I am assuming you are referring to the ethernet cable (cat. 5) If that is to much of a pain get a firewire cable, cut the casing off and use the internal wire. As far as a soldering iron goes, just take the tip and file it down until you get the right size, don't forget to re-tin the tip after filing.
Loc: Stoughton, WI USA
What the ribbon cable allows is to have wires come from one board to another in a very narrow passage. If your mod will not have a narrow passage, just take wires from one board to the other. Remove the ribbon cable if you can. If your mod still requires a narrow space, then work with it, but if not go with straight wire, and no splicing required.
It should not be too hard, and I would suggest getting a 'solder sucker' that is meant to remove solder. Well, technically it's called a Vacuum Desoldering tool. Kind of looks like a syringe that you point at it and when you hit a button, pulls the hot solder into it. It's like $8 at Radio Shack. It will make removing the cable and ZIF connectors pretty easy. The part number is 64-2098 if you need it.
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