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Repairing a remote with non/poor-functioning buttons
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TheShanMan



Joined: 01 Oct 2006
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How well does that work/last?
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zaphod7501



Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 528
Location: Peoria Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason for repairs to be short term is that the original conductive surface is not painted, but impregnated into the rubber.

Failure is more likely (in my opinion) to be caused by contamination from the oils on your skin soaking through the rubber. Rubber contact pads protected by plastic covers seem to last forever.

I have taken buttons from other remotes and fit them in place of the originals and have sliced the conductive portion from a good pad and replaced the old conductive bit. (carefully)
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TheShanMan



Joined: 01 Oct 2006
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, very interesting. I have several remotes thrown in a closet that were abandoned because of button failure. This of course was before it dawned on me that there ought to be a solution for this failure. They would be perfect choices for button donors. Smile

I appreciate all the feedback!
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The Robman
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Joined: 01 Aug 2003
Posts: 18382
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My advice though, is before you start doing anything to the buttons, made sure you thoroughly clean the PCB using an electrical cleaner like this...

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00006LVEU/
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zaphod7501



Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 528
Location: Peoria Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Robman wrote:
My advice though, is before you start doing anything to the buttons, made sure you thoroughly clean the PCB using an electrical cleaner like this...

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00006LVEU/

Definitely clean first.

Practice swaps on spare remotes before messing with the essential ones.
Its not always easy to do.
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gardavis



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:48 am    Post subject: Repairing a remote with non/poor-functioning buttons Reply with quote

I have an old RS-1994 I'd like to get working again. I can get it appart and have tried using a conductive paint from ebay which solves the problem for a few minutes.

The paint is applied to the rubber button surface with a syringe. However, it does not stick to the buttons for long and then the paint flake gets stuck to the contacts rendering the remote useless.

As an alternative, I tried sanding down a few of the buttons but that did not work. I did not try the paint on the sanded buttons, maybe that will let the paint adhere better.

Also, I've read that superglueing a bit of aluminum foil may work.

Anyone else have any luck with this project?

Thanks,
Gary Davis
Webguild.com
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The Robman
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Joined: 01 Aug 2003
Posts: 18382
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before you started doing anything to the buttons themselves, did you first thoroughly clean the button areas of the PCB because gunk can build up there. Personally I use electrical contact cleaner to clean the PCB.

Given what you've already tried, I would give the superglue/tin foil trick a try next. Just try it on one button to see how well it works before trying others.
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eferz
Expert


Joined: 03 Jun 2010
Posts: 1078
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Robman wrote:
Before you started doing anything to the buttons themselves, did you first thoroughly clean the button areas of the PCB because gunk can build up there. Personally I use electrical contact cleaner to clean the PCB.

Given what you've already tried, I would give the superglue/tin foil trick a try next. Just try it on one button to see how well it works before trying others.

I agree.
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Remotes; JP1.2: Comcast URC-1067, JP1.3: Insignia NS-RC02U-10A, JP1.4 OARI06G, JP2.1: Cox URC-8820-MOTO (still trying to figure out how to make them self-aware.)
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gardavis



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments. I will try the foil idea and report back.

Also, thanks for combining my posting with the other related thread.

Gary
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streetskater



Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 75
Location: NYC

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Robman wrote:
There's also the poor man's fix, which is to just superglue aluminum tin foil to the bottom on the buttons.
Yup that's the route I go when 2B pencil lead just isn't cutting it anymore. It seems like it should be a pretty permanent fix, but I've found that with years old buttons, they don't take all that well to superglue.

With patience, a steady hand, and a HOT hot glue gun, that can work--but...by the time I'm on that path I know I that remote is heading for spare parts.

I lucked onto 3, still in original bubblewrap, 15-2117's on Ebay a few weeks ago. I've looked for years and never seen this remote for sale. So now (having moved from the 1994 to the 1995 and happy with the 2117, I have nearly a dozen RF receivers which I have no use for at all.

I progressed from my JP1 beginnings under Rob's tutelage---which necessarily meant starting with and and getting very used to the 15-1994 layout, the 15-2117 remains my favorite remote, hands down. Eventually I'll need more memory and functionality but I think I'm good till the end of the next Presidential term.
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andyfras



Joined: 02 Apr 2015
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Running a hot soldering iron across the (non) conductive contacts burns off the oiliness and restores conductivity. It doesn't melt the silicon membrane.
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argellix



Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 4
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to keep my beloved URC 9910 running forever so when buttons failed here are some experiences I can share.
(I don't make or sell any of these products; find equivalents at your favorite retailer).

None of these three conductive paints worked well for me directly on the button. They tend to flake off quickly (1 week or less) and make remote go nuts.

- Wire Glue found on ebay
- Rear defogger kit also found at auto parts
- I can't remember the other brand, designed for this very purpose.

Self sticky foil from Home D or Lowes worked for a few months but my concern with putting metal on the button side is that it may wear off the circuit side which I wouldn't want. Pieces eventually fell off too.

Now I'm back to Wire Glue mentioned above, but instead of painting the button directly I first glued a little piece of medical tape to receive the paint:

- The glue: Marine adhesive from hardware store (Home D and Lowes have it) (Amazing Goop and super Glue didn't cut it for me) This is easy to apply w/ toothpick, plenty of time to re-position the little thing, no need to apply pressure, and cures fairly quickly (I waited overnight, but it may be ready sooner)
- The tape: 3M White Transpore Must be the white one... the clear one doesn't seem to have the texture to hold the paint. I have nurse in the family, but check eBay or drugstore. First I thought of plain paper, but this tape seems of a synthetic material that may last longer
- 1/8" Punch hole came in handy to cut the pieces. Tons of shapes and sizes available on ebBay.

I just finished all buttons and the remote is working great but it is too soon to report on durability. I'm optimistic about it, paint doesn't scratch off easily and glue holds very well; maybe one day I'll come back and provide an update. If it fails I might go back to foil tape, but this time I'll use this marine adhesive.
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Jim978



Joined: 29 Dec 2010
Posts: 43
Location: New England

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been experimenting with another "poor man's" fix for non-working remote buttons (in my case it's more like a cheap man's fix).

I decided to create a substitute for the liquid mixture found in commercial rear defroster repair kits. The recipe is simple. Mix powdered graphite (the kind used to lubricate locks) with a small amount of glue. In my case I used white glue, the kind young students use at school, since I had that on hand. After thoroughly cleaning the silicone pad with soap and water, I painted this mixture onto the non-working contacts.

The good news is that it's cheap and it works. The bad news is that the non-working keys are always the ones most used. So, the repair seems to last for just a few weeks before frequent use causes the mixture to flake off.

Clearly, I need to use a more durable glue. I'll probably try wood glue next (I also have that on hand). It's stronger than white glue, which may make it more durable. I'm sure there are other glues that might be even better. I've consider Super Glue, but it dries so fast it may be hard to work with, especially if one needs to repair multiple keys in one sitting.

Anyone have an idea of what the ideal glue might be?

Thanks!
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tranx



Joined: 13 May 2012
Posts: 670
Location: Hants, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many epoxy resin glues remain a little flexible, especially the fast setting '5 minute' types, which might help. Araldite is also a bit like this but sets harder if warmed up during the curing process.

I am not sure if graphite particles are intended to bridge or make electrical contact, in which case I suppose epoxy or any glue might insulate the graphite particles?
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argellix



Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 4
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once saw these instructions http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Conductive-Glue-and-Glue-a-Circuit/ but I haven't tried them myself. The Marine Adhesive I mentioned sticks very well to the button, is easy to work with and it remains flexible, but I haven't tried it for conductive glue
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