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Old 12th January 2002, 04:57 AM   #1
JoeBob is offline JoeBob  Canada
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Default Soundcards

Just out of curiosity has anyone ever built a DIY computer soundcard? Newer ones really don't have much on them, mostly it just revolves around one chip. So it must be doable, and if it is someone must of done it...

I've found some plans for something for the National LM5449, although it's chinese and doesn't seem to be geared towards DIY...
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Old 12th January 2002, 05:22 AM   #2
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Yeah it's doable but because it's gotta interface with the PCI bus its a MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR pain in da rear .... The PCI bus is not that friendly to us diy folk .... i should know i've been designing a PCI card for about 9 months.
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Old 12th January 2002, 05:37 AM   #3
JoeBob is offline JoeBob  Canada
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Oh, I see. Well, I can always try. My idea so far is that the AC97 way would probably be the easiest to accomplish, and for the analog component the LM4549 looks alright (fairly new, and I like national). Have any ideas for the digital component of the AC97 architecture?

As for PCI, I know it's rather cumbersome (sp?), so I was actually thinking of AMR. I haven't checked into the AMR specs yet, but it must be better then PCI... And since the linux AC97 drivers are open source, if I don't adhere to the standards, it shouldn't be hard to write a custom driver.

The soundcard is all I'm missing now for my complete DIY stereo system...
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Old 12th January 2002, 06:10 AM   #4
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You could always use a USB interface instead of PCI.

Micronas and Phillips make USB Audio IC's. The Micronas includes built-in A/D and D/A, as well as a headphone amp, though I suppose you would probably want to use I2S to interface with a higher-quality DAC.

Of course, this would all have to go in an external box with it's own power supply, but that would eliminate all that RF inside a PC case.

There's probably a lot more to it as well, I just started looking at this idea a couple weeks ago, and haven't spent a lot of time on it yet.
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Old 12th January 2002, 06:15 AM   #5
JoeBob is offline JoeBob  Canada
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USBs a good idea, then size limitations and board layout problems wouldn't exist. Do you know the product names of the usb audio ic's?
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Old 12th January 2002, 06:19 AM   #6
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AMR is actually a design spec and was never meant to actually be used just like CMR it is 100% dependant on the host CPU so expect the machine to run like mud if you use it.

Now USB on the other hand would be doable but unless you want to write you own WDM driver you'd have to build it to be compatable with a solution that is already available.....
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Old 12th January 2002, 06:24 AM   #7
JoeBob is offline JoeBob  Canada
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Well actually I've been doing alot of studying on device driver writing lately, that's what brought this idea on.

Also the micronas chips wouldn't require a seperate power suply to power them, apparently they're bus powered...
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Old 12th January 2002, 06:34 AM   #8
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Micronas UAC 3552A
Phillips UDA1321

I'm sure there's others, as well...

I can't say for sure, but I think the USB Audio drivers are already in Linux (I'm a Mac guy). Should be fairly plug and play.
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Old 12th January 2002, 06:42 AM   #9
JoeBob is offline JoeBob  Canada
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Thanks, I found the micronas one but not the philips before. Looks interesting, though I don't know if it'd be easier to implement then a PCI version... Philips has a whole range of them I see, while micronas had it all in one package so to say...

Also did you take a look at the UDA1335 and UDA1325 (although the UDA1335 seems to be discontinued)?
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Old 12th January 2002, 06:48 AM   #10
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If you're remotely interested in keeping your sanity and not going broke in the process use the all in one chips ........
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