Audio connector ideas - HTPC to older Audio Deck - AVS Forum
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a older audio deck and that accepts 6 discrete channels (5.1) - no built-in decoder - L,R,SR,SL,C,Sub - and I have a Computer that has 3.5mm with discrete outputs 60ft physically apart (probably needs to be a 75ft cable) - It has on the back panel — "six connectors for 7.1 channel
support" - I want to run a cable between them that will connect the two of them. (giving up on wireless)

1) I've tried googling this and it seems difficult to google... There must be something simple to buy. -
2) Don't make me 'buy the farm' $expensive devices, or throw out my equipment... don't bother to post if that is your answer.
3) If you want me to use HDMI - how? to get the audio into the cable... my video card doesn't support it.
4) if you your asking about SPDIF, nope. My computer doesn't have it.

Basically I need 3-4?- 75ft stereo cables combined... - But it should be easier than that right?
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:18 PM
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Why did you post again?

Did you not like my answer?

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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We had gotten away from the original topic... and I posted this before you answered. I also replied to that one. I liked the direction you are going with your answer, but I'm looking for a combined cord. It must exist.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:46 PM
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You need 6 analog channels.
Each channel requires 2 wires.
Total of 12 wires.

1. Take two CAT6 cables (8 wires in each), use one twisted pair in the CAT cable for each channel. i.e. You'll actually be able to get 8 channels with two CAT6 cables. Crimp/solder RCA or 3.5mm or a combination of them on each end.

2. Get some bulk Belden coax cable. It can be had cheap if you look and is fairly thin. Crimp your favorite connectors on each end.

3. Buy pre-made cables.

What other option is there??
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I like answer #1 - This is the answer I was looking for thanx... My only question for this one is: Would the cat6 supply enough shielding along the run? - 70ft...

In my current dolby surround 2channel solution I actually use a 'Ground Loop isolator' - because of noise on the line, and/or power issues between the two sources.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:03 PM
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Cat 6 is well shielded.

I still prefer buying cables actually made for the application that you are using them for.

That said, I will not buy some sort of monstrous cable though.

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Old 02-14-2013, 04:43 PM
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You can even go Gepco 61801EZ cable. Pretty thin for a coax cable, well shielded and can be had cheap. That's what I did last year, when I needed some custom analog cabling.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I went ahead and ordered everything from monoprice:

1 Cat6 75ft Shielded Twisted - This will provide 4 channels. Note: I already have 2 channels currently.
1 Ground Loop Isolatator (4-channel variety from monoprice) - Note: I already have 2 channels isolated.
2 Y-Adapters (I'll need 4, but I already have 2)
- another 0.42 cent item for a completely unrelated project...
Total cost after shipping for my obsession to go from stereo to 5.1 = $39.01
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:40 PM
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If that's the route you're taking, I'd get 2 CAT6 couplers and one more 3' or so CAT6 cable.

Split the small CAT6 cable into two and crimp/solder the audio connectors on each split end. Use the couplers to extend it 75 ft using the long CAT6 cable. Why mash up a perfectly good 75ft cable?smile.gif
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't care about the Cat6 cable, per sae, to be intact. You're worried about the cable, it's only $20. I can always buy another one. In the future, there will probably be some other format. You want me spend more money just to save the ends of the cable? not...
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:53 PM
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It wasn't about the cost of the cable. What if you move equipment in the future? Cable gets kinked? You'd have to solder all those ends again. That was the only point.

My bad. Have fun with your project. smile.gif
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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At some point in the future everything should be wireless right? That's the dream... right. I just haven't gone there yet.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I haven't hooked up anything, but I'm about too later tonight. And I was just looking into another application, and something just hit me:

There are actually 3 wires that come out of a 3.5mm single channel --> Is this a big whoops on my part? and kink in my plan? Meaning I didn't take into account the ground wire.

When I drew up the wireing diagram I have the ends are 2 stereo '3.5mm' --> Cat6 cable --> 4 RCA out --- The issue I'm seeing is, there are only 8 wires in the Cat6 cable, which I was thinking was for 4channels, am I leaving out the ground?

On the other end, the first item it does go into is a Ground loop isolator... if that makes any difference.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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My fears appear unwarranted... After stripping the 3.5mm, there are only pairs.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok.... I got everything wired up and soldered. I had tested. Started playing music and it seemed fine. Then the real test - I ran 'Field of Dreams' - something I had prerecorded on my WMC - Wow it sounded really cool with 'The Voice' coming in all the different directions. But - A problem was immediately noticeable:

The center channel sounded a bit like an AM station. The actors speaking sounded a bit like they are muffled, or maybe even over modulated. I checked some other recordings, and later live TV. The problem was still there, depending on what I was playing it would be less or more apparent. Like the connection is not good. I messed around with what connections and settings I could last night and this morning, and now I'm at work, and nothing healed the issue. I'm not sure yet, if it is my wireing job, or if it is my Realtek audio driver, or WMC.

