Category Archives: Gadgets

Extracting Broken Headphone Jack

Headphone Jack 002The HTC8125 (Wizard) brought another adventure (see previous adventure).  This time around the cradle that we use for charging managed to break off a piece inside the headphone jack.  This cradle is also a speaker so in addition to a charging plug, there is also a headphone plug that inserts into the phone.  Unfortunately, Lori (now the proud owner of my old smartphone) has had some difficulty docking the phone into the cradle.  Unbeknownst to her, the headphone plug broke this morning as she grabbed the phone and headed to Lubbock.

She realized there was a problem when the only sound the phone would make was when it rang.  It would not make any noises and she could not talk to anyone over the phone.  Luckily, she could still communicate with the world through text messaging, so I knew that she wasn’t laying in a ditch somewhere unable to speak when she called me.

We diagnosed the problem when she got home:

How to removed a broken headphone plug from the headphone jack?

Solution:  Cut a piece of a straw about 1 1/2 inches long, then cut it length wise in half.  It is important to note that the phone jack is not a standard headphone plug, but smaller so if you are attempting to use this technique to extract a plug in your mp3 player or other phone, you may need to use more of the straw than just half.  Also, if you use this technique, I take no responsibility for the outcome.  It worked for us, but try it at your own risk.

Now, roll up the straw and insert into the jack to protect the internal parts from the super glue.  Take a tooth pick and douse it in super glue and insert into the jack.  I actually tried this whole technique a couple of times and didn’t get it to work until I used a significant amount of super glue.  Once inserted, I allowed it to set and yanked it out.  Ouila!!

Headphone Jack 001      

EXTRACTED!!  Woohoo!  It now works like a charm.

Fixing my HTC 8125

image I’m going to post a few things here that the vast majority, if not entirety, of the readers of this blog will not care about.  Nevertheless, one the reasons I post to this thing is to document my adventures in technology.  As I often say to people when giving them computer advice or programming, I know enough to know what should be able to be done "under the hood" of your CPU but in most cases I don’t know exactly how to do it.  That’s where my buddy, my pal, Google steps in.  After all, I am a confirmed "Google Master" with mad orienteering skills.

Problem:  WiFi on my HTC (Cingular) 8125 phone stopped working.  When you enter the Comm Manager and attempted to activate the wireless, the "I’m thinking" icon would spin away for about 15 seconds and then the Wifi would remain disabled. 

Attempts at solving the problem:

  1. A number of soft resets were attempted, to no avail.
  2. Not recalling how to perform a hard reset, I attempted to remove the battery and plug it back in.  This is when I discovered a new problem: The battery panel would not come off.  Tugging, pulling, prying. It wouldn’t budge.  I managed at one point to get my thumbnail under the plastic edge, slicing through the skin connecting my nail to my thumb.  Finally, loosening the edge and peeling it back, it was free.  Some of the label of the batter had turned up and adhered to the back of the battery panel.  All that for nothing, because removing the battery did nothing.
  3. Under Settings, Clear Storage is an option to do a full reset of the phone, which I did.  This still did not help.

What to do, what to do?  Off to Google:

  1. I found one forum entry describing exactly my situation ( but there was not solution and in fact, the author decided he was ready to buy a new phone after several respondents were unable to help:
    POSTED BY ahniedc
  2. I had for a few months, my wifi up and running, and was able to connect to my home airport. one day, wifi disappeared. i go to comm manager and choose wifi, get the spinning circle, but it won’t turn on.

    ROM version WWE
    ROM date 5/11/06
    Radio version 02.25.11
    Protocol version
    ExtROM version
    Windows Mobile 5, 5.1.195, build 14928.2.2.0

    Even going to Wifi Settings from comm manager doesn’t let me do a thing, and setting up my connections, can’t see wifi.

    I’ve done several soft resets, and with no luck, did a hard reset. I can activesynch to my exchange via GPRS fine.

    Also, have a 1 GB mini SD card, and phone won’t recognize its there. are the two related? is my phone end of life?

  3. I recalled using a registry editor to modify settings to disable GPRS permanently, since I had no use for it and it wouldn’t turn off with just software.  I figured there might be a setting I could use to bring the wifi back to life.  Alas, I got lucky and, this time, with no help from the web, I managed to get the wifi back up and working.

DISCLAIMER: I take no responsibility for any "mess" created if someone uses the following steps to fix a similar problem. Anyway, this worked for me.

  • Download and run Mobile Registry Editor (make sure your phone is connected)
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Comm/TNETWLN1/Parms/
  • Change the DWord values for the following items all to 1:
    • HTCResumeWifiAfterReset
    • HTCPreloadWifi
    • HTCPreloadStatus
      (I’ll be honest, I don’t know which one fixed my problem but I’m not about to undo them now, in fear of breaking it again)
  • Ouila! 

NOTE: I also went back and disable GPRS as before.  Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Comm/ConnMgr/Providers/{7C4B7A38-5FF7-4bc1-80F6-5DA7870BB1AA}/Connections.  On both Cingular GPRS and My ISP GPRS, change Enabled to 0.

All I can say is WOOHOO!! (and my thumb still hurts)

Thumb Thing: The Spoon Sisters – Great Gifts Opening Everywhere



Thumb Thing

If you like to read, here’s “Thumb Thing” you must have! Simply put the Thumb Thing on your thumb and pick up a book; the two wings will hold the pages open more easily than if you just used your hand, making reading more comfortable. Ideal for reading in bed, in the bath or at the beach. Since it allows you to read with one hand, it’s great for commuters, especially if they have to read standing up. When you are finished reading, place the Thumb Thing in the top of the book as a book mark. Comes in (thumb hole) size: small (1/2”), medium (5/8”), large (6/8”) and extra-large (7/8”). Small Thumb Thing should fit fingers with ring sizes of 3 to 6.5, Medium Thumb Thing – ring sizes 7 to 8.5, Large Thumb Thing – ring sizes 9 to 11.5 and Extra-Large Thumb Thing – ring sizes 12 and up. Assorted colors – let us choose the color for you.

Thumb Thing: The Spoon Sisters – Great Gifts Opening Everywhere

Cool Calendar 2

In the last couple weeks I posted a link to a nifty little calendar that you can print and have all the months of the year on the front and back of a business card sized print out.  Using your thumbs you hide part of the card to reveal the desired month.  It was pretty creative but thanks to a comment on that page by my father-in-law, I’ve seen something even cooler.  How about a 40 to 50 year calendar in your pocket:image

For under 5 bucks you can purchase one of these gadgets from Klockit, the world’s leading supplier to clockmakers for over 35 years.

Apparently, I now have some sort of calendar fetish.  I am now on the lookout for as many nifty calendar gadgets as I can find.