When a Blue Yeti USB port is broken, it is usually because the tiny plastic inside fell out or its pins are broken, and the jack has detached from the board. Once this happens, your microphone will fail to turn on because it is not receiving power from the PC or Mac, and you need to repair it.
To fix a broken Blue Yeti USB port, remove it and replace it with a new jack. To do so, you must take apart the device and desolder the four points keeping the port attached to the motherboard. After that, slide off the faulty device.
In this article, I will explain how to substitute a damaged USB connector with a new one. I will also explain why USB ports break and how to use them well to prevent the frequent occurrence of such debacles.
1. Ensure All Necessary Tools Are Within Easy Reach
Gather all the items you’ll use when taking apart the Blue Yeti and replacing the broken port, including protective equipment, and place them on your work table for easy access.
Collecting all the items before you start will save you time as you won’t need to take breaks to find missing materials. The items you need include:
- A screwdriver
- A new USB port
- Solder or soldering paste
- Solder wick or sucker
- A cloth
- Damp sponge
- A mask
- Safety glasses
- Protective gloves
- Soldering iron. Get the lead-free type, which does not release fumes that can affect your lungs.
2. Disassemble the Blue Yeti
Since it is impossible to fix a broken USB port when the Yeti is intact, you’ll have to take it apart by following these steps:
- Remove the screws that keep the microphone mounted on the mic stand. You will find them on the sides of the Yeti. Alternatively, if the mic is attached to a Boom arm, such as the 360-degree rotation Compass, unfasten it from the mic port or the shock mount.
- Unmount the Blue Yeti. Place it on the surface where you plan to perform the disassembly.
- Place a small cloth, rag, or towel around each button surrounding the microphone and use pliers to pluck them out if using your hands fails. The rag protects the knobs from getting scratched.
- Label each knob you remove. You don’t have to label the Mute button as it is easily recognizable because of its small size compared to the rest. The tags will let you know the right location for the knobs when it’s time to put the microphone back together, which will save you time.
- Use tweezers to remove the rubber piece covering a screw at the bottom of the Yeti. This will uncover a nut, which you should unfasten using a Phillips head or screwdriver.
- Unscrew the remaining two pins at the base of the device, and remove the mic body to expose the motherboard to which the USB port is attached.
3. Resolder the Port if It Is Detached
If your USB port broke away from the motherboard and is keeping the Blue Yeti from powering on, reapplying the solder will fix the problem. Using the soldering iron, apply solder paste to the different points to reattach the port to the board.
When you are done, plug a USB cable inside the USB jack. If the mic is lighting red, you’ve done the resoldering well, and the port is in good working condition. If resoldering doesn’t fix the problem, it means the port is broken. Proceed to replace it.
Check out: Leaving a Microphone Plugged In
4. Remove the Soldering on the Pins and Connector Points
Before you start desoldering the pins and points, determine the exact side where the USB port is positioned. Otherwise, you might unintentionally remove the solder from the Audio jack connectors.
The port is usually located under the front board, which has the Mute and Volume buttons on its left side. After locating it, proceed to desolder its connector points and remove the broken jack. Follow this process:
- Wear safety glasses and gloves to protect your eyes and hands from sparks. Also, it would be best if you put on a mask because the fumes from soldering are hazardous to your health.
- Place cardboard on the work table. This will help you catch the solder that drips, and as a result, protect your table.
- If you are using an electric soldering iron, warm it up first. Plug it into a power outlet and let it warm up before you start, as it needs to be heated to a certain level to melt the solder.
- If you have a butane-powered iron, fill it with gas. Press down on the unit while the refill nozzle is facing upward. Since the gas overflows from the nozzle when it’s full, placing the nozzle in an upward position makes it easy to notice when the tank is full.
- Desolder the five electrical connector pins. To do so, heat them with the iron after placing a solder wink or sucker on them to absorb the melted solder. Do the same for the four hold-down points that keep the jack attached to the board.
- Turn off the soldering iron. Place it on a stand far away from where you are working, or cover the unit with the protective heat cap if you bought it with one. You will avoid accidentally getting burnt by doing this.
- Detach the broken USB Jack by sliding it off the motherboard. If it fails to come off smoothly, you should apply a little pressure using tweezers to help remove it without breaking.
- Remove any solder residue. Use the iron to remove any remaining solder around the connector points to make it easy for the new port to fit. Also, create enough space for the solder paste to settle.
5. Attach a New Mini USB Port
Make sure you buy a replacement jack that will fit perfectly on the circuit board. Since they are standard, you should find them easily on eBay and Amazon.
