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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello first post here hopefully this is a good enough place to post...

I have searched long and hard and already ruined one ribbon cable and almost my entire sid2 unit taking it apart and back together so many times, and have had no luck finding any instructions on how to solder the ribbon cable to the cpu board and lcd screen.

I see all the repair services available online and the video's from pixelfix.net, I ordered my replacement ribbon cable from ebay and installed it the way pixelfix shows with the clear tape and foam strips for pressure on the contacts, this almost worked but i still had a couple lines of pixels missing.

Then i took it to an electronic repair shop and they applied some conductive sticky tape to the contact side of the ribbon cable which ruined the cable and caused it to not display anything at all. I understand now that I need to get a t tip soldering iron with a strip of teflon rubber and actually solder the ribbon cable to each side.

What I dont understand is how to apply the heat and get the ribbon cable to stick to each side without just melting away the ribbon cable, it's so thin it seems to me that the tiniest bit of heat would burn the cable right up.

Is anyone familiar with or have instructions to this process? Thanks

Car is an 02 9-5 aero
sid2
 

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My repair was the taped on approach which seems to work quite well (watch the pixel fix video, get the foam strips in right, get the alignment right and you'll get good results)

I have another one to do, the Saab replacement SID (warranty, thanks) in my 03 is starting to go. I have been able to get my hands on some z-axis ACF tape (made by 3M) that only conducts in the Z-direction and not x-y. That tape should be good to hold the thing on but the real challenge with the ACF tapes is that you only get one shot to get the alignment right. I may well just use the pixel fix tape method on this one as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My repair was the taped on approach which seems to work quite well (watch the pixel fix video, get the foam strips in right, get the alignment right and you'll get good results)

I have another one to do, the Saab replacement SID (warranty, thanks) in my 03 is starting to go. I have been able to get my hands on some z-axis ACF tape (made by 3M) that only conducts in the Z-direction and not x-y. That tape should be good to hold the thing on but the real challenge with the ACF tapes is that you only get one shot to get the alignment right. I may well just use the pixel fix tape method on this one as well.
Hmmm, when I used the tape approach it worked perfectly when it was cold out but as soon as the car warmed up or it warmed up outside 2-3 lines of pixels would disappear, I assume the foam tape I used was not stiff enough and became softer when warm. I find it odd that there's all these companies selling the t tip soldering iron repair kits but not one of them has an instruction page or video. I'm not sure exactly which kind of conductive tape the shop I took my sid to used but it obviously was not the right kind and when trying to remove it it started removing all the little black carbon lines on the ribbon cable and thus ruining it.
 

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Sorry, you don't solder anything at all. The soldering iron is a source of heat and no more. You could in fact use a clothes iron if you are very careful.

You need ribbons such as these
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/290901105331?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649

T-Tip for the soldering iron like this
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/T-Head-So...aultDomain_3&hash=item3f19bd7805#ht_638wt_865

Both LCD and board must be spotlessly clean , I use something like this
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-x-LOCTI...ants_Fluids&hash=item3cdad3c2ec#ht_356wt_1103

Then , align the integrated tabs on the ribbon with the visible tabs on the board/LCD and place the soldering iron (with t-tip fitted and hot!) flat onto the ribbon. The heat will warm the ribbon and bond to board/LCD if correctly clean.
Press a section at a time until complete.

Start to finish is barely 10-15mins.

No bits of foam, rubber, sticky backed plastic or prayers involved at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry, you don't solder anything at all. The soldering iron is a source of heat and no more. You could in fact use a clothes iron if you are very careful.

You need ribbons such as these
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/290901105331?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649

T-Tip for the soldering iron like this
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/T-Head-So...aultDomain_3&hash=item3f19bd7805#ht_638wt_865

Both LCD and board must be spotlessly clean , I use something like this
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-x-LOCTI...ants_Fluids&hash=item3cdad3c2ec#ht_356wt_1103

Then , align the integrated tabs on the ribbon with the visible tabs on the board/LCD and place the soldering iron (with t-tip fitted and hot!) flat onto the ribbon. The heat will warm the ribbon and bond to board/LCD if correctly clean.
Press a section at a time until complete.

