Replacing very soft getting frail USB headset cable with a tough one?

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Old 01-11-14, 04:33 AM
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Replacing very soft getting frail USB headset cable with a tough one?

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Hello I bought a Plantronics - GameCom 780 Gaming headset for among the reasons it was reviewed to have great sound as indeed it does. I have a problem because the USB cable it comes with is very soft and not up to how hard I use things. It is already getting frail and only works when I spent time straightening it out. Consequently I would like to replace it with a tougher cable and have various adaptive cables with USB end on them to choose from.

Well I will need some more information before I tackle this job. As seen in one of the pictures I included above the USB connector that comes with this headset has a image on it when seen close-up like the male cable on the left in the picture. Does that mean that only do three connectors depicted on that diagram are being used?

Well my plan if this one if can pull it off. I would like to splice a tougher cable near where it comes right out of the headset and then epoxy it to the headset and also maybe cover the thin soft red cable that I can not cut off with epoxy too. But how do I identify the conductors I need to splice to the ones I need to splice to in the new cable? And what do you think of this plan? Any suggestions or pitfalls I should look out for.

Incidentally this headset was a great by on eBay and the retail vendor delivered it in good condition. Consequently I don't feel I can return it. The product is a good one if you know how to handle it with more care than I do.

Well any suggestions will be appreciated.
 
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Old 01-11-14, 06:57 AM
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Highly unlikely you will be able to splice to the existing cable...the wires inside are very small and hard to solder. Likely you'll need to open the headphones and replace the whole cable.

The little diagram is just the USB standard logo designation...it doesn't mean there are only 3 conductors. There are actually 4. You might read the Wiki article on USB. May help you. Easiest would be to just "ring out" the connections with a multimeter. You'll need to be very good at soldering...if you aren't...try to find an electronics repair shop that has a miniature soldering station. Damaging the board would be very easy with a typical homeowners soldering iron.
 
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Old 01-11-14, 11:50 AM
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USB connectors do have 4 small connections (5V, GND, Data+, Data-). They are possible to solder and it can be done but keep in mind that any kind of alteration can affect the performance. Bad solder connections cause intermittent connections or can change electrical characteristics of the system (solder increased resistance) which can be problematic because of the device sensitivity and noise susceptibility.

If I am reading the problem correctly you are more concerned about the weakness of the headphones coming out of the headset. All you need is to come up with a strain relief if there is a fear of breaking it. A strain relief is just a mechanical apparatus to prevent any easy destruction. In PCB design, a strain relief is usually the wire is routed through the PCB and tied so that is it is pulled it isn't easily ripped out.

So your options are:
  • Solder the new cable yourself. High risk. Longevity not guarenteed
  • Make a strain relief for the frail cable
  • As the other suggestion is, open the headset and reinforce the cable
 
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