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Soft-touch keypad membrane switch repair
Soft-touch keypad membrane switch repair
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Old 5th June 2019, 04:36 PM   #1
tsmith1315 is offline tsmith1315  United States
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Default Soft-touch keypad membrane switch repair

After 5 years, the keypads on our cordless office phones are reaching their cycle limit. Of course, the handsets are discontinued, no longer available and the only solution is a complete phone system. Even in our small office, that's several thousand dollars.

What's annoying is the only problem is the contacts on the (membrane?) switch pad are wearing off, leaving us unable to dial certain digits. Picture attached.

What I've done is to file some pencil leads into powder, mixed that with some PVA white glue thinned with water into a paintable slurry, and dabbed it onto the contact surface. It took a couple of tries to find the right carrier and viscosity, but this works fine right now. I have no idea how long it will last.

Replacement switchpads/membranes/whatever they're called would be the ideal solution, I can find no helpful resources for such.

Better or more permanent repair ideas would be most appreciated.

It's annoying to thing we need to replace an entire system over such a trivial problem.
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File Type: jpg NEC Phone membrane.jpg (979.4 KB, 37 views)
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Old 5th June 2019, 05:59 PM   #2
mountainman bob is offline mountainman bob  United States
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What about some kinda gilding foil?
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Old 5th June 2019, 06:56 PM   #3
ubergeeknz is online now ubergeeknz  New Zealand
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You can get kits with new conductive pads like this one: Keypad Repair Kit Remote Control Conductive rubber buttons
AliExpress usually they're marketed towards remote controls
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Old 5th June 2019, 07:23 PM   #4
tsmith1315 is offline tsmith1315  United States
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Bob, I was thinking about foils before trying the graphite. It seemed like it would be too stiff to stay in place, but gilding foil may be thin enough if an adhesive would be reliable.

ubergeek, those pads are neat, but this doesn't have those little carbon buttons. These contacts are pretty much painted on, and additional thickness would be an issue.

Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 5th June 2019, 08:18 PM   #5
ubergeeknz is online now ubergeeknz  New Zealand
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I seem to recall you could get those thin membranes in the past, but I couldn't find any just now. In my experience (as a telephony engineer with contact centre background) most handsets last very well indeed, usually well beyond obsolescence. So I'm interested what make and model these are to wear out in 5 years.
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Old 5th June 2019, 08:28 PM   #6
johnsurnamerobinson is offline johnsurnamerobinson
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The buttons on my tv remote wore out in less than 18 months.As consumers should we not expect products to last more than a few months ?
I know tech moves on very quick these days but stuff breaking down after a few short months and then replaced hardly saves the planet
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Old 5th June 2019, 08:31 PM   #7
ubergeeknz is online now ubergeeknz  New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsurnamerobinson View Post
The buttons on my tv remote wore out in less than 18 months.As consumers should we not expect products to last more than a few months ?
We should. Here in NZ at least consumer protection laws explicitly stated that goods must last a reasonable period and for electronics goods that's generally accepted to be 3 or more years. For appliances 5 or more. It does help to keep the manufacturers and retailers honest.
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Old 5th June 2019, 08:38 PM   #8
tsmith1315 is offline tsmith1315  United States
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ubergeek, it's an NEC system. Handset model is DTL-8R-1.

Other functions are fine, and 2 of the 4 we have are still OK.
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File Type: jpg NEC Front.jpg (456.8 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg NEC batt.jpg (88.0 KB, 26 views)
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Old 5th June 2019, 08:48 PM   #9
ubergeeknz is online now ubergeeknz  New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsmith1315 View Post
ubergeek, it's an NEC system. Handset model is DTL-8R-1.



Other functions are fine, and 2 of the 4 we have are still OK.
OK yes I've had similar cordless sets wear out the buttons (even in a home environment)... they are built about the same as TV remote controls. The thicker pads in the desktop models last a lot more presses I guess, it makes sense.
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