Headphone Jack Snapped In DJ Mixer

This article originally authored by Adam, and published online via his previous business Soundpond.net. Post-sale Soundpond’s new owners decided to do away with most of the existing online content comprising of near 500 articles, so some has been saved and republished here from historical backups.

Headphone jack snapped off in the mixer? Say the worst has happened, what do you do? Can you get that little bugger out without completely disassembling the mixer? What if it happens at a gig? I’ve got a ghettotech solution that works.

Problem : Headphone jack snapped in mixer

Solution : You’re going to get it out.

You’ll need :  Lighter. Paperclip or needle. That’s it.

So, here’s a normal and healthy headphone jack.  See the black rings? They separate the jack into 3 different electrical contacts. The black rings are electrically isolating plastic that prevents shorting between them. This type of connector is generally referred to as “TRS”, or “Tip / Ring / Sleeve”.  In headphones, there’s a contact for the left speaker, the right speaker, and a common ground for each.

Step 1 : So,  you forgot your headphones were still plugged in when you walked away, and after clotheslining yourself you realise the jack’s snapped off.  Most times, it’ll snap at a weak point…and the weak point is that plastic.  So maybe just the first bit is all thats left at the end of your headphone lead, which is exactly what happened to one of our poor show hosts.  Pictured below is all that was left!

Step 2 : So you look into the mixer, and all you can see is a ring of black plastic down the bottom. It’ll look something like this (below).  It’ll be pretty hard to see, buried down in the hole, and almost impossible to get at (even with needle nosed pliers).

Step 3 : Get your paperclip.  Strip vinyl from the end, leaving enough covering to hold and insulate yourself a bit from heat.

 Step 4: Take your lighter and heat the metal tip until it’s red hot.  Then quickly reach down into the hole, and push the red hot end firmly against that black plastic in the jack, which should melt a bit. Once the tip’s melted into the plastic, blow down the hole to cool it down, or just leave it a minute.  The plastic will solidify around the metal.  Then all you need to do is gently lift the remnants out.  If it gets caught up, gently wiggle it.  Careful!  The bond won’t be too strong. You could also flip the mixer to get some free help from gravity, if that’s practical in your situation.

…and bob’s your uncle.

This article originally authored by Adam, and published online via his previous business Soundpond.net. Post-sale Soundpond’s new owners decided to do away with most of the existing online content comprising of near 500 articles, so some has been saved and republished here from historical backups.

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