Headpone jack problem

Discussion in 'Vizio Tablets' started by Pjay, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Pjay

    Pjay Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post, and I have a problem. Please bear with me as this may be somewhat involved.

    I was watching a movie with headphones attached when the tablet slipped out of my hands (I was standing up at the time). When the tablet reached the end of the headphone cable, instead of the cable pulling out of the unit, the headphone jack was pulled completely off the circuit board and halfway out of the case. The tablet did not hit the floor. I removed the jack the rest of the way and snapped the case back together. Everything works, except - obviously - the speakers and the microphone - the jack contains internal connections which are engaged when headpones are not in use.

    I purchased my VTAB in mid-November 2011 and it is still under warranty. After calls to Vizio tech support I was told that this was not covered under warranty. I have an electronics assembly background, and I would like to point out that the headphone jack was surface mounted to the board at only 3 small points (one @ 1.2mm and two @ .8mm), and appears to be the same type used in most cell phones. There was no obvious evidence of adhesive or other mechanical means of attachement. If this had been a cell phone, there would not have been any problem, but the VTAB weighs in at almost 1 1/2 pounds! That creates quite a bit of force when it reaches the end of the "rope"

    Vizio would not repair or replace the unit, but only offered me a re-certified tablet for $100. Currently there are none available and I would be placed on a waiting list.

    Now as I see it I have the following options:

    Pay the $100 (I'm on SS and can't afford that)

    Attempt to repair the unit myself (I have decent soldering skills) but Vizio would not supply any technical help or diagrams.

    Live with it - this would be acceptable if the VTAB supported a Blutooth headset (Bluetooth headphones work just fine, but I'm not able to use the microphone)

    Any comments? advice? suggestions?

    Thanks in advance

    UPDATE: On closer examination of the jack, there appears to be more than the 3 points of contact I originally mentioned. I believe there are a total of 5 points - two of which were sheared off, not just detached (sigh).... repair is looking like less of an option... here is a photo

    $VTAB1008 headphone jack.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  2. sora72

    sora72 Member

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    Do you have a set of bluetooth headphones with an integrated microphone?
     
  3. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ouch. If you have the skills to do it repair is probably the best option. Just don't rush it and think it all over first. Worst case is you still don't have a functioning jack.
     
  4. jhig1961

    jhig1961 Member

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    If you do the repair please post photos.

    Sent from my VTAB1008 using Android Tablet Forum
     
  5. Pjay

    Pjay Member

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    @sora72 - Yes, but the VTAB only recognizes them as headphones, not a headset. Probably for the same reason that a standard headset (with mic) won't work either - not supported.
     
  6. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you see on the jack if it supports a mic or just stereo? There will be an extra segment (3 rings) if supports a mic.
     
  7. Pjay

    Pjay Member

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    @J515OP - Upon closer inspection - under magnification and with a meter, the jack does appear to support 3 connections (stereo + mic). This would also explain why the built-in microphone no longer works - the jack includes integral contacts that are normally closed when headphones are not being used - without the jack on the motherboard those connections are now open.

    I was not able to verify that a stereo headset (with mic) works before the accident as the only headset I have has separate headphone and microphone plugs.

    I have two different Bluetooth headsets, and both of them are only recognized as headphones, hence no microphone function.

    Could someone verify whether or not microphone functions work with a standard headset?

    Thanks
     
  8. Pjay

    Pjay Member

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    :cool: It works! :D:D:D:D boy am I happy!

    Here's what I did - since the jack is surface mounted there is really no way to re-attach it by conventional means. I used my dremel tool with the smallest grinding tip to remove some of the plastic on the sides of the jack in order to expose enough of the contact material to allow access with the soldering tip:
    (sorry the photos are out of focus - I got as close as I could)

    $100_1388.JPG

    Then I cleaned up the pads on the circuit board, removing the excess solder:

    $100_1385.JPG

    Two of the surface mount contact points on the jack were sheared off, so I used a very small piece of tinned stranded wire to create a bridge and allow solder flow. Then I replaced the jack and with the tip of the solder iron flowed fresh solder to all the contacts:

    $100_1391.JPG $100_1394.JPG

    I think the hardest part was getting the case open and then re-attaching those tiny ribbon cable connectors.

    I haven't tried using plug-in headphones yet, but both speakers and the microphone are working again.
     
  9. Nimble1

    Nimble1 Member

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    Great..now just be careful with it!!...LOL
     
  10. ffighter643

    ffighter643 Member

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    Would you be willing to share how you got the case open
     
  11. Pjay

    Pjay Member

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    First, I don't recommend opening or attempting to open the tablet. You will not find it easy to do, and doing so runs the very real risk of (1) Voiding your warranty (2) Damaging the unit (3) You most likely WILL damage the case - cuts, scratches, gouges, etc. I am quite sure Vizio has very specialized tools/fixtures for doing this safely, but I have no idea what they are.

