’s too hard to apply with precision and tends to spread and flow once applied. Micro soldering would be a superior repair but I admit I’ve never mastered that either.
 

Thread Starter

Longshot33

Joined Jul 24, 2017
3
If you look at the picture there is a bar right along the edge where I would need to solder and it would be impossible. Would supergluing the cable down so that it always has contact with the pins work?
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,066
If you look at the picture there is a bar right along the edge where I would need to solder and it would be impossible. Would supergluing the cable down so that it always has contact with the pins work?
I doubt it. There are mechanical needs and electrical needs. You might be able to secure the cable in place but ensuring a good electrical connection is another matter.

You might keep your eyes on eBay and craigslist to try to find an iPad Air that is being sold for parts, maybe one with a broken screen or case or such. You might need 3 broken machines to cobble together one that works, but then you can sell off the remaining machines again for parts. It's a time-consuming pain for sure, but you may not spend much doing it this way. I've even come out ahead a time or two by selling the parts for more than I paid.

Alternatively, find someone with the skills to do this work properly. They are out there, but hard to find and they won't (or shouldn't be) be cheap.

Or, bite the bullet and sell your damaged machine for as much as you can and buy a new one. I've been surprised how much people sometimes get for damaged machines. It could literally be enough that your working replacement may only be a small amount more. I mean, if you could walk away from this whole problem for $100, wouldn't you?
 

IMP002017

Joined Jan 28, 2017
192
I understand what your saying but there is ways around that... Anyway there is another way that I wouldn't have thought of I see from looking up someone that does iPad Repairs for a living on youtube. A mother that turned into a iPhone and iPad repair person. I didn't look to much I am sure if I was to look in all her videos I might even find the same unit you dealing with. The board inside this one she is working looks close to yours in the area that she is making a repair beside hers has more pins to worry about... I would look over her videos for a Hardwire FIX....

Please note. This thing you want to tape or glue down will most likely fail within a week or less of repair if it isn't soldered down.. They are portable devices and there are loads of bumps and thumps they have to live though. If it is a Childs 3 to 18 then it is even more abuse that these will see in its life time.

 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,190
Soldering wires directly to the pad may be your best bet. As with soldering the connector you don't need a super-fine soldering tip (and if you did need one you can always file down the tip you have). As with the ICs and connectors, use plenty of flux and clean up with solderwick.

Or....

It might be possible for you to reflow solder the connector into place using a hot air soldering tool. In my town there are several cellphone shops that have a technician with a hot air soldering setup. You might be fortunate to have such a service in your area.

Or....

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Hot-Air-Soldering-Iron-1/
 
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