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Mylar Circuit Trace Repair


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#1 James Litten

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:39 PM

I have a mylar printed circuit in a childs toy that has a tiny break in a trace that goes out intermittently while they hammer on it. I took out the sheet, peeled off the adhesive and shorted the break with a screwdriver tip and it works fine. Put it all back together to verify that I didn't break it more by removing and replacing the adhesive so I know it works except for the tiny break in the trace.

These mylar sheets are printed on a printer using a conductive ink (usually silver based). If I had a pen or marker containing that ink, I could repair it without replacing it.

I also think it would be handy to have for future repairs :)

The child has some 'special needs' and will get very upset if I try to replace the toy outright so I have to replace the guts. Before I do that I was wondering if anyone here knew of an ink or method I could use to repair the trace?

Thanks
James

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#2 rotor123

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:02 PM

HI James

I almost forgot to mention you might have to use a really fine grit sandpaper to clean the gap you need to bridge first being careful.

From here http://music-electronics-forum.com/t16285/#post132177

"Circuit Works" pens are available from a few places down here.
In the US probably RS components,Tandy or Radio Shack?
These are a pen dispensing a polymer with silver powder.
I have repaired hair thin tracks with these in the past, spreading the liquid with a scalpel blade, and if you can get low temperature solder it is possible to solder to the cured polymer.


I would also suspect that the Electronics parts place down the highway from me would also have them as they sell to the electronic repair and hobbyist trade.

I've never used this company so be cautious, maybe even Amazon or Ebay?
http://www.techspray.com/category-listproducts.php?cId=1&lang=1

Good Luck
Roger

Edited by rotor123, 17 April 2012 - 04:03 PM.

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#3 James Litten

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:46 PM

Hi Roger

Bingo! That's what I was looking for.
Searching for 'Circuit Works pen' allowed me to find what I could not figure out the search terms for. I'll try a local shop first and if not there I'm finding them online all over the place now.

I'll sand it a little first like you suggest and make sure that touching it with the screwdriver tip still works before applying it. I was starting to think I was going to have to go with a small piece of aluminum foil and some tape :)

Apparently, when it was originally printed the trace was really thin in one spot but still thick enough to work for awhile and pass quality control. It was easy to spot.

James

#4 rotor123

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:49 PM

just remember to use really, really fine sandpaper since you just want to ever so lightly clean the surface.

Good Luck
Roger

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#5 James Litten

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:14 PM

Success!

Looked really clean with no adhesive residue in the spot that needed fixing. Light brush with a pencil eraser to remove oxidation, soft paint brush to clear debris. The pen puts out too much ink for me so I used a toothpick. Put some on the toothpick and apply, wait an hour and do it again, wait an hour and test, then reassemble.
Et voila!

James

#6 rotor123

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 03:52 PM

Hi, Glad to hear the success story, I wouldn't have thought of using a toothpick.

Most likely inexpensive too.

Cheers
Roger

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