For RealTek settings I tried bumping the Default Audio to the highest (192000 something).... and I left the 'speaker fill' setting checked. - I did mess around with the room configuration screen.
In WMC I did set up the Audio configuration settings, and change it to theater mode.

Steps to proceed to see if it is a hardware wireing job issue: 1) I can switch the two 3.5mm wires in the back of the computer - and then move the 4rca's in the living room appropriately. Then see if the issue now moves to a different channel. Which means I need to figure out how to open up the wireing jobs and diagnose (d'oh!!!)

By the way: The monoprice 'ground loop isolator' did not work at all for me. When I plugged it into the connection, it just turned my wires into radio receiver, and I was hearing a local radio station loudly. - When I talked to the tech guy at monoprice (he said it would go from F to M as expected one-way), it came with no markings on which direction to connect it though, and wonder if it was designed properly at all! Or if it was actually designed to work M to F.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Just an update on this one: I'm still in talks with support@ Monoprice over the GLI - At this point I'm in a love-hate relationship with them. It seems no one at the company really knows which way their Ground Loop Isolator really operates and its not marked on the device. They are telling me... 'Give it a try the other way around'. Well in my setup, that isn't so easy. Their GLI has 4 female RCA coming out one end, and 4 male coming out the other. Logically you would think that the female end is the source end correct? But the tech guys, are now telling me to try and turning it around.??? really

Center channel distortion: I figured out what was happening. I was getting cross-talk - due to the fact that the GLI wasn't connected in my complicated wiring circuit that I was creating. I had y-adapted two sources --- My Center channel from the computer source and the DVD source in the front room. The GLI was supposed to keep this all going in one-direction, and not allow cross-talk, but I couldn't use it. --- but I still had the Y-Adapter in place and connected... and even when the DVD was off, the distortion would occur.

I'm going to just disconnect my stand-alone DVD for 5.1 - and just use it for 2-channel sound for now... Then this will give me a chance to test that GLI from monoprice another way-- using those Y-Adapters as temporary couplers. To really use it properly the other way around, I would need a pile of couplers... how annoying!

btw: I do have an annoying ground loop hum as well, if I crank up the volume too. That's what the GLI is really for.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:00 PM
 
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If the GLI contains an isolation transformer, it is not directional.
Quote:
The GLI was supposed to keep this all going in one-direction, and not allow cross-talk, but I couldn't use it.]


that's not what they do.
Quote:
but I still had the Y-Adapter in place and connected... and even when the DVD was off, the distortion would occur.

You're shorting one of your sources, with a very low impedance, to ground.

You need to isolate the output stages with a resistor.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

If the GLI contains an isolation transformer, it is not directional.
that's not what they do.
You're shorting one of your sources, with a very low impedance, to ground.

You need to isolate the output stages with a resistor.

Yes I was shorting... I have one Radio Shack GLI at home, I could've sworn it was one-directional. -- So let me ask this-- Is there any thing that is one-directional? for RCA connections. That doesn't cost $$$$

But about monoprice: See this, with enough communication to tech support about how it doesn't work as it should I got this:
>>"We will issue a refund on the defective item(s). It is not necessary for you to return the defective item(s) for this request. You can keep the defective item(s) or discard/trash it."
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:52 PM
 
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Is there any thing that is one-directional?

No.
Quote:
But about monoprice: See this, with enough communication to tech support about how it doesn't work as it should I got this:
>>"We will issue a refund on the defective item(s). It is not necessary for you to return the defective item(s) for this request. You can keep the defective item(s) or discard/trash it."

It's probably costing them more to deal with you on the phone than it would to just refund your money.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

No.
It's probably costing them more to deal with you on the phone than it would to just refund your money.

hmm as Spock would say 'I'm concerned with that being our only source of information". I'm troubled by your answer 'No' - There is always a way. I've seen those Monster cables that are 'one directional'. There must be cheap alternatives to just have a coupler that is one-directional - or something.

Monoprice in the end, had pretty good CS. Unlike so many companies in this day and age. It was not the 'one directional' thing that was the problem with the product. If you refer above, it was that it turned my long-cable run into radio receivers. Unlike the Radioshack variety.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:37 AM
 
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I'm troubled by your answer 'No'

Sorry, sometimes reality bites.
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There is always a way

the device would be called a switch.
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I've seen those Monster cables that are 'one directional'.