Start to finish is barely 10-15mins.

No bits of foam, rubber, sticky backed plastic or prayers involved at all.
Awesome thanks that's basically the idea i was getting, so I dont add anything at all just heat the ribbon cable slightly and it should stick? The only reason for the teflon rubber on the t tip is to prevent the soldering iron from melting the ribbon?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Green vs clear ribbon cables

Also, is there any difference between the green colored and clear / greyish colored ribbon cables?
 

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As far as I have seen there is no difference between green/grey ribbons. Just different makers I guess.
Like all things some are better than others, some harder to peel the protective back off than others but the principle is the same as is the process.

The hardest bit is the 1st application of heat, ensuring the ribbon is aligned properly and doesn't move. Once one bit is 'stuck' then it is easy to press the rest so to speak.
The rubber won't damage the ribbon or at least shouldn't :)

It does sound a litle scary but once you have done one you quickly realise how 'rough' you can be and it gets to be a pretty simple task in truth.
I have done probably 30-40 over the last couple of years.

Being able to replace a ribbon does NOT repair any other fault on the SID of course. If the LCD or board has damage then no amount of new ribbons will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks a bunch! I'm going to order all the parts and give it a go again with the t tip, I know all the other pieces on my sid are good cause it all worked with just pressing my thumb on it and applying some pressure. Even with the mistakes I made this will still save me over 100 bucks
 

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Good luck

It has been reported BTW that some SID2 units have SID1 ribbons fitted. I have had a couple like that .
When on the display will show only half the row of digits on the right side ( Radio station for example) if you fit an SID2 ribbon on such a unit.

I have never learnt why they would have SID1 ribbons installed but it is natural to think that a SID2 with poor display has the wrong ribbon fitted when you open it up and find a SID1 ribbon inside!
I have done this and thought just that and refitted the 'correct' SID2 ribbon and found half a row of digits. Take it out and fit a SID1 ribbon and all is well.

Very odd but a good heads up to anyone with a failing SID2. Do NOT auto assume you need a SID2 ribbon without opening it up and checking to see what is fitted.
The difference is easily spotted and shown on many many Ebay sales sites like this .
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261145885...X:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649#ht_2216wt_1103
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good luck

It has been reported BTW that some SID2 units have SID1 ribbons fitted. I have had a couple like that .
When on the display will show only half the row of digits on the right side ( Radio station for example) if you fit an SID2 ribbon on such a unit.

I have never learnt why they would have SID1 ribbons installed but it is natural to think that a SID2 with poor display has the wrong ribbon fitted when you open it up and find a SID1 ribbon inside!
I have done this and thought just that and refitted the 'correct' SID2 ribbon and found half a row of digits. Take it out and fit a SID1 ribbon and all is well.

Very odd but a good heads up to anyone with a failing SID2. Do NOT auto assume you need a SID2 ribbon without opening it up and checking to see what is fitted.
The difference is easily spotted and shown on many many Ebay sales sites like this .
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261145885...X:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649#ht_2216wt_1103
Ya I've heard about this and it sounds to me like some of the early sid2 units actually have the sid1 cable still in use, they are pretty similar though just a few lines that are differnet if you line them up, mine is most definitely a sid2 ribbon,, thanks for all the help!
 

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Good luck

It has been reported BTW that some SID2 units have SID1 ribbons fitted. I have had a couple like that .
When on the display will show only half the row of digits on the right side ( Radio station for example) if you fit an SID2 ribbon on such a unit.

I have never learnt why they would have SID1 ribbons installed but it is natural to think that a SID2 with poor display has the wrong ribbon fitted when you open it up and find a SID1 ribbon inside!
I have done this and thought just that and refitted the 'correct' SID2 ribbon and found half a row of digits. Take it out and fit a SID1 ribbon and all is well.

