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Old 14th October 2011, 11:23 PM   #1
snadge is offline snadge  United Kingdom
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Default headphone jack to 2x RCA help

Hi all

Im new to the forum

Im trying to wire my laptop headphones out to hifi twin RCA in - i have tried to do so manually with old cables, I got mono sound though, the cable I used only had one ground wire - is this why? - the cable had left/right/ground and the RCA cables obviously had 2 each (left/ground and right/ground)

if thats the reason, how does the cable I used with single ground manage to carry stereo audio to headphones?

thanks
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Old 15th October 2011, 05:39 AM   #2
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The single ground is not your problem. Nearly all (except for electrostatic) headphones use 3 wires for stereo and has been done for 50 years. The ground is common to both channels. Is your cable tip / ring / sleeve (left / right / ground respectively)? Equally important, is the computer stereo (hard to imagine it ISN'T) Is your cable stereo and not a mono mix? What your trying to do with your laptop I do daily with the desktop machines.

Need more information.

G
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Old 15th October 2011, 05:47 AM   #3
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You can find a 3.5mm-to-RCA stereo cable pretty much anywhere these days.
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Old 15th October 2011, 12:57 PM   #4
snadge is offline snadge  United Kingdom
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thanks for replies

yeah I can buy one but had spare unused cables and thought I would try to make one instead, that way i would have it now and for free.

the laptop is stereo as I hook it up to the iPod dock with a male-to-male cable, my father has dropped of his Technics hi-fi and I thought I would try pumping it through that.

im not sure of the orientation of the tip/ring/sleeve but would imagine it pretty much standard? so that when connected to the laptop its picking up the correct channels (i have used this headphone/cable before on the laptop and it was fine)

the headphone cable had
yellow/white/red

the RCA's had
white/outer wire
white/outer wire

I assume the yellow in the headphone cable is the ground, so, I joined the outer wire of the RCA's to the yellow combining the two RCA's ground into one and connected one RCA's white cable to red and the other RCA's white cable to white, when i tested i got some stereo but it wasnt right, when i played with the balance on laptop I could not mute both channels (or something like that, was late last night and i was tired), i think one channel was coming out of one speaker and both were coming out of the other.

so, I swapped the wires around on the RCA's as I didnt know which of those was ground and just guessing, so now i connected the inner wires to the ground and the outer wire on one RCA to red and the outer wire on the other RCA to white - this time I got mono sound.
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Old 15th October 2011, 01:31 PM   #5
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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A continuity check would solve it. Do you have a meter? If no meter, rig up a continuity checker with a battery and a torch bulb.

Tip/ring/sleeve is fairly well standardised. Cable colours are not.
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Old 15th October 2011, 01:34 PM   #6
snadge is offline snadge  United Kingdom
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actually I do have a multi-meter - wouldnt know what to put it on though or how to use in this situation.. i use it for testing live sockets etc
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Old 15th October 2011, 02:28 PM   #7
snadge is offline snadge  United Kingdom
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got it sussed... i tried diff variations without commiting to sealing the cable and found it without using multimeter (in same manner though)

the outer cable on RCA's were the ground and the white on the headphones cable was ground and yellow was right and red was left..

thanks for the help and guidance
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Old 15th October 2011, 07:17 PM   #8
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snadge
actually I do have a multi-meter - wouldnt know what to put it on though or how to use in this situation.
Use continuity range (often has a beeper) or lowest ohm range. Put one probe on tip/ring/sleeve. Other probe on bare wire at other end of cable. Beep or zero ohms means one end is connected to the other. Useful check after making a cable. Right things are connected together; everything else is not connected.
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Old 15th October 2011, 07:20 PM   #9
snadge is offline snadge  United Kingdom
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thanks DF96... I managed to sort it out anyway without multimeter but using same testing method

works great now

cheers
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