12-20-2009 10:26 AM
How to repair a Sansa View headphone jack problem
I bought a refurbished Sansa View 8gb a while back for $60 at a local computer superstore and
it came with a 60 day warranty and a 30 day return policy from the store. I liked the View better
than the Fuze and Clip they had for similar prices because of the larger screen. At the time I didn't
know that Sandisk was phasing out support for the View in favor of the newer players, or about the
problems others have had with the View.
About the second day I had the player, I noticed that the headphones were not playing both
channels properly, and if I jiggled the plug it got a lot louder. I could lay it down and it would play
okay for a while and then one channel would cut out at random. After some research I found that
others have had the same problem. I tried to return it but somehow I had lost the cardboard sleeve
which describes the product and contains the skew, and they couldn't return it. They would have
let me swap it with another one and use it's sleeve to return the original unit, but they sold out of
them and never got any more in. I figure I was pretty much out 60 bucks at that point, so I went
back online for more research. I found a guy on this forum who had taken one apart, so using
his instructions (with a few modifications), I took mine apart, found the bad solder joints, and fixed
them. Here's how:
1. Use a pin or sharp penknife to pry out the tiny black rubber plug which covers the one screw
you have to remove to open the case; it's located to the right of the usb jack (facing front of
player). Put the plug and the screws you'll remove later in a small tupperware container so
you don't lose them.
2. Remove the screw, using a very small phillips head from an eyeglass repair kit or a good set
of precision screwdrivers.
3. The bottom right corner should now be loose; pull the plastic top cover away from the metal
base there and slowly work your thumbnail around the case counter-clockwise, seperating
the case as you go. You may need to use a tiny flat head to press on the clear plastic tabs
which become visible as you move along the split line. Take your time so you don't break
any tabs. Finally you'll come to the last tab, in the lower left corner by the headphone jack.
This is where I had my only problem. Other blogs say that you have to pry a lever over to
release this tab; I found that nothing seemed to release it, and after several minutes of
gentle prying I snapped something and it came loose. I think it was super-glued in place!
4. I didn't remove the tiny ribbon cable that connects the thumbwheel to the board, as it's very
hard to re-install these things, so just flip the cover out of the way to get to the display and
pc board screws. There are 2 tiny black screws holding the display in; remove them and
gently pry it loose, again leaving the ribbon cable attached
5. Now you can see the battery; pull it out of it's recess and disconnect the tiny 3 wire con-
nector and set it aside.
6. Now move the cover so you can see the 3 tiny black screws holding the pc board; remove
them (the last one is hard to see; it's in the corner right by the headphone jack). Gently pry
up the board (the slider for the power switch pops right off the switch). You should now be
looking at the empty metal case, and the display, pc board, and plastic front cover should
all be loose but still connected by the two ribbon cables. In the tupperware container you
should have 1 tiny black plug, 1 tiny silver screw, 5 tiny black screws, the switch slider,
and the battery.
7. I now inspected the solder joints of the headphone jack, and it was very obvious that 2 of
the tabs were loose, presumably due to not enough solder on them. I heated up a small
flathead precision screwdriver with a mini-torch and used it and some very fine electronic
solder to solder them securely. After close inspection of the other joints I decided to leave
them alone as they looked okay.
8. I now plugged in the battery and booted it up to test it before I re-assembled it. Both
channels were playing now, though I still heard some static when rotating the plug. I fig-
ured this was normal in my experience with small electronics, so I assembled the player
and tried it out more extensively, using headphones and a patch cord to my receiver. It
now worked better, but still had some issues with good plug contact. Now at least I can
lay it down and it will play both channels indefinitely. I think the problem is related to the
low quality of the jack.
9. I'm going to use it at work for a while with my powered speaker system and see how it
works out. In the future I'll try cleaning the jack with electronic cleaner, and if that doesn't
help I may go back in and try some more soldering or bending the contacts inside the jack.
Worst case I may have to find a new, high quality jack and solder it in, hoping I don't fry
anything from the heat.
