Old 02-05-2010, 09:11 AM
Gentle Zen Gentle Zen is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Default Strange Sound Issues

Hello everyone,

I'm sorry to be a typical "I have a problem" first time poster but my 60GB Vision M has been so reliable I've never had to look anything up about it before!

So to tell the story... My Zen was working fine, then one morning I turned it on and the sound was coming through the headphones distorted. To be more specific the songs suddenly sounded like they were of a really poor digital quality or it was like listening to it underwater. This happens with several different sets of working headphones.

I also started having problems with the Zen turning itself off and on or switching to radio with out me touching any buttons, at the same time.

I have just realised while trying to sort the problem out that it is in fact the removal and plugging in of headphones that is causing the random problems as well ie If I plug in/unplug the headphones it switches to radio mode or turns itself off.

The Zen connects to my computer fine and transfers work as normal. I have tried disk clean up and this has had no effect.

What I have also just tried is playing music through my TV using the AV out cable and the music is playing fine on there and there are no 'jumping to radio problems. I am now guessing that there is some kind of short somewhere.

I've had a good look though this forum and can't see any relevant posts. Unless anyone has any other options I think I am going to have to open the Zen up. What should I look for that might be causing this and does anybody have any idea how to sort this problem out?

Thank you for taking the time to read this, sorry if it is a long post but I wanted to give you all the facts about the problem and what I have tried to fix it.

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Old 02-06-2010, 04:25 PM
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coachop94 coachop94 is offline
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Location: california
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Your headphone jack needs replacing or you can change the entire motherboard. Google Zen repair to locate someplace to repair or search ebay.
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:41 AM
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ZenChick ZenChick is offline
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I don't think it will require a whole motherboard replacement, especially if you are fairly handy with a soldering iron.

The problem is within the headphone jack. There are four conductors within the jack: Left Channel, Right Channel, Signal Ground, and Wired Remote. The problems happen when the Signal Ground conductor becomes dirty or damaged, or if its corresponding pin where the jack connects to the motherboard gets loose or broken. Since most standard headphones only have three conductors, the Signal Ground and Wired Remote conductors become bridged when the headphone is plugged in. Normally, this is the way it is supposed to work; however, if the Signal Ground pin gets broken, then your audio has no proper return path, resulting in the "underwater" sound you describe. It also results in spurious signals being introduced to the Wired Remote pin, resulting in unpredictable operation.

Another symptom of this problem is loss of FM reception.

The remedy is to attempt to clean the jack's internal conductors with the end of a Q-tip (with most of the cotton tip removed), lightly dampened with rubbing (isopropyl or ethyl) alcohol, carefully inserting the cotton-less tip into the jack and stroking it in and out a few times. Blow a quick shot of compressed air, if available, into the jack to blow out any loosened debris, then see if your headphones work properly again.

If this does not fix your jack, then you will need to disassemble your player and, using a thin-tipped soldering iron and thin rosin-core solder, reflow the solder points where the headphone jack is soldered to the motherboard.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:43 AM
Gentle Zen Gentle Zen is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Thanks for all your suggestions. Cleaning didnt help so I have found someone with a soldering iron and am going to give it a go.

On behalf of everyone who comes to these forms for indispensable help thank you.
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