    Second, I can only explain what worked for me, with some observations & tips. This may not be the best or only way to go.
    Be warned, I now have several small scratches/gouges on the side of my tablet at the seam

    PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK! I am not responsible for any damage you do to your tablet.

    Use common sense, steady hands, and lots of patience - padded anti-static work area - PROTECT THE SCREEN!- excellent lighting and magnification
    non-metallic tools (thumbnails - plastic tuning tool or manicurist's orange stick)
    make sure the unit is off, and be careful not to bump the power switch while handling - (I did - several times, and had to wait for it to boot and then power down again)
    start on the long side opposite the volume control
    run your thumbnail or something similar along the seam and try to find a spot where you can begin to tease the case open.
    gently and gradually work a larger tool into the area and along the seam till you can get the case apart, leaving a tool inserted at the starting point to prevent the case from snapping shut as you work your way around the case. Insert the tools into the case only as far as necessary to keep the seam open - no further! Take extra care around the speakers, connectors, switches, etc.
    when you have gone all around the tablet, don't try to just pull the cover off. You need to carefully disconnect the ribbon cable connectors before opening the unit all the way. The display cable is taped down, and will require a little more effort to disconnect.

    When putting back together, make sure all the connectors are properly seated before snapping the unit shut.
    Again, DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!

    See this post and study the photos of the open Vizio:
    http://www.androidtablets.net/forum/vizio-tablets/32219-vizio-missing-micro-sd-card-disassembly.html
     
  12. Glenrick

    Glenrick Member

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    How did you open the vtab?
     
  13. ohd

    ohd Member

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    I also sustained damage to the headphone jack (& attached internal circuit board) of my VTAB. After doing a futile runaround with Vizio technical "support", I decided that the only way I was going to rectify the situation was to do it myself.

    As for opening the thing up... it's not all that difficult IF you have the correct tools with which to do it. Years ago, I had to replace the internal battery pack in my iPod & I purchased a kit which included the battery and several plastic levers which are shaped in a way that let the user (with a bit of effort) separate the two halves of the enclosure. I still have the aforementioned levers, so I figured they'd be perfect for prying the VTAB open. That turned out to be just the case: of course, reasonable care must be taken, but the best part is that these plastic levers won't leave so much as a single visible mark on the cabinet.

    Anyhow... I got inside. I was crossing my fingers that it was just a cold solder joint or something equally benign, but was disappointing to find that (as mentioned above), the audio PCB was affected by the inadvertent torquing of the jack. Having bought my tablet at Costco, I discovered that they only cover electronics for 90 days & Vizio denied any responsibility claiming the the unit suffered user damage. "Fine" I said... but then I asked Vizio "how much will it cost me to have it repaired?", their answer was (literally) "We don't know. We don't fix them, we just replace them". Of course, that only applies to "in-service" repairs & I honestly got the impression that the possibility of having to do out-of-warranty repairs to one of their devices never occurred to them! I flat-out implied that they intend for their products to be disposable (I don't think they appreciated that too much).

    By sheer serendipitous luck, the next day I came across an eBay auction for a VTAB with a busted screen, but was 100% new in ever other respect (it was just a week old, but apparently the guy's child dropped and broke it). It cost me $50.00, but was well worth it to have a working VTAB once again (as well as a wealth of spare parts for future needs.

    The surgery worked & my VTAB8001 is back to normal. And (as a bonus) I've got a complete "cadaver" unit to get parts from as I need them (I'm especially happy to have the spare battery since I understand that those are nauseatingly expensive if purchased on the after-market.

    So to get back to the original point of this post; get your hands on a set of the levers intended for opening iPods... they work like a charm.


    Brian
     
  14. Spider

    Spider Administrator Staff Member

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    @ Brian Since that battery will probably be stored for a long time, This might be helpful:

    Guidelines for prolonging Li-ion battery life


    • Unlike NiCad batteries, lithium-ion batteries should be charged early and often. However, if they are not used for a longer time, they should be brought to a charge level of around 40%. Lithium-ion batteries should never be "deep-cycled" like NiCd batteries.
    • Li-ion batteries should be kept cool. Ideally they are stored in a refrigerator. Aging will take its toll much faster at high temperatures. The high temperatures found in cars cause lithium-ion batteries to degrade rapidly.
    • Lithium-ion batteries should never be depleted to empty (0%).

    From this article: Scoop on lithium ion batteries
     

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