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wiring for PC sound

wiring for PC sound

wiring for PC sound

(OP)
I am about to build a new house.  I would like to run proper cabling so that I will be able to attach my PC (in the computer room) to the stereo (in the family room).  I'm thinking that I'll put a jack that goes from the computer room to a jack behind the entertainment center.

My question is, what type of jack and wiring would I use for this???

RE: wiring for PC sound

A pair of 22/2 with shield. Liberty EZ-Strip is a good choice since it is a pair of 22/2ws bonded together like zipcord http://www.libertycable.com/ .

You may need a isolation transformer to deal with the hum you may get from the difference in ground potential between the PC and the stereo. The Jensen CI-2RR in suitable see http://www.jensen-transformers.com/ci2rr.html .

Another popular option these days is to run audio over cat5 by using baluns at each end. It tends to be a bit more expensive than using shielded cable due to the cost of the baluns.

You might want to look back through the posts and review the previous discussions on home pre-wires.

RE: wiring for PC sound

For the jack, it depends on what your stereo and computer have. I am guessing that your PC has a 3.5mm plug, so the wall jack needs that. What you can do is buy a Leviton 1 port wallplate and a blank insert. Drill a hole in the blank so you can insert a 3.5mm jack, which you can get at Radio Shack. Just solder the cable to the jack On the jack for the stereo, which is probably RCA, get another wallplate, but this time get an RCA insert.  Solder the cable to the jack.  Also get a 3.5mm patch cord and an RCA patch cable to complete the hookups.  
If you give me your email, i can draw something up and send it to you.
Hope this helps!

Jeff Moss
Warwick Communications, Inc
jeffmoss26@adelphia.net

RE: wiring for PC sound

Always several ways to pull this off.  I generally use RG-59 coax for anticipated line level audio for a couple reasons.

1. It is carried on my truck for video distribution, so it is available.

2. I use a compression connector that can have an RCA, BNC, or "F" fitting attached to it so it is a quick and solid connection and can be used for whatever connector is needed.

3. The audio comming out of your PC and going into a line input in your stereo is unbalanced (i.e. a center conductor surrounded by a shield/ground).  Makes sense to extend that circuit with an unbalanced (coax) wire as opposed to a balanced (single pair shielded) wire.

4. I also keep with me inserts for Cat5e, USOC, CATV, RCA and BNC so whatever is needed is relatively simple to snap in the inserts for as many as 6 different circuits in one single gang face plate.

Remember you will of course need TWO RCA connectors at the stereo end if you wish to have stereo.  When using twisted pair shielded wire for unbalanced circuits, I solder the two wires together and use that for the center conductor, use the shield for the outer (shielded) conductor.

Also you may consider a piece of flexible plastic conduit between the two places, then you can add whatever you want when you want to and change if you need to.

Good Luck

BTW, I think having two RCA connectors in the computer room would make a more solid set up and trying to install a 3.5mm stereo panel jack in a faceplate.  It could be come a weak point if bumped, and the RCA's are more durable.

It is only my opinion, based on my experience and education...I am always willing to learn, educate me!
Daron J. Wilson, RCDD
daron.wilson@lhmorris.com

RE: wiring for PC sound

>When using twisted pair shielded wire
>for unbalanced circuits, I solder the
>two wires together and use that for the
>center conductor, use the shield for the
>outer (shielded) conductor.

Here is what I have always done:

Use one of the wires for the center conductor, pair the other with the shield. If you have any hum or noise problems cut the shield loose at the source end leaving the two wires.

RCA jacks on both ends is the way to go.

RE: wiring for PC sound

Like I said, always more than one way.  I've seen that done with shielded twisted pair with mixed success.  My experience with this type of installation is not much in residential type service, but in wiring radio broadcast facilities.  There can be a wicked mixture of balanced and unbalanced circuits, and most of the the time the facilities are wired with single pair shielded so that balanced inputs and outputs can be used without any serious wiring change.  Many time a simple balun is used at each end to match the circuit better.

Always a potential for ground loop hum type problems, the distance of the circuit can make a difference, the type of signal used (line level vs. mic level), etc.  However, in general, I believe it better to stick with whatever your source is (balanced or unbalanced) and carry that through with the wire if possible.  If changing from unbalanced to balanced, inserting a balun in the circuit 'matches' the two types of media better.

Wires, always a pleasure to discuss options, I see you still log in as a visitor, why not sign up and tell us a bit about your self?

It is only my opinion, based on my experience and education...I am always willing to learn, educate me!
Daron J. Wilson, RCDD
daron.wilson@lhmorris.com

RE: wiring for PC sound

with the 110 RCA jack, what color codes would be used in the cat5 cable? would you need any adapter then?

Jeff Moss
Warwick Communications, Inc
jeffmoss26@adelphia.net

RE: wiring for PC sound

Well Jeff, the 110 RCA is YOUR idea, so I don't know what you would use for color codes.  As far as I can tell, there is no balun in the device, and pins 1 and 3 are the ground (shield) of the RCA connector and pins 2 and 4 are the center (tip) of the connector.  According to the Leviton spec sheet, they recommend not running digital and analog in the same cable, and they say to double up on the wires for longer runs (less loss).  It sounds nifty, but if it doesnt contain a balun, it is just a quick way to use cat5 for audio.  No shielding, no balanced signal.

It is only my opinion, based on my experience and education...I am always willing to learn, educate me!
Daron J. Wilson, RCDD
daron.wilson@lhmorris.com

RE: wiring for PC sound

thanks Daron
Also, sort of along the same lines, how does the 110 S-video module work?

Jeff Moss
Warwick Communications, Inc
jeffmoss26@adelphia.net

RE: wiring for PC sound

I dunno, I suspect it doesn't work extremely well.  I opened the CAD drawing off the Leviton site but it doesn't show which pin connects to what wire on the 110 block like the RCA drawing does.

It is only my opinion, based on my experience and education...I am always willing to learn, educate me!
Daron J. Wilson, RCDD
daron.wilson@lhmorris.com

RE: wiring for PC sound

The Leviton spec sheet that I read gave a maximum cable length of 40 feet on cat5. Not very far...

Like Daron said "if it doesnt contain a balun, it is just a quick way to use cat5 for audio" so these parts don't give me a warm fuzzy feeling. However there is no reason you could not use them with 24/2 with shield cable and avoid  soldering a standard RCA jack.

Does anyone have any idea of pricing on these things?


Daron - I have not signed up mostly since I can't figure out what "classification" I fit in. Besides I love the popups badgering me to join. Here is the short resume:

High School and College - Sound Reinforcement work, clubs to stadium in scope

15 years as TV news cameraman, 10 as chief responsible for all aspects of the technical side of news gathering, cameras, mics, decks, edit equipment, microwave, satellite, newsroom computer system.

5 years high end home automation, Phast, Panja, AMX, Homevision, JDS. I did everything from run wires to programming. Project scope from $15 - $250k.

I still dabble in HA but I am mostly "doing my own thing", small network support (up to 25 users) and some programming. I have always enjoyed "hooking things up" and with the exception of the "S-Video-Laptop" thread that will not die this looks like a nice forum.

BTW - L. H. Morris looks like a cool place to work...

RE: wiring for PC sound

Good call on the 40 feet maximum, they look like an easy way to cheat and a fast way to produce a problem.

Wires your background is almost as varied as mine, it provides us with lots of practical experience in many different areas.  I think the nice part of having a variety of experience in the field is we have probably already tried it or done it and found out how well it works.  Also when your job is to 'make it work' you somehow learn the how and why of most systems to keep them running.

I can remember the PacBell guy coming to our house and asking my mom to please keep me from hooking anything else up to the phone lines.  Seems it has always been a hobby for me.

As for "S-Video on my laptop", I'm with you....hopefully it will go away.

Keep up the good work!

It is only my opinion, based on my experience and education...I am always willing to learn, educate me!
Daron J. Wilson, RCDD
daron.wilson@lhmorris.com

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