The problem: A broken 3.5mm headphone jack on a Dell Mini Netbook. The solution: Fix it with a spare female 3.5mm Jack-RCA cable.
In this situation on any laptop you could probably get an original replacement jack and try to desolder/solder it all back together but good luck. The solder points like most motherboards are tiny and trying to desolder them would be a pain.
Instead, I used an old 3.5mm female jack and soldered it to the existing points. If you need to do something similar, Google for a 3.5mm stereo jack pinout or wiring diagram .
- This was done on a Dell mini netbook PC and you might be able to achieve something similar on other laptops.
- This will also disable the internal speakers as the laptop will always think a headphone jack is plugged in.
Step one: Remove an internal speaker to make room for new jack
The right speaker was taken from its frame and discarded. The wire connecting it chopped. Its a cheap laptop and the internal speakers won’t work after this ‘fix’ anyway (as it will always think the headphones are plugged in).
The space for the new jack was cleared and the new jack soldered onto the points left over from the old one. I bent and removed some of the old contact points to make more room and stop any of them touching accidentally.
Some cutting of the case plastic (not shown) was needed to make the cable fit snugly to the cavity left over from the internal speaker.
A hold was drilled into the side of the cavity to the size of the new jack end. The jack fit well and two smaller holes were drilled into the bottom of the casing to fit a cable tie through. I chose to use a cable tie so it can easily be undone if the motherboard needs to be removed again (for RAM upgrade etc).