Why Does One Earphone Usually Stop Working Before the Other? Asked by Nicola from Basingstoke

Without giving too much about this earpiece short article, but I thought it remarkable and relevant to what I’m now doing.

Hi Nicola, how’s the weather in Basingstoke? Oh, I’m sorry to hear that (lol).

There are numerous causes for this common (yet absurdly irritating) phenomenon. Usually, however, it is simply due to a loose wire and can often be fixed by pushing the wire towards the earpiece and, if needs be, affixing it into place with a little electrical tape, super glue, or some other adhesive.

Sometimes, if the headphones have an inline volume wheel, that can be the cause. That one is a little trickier to fix, but you could always try the ‘wire trick’ mentioned above and see if it works. If not, then open the volume wheel and re-solder the wires into place (be warned, this will invalidate most warranties, so if the ‘phones are still covered, just send ‘em back and get replacements).

To avoid stuff like this happening in the future, it is advisable to wrap your cables carefully and to avoid stressing your headphones. No, I don’t mean that you should give Motorhead a rest and only play floaty, soothing New-Agey music on them, I mean that you shouldn’t have them in your back pocket when you sit down and you should remove them carefully from your ears after use (this may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people just rip ‘em out).

Another thing to look out for is the jack, if the cable is fraying/wearing around the jack, then that can also be a problem. Fortunately, like so many things in life, a bit of electrical tape can really come in useful, just ensure that all the copper wiring is tightly bound and it should return to normal usage in no time.

Sometimes, however, it is simply a sign that the headphones are knackered and no amount of clever tinkering can fix them. Usually, in these cases, the problem is internal. This particular variant on the problem also attacks headphones of any price range, be they Poundland specials or your year old Sennheiser Eargasm series. I’m reminded of a Shakespeare quote from Hamlet, something about a king and the guts of a beggar, but I can’t be bothered to look the whole thing up right now. You get the point I’m trying to make though, everything dies eventually, no matter how much it cost you.

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TECH NEWS Electric Buses Set to Arrive on Time!

When we found this post we were so pleased, having hunted for over one year for this, finding it on this website was an exciting day for me.

Eight experimental electric buses will be operating in Milton Keynes from late January onwards. The fleet will begin operating along the busy Number 7 route, which covers the 15 miles between Wolverton and Bletchley. They are the first electric buses to operate in the UK.

UK-based bus manufacturer Wrightbus have built these new electric buses in conjunction with Japanese company Mitsui and UK engineering group Arup.

Wireless ‘booster’ plates in the road, placed at the beginning/end of the route, give the buses a charge that allows them to operate for a full day. They are then charged overnight at the bus depot.

The buses will need to stop over the booster plates, before lowering the bus’ own receiver plates and resting there for 10 minutes’ charge time. The journey will then resume, exactly the same way a regular bus ride does.

The process is called ‘inductive charging’ and it involves electricity passing though wire coils in the plates that creates a magnetic field. The field then shares its voltage with the bus’ receiver plates, charging them up.

Similar electric bus trials are being implemented in Italy, the Netherlands and Germany. In 2013, South Korea unveiled a 7.5-mile stretch of road, which recharges electric vehicles as they drive over it, without requiring any charge time at all.

In an interview with the BBC, John Bint of Milton Keynes Council said, “Electric buses have huge potential and we’re exploring how they can help us take better care of the environment without compromising passenger service,”

If these trial models prove to be successful, the Council plans to run them all across the town.

The environmental impact of this scheme is certainly considerable, with local councils potentially being able to significantly reduce their area’s carbon footprint. In addition, the future development of electric buses can only help the similar evolution of the electric car, an invention that has the potential to seriously lower the world’s carbon emissions.

Arup consultant John Miles who is also an engineering professor at Cambridge University, told BBC that, “These electric buses will be expected to do everything a diesel bus does (…) They will be operating on a demanding urban route, and that’s all part of the trial’s aim – to prove that electric buses can be tough as well as green.”

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