Audio Combiner - Integrator - Splitter - or - I Don't Know

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fine-tune
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Audio Combiner - Integrator - Splitter - or - I Don't Know

Post by fine-tune » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:12 pm

I know I'm not the only one who keeps an old pc around with
a dial-up modem.

The northeast just got blasted by a hurricane. Incredibly, I
never lost power to my house. First, the rain came down
with explosive force. When the rain finally stopped, the wind
came through for at least ten hours. My house was not damaged,
but the yard was a wreck. I just finished using a chain saw,
pole saw, chipper, and several rakes to remove all the debris from
my yard.

The signal from Comcast was lost for many hours. My "old" pc
is really kind of new. Almost all the innards have been replaced.
The dial-up modem allowed me to keep track of the storm visually.
Listening to the radio just wasn't good enough.

This old desktop is on an enormous table. I'm building a smaller
table so I can free up some space. The smaller table will still
be more than adequate for the steel box, monitor, etc.

I'd like to get rid of one set of speakers. Right, now I've got a good
pair plugged into the sound card, and a cheap pair for the modem
audio jack. Before broadband, I could tell instantly if the "handshaking"
sounds were normal. I like to hear the modem when it is attempting
to connect.

I don't even know what to call it, but is there a cheap coupler that has
a 3.5mm audio jack at one end, and two short lengths of shielded cable
with plugs at the other end? I want to hear the modem and sound card
outputs through one pair of speakers. This would save several square
inches of space on my new, smaller table.

I could easily build an AB switchbox that would do the job. The problem
is I would never remember to move the switch into the correct position.
If an AB switch is the only solution, I'll stay with the old arrangement that
uses two pairs of speakers.

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dacflyer
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Re: Audio Combiner - Integrator - Splitter - or - I Don't Kn

Post by dacflyer » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:51 am

why not use the internal PC speaker ? mine used to do that.. or is it not possible for your set up ?
sounds like you could use a 3.5MM "Y" splitter cable.
i think radio shack sells them..

fine-tune
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Re: Audio Combiner - Integrator - Splitter - or - I Don't Kn

Post by fine-tune » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:06 pm

Hi dacflyer.

Almost all dial-up modems have a tiny piezo element. The
problem is you need an amplified stethoscope pressed against
the element to hear anything!

"Y" splitters are commonly used with a single audio source. A
simple example might be connecting two pairs of headphones
to one audio jack.

With my old desktop, I've got two seperate audio sources. The
mobo sound card jack and the modem jack. If you just tie them
together with a "Y" splitter I don't know what would happen. A
lot of feedback and ear splitting distortion would probably be the
result.

Some kind of 2-to-1 audio seperator/combiner is what I need.
The outputs from the modem and sound card must play through
one set of speakers, without interfering with each other.

If I'm not thinking clearly about this, tell me and I'll try a "Y"
splitter. It won't hurt anything if it doesn't work.

JerryR
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Re: Audio Combiner - Integrator - Splitter - or - I Don't Kn

Post by JerryR » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:12 am

What you are looking for is a 2 input audio mixer, you can google for it if you want to buy of the shelf.
Or, to do it on the cheap - if you have a stereo speaker setup, You could buy (or make) a Y cable that has 2 male mono plugs(Tip, Sleeve) to 1 female stereo plug(Tip, Ring, Sleeve) that will give you the modem on one speaker and the sound card on the other speaker. But you will lose the stereo from the sound card. You could also build your own 2 input mixer from various ICs available for that kind of use.
For ICs see(among others):
http://www.fairchildsemi.com/
http://www.maxim-ic.com/products/audio/
http://www.national.com/
HTH
JerryR
yjryba<at>yahoo<dot>com
To contact me via Email
replace<####7>with proper symbols

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Audio Combiner - Integrator - Splitter - or - I Don't Kn

Post by Janitor Tzap » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:38 pm

Hey there fine-tune,

Need a bit more information about the Audio Card and the Modem Card, or External Modem.

(1) The speaker output on the Modem is a standard stereo 3.5MM plug, right?

(2) The Sound Card, does it have a AUX INPUT jack?

If this is the case...
You can run a 3.5MM Audio Cable from the Modem to the Sound Card AUX INPUT.

Then in the Audio controls in Windows, or the Software that came with the sound card.
Setup the AUX INPUT to be on, and set the Volume for it too the level you want.

Hope that helps you. :grin:


Signed: Janitor Tzap

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dacflyer
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Re: Audio Combiner - Integrator - Splitter - or - I Don't Kn

Post by dacflyer » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:10 am

that would be a easier option.. wish i had thought of that :P

fine-tune
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Re: Audio Combiner - Integrator - Splitter - or - I Don't Kn

Post by fine-tune » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:06 pm

I should have returned to this thread sooner. A lot of family problems
have been distracting me lately. Sorry about that.

I was looking through some shelves where I keep hundreds of old technical
books and manuals. I found a Radio Shack catalog from 2000. Page 144,
#42-2496. It seems you were correct, dacflyer. The item listed is "two
1/8" stereo plugs to a 1/8" jack." The description says, "connect pc modem
and sound card to multimedia speakers simultaneously."

I don't know why I saved some of these old Radio Shack catalogs, but I'm
glad I did. A simple Y-adapter appears to be the solution after all. Radio
Shack would not have listed this item if it didn't work.

The local Radio Shack's in my area are horrible. Years ago, when they carried
thousands of electronic components I practically lived in these stores. I'm
sure I can find this Y-adapter online (ebay, etc.).

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