12 Replies Latest reply on Nov 23, 2016 11:29 AM by Intel Corporation

    NUC D54250WYK  3.5mm audio socket alternatives ?

    paul456

      I normally use the 3.5mm socket with noise-cancelling headset to make Skype calls every day.  In the evening I swop the headset for another 3.5mm plug to connect in my hi-fi system to watch films etc. so there are at least 2 plug switches per day.

       

      All is fine for first year, then connections get less reliable, sometimes the headphone, sometimes the mic connection, doesnt connect.   I don't know if it is the lax dimensional tolerances on 3.5mm plugs (one can sometimes see differences by naked eye), the spring in the socket, or corrosion that is the cause, but the socket is now near unusable, which is crucial if you rely on Skype for international calls as I do.   As the 3.5mm socket is soldered to the motherboard, I doubt I can easily replace it.  However, there may be a fix.  The motherboard spec says there is a audio header on the mother board.  Can this be used as an alternative audio 2-way connection ?   If so, what type of header plug do I need to buy ?   It would be ideal if there is one sold with pigtail leads already connected, even better if there is a good quality 3.5mm socket at the other end.

       

      Thank  you

        • 1. Re: NUC D54250WYK  3.5mm audio socket alternatives ?
          N.Scott.Pearson

          How old is your board (i.e. how long ago did you purchase it)? If it is less than three years, your warranty covers failures like this and you can get a replacement unit. If you are still eligible, contact Intel and set up an RMA...

          ...S

          • 2. Re: NUC D54250WYK  3.5mm audio socket alternatives ?
            paul456

            Thanks for reminding me of the 3 year warranty.   Placed my order on 22/11/2013 but it was not until 13/12/13 I built the NUC as all neccessary parts, memory, ssd, 7260 HMW had not arrived until then, so time still left on the warranty.    Do you know how/where to raise an RMA for UK address ?

             

            Perhaps at same time Intel can fix 2 other issues I had on this NUC from day 1 - Very short Intel Wireless-AC 7260 HMW range on 2.4GHz, and fit a quieter fan.

             

            At the moment I rely on this NUC as my only PC in use 8+ hours/day, so can't send it back until I get another workin gmachine.  But as long as I get an RMA number well before warranty expires, I guess I am covered.

             

            I also bought a NUC DN2820FYK in March 2014 as a 'backup' in case this one went down, but when I ran it up a few months ago to check all was ok it wouldnt boot !    Havent had time to find out why, maybe the RTC battery ran down because I havent switched it on enough ?

             

            I hope for 7th Gen i5 refresh Intel IMPROVE the design by

            a)  finding space for a more reliable wired Audio I/O.   If they can find space to add a pair of RCA Left/Right sockets to allow a permanent connection to Hi-Fi system, while keeping some form of wired Audio I/O to drive a Skype Headset.   By having 2 wired audio connections, there is no need to keep switching between Hi-fi system and Skype Headset.

            b)  finding space to fit a pair of RP-SMA bulkhead sockets so users can easily connect external Antenna to improve WiFi range.

             

            On the slim cases there should be space for RP-SMA at rear if they were able to reposition the ventilation grilles, and space on the front between the USB & 3.5mm socket for a pair of vertically positioned RCA's

             

            Its good Intel started adding microSD slot; I hope to all future models also.

            • 3. Re: NUC D54250WYK  3.5mm audio socket alternatives ?
              N.Scott.Pearson

              You can try using the online service (here: Online Service Request) or the chat service (here: Live Chat), but I don;t recommend them (and I see lots of reports of problems using them). To look up local numbers, go to this page: Contact Support. It should list local numbers (or have a link to get to them). If it doesn't, check your phone book (the support office is in Swindon, I believe).

               

              ,,,S

              • 4. Re: NUC D54250WYK  3.5mm audio socket alternatives ?
                Intel Corporation
                This message was posted by Intel Corporation on behalf of

                Hi paul456,
                 
                I am following up on your case. Let me know if I can help you with anything else.
                 
                Regards,
                 Mike C

                • 5. Re: NUC D54250WYK  3.5mm audio socket alternatives ?
                  paul456

                  Hi Mike C

                   

                  Thanks for your offer.   Before your post, as RMA was the suggested answer I went round in circles chasing various links first on intel.com, then intel.co.uk which linked back to intel.com. Finally I resorted to directory enquiries for Intel Pipers Way and thankfully was told they will issue an RMA.   What I forgot to ask  was:   1) do they repair or replace,  2) if replacing, will it be new or refurbished.   Can you advise ?

                   

                  The rest of the motherboard has been faultless, but as mentioned in my initial post on 13/12/2013, the fan was much noisier than on my previous miniPC (Acer Revo 3610) and and it was suggested the fan be replaced.  Do you know if since Nov. 2013 a quieter make of fan (the fan on my NUC DN2820FYKH is quieter) is available ?

