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this “z-axis conductive tape” is absolute witchcraft and I want a roll of the stuff adafruit.com/product/1656

it’s double-sided tape which is conductive only from one side to the other, conductivity is not present along the length or width of the tape!

this means you can do completely silly things like tape a chip to its pads on a circuit board or tape a ribbon cable to a memory card!

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I learned about it via the latter, which is a ribbon cable you can use on a PSP Go to use normal-sized memory stick duo storage on it, and at first I thought “z-axis conductive tape” was a mistranslation or something but it turns out it’s just really clever and neat!

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@ticky Totally amazing. I assume it has higher resistance, but also wow.

@astraluma yeah, it’s definitely not for high amperage applications, but some basic signalling sounds like it works just fine!

@ticky the first Pebble used this stuff to connect the display to the board, which wasn't a good idea as it didn't hold for long enoug, causing screen tearing

@noiob oh no! I guess at least it’s readily available to replace?

@ticky @noiob Err, I think that may be wrong. The original Pebble used elastomeric connectors (aka ZEBRA strips.)

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elasto

@ticky That said, thanks for introducing me to this Super Cool Thing. This seems really fun for making one-off projects for special events or experiments.

@ticky !!!!

i *need* a copious quantity of this

this is really really really really cool

@ticky Taping a chip to the pads with a single strip of tape is insane. How durable is it?

@tsturm not sure! I suspect it’s better kept to prototyping rather than mass-production use :P

@ticky I am already thinking of all the amazing “I don’t feel like soldering this yet” use cases.

This is dark magic.

@toxicity yeah, not the sort of thing to base a project around unless it has a very particular set of requirements!

@ticky @lifning so it literally only conducts through itself and not along itself?

@ticky Huh, neat! Any idea if this can just totally replace reballing BGA components?

@aschmitz I’m not sure, sorry! Sounds like an interesting experiment though :)

@aschmitz @ticky I was wondering the same, would be neat for prototyping
probably wouldn't work out so well though, bga requires a nice even surface and if you're dealing with an already balled chip, it'd have very small contact area which is already limited by the tape itself

@ticky Even though I seldom do hardware stuff I'll take the kilometers.

@ticky Now pull a strip of it off, give it a twist, stick it to itself, and... voila! Flux Capacitor! YAY! We invented time travel! ;)

@ticky sounds like this is basically zebra strips? (aka elastomeric connectors)

@Felthry not quite! this works on both axes; the conductivity is not restricted to a particular set of stripes

@ticky What do you mean "restricted to a particular set of stripes"?

@Felthry the entire top and entire bottom are conductive, without cross-talk, not in a stripe pattern like these

@ticky hmm. most of the elastomeric connectors we've encountered in our dismantling junk were entirely conductive, or maybe one layer of conductive material between some supporting non-conductive material

@ticky what you describe this 3M stuff is what we had thought elastomeric connectors were, anyway. Maybe we were wrong!

@Felthry Wikipedia would be a reasonable place to look for more information

@ticky this is so cool! I'm pleased that my first "silly" guess at how it works turned out to be right ^^

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