That aside, here’s how to attach a new USB connector:
- Stick the port to the board with its pins passing through the four hold-down points. If you’re unable to smoothly slot the pins in, detach the USB port and straighten its pins before reattaching it.
- Use the soldering iron tip to apply flux on all the pins and the connector points. Flux helps the solder firmly adhere to the board, ensuring that it lasts a long time without coming loose.
- Preheat the iron. Plug in the electric iron to heat it in preparation for soldering the circuit board points.
- Clean the iron tip. Wipe the iron tip on a damp sponge to remove the dirt caused by oxidation due to the unit overheating. When the iron is dirty, it can fail to create strong solder connections on the points that keep the port glued to the board.
- Apply soldering paste to the iron. Dip the device in soldering paste before placing it on a point and soldering until a small covering or ball appears on top of the point. Repeat this on the rest of the hold-down points while taking pauses to clean the unit’s tip with a wet cloth.
- Apply solder to the five electric connector pins while taking care not to link them. Otherwise, the terminals will get bridged, stopping the new port from working. If the pins get connected, use the soldering iron tip to gently remove the solder.
- Soak a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol and use it to clean the repair area on the board. This will ensure that any residue flux that can oxidize or rust the board is removed.
- Test the new connection. Insert the power cord attached to your PC into the new port to test it and ascertain it works. A red light will turn on at the Mute button fixture if the port is now functional.
- Unplug the USB cable. This will allow you to put the microphone’s components back together.
6. Reassemble the Blue Yeti
You will have to put the microphone back together to record audio for your podcast or videos, and these are the steps you should follow:
- Reattach the housing to the Yeti head.
- Put back the Mute, Volume, Gain, and Pattern buttons in their rightful positions. You’ll be guided by the labels you had attached to the buttons when taking the microphone apart.
- Fasten the three screws at the bottom of the microphone.
- Mount the Blue Yeti on the mic stand and securely attach the screws on each side of the device.
- Turn it on and start recording audio to confirm that the port is in perfect working condition.
Safety Tips for Soldering a USB Port
If this is your first time soldering a device, you need to follow these precautionary measures to avoid harming your health:
- You should always solder objects in a well-ventilated space because the fumes emitted while you fix the port can damage your lungs. Besides that, they can make you dizzy, causing you to collapse, and even trigger asthma attacks.
- Remove papers and other flammable items from the workspace to prevent the solder sparks from setting them on fire and causing a fire hazard.
- The soldering tip of your iron can get very hot, so take care as you use it to avoid contact with any part of your body, or else you will get burnt. If the iron comes with a cap, you should always put it back on when you are not using the device.
- Since most soldering pastes contain lead, you need to wash your hands with soap after fixing the broken USB port if you do not wear the recommended safety gloves. When your skin absorbs lead, it can make you irritable and weak.
Common Causes of Blue Yeti USB Port Failure and How To Avoid Them
The Yeti USB connector wears out and stops working over time, but you should also look out for other reasons that cause premature failure, and these are:
Inserting a Bent Cable in the USB Port
When you fit a bent power cord into the USB port, it can twist and break the pins inside the connector. Moreover, it can dislodge the plastic square piece inside the cord. To prevent this, always check the cable to ensure it is straight. If it is not, use another one.
Wriggling the Cable While You Remove It From the Port
If you tend to move the cord about as you pull it out, you will break its pins with time. You can even detach the port from the circuit board if the solder on the hold-down points is not strong enough. The best way to remove a power cable from the USB connector is to drag it out in a single, smooth pull.
Repeated Adjustment of the Cable Because the Port Is Loose
When the USB port is loose, you might find yourself frequently readjusting the cable to find a position where the Blue Yeti can power on. A widened port cannot firmly grip the cord, stopping current from reaching the circuit board to enable the mic to turn on. To fix this, you will have to open up the Yeti and use pliers to squeeze the port’s sides to narrow them.
Jerking the USB Cord
Roughly tugging the cable can break its pins, crack the solder joint, and bend the connector site, wrecking the piece. Therefore, much as you need to pull out the power cord in a smooth move, you shouldn’t use too much force. Also, if you find it hard to remove your cable, substitute it with a right-angle adapter to avoid this malfunction in the future.
The Blue Yeti USB port is prone to getting broken. You can always first try resoldering its connector points if it gets detached from the circuit board.
If that doesn’t work because the pins inside it broke, you should swap it for a new one using the method mentioned above.
- YouTube: Broken USB Port Repair on a Blue Yeti: Mini USB Port Replacement
- YouTube: Taking Apart and Fixing a Blue Yeti that Won’t Turn On
- How-to Geek: How to Use a Soldering Iron: A Beginner’s Guide
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