                   

                  Thanks

                  • 6. Re: NUC D54250WYK  3.5mm audio socket alternatives ?
                    N.Scott.Pearson

                    Leon,

                     

                    1. They replace; they do not repair (well, not for you; it may be repaired (refurbished) and later given to someone else).
                    2. I sort of answer this already; often it's a refurbished unit.
                    3. No, no changes in the makes of the blowers used (they're not fans!). Fact is, while there is the odd issue with individual blower units (or their installation in the factory), the main issue is the result of the small size of the NUC cases and the relative cooling requirements of the processor and other components used. There simply isn't room for a fan to be used and blowers, because they are less efficient (air movement vs. rotational speed), must rotate at higher (louder) speeds.
                    4. In the case of Forest Canyon, the blower is quieter simply because the low-end processor used in these NUCs requires much (much!) less cooling than most NUCs.

                     

                    An alternative is to purchase a USB-based audio adapter (like this: amazon.com: Sabrent USB Stereo Sound Adapter) and plug the headset into it. If you go this route, disable the onboard sound in BIOS Setup (Visual BIOS) so that it doesn't interfere with default device selection.

                     

                    Hope this helps,

                    ...S

                    • 7. Re: NUC D54250WYK  3.5mm audio socket alternatives ?
                      paul456

                      Hi,

                       

                      Thanks,  I did follow your advice and it was RMAd back for a replacement so audio working fine now.  Been on the move a lot so only now logged in.  Thanks very much for your helpful and spot on advice. I thought I just ticked the 'star' on your initial answer to indicated problem solved ?   I then wrote a new post, just posted re. if possible to use the additional pair of USB2 ports for when 4 USB insufficient, where I added a line to show what precaution I had taken to try and prolong the life of the Intel 3.5mm socket.  As the plug has no moving parts (and easily tested the headset functions fine on another PC) I assume its the spring contacts on the 3.5mm socket that gradually become weak over 12 to 24 months when the plug is inserted maybe once per day.  I thought leaving the gold-plated extension cable I bought, permanently inserted into the NUC socket, and (at the socket end of extension cable) just swopping the headset plug for the HiFi lead once per day, will result in less weakening of the springs in the NUC socket.   If the socket at far end of the extension cable wears out, it is much simpler/cheaper to replace the extension cable than the NUC, whose warranty will have expired by time the socket wears out again.

                       

                      On the other problem of short WiFi range using Intel 7260HMC minicard, when phoning for the RMA I asked if good idea to swop that also, but the person said try the new case first as the antenna built into the case had been improved, also quieter fans (I mentioned the fan noise withing weeks of building the kit, and was advised can have a replacement, but it was too close to my departure overseas so left it).   Subjectively, the fan noise no different than before, but I think the WiFi may be a touch stronger.  Also, as the WiFi issue answered on a different thread with quite a few settings suggestions, eg 'roaming aggressiveness', which I have not had time to properly try out where I am, I will be in better position to check that out when back in Brazil, hopefully by January.  My new post has asked if anyone knows where I can find a list of hardware revisions and whats changed between October 2013 and June 2014.

                      • 8. Re: NUC D54250WYK  3.5mm audio socket alternatives ?
                        N.Scott.Pearson

                        I responded to your new post. Whether the new unit makes any difference for fan noise or Wifi reception strength is something you will have to assess. At the time, I didn't think that the changes made really made that much of a difference (in either case). For WiFi, only really improving solution is going to be use of external 6- or 8-db high-gain antennas - with which you will have the cable-out issue again...

                        ...S

                        • 9. Re: NUC D54250WYK  3.5mm audio socket alternatives ?
                          Intel Corporation
                          This message was posted by Intel Corporation on behalf of

                          Thank you for all this information, paul456 I hope you can have better experience with the replacement unit.
                           
                           
                          Regards,
                           
                          Ivan.
                           

                          • 10. Re: NUC D54250WYK  3.5mm audio socket alternatives ?
                            paul456

                            Although some of this to do with my other topic, as your last reply here, many thanks for your very helpful advice on part numbers for a USB cable to bring out the USB2 from the motherboard headers.  The D54250WYK is the compact (34.5mm H) box, no space for 2.5" drive.  I did think it will be tricky to find a space to fit R-SMA connector(s) and another USB socket.   From your post indicating no room for to fit more sockets on the compact NUC, and need to completely remove the motherboard to avoid contamination from drilling, I am thinking that will be a last resort for me. 

