When electronics don’t bounce

This is an post from the olden days – read more about them here.

Now the story about dropped electronics…


My sister dropped her 20Gb Creative MP3 player the other day and the audio had stopped working (although the screen was still working luckily)
This is the second time I have had to fix it – I was the one who dropped it the last time.[at least I was able to fix it]

The inside of it is all surface-mount components [TRANSLATION – so bloody small they are never intended to be handled by human hands, only robots] That time a little bit of solder fixed it up, and it all worked fine…

Pulling apart a Creative MP3 player

This time, it turns out that the drop sheared the headphone jack from the circuit board, and as a consequence it also ripped off two surface-mount capacitors. All of the parts which came off the board, also took the copper circuit board tracks off as well [this is a BAD THING ┢]

Because these tracks were missing, I had nowhere to connect the parts back onto. I was able to get audio by probing around the board – at least some of the tracks were still there. The right headphone channel was less damaged, I threw away the capacitor away and put a wire link between two pads on the board – HALF DONE…

Now for the second channel – it had been damaged much worse. I found a track that was carrying the left channel, and could listen to it through a probe touching it. The spot was less than 1mm-square!

I attempted to attach a wire to it, but could not. I bought some fancy-arse paint (that has real silver in it so it conducts electricity) but that didn’t work either. I could have removed the display to access different contacts but that would increase my chances of screwing things up even more…

So – time for a bodge job – I just hooked the dud left channel to the working right one. However, I did make sure to encase the headphone jack in hot glue to avoid it coming off for the THIRD time… Now it only works in mono.

Both my sister and I can hear the difference, I guess my ears are too good. Maybe I should sell it to some fool who listens to badly encoded 96kpbs MP3’s… [they would never tell the difference]

However, the rechargeable battery should die soon, an it costs a bit. The hard drive inside is a 2.5in 20Gb laptop drive worth $100 or so – all I need is a $30 case, and I have a portable drive to put a full operating system on for uni. Pity about having to destroy a $400 MP3 player to get it though…


Now the camera – even more expensive… I had it in my jacket pocket as I looked into my bag, when SLIP – it fell out.

Right onto the concrete – no shock absorption here… The camera has an alloy metal case, so it got pretty bent up and scratched (especially in the top corner near the shutter button) I bent it back into place, and turned it on.

The screen was black! [eg – it was NOT working]

Then I realised I had pushed the button that turns the screen off – RELIEF! Took a photo, and it worked fine. When I got home I pulled it all apart, to straighten the case out properly.

All turned out fine other than a few scratches…

Liked it? Take a second to support Marcus Wong on Patreon!
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “When electronics don’t bounce”

  1. Miranda says:

    I didn\’t drop it!!! The Poltigiest did it *rolls eyes*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *