OT: Headphone jack gets only mono

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The OP lost track somewhere in the first two or three posts, if not before the thread even began.

The OP has been so incoherent, and so self-contradictory, that nothing is clear and nothing has been established.
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<stuff snipped>

Micky, Micky, Micky. Do you think that anyone with the skills to repair said jack is going to need technical input from HB? (-: I doubt it, so the discussion of tangs, prongs, tips, rings, etc. isn't likely to be very useful in solving the problem. But it *is* very likely to confuse the living heck out of someone that's not technically inclined.
That's why I've been pushing the external headphone amp solution. It's clear that the TV sound signal makes it through to the Harmon Kardon and the speakers correctly. For me, that is pretty much conclusive evidence that the HK needs to be bypassed because internally, the signal is NOT making it to both sides of the headphones - for whatever reason.
Did HB miss something testing out all the interconnections? It's possible, we all do at some time or another. Hell, I've gotten shocked because the plug I unplugged from the workbench power strip didn't actually belong to the unit I was testing. It's the nature of the beast. Shi+ happens.
The overarching concern here (IMO) is to get stereo sounds from the TV to the headphones once again. That becomes a question of what's cheapest and easiest? While I might be tempted to try to fix the HK that's not really an option for someone with no electronics skills. That's why I so stronly feel a small, cheap secondary amplifier to power the headphones is the best course. Especially when compared to a repair of an as-yet undiagnosed problem with the HK's headphone jack. The jack could have mechanical damage or there could be a problem with any part of the circuitry that feeds the audio signal to the headphone.
On some units the speakers are silenced when a headphone plug is inserted. On most of the Sony units I have, the switching is done by a knob and on one very high-priced Sony unit it's accomplished by relay switching so that the speakers can be switched from A or B to A&B or to headphones via the remote. I believe that some Sony receivers power the headphones all the time and others only when the switch is set on "headphones." I mention that just to illustrate we really don't have a lot of information about how this particular receiver handles headphone output - as Greg mentioned it could be done more than one way internally.
So we just don't know *what's* wrong with the HK headphone output. And we DO know that HB doesn't have the tools or expertise required to pop the case off and do signal tracing. For any stereo repair place I know of, just cracking the case is going to cost at least $25, maybe more.
That makes bypassing the (most likely) bad jack on the receiver attractive if it can be done for around the same price, especially because that's a closed-end cost estimate. On the other hand, with the open-ended repair, there's no telling how much the repair could cost if it turns out that it's some circuit issue and not just a physically bad jack. In the long run, a small headphone amp will save money on electricity too, since she doesn't have to run the HK when she wants to listen to TV via the headphones. Sounds like a win-win to me.
--
Bobby G.




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<stuff snipped>

It all depends on the design of the jack. If the plug is held securely only at the area of the mounting nut (as most are), then a pull on the cord in one direction will cause the plug body and tip to move in the opposite direction. While most damage is likely to affect the cord entering the plug, a cord with a strong enough strain relief could cause internal damage to the jack. But that really doesn't matter too much. I think we're pretty sure that her headphones work elsewhere but NOT in the HK. So the question is what path to reactivating the headphones is the easiest and cheapest, not divagating around headphone theory in general.

That's ot-nay oo-tay right-bay because you may damage the cord enough to cause a potential arc fault and not know it until you plug the item in again and the house burns down. It's very good advice to pull plugs out by the head, not the tail because damage done may not be immediately obvious and could be very dangerous.

No doubt.
Here's an ASCII illustration of what I was talking about above. The jack mounting sleeve acts as a lever that causes the tip to move into the internals of the jack.
Plug tip \ \ | \ | Jack mounting hole and nut \ \ Cord being yanked to the right

That would be a hard thing to remember. Tripping over it once would be all it takes to illustrate how the plug tip could be rammed into the contacts toward the end of the jack and deform them enough to stop working.

That's normal operation. The jack isn't design to have lateral force on the contacts, the kind that a sharp yank on the cable could cause. Look at a headphone jack. There is only strong support for the plug at the point where the jack attaches to the case. Beyond that contact point, only the slim metal contacts fingers hold it perpendicular to the case front. Well-made jacks have enough "sleeve" to prevent much wiggling, but the tendency to "cost engineer" had probably resulted in newer jacks using less material to keep the plug in straight.
If the jack only holds the plug in position firmly where it mounts to the case, it's very easy for me to imagine that it could bend the contacts far enough away so that they fail to make contact in normal operation. Once again, it's far more likely to damage the headphone cord, but molded strain reliefs are pretty tough and may have absorbed the damaging pull. I've got two portable MP3 players that have suffered exactly the kind of damage HB reports. I know they've been tugged on too hard so I have no trouble believing it's what's happened to her HK, too. The symptoms are exactly as she described. Intermittent stereo (in my case sometimes fixable by wiggling the plug) that eventually becomes one channel only.