So the whole repair only took an hour (not including research). I now have the confidence to
fix whatever may go wrong in the future. I could swap out the battery in 10 minutes, and I
hear they're only about $20, so I could keep this thing going for years. I went from a $60
brick to a machine that might last a long time. I wouldn't recommend buying a Sansa View,
but if you already own one I sincerely hope that this information helps...
Solved! Go to Solution.
12-20-2009 02:55 PM
While you are in there, fill the area under the jack with RTV. The circuit board is notched for the jack to protrude through. This is poor design that causes the board to flex too much and will crack the solder or board traces. The jacks should be mounted on top of the board with no cutouts. Filling the the void under the jack area will stiffen the structure more. The View and C200s are plagued with jack problems because of this poor design (as are many other players).
8GB Blue FUZE w/The Original DIY Lineout Cable and AT Button H-Phones Fitted To AT WM5 Headband:All Custom Built
12-22-2009 04:32 PM
Here's an update on my ongoing Sansa View headphone jack problems. I tried it out on my powered speaker system at work,
and still won't consistently play both channels, so I went in again and soldered all 6 solder joints on the jack. I then plugged everything together and powered up to test the jack. Same problem as before, so I played around with bending the contacts
and maybe made it a little better, but it still cuts out whenever you move the plug. BTW; the connector for the screen came loose while I was wrestling with the jumble of components, as did a small circuit board under the main board - no problem, both snapped right back in place. What I need for this thing is a new jack, hopefully one with better contacts. I think I'll email Sandisk and see if they'll send me one; maybe they are now using better ones. If anyone on this forum knows where to get parts like these, let me know. I've had no luck finding a compatible jack online.
12-30-2009 04:29 PM
Another update on the headphone jack problem - after emailing Sandisk support I received a reply witin 48 hours; however, the reply basically said "We don't fix anything or have parts for anything, so we suggest you buy a NEW view (since "everybody knows that refurbished units never work as well as new ones") and then you will have a warranty". And presumably will need one! So don't expect a lot of help there. Apparently whenever they receive a damaged unit they simply replace it with a new one; makes me wonder how much these things actually COST Sandisk to make. My new plan is to solder in the end of a headphone extension cord and leave just an inch of wire hanging outside the case thru the original jack hole.
Not the optimal solution, but possibly workable and definitely better than using it for a paper weight. I'll let ya'll know how it works out.
12-31-2009 07:03 AM
Much less than the man-hours to diagnose a problem and fix it. The majority of electronics are that way today.
Come to think of it, it's not only electronics that get replaced, rather than fixed when broken. Have you been in a fender-bender in the last 20 years or so and taken your car to a body shop? Even the parts that are metal and could be hammered out (the panel/fender/hood,trunk deck lid, etc.) aren't, they are simply replaced. It's cheaper.
Likewise the stereo/sound system in a car. If your factory deck goes out, or the CD or tape player messes up or quits working, can you get it fixed? No, you have to buy a new after-market one that may get you music again, but because it's not original equipment, lowers the car's value at re-sale time.
Unfortunately, that's just the way it is now.
01-02-2010 07:17 PM
This is my latest update to my ongoing headphone jack problem. The View is now fixed; albeit with a slightly modified
appearance. It now sports an inch-and-a-quarter long molded headphone jack hanging out where the original jack used to reside. You may laugh now, but not for too long, 'cause this thing plays perfect now! The repair is also rugged enough to
use it as a portable device (carry in your pocket or whatever) without worrying too much about snatching the wires loose.
