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Old 9th November 2004, 08:10 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New York
Default newbie needing some advice

Here's my situation... I have a pair of nice speakers in my basement which are currently connected to a receiver in another room. I also have a computer in my basement with a large collection of MP3s which I'd like to share the same two speakers with. I also wuld like to have a separate, easily accessible volume control for whatever source is being used, so I don't have to log onto my computer or run over to the other room if I need to adjust the volume.

Coming from the receiver in the other room is one right channel and one left channel- each line is a pair of wires. For the computer I'd have to find an adapter to convert it's stereo output line into the same 4 wire configuration for Left and Right channels (I assume this exists).

So what I'd like to have is a selector switch which will toggle which source the speakers will be using, then a volume control which will contorl the volume of whatever the selector switch is on....

This seems relatively simple to do, but I have no idea what components I should be looking for and where to buy them.. I've been doing some research on volume controls and just know that I need a logarithmic dual gang potentiometer. I can find brands like Alps Electric but I have no idea how to purchase one of these- I can only find them in bulk (like minimum order of 12,000 pieces!) Then for the selector switch I have no idea what to use.

Can anyone offer some help to me?
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Old 11th November 2004, 04:43 AM   #2
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Vancouver Island
It'd be easiest to just get another receiver or integrated amplifier from a yard sale/thrift store/dumpster and keep it in the basement.
It is possible to switch and control the volume of speaker-level signals, but the L-pads (volume controls) cost a few bucks and waste power.
Could you run the sound card output from the computer into the room with the receiver? Get a wireless remote control externder (X10 Powermid for instance) to operate the receiver (although that could cost you much more than a thrift store stereo receiver). (Or... desolder the infrared LED from a universal remote, extend the wires into the room with the receiver, and use it as a sort of wired remote from the basement.)
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Old 11th November 2004, 04:13 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New York
Thanks for your reply, dangus

Hmm so you're saying putting a switch and a volume control would not work well?

I like your idea about the wired remote setup... sounds pretty simple to do, it would just be kinda awkward with the remote in my basement with wires hanging off of it... I do have a used wall plate keypad for controlling volume/input/power that someone was going to throw out- is it possible for me to wire that up to an IR transmitter and somehow encode the correct IR signals so it can give the right commands to the receiver?
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Old 12th November 2004, 08:09 AM   #4
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Scottish Borders
Hi dangus,
Could you expand on the LED extended wires to another room?
I'm running cat5e around the house and your solution sounds nice.
what restrictions on length?
is another circuit required to hook the remote LED back in?
regards Andrew T.
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Old 13th November 2004, 08:51 AM   #5
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Pa
It seems to me that you are trying to vary the gain and select different sources. That will require some stages of conditioning and then a stage or two of amplification for power. The volume control is a function of gain of one of the stages. Not just a switch and a variation of the load. If you had a 70 volt audio system you could use an L-pad to adjust the volume locally but you would need tow of these to select one or the other.

Sounds like the recommendation of the intergrated amp is the best. This way you have all the stages and gain adjustment you will need.

good luck
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