Not sure how to respond to that...monster cable tend to lie to their uneducated customers.
Wires are not and cannot be directional. The signal is AC, passing it though a diode ( a one directional electronic component) would absolutely destroy it.
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There must be cheap alternatives to just have a coupler that is one-directional - or something.

yes, it's called a switch.
Quote:
It was not the 'one directional' thing that was the problem with the product. If you refer above, it was that it turned my long-cable run into radio receivers. Unlike the Radioshack variety.

that's because it lifted the ground.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Got it... This would definitely be in one direction - http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-4-Out-Audio-Video-Distribution-Amplifier-Splitter-3W-RCA-Amplifier-Splitt-/320902933450#vi-content

What I would be looking for is a distribution amplifier... I would not necessarily purchase the above product, but something like it... I was looking for a Y-Adapter that makes sure the two sides do not cross-talk, and something like the above product would surely produce that results However to tell me it cannot be done, is a little ridiculous.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:46 AM
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Lemme make sure I'm reading this correctly. You are combining analog source signals from TWO sources (PC and DVD player) into a single wire using Y adapters??
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Actually I have a couple of applications where I could use one-directional architecture ---

My older Audio deck only has one port for discrete 5.1
At the moment I have unhooked my DVD that was 6-channels - But kept the (L and R) into the stereo switch that I've always had.


1st appliction) I did try to hook it up with Y-Adapters along with my computer that is now hooked up to the audio-deck. It would be nice to find 1-directional y-adapters (or distribution amp) to prevent the DVD from shorting out the connection to the computer. This is what was causing the distortion above.

2nd application) In my bedroom I have an even more ancient 2-channel amplfier. I need to downmix 5.1 to Stereo. My computer will not do this by it self with the front-panel unfortunately. So I'm doing this manually with wires. I'm combining the center channel to both the L and the R sides.... (L+C) (R+C) -- Again it would be nice to use a Y -Adapter to split the Center channel here was a distribution amp, so that there would be no cross talk between the Left and Right channels. Currently I have the Center channel crossed into the Left speaker which is normally closer to my head. I'm also using that GLI from monoprice which seems to be helping with this application. ---- If I did not do this... I would hear no vocals during a TV broadcast or Movie in multichannel sound.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:23 AM
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Now, I'm even more confused. confused.gif

Just what is it that you're trying to do?? If you set your application to "stereo" on your PC, it will downmix everything to stereo and send it out via the L/R jacks. What's the problem here??
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:28 AM
 
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However to tell me it cannot be done, is a little ridiculous.

No, your thought that a distribution amplifier will allow you to mix two sources together with isolation, is ridiculous.
you obviously don't know what a distribution amplifier is, and you're not interested in learning.
Quote:
It would be nice to find 1-directional y-adapters

? let us know when you find them.

You need to isolate the two sources, as previously mentioned. this can be done with 4 resistors, but you're not interested, instead you want something that doesn't exist.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Now, I'm even more confused. confused.gif

Just what is it that you're trying to do?? If you set your application to "stereo" on your PC, it will downmix everything to stereo and send it out via the L/R jacks. What's the problem here??

btw... After thinking about it: The '1st application' still woud not work with the 'distribution amp' --- but should work with the 2nd application.

I definitely did confuse Kapone. -- If I set the computer to 'Stereo' than this whole process would be for nothing. So I'm not sure where you went with my comments. I have two places I hear audio in my house.... 1) living room 2) bedroom. The living room is setup for 5.1 --- The bedroom is 'stereo'. After got the living room to sound really awesome. My wife would complain, that she couldn't hear anybody talking. sure enough ---- Uh oh... I tried every setting I could to get the front-panel to downmix the sound at the same-time as the rear-panel is HD audio. So I came up with a amateur way to downmix it myself.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

No, your thought that a distribution amplifier will allow you to mix two sources together with isolation, is ridiculous.
you obviously don't know what a distribution amplifier is, and you're not interested in learning.
? let us know when you find them.

You need to isolate the two sources, as previously mentioned. this can be done with 4 resistors, but you're not interested, instead you want something that doesn't exist.

Partially agree - it would not work for mixing two sources for the 1st application

... However for the 2nd application --- If I plugged a Center Channel into the input of the above linked Dist-Amp -- Would I not get 4 discrete copies for output of the Center channel?
Then I could mix the Front Panel Left with the Center ---- and another Center with the Front Panel Right --- without any cross-talk of any kind?

You don't need to be mean.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:48 AM
 
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You don't need to be mean.

You don' t need to be so rude or condescending.
Everyone here is trying to help you.
Quote:
Then I could mix the Front Panel Left with the Center ---- and another Center with the Front Panel Right --- without any cross-talk of any kind?

How are you planning on mixing them?
You don't know what crosstalk is, don' t use it, you're just confusing everyone and yourself.

Isolate the sources with 4.7K resistors in series.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:49 AM
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Why not just get an older receiver that supports SPDIF/Digital Coax and Zone 2?? Use the digital outs from your PC and DVD player and let the receiver do the downmixing for zone 2 (which would be your bedroom)?

Older receivers can be had quite cheaply, often less than $100.
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