Can't finish reassembly of Fuze

I took apart a bunch of non-working or poorly-working Fuze s and have managed, mainly by exchanging LCD s, get a few potentially good ones together.

Unfortunately, one thing I haven’t been able to do so far is reinsert the ribbon cable on the face plate into the white connector on the circuit board. I took the control assembly (with the ribbon cable) off an extra face plate and I can, with that, hold the ribbon, slip it in and clamp it down. The problem is that I can’t figure out how to do it with the ribbon still on the face plate, which is obviously what’s necessary.

If anybody can describe a procedure for doing this that doesn’t require tiny hands, or (better) point me to an existing write-up, preferably with pictures, it would be greatly appreciated. 

Not an easy task!

  1. Place the lower body on a piece of newspaper or other slip-free surface.

  2. Lift the black locking bar on the ribbon cable (ZIF) connector.

  3. Bend the end of the ribbon cable so it is horizontal to the faceplate.

  4. Hold the face plate horizontal above the lower body about 3/8 inch.

  5. Align the ribbon cable to connector and move the faceplate forward to start the cable in.

  6. When the cable seems to be in all the way, keep holding this position, and with your other hand use a small screwdriver to push in on the bent area of the cable to be sure it’s seated.

  7. Use the screwdriver tip, reaching in, to flip the ZIF locking bar down.

  8. Pullback slightly on the face plate to make sure the cable is locked. If it comes out, try again.

  9. Power the Fuze on before snapping the face plate to the body and check for wheel operation.

  10. If good, faceplate can be snapped to body. If not, cable is not seated fully or broken.

Notes:1. Try to notice the cable depth in the socket before removing. Than you can see how far it needs to go in to be fully seated.

  1. Do NOT bend the cable excessively, the traces are very thin and crack easily.

  2. Steady hands are must here. This stuff is tiny, and if you are a “Shaky Jake” it will be very difficult to do.

  3. A slight downward angle from horizontal on the ribbon cable end may make it a little easier to get in, only 5-10 degrees max though.

Good luck! I’ve got it pretty well nailed after doing quite few of these, but it never is easy. Don’t give up!

Thanks! I’ll try it again, incorporating your suggestions, when I won’t feel rushed. It’s going to take patience.

One thing, though. Wouldn’t it be best to hold the body of the device in place with something like removable double-sided tape, rather than depending on a slip-free surface? 

I have not found it necessary to hold down the main body. The rubberized coating does a good job of no-skid. The cable will slide right in if it is aligned correctly, that’s why it’s called a ZIF (zero insertion force) socket.

Use a PanaVise, the coolest thing since the invention of the puffed Cheeto.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

Though the Panavise has many uses, using it for this operation will make it even harder to do. Since the ribbon cable is very short, the faceplate needs to be suspended just barely above the lower player body. Supporting your wrist on the same surface as the player really helps to hold it steady while moving forward into the socket. With the vice, you would be suspending your arm making it difficult to remain steady unless you have an additional equal height support for your arm. It’s much easier to do on a flat table or bench, with your wrist supported directly in front of the player. The player sliding on the surface has not been a problem at all for me. Actually, if the cable does not enter the socket, it will bend back before the player moves.

A nice 3M tabletop static mat is great to keep the wee devices from sliding about as well.  On the improvisational front, a hardcover book makes a great stop on the tabletop as well.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy: