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

Brenton Ross rossb at fwi.net.au
Sat Dec 8 12:25:26 UTC 2018

On Sat, 2018-12-08 at 18:31 +1100, Kim Holburn via linux wrote:
> 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 HolburnIT Network & Security ConsultantT: +61 2 61402408  M:
> +61 404072753mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburnskype://kholburn
> - PGP Public Key on request 
A few of thoughts:1. I would not use super glue as you could end up
with something else rather well stuck in there.2. Given that it doesn't
just fall out it would appear to be wedged
behind the contact mechanism. Can you use a sewing needle or similar to
open the mechanism ?3. Get a thin rod of thermo-setting plastic and
warm the end until it becomes sticky. (3D printer filament)4. You might
be able to snare it with a wire spiral - a suitable sized spring.

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