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Printer Ribbon Removal Tool
09-06-2021, 11:07 AM (This post was last modified: 09-06-2021 11:10 AM by teenix.)
Post: #1
Printer Ribbon Removal Tool
Hi all,

In the past I have used home made bits and pieces to try and remove the ribbon cable from the printer socket on HP-97, etc. I usually use a piece of aluminium cut from a soft drink can which I fold over a few times at one end for strength. I then insert it into the socket and remove the cable. Unfortunately this can also get stuck in the socket and needs something else to remove it.

I sat down and examined the socket contacts as best as I could and found a better way to remove the cable and as a bonus the tool will not get stuck in the socket after the ribbon cable is removed. I'm not sure if this has been done before, but here goes.

I used some plastic cut to size from one of those cheap disposable food containers. It is rigid enough for the job and just thick enough. Metal could also be used if it was the same thickness and all rough edges removed.

The dimensions of the tool are shown in the attached image.

If you look at the printer circuit board from the component side, the contacts which grip the cable are located on the socket top side furthest from the circuit board. It is the ends of these contacts that bite down and grip the ribbon cable and won't let it come out.

To remove the ribbon cable, insert the tool end marked "remove" into the ribbon cable socket between these contacts and the ribbon cable. The shoulders on the tool only allow it to be inserted about 3mm into the socket. This has the effect of pushing the contacts away from the ribbon cable but it is not long enough to extend beyond the end of the contacts.

The ribbon cable can now be removed.

When it comes time to reinsert the cable, push the tool end marked "insert" into the fold in the cable and push the cable back into the socket.

I assume it will work on other printer boards. If I get feedback that it does, I will add the design to my Classic Notes PDF.

cheers

Tony


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09-06-2021, 11:25 AM
Post: #2
RE: Printer Ribbon Removal Tool
Perfect timing as I have some o-rings hopefully arriving this week and a few 41c printers that need the paper advance issue fixed.

Hopefully this works as described for the 41c printers too :-)

I'll let you know.
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09-06-2021, 01:44 PM
Post: #3
RE: Printer Ribbon Removal Tool
What is the thickness of the plastic you used? A 3D printed version of the tool with thicker body and lettering would be a great addition to Dan's (twoweims) store and thecalculatorstore.

Remember kids, "In a democracy, you get the government you deserve."
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09-06-2021, 11:16 PM
Post: #4
RE: Printer Ribbon Removal Tool
(09-06-2021 01:44 PM)mfleming Wrote:  What is the thickness of the plastic you used? A 3D printed version of the tool with thicker body and lettering would be a great addition to Dan's (twoweims) store and thecalculatorstore.

17 - 18 thou (0.43 - 0.46mm) should do.

I wouldn't make the insertion ends any thicker or it will probably squash the ribbon cable against the socket.

To make one only takes a few minutes and a few cents, but 3D printing could make a shape that is easier to handle.

cheers

Tony
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09-07-2021, 01:03 AM
Post: #5
RE: Printer Ribbon Removal Tool
Hi all,

I was just thinking a metal tool is probably not wise unless all sharp edges are carefully removed. Failure to do this could result in a damaged ribbon cable.

The disposable plastic containers appear to be made out of something resembling soft but reasonably rigid polyethylene which I don't think will cause problems with the cable.

Container image attached.

cheers

Tony


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09-07-2021, 01:51 AM (This post was last modified: 09-07-2021 01:52 AM by Paul Berger (Canada).)
Post: #6
RE: Printer Ribbon Removal Tool
I have always used pieces cut from a PET blister pack and have never had any issues removing cables.

Paul.
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09-07-2021, 11:44 AM
Post: #7
RE: Printer Ribbon Removal Tool
Hi, I made one from a plastic container as well, it worked great. The material from mine is polypropylene and is about 0.3mm thick.

Best regards.

(09-07-2021 01:03 AM)teenix Wrote:  The disposable plastic containers appear to be made out of something resembling soft but reasonably rigid polyethylene which I don't think will cause problems with the cable.

Cesar Basso
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09-24-2021, 02:25 PM
Post: #8
RE: Printer Ribbon Removal Tool
Hello,
I have previously cut pieces from the thin slideable metal protection of an old-fashion computer 1.44 MB 3.5" disk. These have a well-working thickness and rigidity for removon/inserting the ribbon cable, but a plastic version will of course minimize the risk of damaging the ribbon cable. I will try that in the future, thanks for the tip.
All the best
Jonas
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09-25-2021, 03:53 PM
Post: #9
RE: Printer Ribbon Removal Tool
The ribbon material is quite tough, probably polyester. I fashioned one of .008 inch sheet brass and rounded the edges with a Dremel scotch-bright wheel, never had a problem with ribbon damage in almost twenty years of repairing.
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