Introduction: Increase HF Wireless Headphone Reception
This instructable is going to help you improve a very cheap pair of wireless head phones from HF. HF Item# 60351
Step 1: Reception Was Substandard at Best Out of the Box.
OK lets open it up and check out the inside. Why not? 8.99$ what do I have to loose. I bought these to listen to youtube at night and not disturb those that sleep. My PC is hooked up to a stereo system and even at low volumes watching youtube videos (especially the videos that have added music or back ground music that is way too loud (stop it people MTV does not play music any more so your not going to get a job offer)) it is unpredictable from one video to the next how loud it will be. I was not really surprised when I opened the transmitter to see the circuitry involved. What a waste of plastic.
Step 2: Lets Find the Antenna.
It is common to see the antenna printed on the board. It is also common to see the antenna incorporated into the sound circuit (input/output). Remember the "Walkman" you could get better reception from moving your headphones around. In the picture you can see the wiggly maze looking traces on the board. This is our antenna. This is attached to the negative in from the RCA/3.5 mm jacks.
Step 3: Soldering in an Antenna
I was looking for a piece of wire I could solder onto the imprinted antenna and ran across an old XM radio antenna in my junk box. Hey why not. I had no plan to use this again. To me XM radio is like cable without an actual cord to cut. We have many more options now that are cheaper. So I cut the cord and stripped back the insulation. I cut back the shielded wire (braided outer wire). This leaves you with an inner wire that is very delicate. My quick and dirty go to for stripping wire is a lighter. Well this wire is so delicate it will melt and burn off with the insulation around it. I left some of the inner wire exposed and placed some heat shrink on the wire leading back to the antenna. I shrunk this with a lighter carefully. I then used my DSS (RadioShack not sure of the model but it is the best iron I have ever owned). set at 600F to melt back the insulation on the inner wire. After that I tinned the wire. I am not a fan of using my iron to melt through plastic but getting out and using my drill in the middle of the night was out of the question. Remember I mentioned those that sleep. So I melted an antenna hole in the top. I pushed the wire through and soldered the end of the antenna to the board at the antenna connection point.
Step 4: Wrapping Things Up.
I carefully placed the board back into its original position then I wrapped the wire around one of the plastic stand offs at the top of the unit. Finally snapping the two halves back together as this unit has no screws. Just plastic clips around the outer shell.
Step 5: Conclusion and Testing.
Before this fix the headphones picked up noise from everything to the point it felt like a waste if 8.99$. The static was miserable. Now I do not hear any static while stationary. I will pick up static in one spot in the room. I cannot speculate what this is without further testing but I will find it. I have a lot of electronics in my house so it could be anything. The sound on the headphones is very good to me. Not THX quality but these are less than 9$. They are not the most comfortable (I have been listening to music writing this entire Instructable) I wear glasses so my ears could take a break from pushing them against my head. I have visited this site for years and figured I would contribute something and maybe encourage someone else to do the same. Q/A me if need be.