How can I repurpose a digital kitchen scale with broken LCD?
October 3, 2010 1:59 PM   Subscribe

I have a digital kitchen scale on which the LCD has crapped out. By pressing on different parts of the ribbon cable connecting the LCD to the circuit board, I've determined that there are multiple shorts or shoddy connections on the cable. There doesn't seem to be an easy way to fix it, so I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for ways I can repurpose it for a fun electronics project. I have some basic electronics knowledge and soldering experience.
posted by jessssse to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
Is the connector on the ribbon cable an "insulation displacement" type? If so, removing the connector from the ribbon and re-attaching it (push down at each wire location with the back of an X-acto knife) 0.5 - 1.0 mm offset from its original location might just fix it.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:05 PM on October 3, 2010

Response by poster: No, unfortunately it's permanently attached. I think I'd have to go this route to repair it, but I think the conductive epoxy costs more than I paid for the scale.
posted by jessssse at 7:56 PM on October 3, 2010

The first project that comes to mind is a pressure sensor. For example, you could put it under your house's welcome mat, to turn on a light above to the door. This makes it easier to open the door at night, and see people through the key-hole.

Just figure out which of the lines controls the highest digit of the LCD, and use that as a control line for a relay that controls the light.
posted by scraimer at 5:45 AM on October 4, 2010

Best answer: Hmm... now that I think of it some more, a way cooler project would be to build a reading-light shelf? Take a shelf, and place it over your bed, within arms' reach of your position on the bed. Install a reading light on its underside, which is controlled by the pressure sensor.

The idea would be so that as long as you keep your book on the shelf, the pressure sensor will be registering it, and the light will remain off. Once you pick up the book to read it, the light will go on to help you read. When you're tired, just put the book on the shelf, and the light will go off.
posted by scraimer at 5:49 AM on October 4, 2010

Response by poster: Those are both great ideas!
posted by jessssse at 3:33 PM on October 4, 2010

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