Issue 536: Find source or replacement for Display connector

Reported by Nikolaus Schaller, Dec 10, 2013

The display connector appears to be a

Molex 5000246471

and is officially obsolete since 26/Feb/2013:

It is still listed at DigiKey 5000246471-ND, but DigiKey did answer 
the same that it is obsolete and no replacement.

So we need some remaining parts or a replacement.

Comment 1 by Nikolaus Schaller, Dec 14, 2013

Mechanical drawings:

Comment 3 by Joerg Reisenweber, Dec 15, 2013

of course we contacted them (on eof them at least), they answered 
"component obsolete and not on stock, hard to find"

Comment 4 by Yves Martin, Dec 22, 2013

I would say this one has exactly same specification:

Or else, isn't possible to use a larger connector with 2 or 4 pins 

Comment 5 by Nikolaus Schaller, Dec 22, 2013

Thanks for the DigiKey link, but it is (almost) a repetition of the 
first comment for this issue. There are two versions (most likely 
differences in materials or durability specs) denoted by a 71 or a 
91 suffix. Both are discontinued. And all other pin numbers as well.

Neither DigiKey, Arrow, Avnet etc. can order them at Molex. We have 
asked (DigiKey says "Call" status) and got all the same 
obsolescence notice.

The problem is less the number of pins but the exact distance of the 
two rows and the shape of each contact spring. If the cross-section 
matches we might be able to use a different length.

Nevertheless there is the option to ask a connector manufacturer to 
build some according to the original specs. This is of course 
expensive and only becomes realistic if we reach the 1k goal.

Comment 6 by Joerg Reisenweber, Dec 22, 2013

The difference is retraction force

Comment 7 by Joerg Reisenweber, Dec 22, 2013

on a sidenote: due to the shape of the plug it's not exactly simple 
to use same series but with higher pincount. There are two 'bars' 
one at each end, which defeat using a plug with higher pincount on a 
receptacle with 64pins. Unless we *very* precisely cut off one end 
of plug, and even then I doubt this will fly. 
Then OTOH the whole series is obsolete, so not much use in this sort 
of speculations

Comment 8 by Yves Martin, Dec 22, 2013

At Molex, current products with same pitch and height are not 
available with 64 contacts (closed are 54 and 70 pins)

Comment 9 by Yves Martin, Dec 22, 2013

I look at HRS (Hirose), BM14 series has 64 contacts, with either 
0.8mm or 1.3mm height

So if there is some margin in height. BM14 may fit, but it has 
1.98mm depth.
BM14C(0.8)-64DP-0.4V(51)	 684-8032-3 51	BM14C(0.8)-64DS-0.4V(51)	 
684-8024-5 51

.. but such an option is likely to requires to change the connector 
on ribbon too.

Comment 10 by Joerg Reisenweber, Dec 22, 2013

>>equires to change the connector on ribbon too.

Sorry we cannot do that. Please note that we need to find a 
compatible receptacle to the existing plug which we can't change. 
Otherwise the whole issue wouldn't have shown up here in tracker.

Comment 11 by Nikolaus Schaller, Dec 22, 2013

The BM14 series looks similar and has indeed 64 contacts, but it is 
not easy to find a data sheet to check if it is really compatible 
(likelyhood is very very low).

Secondly, there is no stock as well:!?q=BM14C(0.8)-64DP-0.4V

Page 2 of the mechanical data sheet linked in comment 1 shows how 
both connectors must match (cross-section of mated connectors) to 
ca. 20um precision. The one we have on the display flex cable is 
soldered to the upper PCB drawn there and the one we are looking for 
is on the lower PCB (to be soldered to our board).

So we should start to look for someone who can
a) laser cut contact springs with 10-20 um precision (we could 
design a similar shape of the contact springs as shown on the page 
b) build the plastic part for a connector with 10-20 um precision
c) assemble connectors (so that we can feed a pick&place machine 
with complete connectors)

We *might* be successful to find a connector that uses the same 
contact springs so we *might* be able to skip step a) (by dissolving 
the plastics in Acetone and collecting the springs).

