Friday, November 16, 2012

How NOT To Fix A Microwave

The membrane keypad on our microwave oven went on the fritz. It turns out that corrosion - that nasty gremlin that lurks everywhere in the Philippines - took out some of the connection fingers on the membrane. Can't solder to fix it, because it's printed conductive ink on plastic and tends to melt before you can do anything else with the soldering iron. And if you do manage, somehow, to get a wire soldered to it, it will probably pull off quickly or the printed trace will crack. So...

After checking the rest of the electronics to make sure nothing else was damaged, I reverse-engineered the keypad and then built up a 12 button replacement on a piece of perfboard. Everything works now, but it's not pretty. I think "Not Pretty" is an understatement. It's not bad for about 2 hours worth of work, $0 cost - just parts that were laying around - and it gives us a microwave for a little while longer. But - I think we will be looking for microwaves on sale in the near future.

LOL, this thing is damn ugly. I crack myself up sometimes...

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