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Thread: 3 Sources into 1 Output plus Linedriver - Possible?

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate we87's Avatar
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    3 Sources into 1 Output plus Linedriver - Possible?

    Pre-built MoCoSo machine with an intel board using the inboard soundcard, XM radio and newly HD Radio.

    Right now everything is working just fine, but I only have my XM radio hooked up thru my line in on the pc. I just got a HD RADIO box that I'd like to hook up but only have the single line input on the pc. I have looked at some auto sensing aux switchers (that essentially split a single output between two inputs and switches to whichever is actually spitting out audio), but not sure how they will actually work in our carpc environments (because i dont think centrafuse actually turns off the xm box or hd box for that matter it just mutes the line in) plus I have been wanting a line driver to up my output voltage going into my amps for awhile now.

    SO-- my question is before I spend $60 bucks on Mitch's aux switcher box alone, could I spend around the same and get something that will split my single line input for my hd AND xm radio (and possibly give me a third for true aux for friends phones when they ride) plus give me a line driver to up the onboard soundcards voltage going into my amps? Everything I have seen doesn't do both. But since everyone on here knows more about this then I do I was hoping I overlooked something.

    Any ideas are always greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
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    Mitch's audio switcher should work great and it has more inputs for the future, however if you get a cheapo usb sound card you should be able to use it with the winamp line in plugin (you may have to leave it running on the background if you're not using RR). I basically do that but I use an input device that Mitch also made (basically a USB sound card with just one input). The quality and audio volume will vary based on the brand/quality of the device. Lastly you will have no volume control of that device (in RR at least), so it is basically whatever you can set (and leave configured) in the windows mixer. Awhile back I looked into trying to find some cheap 2-IN to 1-OUT audio mixers and could not find anything useful. In my previous carpc I just ran a cable to the CD-IN input of the motherboard (most computers have that) - this generally also works very well for 1 extra audio input (on the other hand, the "mic in" input is awful for music).
    Last edited by guino; 10-17-2012 at 08:40 PM.
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  3. #3
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    For the line driver its not necessary as the gain on most amplifiers can be adjusted to match source units with outputs as low as 200mV. Most motherboards put out 1-2 V which is acceptable.

    Before you invest in another piece of equipment try properly setting the gains on your amplifiers.

    That being said if you still want one, most (good) line drivers can boost that 1V output to well over 7V. This is very useful for an amp with an unregulated power supply to try and squeeze more out of it, but above what most of your commercial amplifiers with regulated power supplies can handle.

    It is also a good way to clip the audio signal if the gain is not adjusted properly. In order to properly adjust a line driver you need an oscilloscope. I have not found a feasible way around that.

    In order to adjust the gains on your amplifier ideally you would set those with an oscilloscope as well, but you can get those fairly close with a simple DMM.

    Long story short a line driver probably isnt going to do much to help. If you are dead set on getting one, there are two ID recommend for different budgets. The cadence CEQ-773 Is a nice unit with a built in EQ and can be had for around 40. It also has an additional line in Or the Audiocontrol unit (the model number escapes me right now.) The audiocontrol unit is much better, however is in the 300 dollar price range.

    The CEQ-773 has a convenient clipping light which is nowhere near as accurate as setting it via an oscilloscope, but will get you to a relatively safe setting easily without buying an expensive scope.

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate we87's Avatar
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    Thank you for the information guys.

    I went with a $25 P.I.E. SW-2 aux switcher that had an auto-sensing feature that automatically switches to the second input when music is being played, and reverts back when the signal is lost. http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_....-RCA-SW2.html

    Price is great, and does exactly what it says it does. However, it degrades the audio being fed thru it. Meaning if I hook up my HD radio directly to my mother board it sounds great, when it is being fed thru this box it doesn't. No static or anything, just doesn't sound the same as it does by itself. Very disappointing.

    So my next step is probally going to be getting mitchs switcher. I just hope it automatically switches inputs from Centrafuse
    Carputer Progress
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    Everything is in the car and working.
    I painted the cilpboard mount and it looks good.
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    View My Progress Here

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