Hum from headphone jack of laptop (intermittent) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-15-2011, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm using a laptop playing MP3s and connecting it to a ministereo by using the headphone output of the laptop with a 25' cord plugged into the ministereo. Works OK except that it's started to hum pretty loud a lot of the time. Hum goes away if I jiggle the connection at the laptop enough, but comes back if it's jostled even a little. What's causing this and what can I do to stop it? I cleaned the plug with rubbing alcohol, but it hasn't solved this.
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-15-2011, 09:32 AM
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Try the "audio out" jack of the laptop as opposed to the "headphone" jack. Also, is 25' really necessary?

It's either:
1) bad headphone output on the laptop
2) bad cable/connectors
3) just too long of a cable

What happens if you run the laptop on battery (no power supply attached)?
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-17-2011, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Try the "audio out" jack of the laptop as opposed to the "headphone" jack. Also, is 25' really necessary?

It's either:
1) bad headphone output on the laptop
2) bad cable/connectors
3) just too long of a cable

What happens if you run the laptop on battery (no power supply attached)?

Haven't tried it on battery, I always use it on AC adapter. I'll have to try the battery and hear what happens.

I suspect it is indeed the headphone output on the laptop, just maybe dirty, not a good connection to the 1/8" miniplug. I can clean the plug but cleaning the female jack of the laptop wouldn't be an easy thing to do, I figure.

I could try other cable/connectors. What I have is a short (~6 inches) cord with a male miniplug on one end and female RCA connectors on the other. I have a 25' stereo cord with male RCA connectors from that going to the ministereo. I need pretty much all of the 25' cord to reach the ministereo what with running up close to the ceiling and over two doors and the refrigerator to get to the stereo.

I figure the solution I find and settle on may well be to buy a cheap USB soundcard such as the one I already have, a UCA202 that I got on Amazon for around $30. I'm using that in a different room to enable recording to a different laptop.

Edit: I tried my U-Control UCA202 USB sound card and it sounds OK, no hum, good fidelity. I just bought another at Amazon, $27.76 with free Super Saver shipping. Problem solved, very probably. The UCA202 has RCA inputs and outputs.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-20-2011, 01:39 PM
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Sounds like a cracked solder joint on the headphone jack inside the laptop. You could take it apart and reheat the solder connections, or have it serviced by someone that knows how. Or you could look into getting a wireless link that could play your tunes via wifi or bluetooth, but it would involve spending a little money. If you use itunes, you could get an Airport express for about $100, that would let you stream your music to your stereo without any wires.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-23-2011, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren_G View Post

Sounds like a cracked solder joint on the headphone jack inside the laptop. You could take it apart and reheat the solder connections, or have it serviced by someone that knows how. Or you could look into getting a wireless link that could play your tunes via wifi or bluetooth, but it would involve spending a little money. If you use itunes, you could get an Airport express for about $100, that would let you stream your music to your stereo without any wires.

Hmm, I have a solder iron and experience soldering. I already ordered another UCA202 USB sound card, and it's due to arrive in 4 days, it being already shipped. Maybe I'll try to fix that jack anyway for the times I use it with headphones. Thanks for the information.
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