Re-terminating ribbon cable

Hi All,

I bought a few of these great little membrane switches:

I foolishly cut the long ribbon cable thinking I could easily scrape down to some copper and solder to it. I was very wrong! I’m not sure what its made from, but it melds very easily and solder doesn’t stick to it. The original connector is actually just crimped (punctured) through it, not bonded or soldered.

Any ideas how I could join wires to my cut ribbon?


Hi Dave,

My only ideas would be to possibly re-attach the old connector, if you don’t have that any more, alligator clips might be an option given the scope of your project



From what I can see from product description images, the cable is a flexible printed cable (FPC) and trying to solder it is as you have seen, very difficult.

If you can remove the insulation from one side of the cable, and leave the trace intact, conductive copper tape can be used to connect to something you have already soldered to extend the length of the cable.

I can’t even suggest trying to replace the whole cable at the switch/LED end as that also looks to be a type of printing on plastic.


Hi David
Firstly how did you cut the ribbon cable. If using scissors great care has to be taken. There is a very good chance that each wire ends up shorted to it’s neighbour due to the scissors action. This type of cable is cut with a tool giving a cleaving action; vertical with a blade and anvil, not a bypass action.
Sounds like the connector is “insulation displacement” type with no stripping required or recommended.
Be aware when trying to solder the conductors could very well be aluminium.
Cheers Bob