-1
\$\begingroup\$

I think everyone has encountered this problem:

A device does not work anymore properly until you find out by coincidence a position in which it still works. For example my USB microphone has a faulty connection until I lift the cable slightly...then it works again.

I have now always assumed that it is a problem with solder joints and the repositioning reconnects the device. The problem is: After I bought a soldering kit some time ago (it is out of order, by the way :( ) I opened the microphone and was surprised that everything looked fine. The solder joints look solid and the cable itself did not show any marks or bends. Electrons should be kind of disinterested how the form of a cable or a connection is, so I am a bit confounded.

I suspect this question is a duplicate, but I did not find anything in this way.

What exactly are those problems which cause that devices/cables work only in specific positions (from most frequent to least frequent) and how can I fix them?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Questions which can have multiple answers don't really fit the stack exchange model, which is for things which have a definitive answer. Responses are likely to include connection problems like hairline cracks, and various forms of coupled interference, but it will all be only speculation, and invitations to speculation don't really fit here. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Jul 11 '17 at 3:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You can't fix them, and its probably not worth your time. You might be able to solder a brand new cable on it. After years of trying to repair headphones and mics, just get a new pair. Spend the 4 hours or so you would have spent fixing them (and probably failing ) and go out and hold an advert for pizza or taxes or something on a street corner, its better use of your time. \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Jul 11 '17 at 4:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @laptop2d This is quite sobering, but if you say that from experience \$\endgroup\$ – Thorsten S. Jul 11 '17 at 19:10
1
\$\begingroup\$

This is a common occurrence in cables which are old and well used, as they go bad. The center conductor can become frayed or broken at a spot inside the jacket, and moving the cable around can make or break the connection.

This often happens at the connector, but doesn't have to. You may also find the foil, or ground of the cable intermittently making contact with the center conductor, creating a short.

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

USB Mics , like earphones have poor strain relief using ultraflexible wire and the relief often results in broken strands of 44 AWG thinner than human hair. Use a DMM to measure continuity and check for microcracks in the board joints.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.