[clug] how to get a foreign object out of a headphone socket

Kim Holburn kim.holburn at gmail.com
Sat Dec 8 07:31:34 UTC 2018

I went to plug in a headphone jack into my laptop today and it wouldn't go all the way in.  There's something in there.  I try various ways to look in the hole.  It requires a very small light.  I thought it might be a bit of a headphone jack broken off, but no, it's a dessicant bead.  Good and bad I suppose.  I was thinking of some very fine pliers or forceps but I don't have them.  It's a sphere so maybe I can use suction.  I found a spray can with one of those little tubes.  The tube just fits in the headphone socket.  I put the tube in and suck on it, I can feel when it attaches to the bead but I can't seem to generate the suction needed to get it right out past the electrodes.  I try general suction with my vacuum cleaner but that doesn't work.  I think modern headphone sockets are sealed.   I have a needle tool with a very fine hook and with the light, I can see the bead rotating when I push it with the needle, but can't pull it out.  

I have thought of trying to crush the dessicant bead and using my vacuum cleaner but I'm not sure how much force it would take to crush it.  I wouldn't want to damage the socket or force the bead into the inside of the laptop.

Any ideas?  

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
T: +61 2 61402408  M: +61 404072753
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request 

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