Comment 12 by Joerg Reisenweber, Dec 24, 2013

---- quote digikey ----
Digi-Key Part Number    5000246471-ND 0.4 BTB REC HSG 64CKT looks correct
5000276441-ND - 0.4 B/B PLUG 64CKT
5000246491-ND - 0.4 B/B REC HSG 64CKT (!!!)

Digi-Key Part Number    5000246491-ND 0.4 B/B REC HSG 64CKT looks correct too
5000246471-ND - 0.4 BTB REC HSG 64CKT  (!!!)
5000276491-ND - 0.4B/B PLUG HSG HI-RETN 64CKT
5000276441-ND - 0.4 B/B PLUG 64CKT

Digi-Key Part Number    5000276491-ND 0.4B/B PLUG HSG HI-RETN 64CKT  
high-retention-force but PLUG

Digi-Key Part Number    5000276441-ND 0.4 B/B PLUG 64CKT also PLUG
5000246491-ND - 0.4 B/B REC HSG 64CKT
5000246471-ND - 0.4 BTB REC HSG 64CKT
---- end quote ----

we NEED either of
(99% certain)
which one is "high ret force" and mates to what is pretty 

*TODO*: find *one* single sample of a device or component that  is 
KNOWN to be either of the both Molex above, to make 100% certain we 
are talking about the right component.

European suppliers might be a better deal than those alibaba scam.

If we can NOT source any original ones of these components, there 
are companies that can build them to order, for sure for horrible 
pricetag. Up to 10EUR per device might be "no problem", 
starting at maybe 50EUR per device it must be considered a 
showstopper killing the project.

Alternative: find used connectors in devices we can recycle (N900?)

Alternative-2 was to build a new flex ribbon FPC cable with a Neo900 
specific display connector, but that seems to only move the problem 
away from mainboard towards LCD connector plus other parts on the 
FPC like camera, ALS etc, which probably are not much easier to 
source. Plus this would need customers of swap board to also 
disassemble display half and swap the FPC, a really relatively 
tricky operation. So I think we can rule out alternative-2.

Comment 13 by Yves Martin, Dec 28, 2013

Sorry for such a naive question, but is there really no chance some 
pieces are left sleeping in a R&D lab ?
Have you already tried to reach such a potential 
"invidual" owner: twitter, g+, or a mobile hardware 
specific worldwide forum ?

Comment 14 by Nikolaus Schaller, Dec 28, 2013

We do not need "some pieces" from an R&D lab, but at 
least 250 (or even 1000 pieces) for series production. This means 
they are stores properly and come i.e. in a format (plastic tape on 
a reel) that a pick&place machine can handle it.
Getting some connectors for our lab is just removing them from a 
broken N900. This would suffice our prototyping needs, but not the 
final mass production.
But there are some ideas in the pipeline (thanks to some useful 
hints from the community) to be worked on after New Year.

Comment 15 by Yves Martin, Jan 1, 2014

OK. I just thought it may be worth to query world-wide in case an 
half-used tape is getting dust somewhere...

Comment 16 by Joerg Reisenweber, Jan 1, 2014

please watch out for S/N in tracker! thanks!

Comment 17 by E, Jan 6, 2014

I came across these trying to find an unrelated obsolete part and 
entered the Molex part #5000246491. lists a 
distributor ( having 20000, or manually 
searching the site for 5000246471 shows another source claiming to 
have nearly 600 of them. 
(there seems to be a few of these part search powered 
sites - this one had more results). Shows sources with >10000, 
787, 110.

Perhaps some of them really have the connectors.

Comment 18 by Nikolaus Schaller, Jan 7, 2014

It looks as if Xmas and New Year holidays are over and we got some 
quotations today. It appears that we finally have identified 
remaining stock (thanks to some of the recommendations by you) - but 
still have to secure it for us :)

Comment 19 by aaron bourgeois, Oct 28, 2014

You can actually find what you need here:

Comment 20 by Joerg Reisenweber, Oct 28, 2014

components secured, closing ticket
Status: Fixed

Created: 9 years 11 months ago by Nikolaus Schaller

Updated: 9 years 1 month ago

Status: Fixed

Followed by: 5 persons