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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / 1983-84 London Reverb ribbon cable heads-up



now even awesomer
Nov 11th, 2017 04:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've just replaced the input jack on my London Reverb - the new one is spaced off the pbc with a short piece of shielded cable making the connection. In the process I had to disturb the ribbon cables, and that's where extra patience was called for.On reassembly and only after warm-up, the overdrive channel was dead. Chassis out again, tap and poke everything... one ribbon-cable in one on pcb had a tiny cracked joint. Reflow'em all, reassemble, overdive channel now fine, graphic EQ now dead. Chassis out again, tap and poke the relevant ribbon cable reflow all the joints on the pcb,that ain't it. Continuity test pin-to-pin; that, plus close inspection, reveals a break in one conductor. Scrape away some insulation, solder a little hookup wire to bypass the break, test before reassembly this time darn it, all well, reassemble, soak test, all OK.

It's a testament to a 33-year-old, well-gigged solid-state amp that all the actual pcbs and components are doing fine - well done, the Gulbransen Organ factory in Hoopeston, Illinois. But if you ever have to go inside one of these, or its sisters the s/s Showman and Montreux... don't handle them ribbon cables any more than you have to... :-)



Mar 29th, 2018 02:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

I worked on a couple of those amps, years ago. The biggest problem I found was with the ribbon cables. It seemed to me that the pins were slightly undersized for the connectors. My fix was to coat each of them with solder to make sure they had a solid grip. Maybe not the ideal fix, but the amps kept working until the owner decided to trade them for something else years later.


Contributing Member

Get ready for the

Buena Buena
Apr 1st, 2018 09:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

Great advice.

Whenever I open up a defective amp (or any other electronic device) and find ribbon cables in there, it's the first thing I look at because left alone, they are pretty stable. But move them a little bit during disassembly and all bets are off.

Flying leads (individual wires) don't stress the board and solder joints like a ribbon cable does. I think it's because of the leverage created by multiple solid conductors combined with an insulation that's much stiffer than most common insulation plastics. Stranded stuff would be better, but it costs more.

That gray stuff is brutal to handle without breaking something.

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / 1983-84 London Reverb ribbon cable heads-up

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