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Zen Micro MP3 - Cold Solder On Headphone Jack

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Apr 12, 2007.

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  1. Guest

    Hi. I have a Zen Micro MP3 player that has developed a cold solder
    joint around the headphone jack (and possiblly also the USB jack). I
    have read in other forums that this cold solder problem is notorious
    for this particular player. The warranty is past due. The only
    "official" options seems to be sending it to Creative to pay them to
    put it back in the condition that it started out in (weak and ready to
    break again). There are guides online about how to open the unit and
    repair it, but I have no experience soldering.

    I took it apart, looked at the solder joints under my microscope, and
    saw many crack and fissures along the "feet" where the headphone jack
    and USB jack meet the circuit board. I was thinking about getting a
    small soldering iron, practicing a few times on some old junk around
    the house, and then just adding a little solder on top of the existing
    "feet" to try and restore a little conductivity and strenghthen the
    joint a little. Then maybe go all the way around it with some epoxy to
    further strengthen the whole thing?

    I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on what a newb like me
    should keep in mind. And if nothing else, at least this post can serve
    as a warning to people about the poor quality of this product's
    design.

    There is a good site with pictures showing exactly what I am talking
    about.
    http://www.noboundrees.com/micro_fix/
     
  2. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    It won't be very difficult to fix especially if you already have it apart !

    I wouldn't be one bit surprised if the problem is due to the use of lead-free
    solder in manufacture.

    Do use solder using lead for the repair. It's far more reliable.

    Graham
     
  3. Guest

    I wouldn't be one bit surprised if the problem is due to the use of lead-free
    I'll keep that in mind, thanks.

    The 4 attachment points for both jacks are very thin. The guy that did
    the repair job in the link that I provided added quite a bit more
    solder as was already there. I emailed him last night and he said that
    his player is still working today (at least 2 years later). He said he
    did not add any epoxy, just solder. I think I will add some epoxy
    around the edges of the jack housings when I'm done adding solder,
    just to add some extra strength and make sure this never happens again.
     
  4. I've done this repair on my player, using plain old 60-40 solder.
    Only caveat, buy an iron with a very long thin tip, otherwise you
    can't get it where it needs to go. I'd be cautious about the epoxy;
    if you do the soldering correctly you won't need it.
     
  5. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    You may regret that if you need to solder it again though.

    I'd advise you try without epoxy first.

    Graham
     
  6. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest


    I fixed one of these a few months ago, all you have to do is heat up the
    joint and flow in a bit of fresh rosin core solder. Takes about 5
    minutes and should be well within the range of a beginner, I do
    recommend practicing on something first if you've never soldered though.
     
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