“En papillote” technical way to repair broken connector

There it is the famous “En papillote” technical way to repair some broken connector. Thanks to Jérôme for teaching me this little trick that makes it possible to remake almost any screwed-up cable. You’ll need some equipment for that, but nothing very complicated.

  • Heat-shrinkable tubing.
  • A stick of glue for a pistol
  • A soldering iron.
  • A cutter.
  • A lighter

Principe is simple. We completely remove the plug from the plastic protection. This could work with RCA, jack and for this example it’s a micro USB plug. As you can see on picture, on wire of my old cable is completely disconnected and the other one is almost disconnected (a few thin copper wire)

Once you have extracted you connector from the original plastic you can de-solder your old wires from your connector. It was probably soldered with ROHS tin. So I highly suggest you to clean the old connector with de-soldering braid and add a few new tin. This new thin will not be oxidized and this will be much easier to solder. You have the choice to re-solder your new cable now or you can read the next part.

So, next you cut small part of heat-shrinkable tube. Be careful often heat-shrinkable tube haver to be pass before you solder the cable. Now thing gona be precise so read carefully. You will heat a small part of your tube. Just enough to fix it on the cable. I suggest you to use a lighter.

Once you tube is shrunk on about 5mm you can start to take your pistol glue stick and cut it in very small parts. Small enough to put them inside the previously shrunk tube. Your tube have to be full ! Once it is well stuffed you can gently slide your shrinker tube with all small part of glue until it cover all the connector who was under plastic.

After that, you can shrink the tube, but it is important to start heat from the connector side. This way your connector is “En papillote”. You let the connector side of your tube cool down. And after that you can heat all of the middle part. This way glue can’t go outside of your tube but will melt inside and surround your connector. You have a few seconds to give all this thing a correct shape.

After all cooled down. You can add one more shrink tube on all of your previous art work. With a little practice you’ll be able to rebuild any connector with this technic. No matter the size or the shape. This is pretty strong and not so ugly. The last picture is the same connector I repaired for this post but about 1 year and half later and other connector I made with this technic but without glue stick. For DC connector I don’t user glue stick cause them are strong enough and all of them work like a charm !

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