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iPhone headphone switch not working: Solved

Discussion of non-operating system issues related to iPods, iPhones, and the iPod Touch.
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Stephen Hart
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iPhone headphone switch not working: Solved

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:58 pm

I noticed that my iPhone headphone switch wasn't working. I googled around and found various suggestions:

I tried this without success. ... ts/4258816

BTW, I highly recommend against dipping the Q-tip stick in alcohol. That could leave the Q-tip too wet. Instead, dampen it slightly with an alcohol swab, the kind used for diabetics giving themselves injections. These are also good for cleaning mouse feet. Or dampen a Kleenex (TM) and then use that to dampen the Q-tip. I think, though, that the most likely problem is not stuff stuck to the contacts, it's an actual glob of lint preventing the headphone connector from getting all the way in. And the Q-tip will just make that worse. See site below.

This is the one that worked for me. I used a tiny flat screwdriver, and gingerly scraped out a chunk of blue-jean lint that was firmly wedged in the bottom of the hole. ... t-working/

I also saw suggestions to use interdental brushes. But those are just mini bottle brushes, with a twisted metal center that could damage something in there. What we really need is a special-made tool, all plastic, with a brush tip. Maybe it should be made of something like velcro, with teensy little hooks for bristles. Or, better yet, a tiny vacuum nozzle, sort of the opposite of canned air. (Actually, someone could manufacture an attachment for canned air that does exactly this, using Bernoulli's principle!)

By the way, I had previously noted that using the headphone jack for my car's audio system didn't feel right, kind of mushy, less clicky. That's a sign of lint. I happen to have a dissecting microscope at home, so could look into the headphone jack. It's very hard to see anything there, but when clean, the bottom of the jack has a mirror with a white disk on it, presumably the moisture sensor. If you see gray or any texture, that's lint.

The images shows the problem after removal. A forensic scientist could probably glean a lot from the sample. I did see a tiny flake of wood (yellowish), a result of me keeping my phone in my pocket while working in my shop.
lint.jpg (19.25 KiB) Viewed 1453 times
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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