I don't think I've ever used long headphone cords *without* that happening at some point. It's just the nature of the beast. It's one reason wireless headphones are so popular. Cords get tangled and tripped over. That's why electric skillets and fryers have magnetically detachable cords - because the outcome of a tripped over fryer cord is predictable and likely to be far worse than damaging a headphone jack.
--
Bobby G.




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On Sunday, June 15, 2014 5:23:33 PM UTC-7, Robert Green wrote:

Hope I don't get my head handed to me for NOT snipping the above analysis o f how plug can be damaged by ****ing the cord connecing HK to headphones.
In answer to several queries, no, I never pulled on cord or hit it or damag ed it or cord in any way. Always inserted adapter in big plus t carefully a nd inserted big plug in jack carefully.
Initially cord from jack to headphones might sway a little over approx 7-8 ft. distance as I moved in bed. As jack deteriorated, I had to mickey-mous e-sway the cord more to keep both channels.
When it got to only one channel (except for the occasional brief crackle fr om the other) I thought as follows: Since I get the brief crackle when plu g is "forced" to the right IN THE JACK, why don't I brace it to keep it tha t way. Unfortunately by then it was too late. I vaguely knew from my frie nd that plug needed to contact walls of jack, but I didn't know about the c ontact points explained here.
Hope that's clear.
I plan to try Bobby G.'s suggestion re: headphones, but first I need to lin e up somebody to supervise. Former neighbor who rigged up sounds to go thr ough HK is not available; he's moved out of town I read everything technical that you guys post with interest, but much of i t is beyond me.
As I wrote earlier, I'm grateful for all the help; maybe it's time to wrap up thread?
HB
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news:09660abc-ae1a-4ec6-957f-
<stuff snipped>
<<I hope I don't get my head handed to me for NOT snipping the above analysis of how plug can be damaged by ****ing the cord connecing HK to headphones.>> That's the beauty of the internet. If someone wants to give you crap, they're able to give you a reason. You snipped too much, you didn't snip enough, you SHOUTED, you didn't use the right access method, or the right sig line or something. My rule is to leave enough to make contextual sense. I would ALWAYS snip out multiple blank lines, rows of:

three or four times to get to the new stuff. Even that's usually excessive. It's why newsreaders thread and Google spends so much programming effort to weed out repeated quotes, especially in the third or fourth generation.
<<In answer to several queries, no, I never pulled on cord or hit it or damaged it or cord in any way. Always inserted adapter in big plus t carefully and inserted big plug in jack carefully.>>
It doesn't have to be repeated stress. Springy material also fails because of metal fatigue. I'm sure many readers here have had to re-bend cheap spring battery contacts until one day they've bent for the last time and snap off.
I just realized why this happened. It sounds like you had an adapter - not sure how long - but if it's a typical one, it added some length to the whole "plug assembly" and the longer the distance of that rigid connection, the more it acts as a lever. For future reference, the adapter type to get is a molded jack on the end of cable with a molded plug. It a) adds no extra strain to the jack and b) relieves strain from the jack by being able to breakaway if the cable is tripped over or tugged on hard. Using this type of adapter (with a little bit of cable between both ends) is really critical when using ultra-mini plugs - the kind found on some cell phones and other very small A/V equipment. Those jacks really die quickly when subjected to the force a long, rigid jack adapter can impart.
<<Initially cord from jack to headphones might sway a little over approx 7-8 ft. distance as I moved in bed. As jack deteriorated, I had to mickey-mouse-sway the cord more to keep both channels. >>
I think that's the answer to this case in a nutshell. Slow but steady swaying stress on the jack. When I previously suggested you brace them, it was more about the headphone plug right where it meets the headphone cable. I have any number of headphones that failed that way. That's usually where the stress occurs. A failed jack is much more unusual, but the "wiggling" cure that last for a while indicates to me that there was a mechanical failure in progress that went to completion. (-"
<<Hope that's clear.>>
I am satisfied that we know what happened and why. Others may be less certain.
<<I plan to try Bobby G.'s suggestion re: headphones, but first I need to line up somebody to supervise. Former neighbor who rigged up sounds to go through HK is not available; he's moved out of town
I read everything technical that you guys post with interest, but much of it is beyond me.
As I wrote earlier, I'm grateful for all the help; maybe it's time to wrap up thread? >>
I'm certain we can direct you remotely on how to hook this up, especially if you're willing to do the parts research and take/post photos when needed. It's pretty simple to tell you exactly what to do once we can see the exact connections you're dealing with (photos or diagrams of the back of your TV and stereo). It's even possible you have some of the cables left over from some other A/V gear.
--
Bobby G.



