Headphone adapter broken off in my macbook.
August 18, 2009 4:53 AM   Subscribe

My dog broke off a headphone adapter in my macbook. How do I get it out?

The very tip of a 1/8 inch TRS male adaptor is stuck in my computer and I need it out. The jack is too small for any tweezers I can find. Any brilliant ideas?
posted by ryaninoakland to Technology (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can disassemble it and see if it can be pushed out from the inside, but your best bet might be to take it to an authorized repair place and see what they can do. Mucking with the connector might loosen it from the mainboard, which you definitely do not want to do.
posted by caution live frogs at 4:57 AM on August 18, 2009

This is a pretty common question posted to ask mefi. You can search "headphones" to see the other threads, but I think that this one has the best answers.
posted by helios at 4:59 AM on August 18, 2009

Have you called a jeweler / watchman / eyeglassery? Often they will have really small tools.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:16 AM on August 18, 2009

Yeah, I'd read the post that helios mentioned. Tons of ideas there, although the poster never did say what ended up working!
posted by orme at 6:50 AM on August 18, 2009

I'd second the Jeweler idea. I am one (Point Reyes Jeweler, if you're in the area). We're clever as doing little jobs like that. Needlenose pliers, tiny tweezers and screwdrivers. Those tools may be all you need, although with that tip way down there, caution live frogs probably has the right idea: computer repair person.
posted by davoid at 8:22 AM on August 18, 2009

I fix Macs for a living. While you don't say what kind of Macbook is effected, it can have a bearing on the total cost. Worst case? You're looking at a stock logic board cost TBD based on model. That's the by the book, official line. As a 3rd party-repairer (who's listed as an Apple Authorized Service Provider), I've had luck Macguyvering a solution with paper clip, superglue and a steady hand. You can't really push it out from the back, as the jack has additional components for the SPDIF/digital audio out. I'd expect a min charge to reflect the cost of removing/replacing the logic board.
posted by now i'm piste at 10:14 AM on August 18, 2009

posted by now i'm piste at 10:15 AM on August 18, 2009

I just did this repair on a Macbook Pro at the shop where I am employed. The jack is sealed and shielded from the back and therefore inaccessible from inside the machine. I found that I could fit two very very small standard ('flathead') screwdrivers in and use them like pliers. They were Wiha branded, if it matters. Hopefully there is a little tableau of metal sticking out enough for you to get some purchase. A little leverage on either side of that tableau will allow you to work it out. Good luck!
posted by tmt at 6:26 PM on August 18, 2009

When this happened to me, I was able to screw in the broken bit--turns out it wasn't broken off, just that the tip had come unthreaded. Look at yours; if there are threads on it, the piece inside will match them and if you rotate the jack it'll reattach and you can pull the extra bit out easily.
posted by bink at 8:54 PM on August 18, 2009

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