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Old 20th December 2004, 08:35 AM   #1
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Location: Niagara Falls
Default Computer controled volume control

My Goal is to create a multi-zone pre-amplifier with the ability to set the volume at each zone via a serial port on a HTPC. Does anyone know of any pre-built PC volume controls or schematics of this type of setup?

I have searched and read about the PGA2310 volume chips, but have not seen them linked to a computer.

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Old 20th December 2004, 05:02 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: SIUE, Illinois, USA
your best bet will be to use "digital potentiometers". xilinks, national, and ti all make these. TI's and national's are geared toward audio use. Ti's is a MSSOP (similar to SOIC) package, which may be difficult to solder, but it isn't that hard IMO.

I'm sure you can make a microcontroller-based serial to parallel converter. there are microcontrollers with uarts for serial communications.
if only it could be used for good, not evil...
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Old 20th December 2004, 09:16 PM   #3
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All it takes is a wee bit of programming. Not hard at all. Use something like the 'BASIC Stamp' for your controller, the PGA chips for the digital pots, and Visual Basic for the PC application.
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Old 20th December 2004, 09:39 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: San Jose
Here's a great thread from the Pass Labs forum on using PGA volume controls. There not that great. Consider using a PIC controller with relays. This is a much cleaner sounding solution.

XBoSoZ + PGA2310 volume control

Good luck,

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Old 21st December 2004, 01:55 AM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Brisbane
Take a look at the evaluation module listed on TI's site here:

It seems to be similar to what you want (obviously you'd need to write/modify the program to do what you want - not sure if they give out source code though?).
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Old 21st December 2004, 11:23 AM   #6
mcs is offline mcs  Denmark
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Denmark
Some of the control boards I have made have RS-232 ports. So to control a PGA2310 from a PC, all you would need is something like one of my VolControlx boards or the Control2. You can see the schematics on my website.

Best regards,

Mikkel C. Simonsen
My personal electronics website
Remote control kits website
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