The world’s smallest straightener for repairing old LCD ribbons

[Stephen] writes to us about an LCD repair tool he made. We have all seen old devices with monochrome LCDs connected by thin film, where the connections between the PCB and the LCD have deteriorated and the LCD would no longer show parts of the image. This is a connection heating gadget, which: [Stephen] is affectionately described as the world’s smallest hair straightener, specially made to bring cool old technology back to life.

A resin printed mold contains a spool of Kantian thread, easy to find and simple to make. He reuses a hair clip as the housing for the heating element, which also provides the pressure needed to force the film-printed conductive tracks into the LCD screen when the glue melts. High temperature epoxy brings the two together, and with a variable power supply, this tool successfully brought an old Tiger 99x handheld back to life.

This hack was made possible in part by: [JohnDevin Duncan] in Hackaday’s commentary section where he shares his experience repairing LCD ribbons in 2015, providing valuable insights into the problem we initially thought might be solved with a soldering iron. The shared knowledge was distilled by [Stephen] in a tool that we can all now use whenever we come across a device that we really, really want to revive for what it means to us.

Last time we covered this topic, quite a few hackers showed up with their stories and suggestions. Old game console fix stories are a staple here on Hackaday, a few come to mind: this intensive spore repair of a water-damaged GameBoy cartridge, a poorly designed NES cartridge socket reinvention, and this GameBoy LCD sunburn damage repair guide.

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