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Ribbon cables in digital cameras.
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Ribbon cables in digital cameras.

by wolf.arthur on Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:27 am

Hello.

Lately I've been playing with old digital cameras, opening them to turn them into timelapse machines ( with arduino ), or into night vision things ( by removing the IR filter ).
It's all way easier than I would have thought, but there is a big problem/annoyance : the super mini orange ribbon cables.

Example :
Image

They are too short for comfort when hacking, break easily, you can't make them longer, and the main problem : NOBODY sells these, at least not that I
can find with google with my limited english skills.

So I was thinking : do you know where to get these ? What I'm looking for is a kit with a set of different sizes, lengths, number of wires, so I can always have what I need under my hand.
Also great would be breadboardable breakout boards for the connectors.

I emailed adafruit about this and about them selling these, and they said it'd be good if I asked here.

Anybody has ideas ?

Thanks a lot !
wolf.arthur
 
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Re: Ribbon cables in digital cameras.

by franklin97355 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:32 pm

Most of those cables are custom designed when the camera was laid out. You can get the connectors and there are companies (don't know of ant off hand but Google will find them for you) that will make these for you (at a price) you might look into getting a cable made that takes the camera pitch and spreads it out to .1" pitch that you could connect to a more standard header.

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Re: Ribbon cables in digital cameras.

by zener on Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:35 pm

Yes, that is "FPC" flexible printed circuit, and is usually integral to the PCB, or is the PCB. Very hard to work with.

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Re: Ribbon cables in digital cameras.

by chatham on Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:46 pm

Hmm... That's a decent idea. I wonder if those connectors on the PCB are somewhat standard in terms of shape and size; some FPCB cable breakout things might be a decent, although niche, product. I mean, it would certainly make a lot more otherwise hard to use pieces much more usable - for instance, I've got a touchpad from an old Dell laptop that actually can communicate as a PS/2 mouse, and it's got a bunch of FPCB 'cable'... And a number of places will do FPCB - looks like Gold Phoenix will do a small run for $300... Interesting....
OpenChord.org - Open Source kits to let you play Guitar Hero with a real guitar, or build your own Wii/PS3/USB controllers.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.