Super Nintendo S/PDIF... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-02-2010, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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(PREFACE: This thread originally began on a forum dedicated to gamers that modify their legacy video game systems to have more modern capabilities. I chose to copy and paste it here because I believe many of my questions can be better answered by this forum's contributors that have a wealth of understanding of electronics theory as it applies to the home theater. For reference I am including a link to the instructional I cite specifically in the original thread http://www.alpha-ii.com/Info/snes-spdif.html Thanks for any and all help, everyone!)

I've got a few technical questions about the materials necessary to do this mod properly (found in the wiki)...if that's all right with y'all.

1.) WIRE: What wire gauge/type is going to be most suitable for point to point wiring in this instance? I'd imagine solid conductor and small gauge wire is going to be easier to work with versus the stranded or larger gauge stuff, but will it still maintain that digital signal properly? I don't want to go with the ease-of-use route if it's going to somehow adversely affect the audio transmission/reliability or fidelity.

2.) CONNECTORS: I am leaning towards using a RCA type connector (as opposed to the TOSlink fiber optics connector) because the SNES chassis already has the proper "port" for that connector already in place where the RF out is. I know there is debate out there among audiophiles about which standard will sound better (which is strange because they both transmit digital and not analog information) but I'd like to know if there are some amongst you that think going one way or the other will be better sonically. Also, depending on which standard I go with what is going to be the best brand to purchase for securely mounting the connector to the SNES case? At the local electronics store they have a few nice gold plated connectors, but they look like they'd be difficult to mount flush onto the inside of my console, and my neurosis won't allow me to have electrical components just floating around inside there.

3.) RESOURCES: I am getting pretty used to people telling me "Bro, ____ only costs a few bucks, trust me!" but when I actually get a hold of this stuff it usually ends up costing significantly more. So, if you massively intelligent folks would direct me to your favorite online electronics retailer that has reliable components at reasonable prices, I'd surely appreciate it. At the end of the day I'm still a dude with barely a working knowledge of basic electronics, but I still desire to make these old "retro" consoles that I still love so much better than I remember them, and I need all the practical help that I can get.

As usual, thanks for your time! I hope to get this thing off the ground soon as I will then have a Super NES plugged into a suitable RGB display AND crystal clear audio!
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-02-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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1) Ease of use is the way to go. No reasonable wiring variance is going to mess with the signal quality. I've always found it easiest to solder with thin stranded stuff, as the stranding seems to soak of the solder giving more surface area for the connection.

2) COAX and Toslink carry the same signal in a different form. Crazy people think that there is an audible difference. They are wrong. If RCA is easier, then go RCA. You can always convert is out of chassis if you need to anyway.

3) http://www.parts-express.com - They are made of win when it comes to large varieties of cheap connector related stuff.
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-03-2010, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

1) Ease of use is the way to go. No reasonable wiring variance is going to mess with the signal quality. I've always found it easiest to solder with thin stranded stuff, as the stranding seems to soak of the solder giving more surface area for the connection.

2) COAX and Toslink carry the same signal in a different form. Crazy people think that there is an audible difference. They are wrong. If RCA is easier, then go RCA. You can always convert is out of chassis if you need to anyway.

3) http://www.parts-express.com - They are made of win when it comes to large varieties of cheap connector related stuff.

Thanks for the response there, James. Even though I'm inclined to agree with you about there probably being very little to no difference between the TOSlink and standard coaxial connections, I'd still really like to hear from some folks that have a different, and more developed opinion on that matter. Also, thanks for the link, that site is exactly what I was looking for!
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-03-2010, 03:50 AM
 
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SPDIF signal starts out electrical, in coax that is spit out natively. In a Toslink implementation, that electrical signal is converted to an optical signal, which is then converted back to electrical on the receiving side. The receiver receives the PCM as the same electrical signal regardless of how it was transported.

Think of water. Now fill two trucks. Freeze one of the trucks so that the entire payload becomes ice. Drive both trucks to the destination. Thaw the frozen truck. Deposit the "now all liquid" water into a couple of reservoirs. The man that walks up to you and tells you that the frozen water is now broken is the same guy that will tell you that coax SPDIF sounds better. It's an insane, uneducated opinion that holds no relevance to the real world. Unfortunately, crazy people tend to be the loudest, so their word tends to spread a little further given a smaller support base.

If you want to join the crazy people, then be my guest. All I'm recommending is that you maybe realize the paranoia and insanity before joining the coax SPDIF cult.

Furthermore, if there is a potential issue, it is jitter or wander which is inherent to the SPDIF standard regardless of transport type. Not something to even be concerned about, but a concern of far more merit than "coax or Toslinks!?!1one".

An additional concern, and one far more worthy of consideration, would be whether your intended receiver will even accept a 32khz bitstream. You can't assume that any random SPDIF capable receiver will accept the extremely odd 32khz output of the SNES. I'd look at the specs of the intended receiver before even bothering with the SPDIF mod in the first place.
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