DIY Failure and learning the hard way.

Sometimes shit happens and DIY goes astray to the fail side. I’m not
immune to failure and this is my report on one of my recent failures in the
DIY world.

Task:
Recable my very beaten AKG K420. It should be an easy thing, just remove
the old cable from the drivers and put a new 3.5 phone jack on the cable,
my soldering skills are nice enough for the job…yea, but shit happens!

Fail log:
My first mistake was to start by replacing the cable on the headphone
drivers directly on the headphone driver soldering board, the result was a
bit too much heat on the soldering pad and I killed one of the drivers, but
I only noticed that after doing all the work on the cable and jack.
Second fail, cable was a bit too thick for the 3.5 jack, resulting in a
very time consuming work on the darn thing.
Third fail was on my debugging work, because I thought the pad on the dead
driver had a cold joint I redid my work so I lost time and really killed
the driver.
Forth mistake, no dedicated work space and because of it I lost my temper
and down went the AKG’s to the garbage.

Lessons learned from all these mistakes: :
Dedicated work space, that way you can stop and return to work anytime you
want, no need to stress over time.
If possible always avoid touching the solder pads of the driver, do the
soldering on the remaining original cable conductors, not pretty but much
more secure specially if you use a crocodile clip to dissipate the heat
from arriving to the driver.
Cut the cable and start from the jack first, test continuity of the jack
and do the headphone work after that, this way you already debugged half
work when you arrive to the drivers.
Solder fast with medium heat.

Above all one should learn from trying to do something, those AKG
headphones should have died a long time ago, but I did manage to make them
last a bit more even if I killed them in the end.

A little side note, I had to replace those AKG, after searching for some
nice in-ear headphones I found a topic on Head-Fi about the amazing sound
of the Philips SHE3580, so I bought two pairs of the new model (3590) for
16€ each, one of my best buys ever! They sound amazing!

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