Universal Buttons Deep Dive

It's really hard making instructions when there are so many different makes, models, scenarios, designs, etc... that the product can be used in.

What is ButtonWorx? Unless you have no idea what you purchased then you probably already know what ButtonWorx™ is. 

What to consider Old video where I describe how to use individual buttons

Fixing a Tire Balancer Customer made video showing how he used individual buttons to repair a tire machine. You can see how it's not too important which size button you use in some circumstances 


If you are having trouble removing the brown paper - Use A Pin!


Stuck Down Buttons

  • Buttons are shorted out
  • No buttons work after install
  • Buttons activate too easily or by themselves

There is a vey thin spacer keeping the black conductive dot from touching the contacts on the circuit board. If the buttons are not installed correctly or the design of the circuit board is raised more than typical then the black material may touch all the time or activate too easily. If a button is touching all the time that will usually lock up the entire keypad because the device believes you are holding a button down and can't see signals from other buttons. 

Gold plated (brass color) forked contacts are always really thin and work well with standard ButtonWorx™ 

Old equipment (and even some newer devices) use copper traces covered in a black carbon coating. This coating is usually not a problem but if the design used a thick layer of the stuff it can add enough height to cause problems with ButtonWorx™

The use of a thick black coating isn't too common these days. But if you are fixing something made in the 70's or 80's you could run into this issue. 

If your buttons are stuck down all the time that could mean the spacer is not deep enough to hold the conductive material up above the button contacts. All is not lost! We just need to make a thicker spacer.

This is showing two simple added spacers with the advantage of insulating the surrounding ground.

That silver border around each button is bare solder and goes to ground on the circuit. The black conductive pad on ButtonWorx™ cannot be allowed to touch that silver outline border. 

The black forked pads are the two halves of the switch. There are two tiny silver dots, one connected to each half of the switch. The little dots are part of the switch so are not a problem but the border is a problem. If the black can touch the border and the switch at the same time it can cause unpredictable results and none of them likely good.   

Buttons Too Hard To Press?

If your buttons are too difficult to press after installing ButtonWorx™ then you probably have some feature adding height to the spacer. Some devices have a clear or white film with holes cut out for the buttons. This film may reflect backlighting or provide electrical insulation. Also some rubber keypads have a long reach and thin weak plungers that provide little pressure strength.

If you have the room, you can try a larger ButtonWorx™ button. (A larger button will flex easier than a small one)

You can make ButtonWorx™ even more sensitive to presses  by adding a slit that will allow the buttons more flexibility.

Cut it with a razor knife (be careful!)


Cut it almost in half with a good pair of scissors

Buttons with slits need to be aligned properly! The black material needs to come in contact with both halves of the switch contact. When there is a slit cut the black pad is essentially broken into two separate pads.

Here are examples of how you would align the slit in a button you have cut.

It may help to imagine you have removed half of the black material after you have cut it and to see where the half that remains would touch the forked contacts when pressed down.

Of course if you try making a slit and it makes the button even worse you can try rotating it 45 degrees and see if that might help.