Here's how I did it:
After disassembly, I desoldered the old jack, prying gently one corner at a time, until all 6 solder joints were loose. The
2 front and 2 rear tabs are on wrap-around metal clips that can be removed seperately. The old jack just pops out of it's
slot in the board. Earlier I had purchased a 3.5mm headphone extension (with volume control, $8.99, p/n 4202559) from Radio Shack, just because it was the smallest molded jack in the store. They had another one for $2.49 that was just the jack but it was twice as large, so I spent the extra bucks because it has to fit in the original hole. I now clipped it off and stripped the wires, leaving only an inch of wire on the new jack. I then soldered the 3 wires in their appropriate places, as
follows; looking at the top of the board, with the on/off switch facing you, you have 6 contacts laid out like this;
: : : the 2 middle ones are the left and right positive, the top left one is the common(ground) for both channels. The others are only for securing the jack to the board. After securely soldering the wires I simply put it all back together; the ribs on the molded strain relief nested perfectly in the original hole in the case, so it won't easily pull out but still retains some flexibility. The only problem I see is that the case doesn't stay quite snapped down in that corner anymore, but that could easily be remedied by a tiny drop of super glue. Which I'll do later if it seems like the case is in danger of seperating
or if the wire pulls out. I also considered filling the area with hot melt glue, but that might make a future repair more difficult. I think super glue will be best, and can still be opened up again if you use only a microdot of glue.
So after all this pain and suffering I finally have a player I can use, maybe for years to come. Total cost:
Refurbished Sansa View 8GB ..........................................$60.00
Radioshack 3.5mm ext. p/n 4202559 .................................$9.00
Duracell Micro SD card 8GB ............................................$20.00
Of course, I could have bought a brand new 16GB View for that price, with a year warranty! Okay, NOW you can laugh,
as long as you want! But hold on a minute, wouldn't I just have the same problem with the new one, a week or a month
after buying it? Then I could send it to Sandisk for RMA and after paying for shipping and waiting maybe a month for it to come back, I'd have another new View to manhandle. So a year later, after my 3rd or 4th replacement, the warranty would expire, and I'd have to do the above repair on it to keep it working, having had the use of the thing for only 6 months of the first year, what with sending it back so many times! So maybe my way is okay; at least I'm using it fulltime now, and I'll NEVER have to send it anywhere.
The moral of this story is: Don't cheap out if you want a decent PMP - spend the $150-200 to get a Samsung P3 or a
Cowon S3; they both have excellent sound and video and can play DivX files up to 800 x 600 without converting, have touch screens, and customizable menus, not to mention larger screens. If you just need to play music, there are myriad
cheap players that are simple and almost indestructable and if you lose or break them will be a much cheaper lesson than
the one I learned.
01-08-2010 09:20 AM
I have no reason to open my wife's View, still working well after a year and a half. But assume you are talking about that 3.5 mm PCB mounted phone jack on your view. Is SanDisk making a custom jack for this application? These have been around for years on just about anything, Walkmans, CD players, various audio equipment. Couldn't you have found a similiar one from a broken one of these? Sure have plenty of that old stuff laying around here I could pull a jack from. Yeah, they are crap from the beginning, just tiny tabs to make the barrel, center or end terminal contacts. Either corroded or bend, yours must be broken off or maybe some dog or cat hair got on the inside.
Tabs can be cleaned or bend back, but just a tad as the unit of measurement, too much and you will break them off when the plug is inserted. Just seems like there would be a neater way to repair that jack. But I will cross that bridge if I ever come to it. Was going to open it to learn about the battery, but will wait until it goes bad. After my wife to charge it everynight, lithium-ion does not like full discharges, greatly shortens the life. Even got her that player thing where she just has to drop it in the holder for charging. The other major problem is getting the thing wet, even with sweaty hands where the salt in your sweat augments corrosion. You won't find gold plated contacts in any of this stuff.
01-08-2010 09:04 PM
Another update on this repair - I was playing around with the various menus and decided to try the radio again. I got nothing but static, even on normally strong stations, and I immediately realized that when I replaced the headphone jack, I lost the connection to the common wire which allows the headphone wire to act as an antenna. Had I thought about it when I had the case open, it's simply a matter of soldering in a short jumper wire to the antenna trace on the board. Now, I'd have to pry the case apart(where it's super-glued in the corner) and remove the hot melt glue I used around the wires and jack to secure them. Myself, I rarely listen to FM anymore and probably won't miss it, so unless there is another pressing reason to open it up, I'll live with it. I love my View, even though it's now a mutant...or maybe that's why I love it! Now if I could only afford those Koss Porta-Pro headphones I've been reading about...