Repair Membrane Buttons

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:

Video Tutorial

If the embedded video doesn’t work from your browser, click

3 thoughts on “Repair Membrane Buttons
  1. I have used Neolube No. 2 available from Micro-Mark. I usually use three coats and 12 hours between coats. Then I pad with a paper towel. I have fixed a few dozen keypads on various instruments.

  2. For the very small screws, I glued a small magnet onto a plastic lid scrounged from the small sized yogurt container. Easy to drop screws and nuts onto and then pick off. Also, the small vial of paint like that is easy to tip over (don’t ask…). I found a blob of Play-Doh or similar putty can hold the vial in place and not allow it to move when refilling the brush. Thanks for a great video.

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