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Dell Inspiron 9200

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I have an old Dell Inspiron 9200 which has been sitting around for a little over a year due to a number of problems. Most of the smaller problems have been fixed at a relatively low cost (about $20). I now have 2 main problems left to overcome, which I'm hoping someone here can help me with.

Firstly, the onboard RJ45 jack is dead, and needs to be replaced. The jack used by Dell was the the Foxconn JFM2411B-1112-7F (Spec Sheet). I haven't found a single place which sells these. Does anyone know where I would be able to order one? Is there another brand with identical layout which could be used? Is there anyway to do a hack-job on a Jack with a different layout to get it to work, and if so any pointers/tips/complete guide with illustrations and thorough documentation(;))?

Secondly, pretty much the same issue, except this time with the 3.5mm Audio Jack. The jack used by Dell in this instance is the Foxconn 4BDNA, which I can't even find a spec sheet for. It appears to be an SMT, with 5 connectors all located at the rear of the jack. Same goes as above, where to order, alternate, hack-job etc.

I hate to ask, and make it seem like I didn't try and figure this out myself. However, I've attempted to contact Foxconn Electronic (not Foxconn Channel) at least half a dozen times, via phone, email, and their contact form, with no success.

I'm new to pretty much everything electronics, so I'm hoping someone who's been doing this a while could lend me a hand. It's very much appreciated, and thank you in advance.

P.S. For those who say it's a waste of my time, I consider this to be a getting-my-feet-wet in electronics. I have more plans for modding this old laptop, but I want to make sure I can get these two things working, as they're important components.
Motherboards generally are more than 4 layers of tracks and are very hard to modify, very easy to damage inner layers beyond repair. If you are new to electronics i would suggest cutting your teeth on something a little easier.

Alternatively you could get an ethernet PCMCIA card and disable the onboard network card. I don't think there is an audio card that can be used on a laptop.

If you want to attempt the repair, I have some suggestions;

how bad are the connectors? - it's not a simple dry solder joint on the board?

If you can lift the connectors without damaging the board you are half way there, and you could go to a repair shop / scrap electronics place with the connector to ask if they have similar.

The 3.5mm jack should be easier to lift than the ethernet jack, surface mount components can be lifted if you heat the solder joints with a hot air gun or use a higher power iron with a large tip that can melt multiple solder joints at a time.


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Jules, I appreciate the response, suggestions, and your time for answering.

Yes, I'm relatively new to most things electronics, but I decided to undertake this project because A) I don't to sink much money into repairing this laptop, and B) it'd be intricate, and therefor a potentially fruitful learning experience. I don't plan on toting this system around, and notably better slim desktop system can be purchased from dell for about $300.

FYI - Prior to starting this, I did quite a bit of practice joints, both SMT and T/H, on numerous other (already dead) boards, and got a good feel for it.

As far as both jacks go, I strongly believe that the joints connecting to the motherboard are completely fine, and I apologize if my initial post implied otherwise. My wife used my laptop, turned it off, and left it on the couch. My then two year old son took something, jammed it into that jack, and ended up breaking off half the connectors INSIDE the RJ45 jack itself.

The Audio Jack, on the other hand, appears to be dying from regular use. Sound still comes out of one channel and moving around the jack inside can spontaneously get both channels going unreliably. Bending the internal contacts inwards from outside resolved the problem, but only for a short time before it returned. This leads me to believe its the connectors inside the jack not making good (or any) contact.

Now, as you suggested, there are some options to resolve these problems. A PCMCIA network cards is one, and USB Network/Audio is another. However, the cost of both are significantly more than the cost of the Jacks, results in a much larger power draw, may not be of equal quality, and (in the case of USB devices) increase in the overall "bulk" of the system. All of which I would like to avoid.

As far as electronics shops around here, the pickings are slim. The only shop I could find didn't really seem to be "with it" as far as any sort of contacts or knowledge goes. It looks like its a very basic store created for the simple reason that no other electronics stores existed. When I went in, the didn't have any smaller gauge solder, were out of flux, had no tips, and most of the small components appeared to be massively overpriced. Needless to say, I doubt I'll be returning. The closest reputable shops are about 2 hours away, and I'd rather not make a four hour round trip if I can find the answers online instead.

Again, thanks for the input Jules, it's appreciated. If at this point we assume the parts have been cleanly removed from the motherboard, any suggestions on replacements?
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