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You've made your point. Several times now.

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On 6/15/2014 8:40 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

BFSnip
One of two things: Either the cord is somehow damaged and not working, or you have gotten a mono jack mixed up with your stereo jacks. They do make mono jacks for such things as test equipment, metal detectors, and items where stereo is not needed. They are two bucks, or a dime at Salvation army. Go get another. And while you are at it, get another cheap set of headphones. It's one or the other.
Steve
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On Wednesday, June 18, 2014 8:43:26 AM UTC-7, SteveB wrote:

Jack IS stereo and functioned as such until it began to go bad.
Cord is NOT damaged; I tested it on other equipment, along with testing all plugs, adapters and headphones. All are OK.
Tx
HB
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On Sat, 14 Jun 2014 07:40:53 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

Read this again. ---- I should have been clear. I mean reed the sentence above again.

And I didn't say they did. I said the opposite, because that's what you had said.

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"Higgs Boson" wrote in message
Apologies for OT posting. I tried to put this on a high-end audio NG but it never showed up. Since you guys know everything (g), here's the problem:
I had friend run new TV sound through a high-end Harmon Kardon stereo (used but good!). Speakers on new TV were hopeless, and TV had no place for headphone jacks.
I need to watch with headphones because of lousy hearing; need "proximity effect" -- sound close to ear.
This worked OK for a while, but now can only get mono. Have switched around adapters, jacks and headphones; tried them on other audio equipment; problem is with the stereo input (hole).
Was told that stereo comes from jack touching SIDES of input. ???
Dilemma: Can the input be repaired economically?
Hate to buy another stereo which might not even have as good sound.
Any thoughts welcome.
HB
Have you tried a different set of headphones? WW
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On Wednesday, June 11, 2014 10:17:07 PM UTC-7, WW wrote:

Look at the message you replied to. Sigh! I try so hard to set out the whole enchilada, but not everyone reads to the end. Thanks anyway for reply.
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<stuff snipped>
<I had friend run new TV sound through a high-end Harmon Kardon stereo (used but good!). Speakers on new TV were hopeless, and TV had no place for headphone jacks.>
Obviously your friend was able to "pipe" the output audio output of your TV to the audio input of your HK stereo. If we knew a little more about how he did that we could probably bypass the troublesome headphone connector altogether.

problem is with the stereo input (hole).
While it's unusual for the jack to fail before the cord itself, it's certainly possible. There can be foreign material in the jack, it could have suffered physical damage if you didn't "tie down" the headphone cord to relieve the stress of moving around on the jack or there could be trouble in the pathway from the TV to the stereo and not from the jack to the headphones. To proceed further, model number specifics would be helpful as well as information about how the TV connects to the HK. There are several ways it could be done and potential solutions depend on knowing exactly.

http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic 791.0
Scroll down to the picture of a stereo plug to see what people are talking about with tip, ring and sleeve. Be advised that there are often significant differences in the width of those segments and often, the plug has to be "worked around" in the jack to find a spot where the ring segments and the metal fingers in the jack like up correctly. The jack's tiny metal fingers also lose tension sometimes, and don't press against the shaft of the plug well enough to make contact.
Let me be certain of some things. When the headphones are plugged into a totally unrelated stereo source, is there proper stereo sound coming through? Is the plug pencil size or wooden match size (diameter is usually either 1/4" or 1/8" - but sometimes even smaller)? Some earphones, like Apple, have four, not three segments on the plug body. Does proper stereo sound emanate from the stereo's speakers but not through the headphone jack? What happens when you adjust the Left/Right balance - usually a knob or a menu option?

Yes, it's *usually* easy DIY stuff for even a mediocre solderer. But it will probably be cheaper to do some sort of workaround. It would probably be cheaper to get a pair of wireless infrared/RF headphones to connect to the TV than it would to have the HK jack repaired, though. More convenient, too. That's if the TV has RCA-style audio outputs - most wireless headphones have provisions for that type of input or a standard headphone jack.

We're a long way away from that.
--
Bobby G.



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On Wednesday, June 11, 2014 10:27:04 PM UTC-7, Robert Green wrote:

UH-OH!!!!!! Good possibility. Didn't know I was supposed to!!!
or there could be trouble in

AS MENTIONED BELOW, WILL SEND PIC FROM REAL OF STEREO, PLUS MODEL #.

