restore conductivity to your rubber membrane buttons
© 2011 by Harold Melton, KV5R. All Rights Reserved.
Let’s face it: rubber membrane buttons just don’t last. Many radios, particularly handie-talkies and other handheld devices, use these pesky membrane buttons. Under the rubber button is a small carbon-impregnated rubber pad, and it wears down until there is insufficient conductivity to trigger the circuit when pressed. So we press the button harder and harder to make it work, but this only wears it out faster.
Fortunately, the carbon pads can be resurfaced using a silver-bearing paint, restoring the conductivity and greatly increasing the life of the buttons. I recently performed this procedure for the first time, and made a video tutorial.
You will need:
- Small tools to disassemble your device
- A small hobby vise (to hold the buttons)
- A good hands-free magnifier — the Donegan DA-5 OptiVisor Headband Magnifier, 2.5x is highly recommended.
- The 1 gram CaiKote-44 kit (about $12 online)
- Optional: Deoxit D5 (about $15 online) for cleaning pots and jacks
- Steady hands!
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