                             

                            USB Expansion: Originally, I thought to avoid buying a USB hub, as I read many makes unreliable, be it from poor connections (have met others who have been frustrated with dodgy hub connections) or devices that simply won't work via a hub.   Prior to NUCs I had a Acer Revo R3610 mini that came with 6xUSB2 AND a SDslot so USB never a problem.   I barely manage with 4xUSB;  with no PS/2, 2 lost to KB+Mouse.  As could only afford a 256GB SSD at the time, all my multimedia is on ext WD Passport normally continuously connected, which leaves just 1 spare USB.  As this NUC has no SDslot, and my SD-to-USB adapter widebodied, I have to unplug the Ext HDD each time camera memory fills up.  I also have 2 different TV-Tuner dongles, 1 for TV, 1 for SDR radio.  Wouldnt want them permanently connected as they take significant power. And I might adopt your idea to buy a USB-to3.5mm, which as Skype headset needs 8hr+ /day, would require another continuous USB port.  To avoid switching devices that are normally connected all the time, I am now wondering if a Hub is the most convenient answer.  Do you know which if any of the above devices are likely to give trouble via a Hub ?

                             

                            When the 3.5mm NUC socket first started playing up I did scour Amazon for a good (but not expensive) USB-to-full-duplex analog.  From memory they had to use at least 96KHz codecs, and many customer reviews complained of poor signal-to-noise - not good for even an old audiophile, hence my joining the fan-noise discussion within weeks of getting this NUC in Dec. 2013.  (my R3610 was much quieter, but a weak Atom)

                             

                            WiFi Range:   my initial post also assumed the internal WiFi antennae cause of poor range.  Think I read in some laptop reviews 11AC 7260HMC is capable of good range, so thought fitting external WiFi Antennae maybe only way to improve it in the D54250WYK even though my Nexus 5 phone with tiny antenna has best WiFi range of all my kit.   But during my RMA call Intel Support advised try out the new NUC case with improved antennae first, and the Intel team in the Wireless forum posted a number of ideas to adjust settings, which I won't get time to experiment with until back in Brazil, I will have to wait until next year to progress that.   This was why my last post asked where is there a log of Intel Hardware changes to the D54250WYK between Oct 2013 and June 2014.  I notice on Aliexpress they sell Internal WiFi 'patch' antenna, claim gain is 3dB.  I would like to know the spec of the NUC antenna.  But like with a full spec for the 7260, I guess Intel prefer not to publish it.  Do you know if the 11AC 7260 uses 1 antenna for WiFi, other for BT, or is it 1 for 2.4, other for 5GHz ?   I guess oniy 1 of the 2 antenna needs to be external.

                             

                            All I can add to this at the moment is that when I place my Nexus 5 'AP' 1 wall + 1 floor away from my replacement NUC, inSSIDer (on the NUC) shows a signal level of -60dB (4bars in systray) for a connection that actually supports traffic, and -70dB (2 to 3bars) for just connecting, but no traffic possible.   As the signal level fluctuates some dB without moving anything, havent had time measure exactly where between -60 and -70dB traffic connection reliable.

                            • 11. Re: NUC D54250WYK  3.5mm audio socket alternatives ?
                              N.Scott.Pearson

                              I (still) think that a USB 3.0 Hub is the best way to go. There are still companies that do build quality products. As long as you understand that "you get what you pay for", you usually won't go wrong. Remember too that the hub needs to be independently powered. People use hubs without providing separate power - and then wonder why devices start to have problems (because they're power starved). As well, the cheaper unpowered hubs can actually cause power surges at the host ports.

                               

                              When you purchase, make sure that the power adapter included can actually deliver a minimum of 900mA for every port in the hub (plus some extra for the base unit, of course). I saw a 7-port hub for sale today that had a power adapter that only delivered a total of 3A. Ding! Ding! Ding! That's not going to work, Jim...

                               

                              Regarding the issue of devices that have problems, I have seen very few. In most cases, the issue is that the hub is sharing the bandwidth of the host port across a bunch of devices. If any of these devices (or a combination of these devices) requires more throughput than the host port can provide, problems can occur. When thinking about this, remember that the host ports are also sharing bandwidth and that the PCH component contains other types of devices (SATA ports, PCIe Lanes, etc.) and they are all sharing the bandwidth of the DMI link to the processor. You can have situations where a USB device can appear to be having a problem when, in fact, the problem is somewhere (perhaps well) upstream...

                               

                              When it comes to WiFi signals, vertical is more of a problem than horizontal. In my home, which is a daylight basement (i.e. basement is half underground), I put a separate router on the main floor and in the basement and the throughput improved significantly (even though the straight-line separation is only ~30').

                               

                              ...S

                              • 12. Re: NUC D54250WYK  3.5mm audio socket alternatives ?
                                Intel Corporation
                                This message was posted by Intel Corporation on behalf of

                                Thank you N. Scott Pearson for this feedback.