How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

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Ashen
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How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by Ashen » Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:43 pm

Please note: Duplication in part or in whole of any part of this guide, its contents or visual references is strictly prohibited without the express consent of the author.

So yea, some people have expressed interest in just how the hell I do this. Here's a little guide. I'm leaving the pictures huge'ish for clarity.

Stuff you'll need:
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Not pictured:
Soldering iron (duh). Having a nice skinny/pointy tip will help. I keep my Weller at max setting (850 degrees F) so it melts the solder quick with little contact time.
Magnifier of some sort to check your work.

Lets get started:

Take your FFC and snip it off at a nice point. If its your first time, leave some room for error as you'll likely screw up and have to snip it again:
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Now, take the snipped FFC and scotch tape it down onto a hard surface:
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We now need to scrape the thin plastic layer off the end of it, exposing the metal leads:
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Pic of scraping tool I use:
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Continue down the line and scrape the whole end of the FFC clean:
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Readjust the FFC to a nice angle that you're comfortable with, re-tape it down and then use the exacto knife to split between the leads (this is the most precarious part of the whole deal IMO):
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If you did a good job, you should have something that looks like this:
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Cut a tiny rectangular piece of double sided tape out and apply it so that we can bend every other lead back and have the tape hold it in place:
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Done:
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Besides helping hold things in place, the double sided tape gives the FFC a bit more substance, so as when we touch it with our soldering iron tip it doesn't just shrivel up into a ball of goo. That being said, we'll apply a small rectangle of double sided tape to the remaining leads sticking out the end also:
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Leave the paper on the opposite side of the double sided tape this time, we only need one side to be sticky here:
Done:
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Now that's done we can prep our wires, Cut them to your desired length and tin the end of each one with a bit of solder (you only need a little bit, overkill here is bad):
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Apply flux. Not too much, just enough to help aid in connecting:
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Hold wire in place with tweezers, its important that the wire is pressed down hard against the FFC lead. Start at the end of the stripped wire and swipe your soldering iron forward to melt the solder and make the connection. This needs to be done quickly (as in like under a half of a second or so). If you take to long you will melt the FFC lead, plastic, metal and all:

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Progress down the line:
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Once done, test all your connections with a multimeter to make sure you have continuity between the end of the wire and the end of the FFC.

If all is well epoxy/hot glue that side of the FFC:
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Rinse and repeat for the opposite side.

Its worth noting that I've been doing this a bit different lately, I've only been soldering to the leads needed for the actual data lines on the FFC. So pins: 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17,19,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28 and 29. So only 19 pins to solder.

I've then been connecting ground and 3.3v to the wiikey as so:
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Hope this helps some people. I think this method is way better than using a breakout board.
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liquitt
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by liquitt » Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:46 pm

nice guide as always, thanks ashen!
please search before you ask - a lot has been discussed already!
(or use google with "site:gc-forever.com *term*")
http://is.gd/MDmZcr

we also have a wiki filled with knowledge
http://is.gd/dX58Rm
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by Hucklebuck » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:57 pm

It looks much more tempting when you show pics. I love diy. Can you make a tutorial also for the lid and eject switches?

Would you happen to know a Radio Shack part number for the lid and eject switch?

Cool tutorial! :D
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by kel01 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:29 pm

Nice tutorial :)

Could have done with this when I attempted mine. I ended up breaking a few of the contacts by bending them back after I had soldered them so I gave up in the end and took the FPC connector from the DVD side of the wode and soldered the wires to that instead.

The way you have shown looks a lot easier though.
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by emu_kidid » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:38 pm

awesome guide, makes me want to try it out for once and not butcher another mainboard :P
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by Ashen » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:53 am

Hucklebuck wrote:Would you happen to know a Radio Shack part number for the lid and eject switch?
Rat Shack parts:
Lid Switch: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... Id=2062490
"Eject" Switch: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... Id=2049718

Glad you guys like the guide! I've been meaning to put something like this together for a while, but just now found the time. Hopefully it will makes some peoples lives easier that attempt this.
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by emu_kidid » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:11 pm

I'm 1/2 way through making one for myself, got past the hard bit of stripping and soldering down one side. I'm just waiting for my glue to dry since I couldn't find either hot glue nor epoxy around anymore at home - will post my results when it's all done.

