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Author Topic: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?  (Read 1220 times)

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Offline robgronotte

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How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« on: January 21, 2024, 04:08:09 AM »
I just got a set of mics which sound very good, but I am afraid I may have a problem with in the future.

They have a standard stereo 1/8" male miniplug output jack just like ones I have used in the past, but it seems to not fit quite as tightly as my other mics have.  I plug it into my battery box input and it can very easily come out.  It hasn't yet come loose while recording, but today it did come loose between my setting up  >:D in the bathroom and I only noticed because I felt the loose plug bump against me.

Other mics I have used don't exactly "lock" together, but I try to give the cable just the right amount of slack to not be easily tugged enough to come out, and I have very rarely had any issues.  But with these I'm afraid the first time I am at a possibly slightly rowdy show and get bumped into it will come unplugged.

Does anyone have any suggestions about how to make the connection more secure?  Using a good amount of tape on it every time would be a lot of trouble because I would have to do it at the venue before each show.

I'm not great with the search function here, so if this issue has been addressed in the past, a link to that would be great.  Thanks!

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2024, 11:27:46 AM »
Is it a right-angle plug? If so, a velcro strap or a rubber band could be options. If not, maybe get a short 1/8" to 1/8" patch cord with a right-angle connector and gaff-tape that to the regular cord?

Offline nassau73

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2024, 12:24:18 PM »
I seem to recall reading a post here at TS several years ago that after repeated use, the material in the jack itself (whether it be on a battery box, recorder or whatever) can actually "expand" due to repeated pressure of the plug pushing on the sides of the jack.

So my main concern would be possible intermittent loss of electrical contact between the plug and jack.

The op talks about a loose connection to the battery box. No mention of trying the plug in another device. Might be time to get a different bbox.

Offline pillowman

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2024, 01:13:34 PM »
I seem to recall reading a post here at TS several years ago that after repeated use, the material in the jack itself (whether it be on a battery box, recorder or whatever) can actually "expand" due to repeated pressure of the plug pushing on the sides of the jack.

So my main concern would be possible intermittent loss of electrical contact between the plug and jack.

The op talks about a loose connection to the battery box. No mention of trying the plug in another device. Might be time to get a different bbox.

good advice here
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Offline robgronotte

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2024, 08:51:50 PM »
I haven't tried it in other outlets, but I just got the battery box about 6 months ago and my other mics feel tighter in the same box, so I can't imagine it would be warping already.

Unfortunately it doesn't have a right angle plug.  That would make taping easier but then I would the problem of taping it in the bathroom before each show I mentioned above, unless I'm not understanding what nulldogmas meant.

Offline robgronotte

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2024, 08:55:49 PM »
Is it a right-angle plug? If so, a velcro strap or a rubber band could be options. If not, maybe get a short 1/8" to 1/8" patch cord with a right-angle connector and gaff-tape that to the regular cord?

Ok, I think maybe I do know what you meant now.  Just tape the small cable onto my mic cable and leave those together all the time, and hopefully the new cable would be more snug in my battery box?

Do you or anyone know a good source for a short cable with 1/4" female to (preferably right angle) 1/4" male?

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2024, 10:39:15 PM »

Do you or anyone know a good source for a short cable with 1/4" female to (preferably right angle) 1/4" male?

I haven't used it, but for $4 this looks worth trying:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/252319-REG/Hosa_Technology_GMP_272_GMP272_Male_Mini_to.html/

Offline jefflester

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2024, 05:01:00 PM »

Do you or anyone know a good source for a short cable with 1/4" female to (preferably right angle) 1/4" male?

I haven't used it, but for $4 this looks worth trying:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/252319-REG/Hosa_Technology_GMP_272_GMP272_Male_Mini_to.html/
That kinda defeats the purpose somewhat, adding yet another connection to potentially loosen. Something like this except TRS:
https://racingelectronics.com/products/re-08
or this:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1048150-REG/rode_sc3_trrs_to_trs_adaptor.html
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Offline fanofjam

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2024, 06:05:31 PM »

Do you or anyone know a good source for a short cable with 1/4" female to (preferably right angle) 1/4" male?

