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Support The ol' problem with the earphone jack...

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Twunt, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Twunt

    Twunt Lurker
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    My LG Ally finally fell to the problem with the 3.5mm jack getting stuck. I was well aware of the problem because I had read about it bunches of times before and figured I could fix it. Strange, it happened even though I have never used the 3.5mm once, since I have some nice bluetooth stereo earphones. If you're not aware; this phone has a problem where you will lose all media/call audio because the earphone jack can tend to get stuck, so it will act as if earphones are plugged in whether they are or not.

    First I cleaned out the jack with a blast of compressed air. A little bit of debris came out, but not much. That didn't help. Then I tried a q-tip with a bit of rubbing alcohol in there. It came out pretty dirty, but didn't fix the problem. Next I tried a dab of deoxit on a q-tip, and even that didn't help. Next I tried taking off the back of the phone. After finding out the hard way that a bunch of the hardware is just sitting loose loose in there, I concluded there's no good access to the 3.5mm for me to get in and deal with the problem. So where do I go from here?

    I thought perhaps dropping a blob of solder down in there would reconnect the two contacts that I think aren't springing back together properly. It would render the 3.5mm useless but I never use it so that's no big deal. However, I suspect it would just melt the plastic and would likely leak into the phone before it solidified, probably ruining it.

    I took apart the phone as much as I can, and there doesn't seem to be any good access to the jack so I can forcefully bend the contacts black into place. There are a few contacts running around the outside of the jack that I thought maybe I could solder together to force the circuit to maintain, but that's a gamble.

    Does anyone else have any ideas?
     

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  2. imnotmikal

    imnotmikal Android Expert
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    Have you by any chance tried something as simple as plugging some headphones in, and then unplugging them?

    It happens to me once, and that fixed it.
     
  3. Twunt

    Twunt Lurker
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    Yup, I've tried that lots. I've tried pretty much every suggestion that google has given me, to no avail.

    In fact, I've plugged earphones in and out so many times that the sound tends to flicker in and out even when earphones are in. I think I wore it out.
     
  4. KingOfGreen

    KingOfGreen Android Expert
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    Maybe this

     
  5. Twunt

    Twunt Lurker
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    I see this "microswitch" thing at the opening to the jack, but I don't see what good it does me. I've poked at it plenty, just in case, but nothing happens.
     
  6. skora

    skora Newbie
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    I had the same thing happen on a Palm Pixi. Couldn't get the sensor to release until plugging in headphones and putting a lot of side torque on the jack when unplugging them. The side load was enough to get them to pop. Its a very poorly designed system. Hope you can get it to work.
     
  7. Twunt

    Twunt Lurker
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    Yeah, I felt very silly trying this, and I poked my earphones in there in and out, in and out, in and out, for about an hour. I penetrated into and withdrew from that jack with my earphones in about every permutation of angle, torque, speed, force and rotation than you can imagine. It was enough to make my wife blush.
     
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  8. jwish

    jwish Newbie
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    I've had the same problem about 10 times. My fix has always been what you tried, plugging in and removing the headset repeatedly. But I always start an audio app first. I think the problem is more software related than hardware and you have to convince the software that there really is no headset installed. That's why I think I helps to have an audio app running while you simulate rough headset jack sex.

    (I'm not sure if I've ever used those words in the same sentence)
     
  9. Twunt

    Twunt Lurker
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    I've given up hope of that working for me. I've railed that jack until my Ally wept tears of joy.
     
  10. skora

    skora Newbie
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    What a way to start the day, this made me laugh. Thanks for the smile.
     
  11. Twunt

    Twunt Lurker
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    I attempted a somewhat off the wall solution, but it didn't work. I found an old, cheap wired hands free set did some adaptations to see if I could attach it to my phone so I could use it like a regular phone, albeit silly looking. I was pretty confident that it might work, but I just ended up with a hacked up mass of wire and a lot of duct tape residue on my phone.
     
  12. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
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    Try putting some of the Deoxit on a headphone jack plug and working that into the jack a few times. That has fixed this problem for me 3 times now. Hopefully nothing is damaged in there. I think the real issue is that dust/dirt particles get lodged between the contacts that close when a plug is removed. If you carry the phone in your pocket like I do this seems likely.
     
  13. STeVe7320

    STeVe7320 Well-Known Member
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    I actually had this problem, but it was a result of a coffee spill... phone acted like it had headphones inserted. I just blew out the jack thoroughly, problem solved
     
  14. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
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    This issue just recurred again for me, and I wanted to mention that it caused the actual Speaker "button" on the phone's screen, when receiving or placing a call, to not respond to a tap.

    The reason is logical if you think about it. If you were to plug a headset into the Ally, that same button would be disabled. It can't go to speakerphone when there is a headset in use. So by those contacts within the jack not closing (due to a dust particle) and making contact, the Ally 'thinks' the headset is still plugged in, and disables that button. I verified the dirty jack by starting a music player program and could not hear the track I was playing. A shot of compressed air into the jack fixed the entire issue, and now the speaker button works again.

    What is interesting to me is that this almost always happens shortly after I have had a cable plugged into that jack (to play music through a stereo). One would think removing the cable plug would actually work somewhat like "cleaning", but for me it allows dirt to get between the set of contacts which normally close when nothing is in the jack.

    IMHO, these headphone jacks definitely need covers! I've had this problem on every phone or PDA I have used which did not have a jack cover. Some people I know have made their own false plugs out of non-conductive material to cover the hole when not in use. I am considering doing that too. But the problem of likely losing a non-tethered jack cover when it is removed has kept me from doing it. I use the jack every morning when playing music, so I don't want to cover it with something more permanent, like tape.
     
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