Step 7: Attach Ground Wire to Ground Tabs

Picture of Attach Ground Wire to Ground Tabs
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1) Locate the ground tab on your audio jacks. This is the one that connects to the metal barrel on the jack, and is usually closest to the case when the jack is installed.

2) Attach the bare 22 gauge solid wire to the ground tab of the single output jack first and solder.

3) After soldering the first jack, replace it into its hole and determine where to make bend/attach the wire to the ground tab on the next jack.

4) Solder the next jack, and so on, until all the ground tabs are attached and soldered.

Hint: I like to wrap the wire around the tab and crimp with the needle-nose pliers before soldering.

Note: Do not worry about the bare copper ground wire touching the case, they are meant to be connected together

ghg25 years ago
noob question: did you cut any tab of the input jacks ? because it has 5 in step 1 and only 3 now ...
richfiddler11 (author)  ghg25 years ago

You're absolutely right, good eyes!

I bought a pile of these jacks from ebay, and they have the extra feature of a normally closed (NC) switch in both the left and right channels that opens when the plug is inserted -- this adds 2 extra tabs.

This type of jack is used in devices where the speakers get shut off when the headphones are plugged in and it saves the manufacturer the cost of an extra switch. It's a nice feature if you need it, but for this application the built-in switches are totally unnecessary.

In fact, the extra tabs just get in the way so I (very carefully) figured out which ones I didn't need and snipped them flush.

Since there's more than enough detail for most folks to absorb here, I didn't really want to confuse anyone by going into that particular discussion.

But it's a good question and shows you have an eye for detail!

tackdetack5 years ago
 Just out of curiosity (might be a noob question) What if I were not using an altoids tin for my casing. Would there be a problem using a plastic casing in regards to the ground wire?