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  1. #1

    MFD button repair for less than $5

    Hi guys, signed up today to share this idea I have about repairing the MFD buttons. Keep in mind I am only theorizing right now because I am waiting for parts to arrive but I can't see why this solution won't work.

    Ok so we all know that button failure is a common problem on older units, it's usually the ribbon cable or the actual contacts under the button which deteriorate and fail. You can purchase membrane buttons on ebay for $0.99ea which should be able to be retrofitted to the MFD. I have one of the buttons now and I'm confident I'll be able to use it for the repair. You will need to cut open the MFD obviously to wire up the buttons. Here's a link to a button similar to the one I have and I think this is the connector needed to wire it up, not sure if this is the exact style as my button came prewired with a connector

    Basically you first will need to unpeel the clear adhesive label and then cut the old button off the front of the plastic housing, this leaves a rectangular shaped void which you can attach the new button to. The new button is slightly larger but can be be trimmed down to size so that it'll fit in the space, it has an adhesive backing which holds it in place.

    After that it's just a matter of wiring the button to the pcb. I think that the best method would be to mount the button upside down so the ribbon cable can be routed over the top of the MFD (but under the front detachable panel) and to the back of the unit. I plan to drill out one of the holes in the back so that a bit of 4core cable can be fed through and siliconed in place for waterproofing. I would then use connectors to wire the buttons to the cable (outside and behind the MFD) and the on the inside of the MFD solder the wires to the pcb where the ribbon cables used to go. The reason I plan to run the button cables to the back of the MFD is so that if/when the new button fails due to corrosion etc it's a simple case of unplugging the connections at the back and replace it with another $0.99 button without having to open the unit again.

    Anyway I've attached some pics to give a better idea. I've ordered another button for the other side and will post an update once it's all finished. Hope this info is useful
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  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    The linked connectors are not weather sealed, the pin contacts would be exposed to moisture and corrosion if mounted outside the MFD enclosure.

    Another member did something similar but mounted the external switches elsewhere on the watercraft.

    I cannot comment on whether the replacement membrane switch can be trimmed down without affecting the switch itself.
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  3. #3
    This is the connection that came with my membrane switch, it had heatshrink over it which I removed to get a better idea of the connector type.
    Yes I wouldn't expect the switches or connectors to last but it doesn't really matter to me since they're so cheap and easily replaced, as you can see I cut my switch down it still works.
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