Category Archives: Electronics

Fractal Design R4 Headphone Jack Repair (USB-70A AZALIA)

I’ve been using the Fractal Design R4 PC case for a number of years now. I love the design but the placement of the headphone jack leaves something to be desired. It is oriented vertically meaning that pulling on the headphone cable can easily break the port which unfortunately happened to me. Removing the front panel of the case reveals a small circuit board labeled “USB-70A AZALIA REV: A1”.

USB-70A AZALIA
The circuit board with damaged headphone jack

Not designed with toddlers in mind

A quick search showed me that it’s not easy to find a replacement for this part so I decided to write up how it can be repaired.

The board consists of two headphone jacks and a pin header. The broken headphone jack needed to be replaced. The first step is finding the correct replacement part. Some searching reveals the CP1-3525NG-ND on Digi-Key. I always order inexpensive parts in multiples of 10 to get the price break and because it’s good to have spare parts around for future projects.

CP1-3525NG-ND
A handsome array of headphone jacks

Using a soldering iron, heat up and remove as much of the solder around the pins of the headphone jack as possible. I didn’t have much luck with soldering wick but a soldering vacuum worked well. A trick is to add a small amount of solder to the tip of the soldering iron to help quickly heat the solder in the joint.

After removing the solder, gently remove the old headphone jack.

PCB after removing the broken headphone jack

Solder the replacement headphone jack into place. Heat the pin using the iron and apply enough solder so that it flows into each via.

I ended up replacing both jacks because the replacements have a metal ring that looks more sturdy than the original.

PCB with replacement headphone jacks

Both my headphones and a microphone worked great after putting everything back together. I was initially worried that the pinout of the replacement jacks might be different than the originals but they turned out to be an exact match.