Introduction: How to Repair a Broken Speaker Jack Terminal on a Guitar Cabinent.
For sometime now, my fellow guitarist in our band has been complaining about his speaker jack. So one night while at our rehearsal space, I decided to take a look at it. When I took it out i discovered that a couple of the terminals were broken off. I assume from years of being knocked around and subjected to tremendous vibrations from the music we play. After looking at it for a little bit, and realizing I had no viable replacement, I came up with a quick solution.
Step 1: Tools Needed.
needle nose pliers
some thin copper wire
some standard gauge electrical solid core copper wire
Step 2: Locate the Problem Area
Its kind of hard to see, but there is a small terminal that is broken off, so It won't stay in the circuit board.
Step 3: Bend the Remaining Terminals
Using needle nose pliers, slowly twist remaining metal ninety degrees. Be careful not to twist too much so that the metal won't stress and break.
Loop the thin copper wire around the newly bent terminal and lightly twist.
Step 5: Cut Your "replacement" Terminal
Using wire cutters, cut pieces of solid core copper electrical wire. The kind you would find in your standard house wiring. I cut these around 1/2 and inch.
Insert your wire in between the bent terminal and push down through the looped thin wire. I was very careful to not to touch any of the internal parts of the jack , so as not to cause any shorts. Sorry for the blurry image... I was using my camera phone.
Step 7: Twist
Using needle nose pliers, gently twist the thin wire to tighten the hold on the thicker wire. I really only used this as a way to stabilize the thick wire while I soldered it in place.
Step 8: Clip the Excess
Using wire cutters, clip the excess thin wire and then bend it around the terminal.
Step 9: Solder
Now for the fun part. But first a word of caution. To anyone that is not familiar with soldering irons....they get very hot. So BE CAREFUL. Also, electronic solder contains lead. So wash your hands after soldering. You've been warned.
I wasn't able to get a good picture of the soldering action because I don't have enough hands, but, basically you need to get a good bead of solder all the way around the thick wire and broken terminal. This will ensure that you have a good electronic connection, as well as strength for this piece of wire to act as a new lead.
To anyone new to soldering...it helps to clean the parts if possible, and to thoroughly heat the metal that you're wanting the solder to stick to. If you just melt the solder with the iron and drip it onto the copper, you're not accomplishing anything. The heated copper will cause the solder to flow around it and make a strong bond when it cools. It really takes a lot of practice to get good at soldering components. What I usually do is hold the iron to the metal that I want to solder, and kind of move it around until the whole wire is heated. Then I melt some solder onto it, without removing the iron, and then just move the iron around a bit until the solder flows freely and evenly around the wire.
If you end up with a big lump of solder hanging down, just heat it back up and suck it off with a de-soldering bulb or wick. It doesn't take a tremendous amount of solder to hold electronic wiring in place, and most times less is more.
Step 10: Finished Product
In this step, I'm just showing what a proper soldered terminal should look like. note that the entire cavity around the thick wire is filled in.
Step 11: Put It Back In
Now that I have a solid, sturdy terminal again, I am able to put the jack back into place on its circuit board. Solder it all up, and put it all back together.
Step 12: Screw It In
Now that I have fixed the speaker jacks, time to put it all back where it belongs. Rock On!
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