Very odd but a good heads up to anyone with a failing SID2. Do NOT auto assume you need a SID2 ribbon without opening it up and checking to see what is fitted.
The difference is easily spotted and shown on many many Ebay sales sites like this .
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261145885...X:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649#ht_2216wt_1103
my guess is that they have either (SID1 ribbon + display) or (SID1 ribbon + old PCB from SID1) that they exhausted while they made the transition. I'd vote for the PCB/ribbon since the difference between SID1 and SID2 was the trip computer and that needed items on the display.

It's entirely reasonable that the SID2 firmware that knows how to update the extra items on the display was loaded onto SID1 PCBs and hooked up to a SID2 display to run the stock out. After all, from Saab's perspective the SID is a single replaceable unit and no one should be fixing the insides...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It worked :)

Well I just used the soldering iron with the rubber on it to heat up the ribbon and it stuck perfectly, amazing how easy it was after all that trouble.
 

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ACC display use the same soldering tip ?

I have an ACC display on 2004 Aero with missing display pixels (specifically on the left side of the display).

I have a replacement ribbon cable, do I use the same methodology with the rubber soldering iron tip to heat the cable to the display and the PCB?
 

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Not done an ACC panel myself but the procedure will be exactly the same assuming the same style of ribbon is used. Unless of course the ribbon supplier states otherwise and advises you to use rubber, sticky tape and hope.
 

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Thank you twoturbos. Good explanation. I used a green cable, and it went just as easy as you describe. As I did it, here are a couple of things I noticed:
1. The contacts on the LCD screen are very hard to see, so I had to use a bright desk lamp very close to my work.
2. Not all the contacts on the LCD screen have corresponding traces on the ribbon cable, and not all the traces on the ribbon cable have corresponding contacts on the LCD screen. However, it is pretty clear how to orient the traces just from looking at it.
3. There are three white plastic tabs which hold the LCD screen against the white plastic bracket with the yellow insert - two on top and one on the bottom. The plastic tab on the bottom must go *through* the ribbon cable. The original ribbon cable does have a cutout for that tab, but the replacement I bought didn't have the cutout. I had to cut that out. I didn't notice that until I was reassembling the SID. It would have been easier to cut it out before I started the bonding.
 

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SID ribbon fix - which type is best?

I have read the posts in this and other threads, and have a questoin or two. I have disassembled my '99 9-5 SID (almost no pixels lighting up) and the ribbon looks new ande is thoroughly attached to both the screen and the board. I tried foam strips and re-assembling, but no better. Can a ribbon be bad even if it looks good? does this indicate something else is bad? (the pixelation got gradually worse) So, I gather either the pixelfix ribbon with foam, or the other ribbons ironed-on work. I would rather not buy and try the soldering T-tip method, but will if the pixelfix method is not a long-term fix. Some hint on this thread that it may not be.... Please advise. Also, is there another, U.S.-available ribbon that works as well as pixelfix ribbon without ironing?

Thanks
 

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I did the SID in my son's 99 with the pixelfix "tape it on" method and it worked nearly perfectly. I screwed up the alignment on the first one and destroyed the ribbon when taking it apart so had to do it again, but the second time I got it right and all but 1 or 2 pixels came back on and have stayed on for nearly 2 years.

that was before the t-Bar soldering methods came up. i'd probably do it that way if I did it again. There are a few missing pixels in my 03 but not enough to bother me yet. But i suspect that I'm going to have to do that one some day.

As for the ribbon, i think it delaminates from the board were the contacts are and then breaks the contacts. It's hard to see since the removal of the ribbon is a "destructive" operation. But it could look perfectly good and still not work.
 

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I have an ACC display on 2004 Aero with missing display pixels (specifically on the left side of the display).

I have a replacement ribbon cable, do I use the same methodology with the rubber soldering iron tip to heat the cable to the display and the PCB?
The ACC imho is much harder to repair as the ribbon cable is about a quarter of the size of the SID equivalent and in addition the board can only be removed by de-soldering two support posts...SID is a piece of cake in comparison.

Good tutorial on youtube
 
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