Wire List #40 – Two Steps To Free A Trapped TA-5 Connector

Social Media WireLists40 300TA-5 (“5” for 5 pins) mini-XLR female connectors are the standard lavalier and headset microphone termination for most Lectrosonics transmitters made in the past 30 years. Undoubtedly, if you’ve been at this for any length of time, you’ve experienced a connector getting stuck. And if that happens, your only option is to sacrifice your lav by cutting the cord to dislodge it. Or is it?

Glen Trew, via our Facebook discussion group offered the following strategy, which works regardless of the brand of lav.

According to Glen, there is no need to destroy the cable or connector. Before we explain why, you may want to review our Support article, which explains the inner workings of TA-5 connectors, so you understand what we’re talking about.

The reason connectors get stuck is because, more than likely, something inside the connector is not letting the push button push down on the release hooks. Although uncommon, it is most likely to happen when the insert is not flush with the front end of the connector (pushed back into the connector by .125”+) which will prevent the hooks from being released. It can also happen if the connector has been forcibly twisted to the point that the hooks are binding against the connector housing, which could happen if the back of the connector is tightened by twisting it while inserted in the device.

Two Simple Steps To Remedy The Issue:

  1. Unscrew the back of the connector and pull out the cable assembly (partially pulling it out is sufficient). This ensures that nothing is interfering with the push button’s movement.
  2. Reassemble by pushing the assembly back in all the way and tighten the back. Before pushing it back in, push the button and make sure the hooks depress and that the insert is flush with the end. As stated, it takes at least a .125” recess to interfere with the push button.

Doing this effectively remedies the issue. Barring any additional working mishaps, your lav will likely work as expected for years to come.

One Last Word:

Sometimes, when a large diameter wire is used (such as line input cables larger than the usual diameter wire of a lav mic) an internal bushing must be removed to make the cable. Part of the reason that bushing is used is to keep the insert all the way to the front. The absence of the bushing must be compensated for (usually with added tubing) or the insert might be pushed back into the connector, thus interfering with the push button’s movement.

Do you have any strategies for rescuing stuck lav mics? Let us know on our Facebook group or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Many thanks again to Glen Trew, CEO of Trew Audio, for his smart advice!