Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mic repair

Recently my microphone (indispensable for making Skype calls) started to annoy people I phoned with crackling noises, so today I pulled it apart to see why:

Who the fuck wired this up? Godzilla?

Here's your problem! Short-circuits lead to no-good sound quality. So I desoldered  the electret microphone, hunted down a bit of shrink-tubing and then started to resolder it. Word of advice: Think before you start soldering, or else you'll find that you forgot to thread on a crucial piece, and have to start over again. Not that this happened to me, obviously.

Always store some isopropanol right next to hot soldering irons. Makes your life more interesting.

 I used a C-clamp as a temporary third hand, because some #$%@#^! colleague  had stolen mine.

Hot soldering action

If you don't have a hot air blower, use the soldering iron to shrink the shrink-tubing. It'll stink a bit, but it works just fine.


Here is the finished piece. put some shrink-tubing over the lower part of the mic to stabilise the whole thing a bit. That's how it should have been done in the first place, goddamit. That'll teach me to buy cheap microphones...

Good as new


  1. It amazes me the caliber of work some people perform. The original looked terrible. Smart to use shrink tubing.

  2. I have a hard time finding mic that works properly without paying an awful lot. I wish I knew how to do that sort of thing.

  3. @Stephanie: Oh, I use shrink-tubing for everything, especially since I have a near-unlimited supply at the university, ahem. Not that I'd use that for private projects!

    @Marilynne: Just buy a cheapish soldering iron and have at it! If worst comes to worst, you can always use it to burn decorative patterns into wood...