Laptop Keyboard Ribbon Cable Help

Discussion in 'Acer' started by Arthur Shapiro, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. I have an older Acer Travelmate 7??? (maybe 7100) laptop rebranded as a Unisys
    Aquanta EN/M. It's a nice little unit - 266Mhz pentium and a surprisingly
    attractive 12" screen.

    My wife managed to break a key off, and it appears that the failure was the
    underside of the key where there's supposed to be a part that grips the two
    "hoops" that project upward from the keyboard. I found what appeared to be
    the correct replacement keyboard on eBay.

    The old keyboard attaches with two ribbon cables, which to my surprise are
    unterminated. They are attached via keyed pressure latches to wherever it is
    they happen to go on the motherboard.

    When I took the old keyboard out, I discovered that the new keyboard, despite
    having the identical part number, had the two ribbon cables somewhat shorter
    than the original, and there was simply no way that the new keyboard could be
    used. The cables just won't reach when the keyboard is in the installed
    position, by a good inch. So I sadly went to put back the old keyboard by
    reattaching the two ribbon cables.

    I can't do it. I've tried for several hours, dozens of times, and clearly I
    don't understand what sort of magic is involved. I push the two cables as far
    as possible into their respective slots, and push in the latches. Boot up,
    and no keyboard functionality.

    Does this problem make sense to anyone, such that some advice can be given?

    If I can't get this working myself, it almost seems a shame to pay big bucks
    to a repair facility for an older unit, but it is otherwise working
    beautifully. Are there any recommended repair services for Acer units,
    ideally that could obtain the correct keyboard in the bargain?

    Anyway, I'd welcome any words of wisdom

    Temporary usercode - to be deleted when spam starts. Use MyBrainHurts at this ISP to reach me
    Arthur Shapiro, Dec 22, 2003
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  2. Arthur Shapiro

    Rackie Guest

    I belieive your ribbon cable is going into a ZIF(Zero Insertion Force)
    Connector. Its a slide type connector. To remove a cable from a ZIF
    connector, lift both corners of the ZIF connector slide simultaneously
    with constant light force. It will only slide out a very small bit.
    While slid out it leaves a small gap between the slide and the
    connector. While its slid UP, you insert(0r remove) the ribbon cable
    and while holding the ribbon in the ZIP you push the slide portion
    back in thus locking the ribbon in place.
    Here is a website that might give you more information:

    Or do a search for ZIF connectors and you might find more but let me
    tell you, once you understand how they work you'll have the hang of
    it. Its very simple, just pry up on both ends and it will slide out a
    small portion, then remove or install your ribbon cable and press it
    back in(to lock the cable).

    Its too bad you cannot use the new keyboard. Is there any chance you
    can take the ribbon from your old keyboard and put it on the new one?
    Maybe you can cutoff and splice a portion of your old keyboard ribbon
    onto the new keyboard?

    Good luck.
    Rackie, Dec 22, 2003
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