Flat Flex Cables & Pinouts


I’m writing to see if anyone has had experience working with flat flex cabling common in mobile phones. I have a camera module from a Sony Xperia Z1 that I’m hoping to interface with, however I’m not certain of the connector it uses. Ideally I’d like to build a pinout for the cable, but would like to understand the connector first. Thanks for any information about this type of cable.


..here is another photo of the connector in question.

I would be interested in hearing about anything you find out. I have lots of cell phone cameras and would like to integrate them into future robotics projects. I have considered this a problem because the camera element probably doesn't do much processing by itself. You can pickup replacement cell phone cameras (just the CCD and ribbon, for a couple of bucks a piece! I think this price says it all. 99% of the cost of the camera is in the processing (both hardware and software) that happens after the light hits the CCD.

I found this link that describes CSI (Camera Serial Interface): http://mipi.org/specifications/camera-interface

And this link shows a Raspberry Pi using a CSI camera. He offers a bit of wise advice at the end. "I would have to say that it was not worth spending so much time and effort to make my homemade camera. The experience of reverse engineering and hacking something was interesting though." http://www.petervis.com/Raspberry_PI/Raspberry_Pi_CSI/Raspberry_Pi_CSI_Camera_Module.html

If you find a way to easily interface with these tiny camera components, I am sure the open-source community would be eternally in your debt!


Yes, it will be interesting to see if this will be possible. The etching on the ribbon is very fine, and I'm not confident soldering will be possible. There are boards with pinouts, but I have yet to find one with this type of socket.

I have the sensor datasheet and have confirmed with Sony that the CSI/MIPI lines are 1:1 with the socket, so it's down to the cable now. I'll keep you posted.

Cheers, Mark