switch for analog breakout box?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Drew Wimmer, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. Drew Wimmer

    Drew Wimmer Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm gonna be building an analog breakout box for a Midiman Audiophile 24/96 when I pick one up in the near future so I can plug in stuff with 1/8" and 1/4" jacks (in addition to the existing RCA)

    I assume I need to have a switch to switch between the RCA, 1/8", and 1/4" circuits to get rid of noise that could be caused by having all the connections active at once, so the question is: what kind of switch is best to use for this? (best being resulting in the least or no noise)

    thanks in advance

    -Drew
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Drew,

    First, welcome to the Forum!

    Not knowing what a Midiman Audiophile 24/96 is, it’s hard to figure out what you’re trying to do.

    It looks like this thing has RCA inputs or outputs, but you want to be able to easily connect gear with other types of jacks...?

    As long as you plug in only one at a time, there would no need to be any switching or other circuitry. You could simply parallel the 1/8” and 1/4" jacks with the RCAs.

    Regards,

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Drew Wimmer

    Drew Wimmer Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks wayne, that exactly what I'm doing, no switches simplifies it significantly

    if I do happen to have multiple devices plugged into the inputs or outputs, but only one of them is being used, will that hurt anything?

    and just fyi, the 24/96 is an entry-level pro-audio PC sound card, particularly the cheapest one with decent quality that has a digital coax output

    -Drew
     
  4. Ken Woodrow

    Ken Woodrow Stunt Coordinator

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    Drew:
    Would switching off the extra connectors have any effect on the performance of the card or somehow create noise? And why not just use adaptors to go from RCA to 1/8 or 1/4 jacks? Unless you're wanting to leave several types of cables hooked up and switch between them easily.
    You might look at http://people.ne.mediaone.net/shawnfogg/
     
  5. Drew Wimmer

    Drew Wimmer Stunt Coordinator

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    Ken,
    I couldn't tell you if it'd effect the performance or not, but I would like the convenience of just being able to leave things plugged in and just flip a switch to change between them, but the real reason for the breakout box is it's a PITA to reach behind my computer to plug-in stuff (I'm a LAN'er so the less I have to do to setup the system, the more time I have to play [​IMG])
    I'm pretty new to most of this audio stuff so tak what I say with a grain of salt, but the connector for that breakout cable looks a lot like that of a 25-pin bi-directional printer cable(which wouldn't surprise me, manufacturer saves money on materials and design by using already common parts). If I knew what pins corresponded with which connectors on the end of the breakout cable, I could probably design a box for it.
    -Drew
     
  6. Ken Woodrow

    Ken Woodrow Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I know it's a PITA. I even have my HTPC on a revolving Avrak and it's still a pain to change my connections -- which I do alot b/c I'm experimenting with different sound setups (bypassing the receiver and decoding in software, upsampling ripped wavs to 24/96, comparing receiver's DACs to soundcard's, running frequency response analysis with ETF 5, etc.). Much info on these topics in a recent thread in AVS Forum re using a computer as a high-quality CD player, btw.

    I suppose I'll have to take apart one of those breakout cables and figure out the pin-outs. I'd better contact M-Audio and see if I can buy one separately first!

    One other thought -- do you know where I can source male-to-female RCA jacks designed to be mounted in a rack? Basically a patch bay I guess. I looked at Marketek, but couldn't find exactly what I'm seeking. I'm not sure I can even describe it though . . . .

    - Ken
     
  7. Drew Wimmer

    Drew Wimmer Stunt Coordinator

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    well, I'm not entirely sure I know what you're asking for, but assuming that connector is actually a 25-pin parallel, these links may be of some use to you:
    panel mount female rca connector
    I can't seem to find a panel mount female 25-pin connector, they've gotta be out there somewhere(the technical name for the connection type is db25 btw), but if you get that, a couple of those panel-mount rca connectors, and a hobby box to mount the stuff on, i think you'll be in business
    -Drew
     
  8. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    For what it's worth, a Web search turned up several companies selling patch panels for all types of audio connections, including RCA. See, for example,
    http://www.connectworld.net/rrdata/patch_panels.html
    So far as switches go, if you're into DIY, you might consider using an appropriate rotary switch. A Web search for the keywords "rotary switch wafer" turned up quite a few sources. Of course, you have to be sure they're "break before make" to avoid any possiblity of shorting outputs together. For five channel surround-sound you'd need a "10 pole 4 throw" switch if you have 4 different destination devices. Of course, if it's unbalanced, you could reduce that to 5 pole if you are willing to connect all the grounds together.
    Assembling your own switch might be appropriate, too, but I'd suggest getting it through a local electrical supply house. Making sure you have all the right parts can be a pain.
     

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