YES

Will check it out & advise -- but note that set-up worked OK for a while, then failed. So your thought about "tie-down" might be on target.

But I don't WANT the TV's mediocre sound; that was the reason for the HK workaround in the first place.
More convenient,

OK, Will RTFM to check that.
WILL ALSO UPLOAD A PIC TO SHOW THE CONNECTIONS MY FRIEND MADE SO TV WOULD PLAY THROUGH STEREO.

Thanks Bobby and others for constructive suggestions.
First, I have to apologize for using wrong/confusing terms. I thought the JACK was what you put it; now I learn it's the PLUG. I was calling JACK "the hole" for want of better term
Second: To repeat: I HAVE switched around plugs, adapters, cords from stereo to headphones; headphones themselves, umpty times. Have also plugged various headphones into other audio equipt. where they work fine. All points to JACK.
Third: (not mentioned earlier): Have to use "adapter" ? to plug headphones into jack; headphone plug is too small. Have also switched these around; no change.
Fourth: IMPORTANT Is there any bad downside to Greg suggestion of liquid cleaner? Or Bob F's suggestion of sandpaper?
I'm learning a LOT & appreciate your help.
HB
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The jack is the socket, or hole, on the receiver. The plug is the stick at the end of the headphone wire. The plug goes into the jack.
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If I understand correctly, it could even be a problem with the size changing adapter that sits between the stereo's full-sized headphone jack and the smaller headphone mini-plug.
--
Bobby G.




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Have you connected speakers to the speaker connection in back of the stereo. Do both channels still work. With some headphone jacks, plugging in the jack turns off the speakers, with others it doesn't. So if nothing from the speakers, turn down the volume and unplug the headphones.
(as an aside if unplugging turns the speakers on, there will be more than 3 wires at the jack. Five, I guess. Not too important.)

You don't need to unscrew a cover on the plug. Just touch the meter probes to right spots on the plug itself and you can read what it says. If you have the headphones on, you should be able to hear a click when you touch the second probe to its intended spot.
It doesnt' matter which probe goes to which place.
Like none says, one probe to the tip of the plug and one to the long sleeve closest to the handle and the meter should read, I'll take J's word for it, 50 ohms. You should also hear a click in your left ear.
Then the middle metal part, called the ring, and the sleeve, the part closest to the handled and it should be the same number of ohms as you got in the first step. Plus a click in your right ear.
And you can also measure from the tip to the ring, which will really be in one earphone, down to the common connector (the sleeve) and back to the other earphone and back to the meter. So that should be the sum of the first two readings.

True, you can't measure this if you can't unscrew the cap, but I doubt it is zero since one channel works. It's probably an open, not a short.

But getting one on, if there is a face plate, might be a problem. If it's the jack, maybe the physical problem can be identified and the jack parts bent to make it work.
Is this a phone plug, 1/4" diameter at the sleeve, or something smaller.

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On 6/12/14, 3:48 PM, micky wrote:

When HB said mono, I thought he meant both phones sounded the same. He said he'd swapped headphones, so the problem must have been in the jack. Testing the phones unplugged would reveal nothing about the jack.
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Yes.
You could try using a non-conductive stick, like the handle of an artists thin paint brush, to push the tangs in, closer to the plug, while wearing the headphones. If you get good sound where there was none, or even static maybe, you've found a tang that needs bending. Take the plug out to bend, and be sure you bend in the right direction. Not a jack but I bent something in the wrong direction once and hard even to get it back where it was, let alone farther. .

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On Thu, 12 Jun 2014 13:36:21 -0400, "Robert Green"

There is one of those? Oh, yeah, he does say adapter.
If that's for size-chaning and it probably is, he should borrow a pair of headphones with the large plug and see how they work, and he should take his headphones with the small plug and plug them in somewhere else and see how they work.
And he should do the same thing USING the adpater. Get another pair of miniphones -- qualitiy doesn't matter. you can buy a pair for a dollar at the dollar store, all that matters if ithere is sound (okay some of them might not even have sound, so check if it works in your mp3 player) and plug that into the adapter into the HK amplifier.
And plug the currently used headphones, with the adapter, into some other thing's jack that it fits and see if that works.
Dont' try using the headphones in something that wants a microphone, like a cell phone. Maybe you can do it that way but it will get too confusing.
(Actually these are the first things OP should do. Someone else mentioned them, i hope. )
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On Thursday, June 12, 2014 1:00:29 PM UTC-7, micky wrote:

Tx. Have done all testing so far with vaious plugs and adapters, because all my headphones require them. Good idea to borrow headphones that don't need adapters, just to rule out.
HB
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