Fixing the headphones on a Nomad Zen Xtra

On a recent road trip to Calgary, I started to notice the left channel of my Nomad Zen Xtra becoming flaky.  Since I use it in my car stereo, my unlucky passenger usually got the duty of contorting the connection wire "just so" in order to let us hear both channels of sound.

Since I already voided my warranty by replacing the hard drive (30gb upgraded to 80gb,) I decided to look into fixing it myself.  I remember hearing about headphone problems on the internet, so I searched and stumbled upon this wonderful how-to guide on fixing the headphone problems.

Well, add another happy customer 🙂

I've got to really emphasize the point of using a wire to solder the left channel back in place. I used a wire approximately 1.5 inches long. Don't try simply re-seating the headphone jack with more solder, you'll give yourself more trouble than you need.

To get familiar with the connection points, first use the wire to bridge the left channel's solder point with the large gold pad at the top of the headphone jack. Play some music while holding the wire in place, and your sound should come back.

Don't feel that the wire needs to go directly from the solder pad to the gold contact. I first laid my wire flat on the PCB, soldering it parallel to the PCB -- running it alongside the headphone jack. That allows for a much stronger join. When that sets, curl the wire back around towards the copper backlight wire, give it a small loop, and then run it parallel to the long edge of the LCD. That gives you nice, easy access to the gold connection point at the top of the headphone jack.

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