RGB panels and wear issues: losing pixels and losing solder joints in the back on flexible panels

In order not to spam https://github.com/hzeller/rpi-rgb-led-matrix/issues/823 with non relevant content, I thought I’d make a new thread here.

There are 2 issues, on P2 panels, pixels are so small that they fall off easily, especially in the corners.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008O9YIV6 is supposed to be a waterproof coating, I’m not sure how well it works as a surface glue that doesn’t impact visibility yet, nor have I gotten the right applicator for it yet either.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009GXMJG is supposed to be better for that job, but not sure how much it will impact visibility and reflections.

Problem #2 for flexible panels (my main use) is that the chips in the back eventually get some feet cracked of desoldered or the trace on the board breaks (no idea which one, I’ve never seen the actual damage). Pushing on the back of the board makes the problem go away until the pressure is removed.
Usually I lose a half column of one color, once I lost a whole square, I think I’ve also lost lines depending on which connection is lost.
This is quite annoying as I have to replace the panels when this happens as I’m not suitably equipped to find the problem and fix them.
This also makes me weary of ever upgrading to 128x64 flexible panels that @Louis pointed me to (although they were P2.5 when I need P2) as they’ll likely be even more brittle.
I think I might settle for non flexible panels if they were as flat as possible (without the thick frame around them) and had enough self support not to bend/break without the frame.

Suggestions/ideas welcome :slight_smile:

No real suggestions yet, other than in general it seems like these panels shouldn’t be handled that often, especially around bare LEDs, and shouldn’t be repeatedly flexed. It seems like they need some kind of protection/structural layer added when used as a wearable.

I didn’t understand your application for the adhesive in the original thread, but I do now. If the LEDs were glued together, they may be able to withstand more handling without breaking solder joints. Good idea, I hope to see your results in the future.

Not sure if it’s of any use, but “puzzle glue”, meant to be applied to the front of a finished jigsaw puzzle - holding the pieces together by filling in the spaces, without affecting the image of the puzzle - came to mind when thinking about this issue.

So, the glue is also because the P2 pixels just fall off the board if you look at them wrong. People with P2 panels routinely lose pixels on the edges of the board, I received one where they fell off from the board during shipping.
I was thinking about glueing them all in place, even on a non flexible board, to avoid them from falling off.
What do you think?