Introduction: Breathe New Life Into Old Headphones
Runner Up in the
Fix & Repair Contest
I found this sweet set of Alpha Electronics vintage headphones at a garage sale today for $1.00. I couldn't say no to this awesome old school style! Unfortunately, they were in slightly rough shape and since they are so old (I would guess early 70s), they used the 1/4" male audio jack which most of today's audio listening equipment doesn't use anymore. I knew with a bit of slight modifications and a little TLC, I could bring these old headphones back from the dead!
What you'll need:
-Female 3.5mm stereo audio jack
-Male to male 3.5mm stereo audio cable
-A rubber grommet
-An audio source
-Soldering iron and solder
-Helping hands (not necessary, but they make things a bit easier)
-Varsol (paint thinner/mineral spirits) and paper towel for cleaning
Here we go!
Step 1: Cleaning
The first thing I did was put a bit of Varsol on a paper towel and wipe down the entire set of headphones to get all of the dirt and grime off of them. They were pretty dirty, but actually came out pretty nice after some serious scrubbing.
Step 2: Remove Speaker Cover and Cut Old Cable
Now just get some scissors or wire cutters and snip the old 1/4" jack and cable off as close to the headphones as possible.
Next, remove the earphone cover on the same side as the original cable went into.
Step 3: Solder on Female Jack
Now, get your female 3.5mm jack and solder the three wires you just cut to the three terminals of the jack. In my case, the wires were already properly colour coded (red=right, white=left, black=ground). Just strip a bit of the jacket off of the end of the wires and solder them to the terminals.
Step 4: Prepare Grommet and Secure Jack
In my case, I had to cut the grommet in half because the threads of the 3.5mm jack weren't long enough to go all the way through the full grommet. I simply cut mine in half with scissors.
After your grommet is ready, hold it on the outside of the earphone body and feed the threads of the 3.5mm jack through from the inside. Then screw on the end piece of the 3.5mm jack to hold everything together.
Step 5: Glue
Now, mix up some epoxy glue and glue the rear of the 3.5mm female jack in place just to keep it from moving when you plug and unplug the male cable.
Step 6: Ear Cover Repair
One of my earpiece covers had a couple of small tears in it, so I cut a couple of pieces of electrical tape and patched them from the inside.
Step 7: Reattach Ear Cover
Now, just carefully stretch the ear cover back over the headphone.
Step 8: Done!
Now, plug your audio source into your restored headphones via your male to male aux cable and blast some tunes! The one downside to using these massive headphones with a battery powered audio source is that they will probably drain the battery much faster than earbuds or other small headphones, but they look so cool!
I hope you enjoyed this Instructable!
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