I haven't used it, but for $4 this looks worth trying:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/252319-REG/Hosa_Technology_GMP_272_GMP272_Male_Mini_to.html/
That kinda defeats the purpose somewhat, adding yet another connection to potentially loosen. Something like this except TRS:
https://racingelectronics.com/products/re-08
or this:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1048150-REG/rode_sc3_trrs_to_trs_adaptor.html

For what it's worth, be aware that the first link posted above is a mono mini-plug (AKA TRS), so I don't think you'd want that one.  If your mics are a stereo pair into a single stereo mini plug, like most sets, you'd need a TRRS mini plug like the second linked adapter.

Anyway, I'd recommend doing some A vs B testing to figure out exactly what's the offending part.  Plug your mic cable into the mic or line in jack on your handheld recorder and see if it seats well.  If so, then the problem is a worn-out jack on your battery box.  If it's loose in every different jack you plug it into, then the problem is the male end of your mic cable. 

Regardless, rather than futzing around with an intermediate fix buying even more connectors that can unplug, I'd replace the offending part.  Anything short of repairing the offending part doesn't really fix the problem and you'll still be faced with the same problem in the future. 

Personally, I'd just do it myself.  Replacing mini-plugs and jacks are the easiest electronic repairs anybody can ever try to do, although of course if the jack is impregnated in a wad of epoxy on the internal of your battery box, like some of the tiny ones I've seen, that's a little more problematic, but I'd still try to do it myself by cutting out the epoxy, replacing the jack and then replacing the epoxy. 
« Last Edit: January 22, 2024, 06:14:05 PM by fanofjam »

Offline robgronotte

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2024, 06:13:33 PM »
So based on nassau73's post above, I tried out the new mic plug in some other device inputs, and other plugs in my battery box input (as fanofjam just recommended).

It seems that my battery box input is very slightly wider than standard (based on my other devices), while the new mic plug is very slightly narrower than other mini-plugs I have.  So basically my battery box would fit fine with any other plug I have, and the new mic plug would fit fine in any other device I have.  It's just when the two are used together that the differences are additive and lead to the connection being loose enough to possible cause a problem.

It's a frustrating mismatch, but I wouldn't have the expertise to try to redo the mic plug, and I assume if I replaced the battery box with the same model (SP-SPSB-1) that it would have the same issue, as it is still very new.  I suppose I could look for a 9v battery box made by another manufacturer - if anyone has a recommendation for that, please let me know.  I have ordered the adaptor nulldogmas linked above.  While I agree with jefflester that it adds another connection which could potentially cause a problem, the right angle plug should at least make the plug easier to firmly insert and to use with a rubber band, and for $4 it is certainly worth a try.

If anyone has any additional thoughts or recommendations, please let me know!

Offline aaronji

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2024, 06:20:04 PM »
I agree with fanofjam, that you should replace the narrow part with a better one. That being said, a couple of thin strips of gaff tape will keep the jack in place at least for the short-term. That stuff is a taper's best friend sometimes...

Offline robgronotte

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2024, 07:06:28 PM »
I agree with fanofjam, that you should replace the narrow part with a better one. That being said, a couple of thin strips of gaff tape will keep the jack in place at least for the short-term. That stuff is a taper's best friend sometimes...

Unfortunately I do not have the right equipment and/or skills to do such a repair.  I have tried to do something similar in the past, which resulted in only a much shorter cable with nothing attached to it.  :banging head:

Offline aaronji

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2024, 07:22:49 PM »
^ I am in the same boat. It is pretty easy, though, and I am sure you can find someone to attach a new jack with minimal loss of cable length in just a few minutes. If there is an old school electronics repair shop in the neighborhood, it will be easy for them.

In the interim, gaff tape!

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2024, 07:39:35 PM »

In the interim, gaff tape!

Rob was saying above that gaff tape is too much trouble to apply while at a show. The advantage of the connector above is that he can gaff tape that to the too-narrow plug, and then plug it and unplug it from his battery box as he would with a normal plug.

It might not end up bring the ideal solution, but for $4, it's worth trying.

Offline aaronji

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Re: How to keep mics from coming disconnected?
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2024, 07:57:28 PM »
You can tape things in place in advance or put a couple of strips elsewhere (back of your phone, for example) and fix the jack in seconds. In my opinion, it is a better option than an extra part.

 

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