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Broke a shotgun mic- repairable?

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Adam Leonard
Broke a shotgun mic- repairable?
on Aug 20, 2010 at 10:14:03 pm

It seems that I've dropped and broken a Sony ECM-NV1 shotgun mic. However, I apparently only broke the outer plastic, and it continued working fine. That is, until just a few days ago when the slightest pull disconnected at least one of the wires.

Now it's in two pieces and is barely picking up any audio at all. I feel like fixing it would be just a matter of reconnecting the right one or two wires. This shouldn't be too hard, as it's a pretty clean break, and there are only two unconnected wires in one piece, and two connectors on the other.

I'm in American Samoa, so there are no repair places for hundreds of miles. A replacement mic would cost about $180, and I'd like to avoid paying that much.







You can't see it that well, but there's a black wire in this next image that's been disconnected from something.





These are just cameraphone pics; I can try and take some better ones if you think it'll help. I can also describe some of the details that didn't come out that well if it'll help.

Is it fixable, and if so, how do I do it?


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Richard Crowley
Re: Broke a shotgun mic- repairable?
on Aug 21, 2010 at 1:43:43 pm

I cannot tell anything from the photos. They are too fuzzy right in the critical areas. But the background is nicely in focus.

If it is just a matter of re-soldering wires, then sure it should be relatively easy to fix. (Assuming you have suitable tools, etc.) But we will need much better photos showing the details.

If it is "in two pieces" it seems amazing to me that it picks up anything at all?


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Jordan Wolf
Re: Broke a shotgun mic- repairable?
on Aug 21, 2010 at 2:48:12 pm

"If it is "in two pieces" it seems amazing to me that it picks up anything at all?"

Maybe he's been using it as a pair of chopsticks?

Wolf
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Adam Leonard
Re: Broke a shotgun mic- repairable?
on Aug 21, 2010 at 9:03:42 pm

OK, I'll provide better ones by Monday, possibly sooner. I left it up at the office but I'm probably going to need to run up there today.

Thanks,

Adam


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Adam Leonard
Re: Broke a shotgun mic- repairable?
on Aug 22, 2010 at 7:12:41 am

Here's some better images, taken with a real camera. They're too big for this site, so I've hosted them elsewhere and linked them. Notice the black wire in the second set of photos that's not attached to anything. I think that may be important. Thanks.

http://imgur.com/kvikQ.jpg

http://imgur.com/aoQTh.jpg

http://imgur.com/o44WQ.jpg

http://imgur.com/NIdd5.jpg

http://imgur.com/wmPgn.jpg


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Richard Crowley
Re: Broke a shotgun mic- repairable?
on Aug 22, 2010 at 4:16:25 pm

Electrically, it looks like a pretty simple repair. Mechanically, that is a different matter, perhaps you can glue it back together with epoxy or something. Remember that all those slots and openings are functional for the directional characteristics of the microphone, they are not merely decorative, so they should not be occluded by your repair.

The little black plastic rectangle is the input FET transistor. The center pin (the "gate") has a little metal clip which should fit over the pin on the center of the mic capsule (in the other half of the microphone). Its not very clear, but it looks like the white and red wires to go the other two pins on the transistor.

It looks like the black wire is hanging loose and should connect to the ground tab at the side of the mic capsule. Looks like part of the clip is still attached to the tab on the side of the mic capsule. I would remove the clip from the capsule and solder the wire to the back-side of the remaining part of the clip. Try to avoid soldering directly to either mic capsule pin as it will probably ruin it.

Be careful handling the circuit, particularly the FET transistor because the gate (the pin with the clip on it) is particularly vulnerable to static electricity and a discharge so slight you can't feel it will permanently ruin the transistor (greatly raise the noise level or outright kill it).


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Richard Crowley
Re: Broke a shotgun mic- repairable?
on Aug 29, 2010 at 4:20:34 pm

Mr. Leonard seems to have dropped off the face of the earth? American Samoa is still there when I look at Google Maps.


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Adam Leonard
Re: Broke a shotgun mic- repairable?
on Aug 29, 2010 at 11:09:50 pm

Oh, sorry. I actually bought a used replacement one on eBay for something like 1/3 of the retail price, but I printed out your instructions and gave them and the broken mic to my boss, who has soldering skill. No word yet on if he's going to fix it. Thanks!


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Ty Ford
Re: Broke a shotgun mic- repairable?
on Aug 21, 2010 at 10:38:25 pm

Hello Adam and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Was the foam pop filter on the mic when you dropped it?

One of the best reasons to use a foam pop filter is to protect the mic when (not if) you drop it.

Get one to keep your mics healthy.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/330655-REG/Sony_ECMNV1_ECM_NV1_Direct...

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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