Note for others: I used the cable from the Wii mainboard -> Wii DVD Drive and it needed the extra silver layer scraped off too but it came off just as easy as the white coating does.
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by emu_kidid » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:25 am

Quick progress shots from my cable below. Note, I really recommend using the double sided table as Ashen recommends. I simply used a bit of thin cardboard and it does not give the tiny strands of metal any support so you have to be very careful when soldering on the wires that the flex doesn't move/tear.

Sorry for the crap quality, they're from a phone. one is without glue, one is after.
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by Ashen » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:15 am

That looks damn good Emu, nice work man. I agree, that double sided tape = <3
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by emu_kidid » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:37 am

status update, I haven't finished a cable yet, I keep frying the other side .. I need a less powerful iron with a thinner tip it seems, but I'm going to keeping trying and get it done, there's plenty of room on the cable I've got to try at least another 3-4 times.

Ashen, I just noticed after I desoldered a GC DVD drive connector, if you bend back every second connection as you've done above on the flex cable, it perfectly lines up with half the pins on the GC DVD drive connector, I'm not sure if the pins match up correctly but it'd be pretty damn nice if they did!
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by sakamoto » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:45 am

is the FFC shipped with the wiikey fusion as easy to mod as described above? or do you suggest to buy other brand of FFC cable? thanks

it seems doable with a 15w iron from my point of view
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Ashen
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by Ashen » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:59 pm

The FFC that ships with the Wiikey Fusion are the ones I regularly use. They're all pretty much the same IMO.

You should be fine with any old soldering iron as long as you're good with it. I keep my weller @ 850 degrees F when I do this, that way it melts the solder on the pretinned wires quickly and I dont need alot of contact time.
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by megalomaniac » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:22 am

what type of epoxy you use?
brand, type, strength, mix, cure time???

im gonna need some good proven dependable epoxy this coming weekend...
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by Ashen » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:10 am

Image

I swear by anything loctite. :D
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by megalomaniac » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:15 am

well ill be damned...
freakin loctite


i would have NEVER guessed...thanks
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by pr0ton » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:54 pm

Thanks for tutorial!!

First attempt of wiring, all connections working :D , also tested if there is no connection shorted to a ground pin, so far so good:
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by Ashen » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:02 am

Sure thing! Good to see others making use of it. If done properly its not nearly as hard to do as it may seem. Looks great man. :D
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by megalomaniac » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:07 pm

this works faster :twisted:

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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by shambles1980 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:07 pm

just thought id mention when i did this to a 32 pin ffc. i found it was easier not to split the ffc up witha knife 1st..

Cut it n expose the contacts and so on..
tape the ffc down to a workable surface. put the tape just above the area you exposed your contacts. (I taped cardboard down to a table. then taped the ffc to that)
then flux up the ffc.
Tin your wire (i really reccomend labeling the wires 1st, and using kynar )

then solder to the 1st connection. when it sets gently lift the wire up. the ffc connection comes away from the rest of the ffc because of the previous heat..

you solder 1.. skip 1.. solder 1 skip 1.. untill you have done the 1st 16. glue those down.
then you can do the second set..

I found that easier and faster as it skips the cutting up step entierly. and if you arent to good with a knife, you may find some of the pads you cut up have more than 1 connection on them which means your going to have a bad time.

Just thought id chime in with that.
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by Modzy » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:14 pm

made two so far....really easy lil FFC mod ever...would post pics once its dried :)
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How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by Modzy » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:59 pm

Here is mines....work in progress still...couldn't continue cause my heart was fluctuating really bad due to high levels of stress at home :/
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Re: How to "easily" wire to an FFC (Wiikey/WODE)

Post by Rezirex » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:42 am

I only have stranded wires. Is there a specific reason I shouldn't use them?
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