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Thread: hardware volume control

  1. #11
    Unregistered User ODYSSEY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Raleigh, NC USA CarPC Ver3: [▓▒▒


    ok, I got my pots. Stupid question. How do I use it? I have three connectors? I know one is input, output, then ?. Sorry I don't know too much about elec.


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  2. #12
    Bj is offline
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Perth W.A Australia


    wire it like this

    (o) front view (cool ascii view hey)

    pin 1 is ground
    pin 2 is output
    pin 3 is input

    so for the left channel......

    the active wire from the sound card, goes onto the 3rd pin, your amplifer input hooks up to pin 2. The shield from both amp and sound card, go to the ground pin, but unless you've done this before, it may be a tad hard to understand.

    why? because 10k impedance had to match your soundcard output and your amplifier input.

    If you have them unbalanced, you may experience noise from the amp when you have the pot in the halfway position.......then you will have to build a matching resistor network.......

    But in most cases just wire it up and it should work


    [This message has been edited by Bj (edited 03-20-2001).]
    BjBlaster! Car MP3 & Carputer!

    "The solution to one problem is only the beginning of another"

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2001


    The potentiometer stacking is a good idea... one word of caution though, the pot that you have choosen is not a "heavy-duty" type. It will wear out fairly quickly used frequently. It will also be rather delicate and need to be handled carefully.

  4. #14
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    London, Ontario, Canada


    BJ explained it perfectly, but there is one thing to add:

    Be sure to get a high quality sealed pot. Normal pots are very cheap and wear out quickly with any sort of use. Also, sealed designes keep the horrible dust found in cars out. When I clean out my player, the rag comes out pitch black from all the greasy dust that is formed. Terrible stuff. Normal pots will last a few months then become crackly.

    You will pay more for a sealed pot (probably close to $8 a piece) but it is worth it. Multiturn is not necessary.
    Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
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  5. #15
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Yorba Linda, CA


    A company called Xicor ( ) makes some really neat little digital pots. They are basically a small DIP package with no external components needed.

    You hook 3 pins up just like a normal pot, and then connect 2 momentary switches (or a rotary pulse switch if you want an "analog" feel to it) to the digital Up/Down inputs. It works exactly like a digital car stereo with up and down volume buttons. If you hold down a button it will accelerate to zero or full volume.

    They have several models with different resistance values and the IC's even have onboard nonvolatile flash memory to store the volume level even when power is removed! They offer linear and logarithmic versions (for audio).

    For a stereo signal you could gang two together so they step in unison. There's even a mute input you could connect to a small switch.

    I have a couple of these I was going to mess with but never got around to it. I'll be sure to post some info if I ever use them.
    Jason Johnson
    Yorba Linda, California

    M▓PC Phase IV - *** PENDING ***

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Kenai, AK USA


    I've completed the mod sugguested by Arby and it works quite well I have a pic of how to wire it up that should answer any questions. If it doesn't answer all the questions let me know.

    Here's the pic

    Thanks Arby, I almost went through the work of using two pots for the front and rear channels but this was much easier plus there is no loss in sound quality.

  7. #17
    Live and Kickin'
    Arby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000


    That's cool. I didn't know about it muting as well.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2001


    OK here's an idea: Why not do a software volume control through keyboard keys that have been ripped off and extended to the front of the car? This is what I plan on doing.

    I saw a varation of this of someone Eagle Talon, but for the life of me I cant remembers whose.. Sorry

  9. #19
    Oms is offline
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    May 2000
    The Netherlands


    I made a software volume control using a rotary encoder (i.e. jog-dial). So I've got a knob up front that I rotate for volume, and push to select volume - bass - mid - treble - balance - fader. If you're interested, here's a description:
    Custom Linux system on an '89 VW GTI 16V Edition One
    Jogdial volume control, Sony joystick, IR remote...
    Used to be the fastest Linux on the road, until all these NOS types came along...

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