Introduction: Super Sexy Sound Switcher

I have to crane over dangerously to switch my laptop's audio output between speakers and headphones. It involves leaning over, pulling out one plug, and then finding and inserting the other plug. Also, I have to ensure that the speakers are turned off when doing this. It gets irritating after a while. So I envisioned this solution. Two things to be noted here:

1. This is my first Instructable.

2. After coming up with this idea and making it, I noticed a similar Instructable already posted. I apologize in advance, but it really is a coincidence.

Step 1: Bill of Materials and Schematic

Everything was bought at Fry's Electronics. You can probably save money on them by buying online, stealing, etc. I think this can be done for under 20 bucks easily. I was lazy. In addition to the above listed items, I also used:

1. Wire stripper

2. Two pairs of adjustable wrenches (for mounting the 3.5 mm jacks)

3. Philips screwdriver

4. 22-gauge wire (red, white, black)

5. Shrink tubing

6. Heat gun

7. Drill press

8. Hammer

9. Center punch

10. 1/4" drill bit

11. Solder station, solder, flux

12. ruler, pencil, eraser

13. Safety goggles.

Step 2: Positioning and Drilling Holes

I positioned the holes (all 1/4") myself, and made sure that the hole on the sloping plane was high enough to clear the wires and contacts underneath. I used a vise to clamp the parts in order to center punch the holes. I then thought...hey, why not drill in place??

That turned out to be a silly idea, and the resulting "hole" had a weird "delta-type" oscillation pattern. Not good. So I went to the drill press, and it was a lot better.

Step 3: Hole Positioning and Drilling, Part II

Life improved with the drill press, and you can see the results for yourselves. The fixturing was admittedly tricky and I needed to hand-hold while operating the drill press. A little risky. DO NOT forget safety goggles. You can also see how I used a parallel bar to lay the top side flat.

By the way, all the holes are 1/4" diameter.

Step 4: Reaming

I used a 0.2500" reamer to make the holes "true".

Step 5: Soldering, Part I

I started by soldering the middle section of the switch contacts, because they would be harder to get to for shrink tubing afterwards. I then soldered the outside leads. I used short lengths of shrink tubing.

Check the contacts on the switch and align accordingly. I aligned the switch "vertically", such that the top position switched to the right output and the bottom position switched to the left output. The input was in the middle, of course.

Step 6: Soldering, Part II

After soldering ALL the switch contacts, I then soldered the wires onto the headphone jack contacts. DO NOT forget to place the shrink tubing before you solder, then you move it down and shrink it.

Here's how the final soldered product looks. Now you simply screw it back on to the base, and you're done!

Step 7: Final Product

I used the feet provided with the project box.

Comments

author
NorseEngineering (author)2014-10-28

Very clean design, well implemented, and great organization. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful projects. Yes it is simple, but it does what it is supposed to do and looks good doing it.

author
dilipaz (author)NorseEngineering2014-11-22

Thank you for the comments!

author
nqtronix (author)2014-10-27

Hello and welcome to instructables! :)

Indeed, your project covers an idea I've seen before. But I highly doubt anyone has done this (until now) with such a high attention to detail: A rock solid metal housing, a reliable, top quality switch, massive wires, beautyful heat shrinking tubes over the solder joints,... and you even added some rubber feets! I'd say you've done the job pretty well, congratulations :D

I'd love to see more great instructables like this ;)

author
dilipaz (author)nqtronix2014-11-22

thank you so much!

author
barista (author)nqtronix2014-11-03

I agree! So beautifully over-engineered and more than due the 'Super Sexy' moniker. A project is only simple if you know how to do it and, after all, that's what this site's all about - sharing the smarts.

author
dilipaz (author)nqtronix2014-10-27

Thank you! I am looking forward to many more hours spent with Instructables.

author
bergerab (author)2014-11-03

Wow! This is awesome. The electronics look so genuinely old school and professional. Good job!

author
dilipaz (author)bergerab2014-11-22

thank you!

author
script_coded (author)2014-10-28

Did one like this for my computer some time ago :) Works great! I think im going to add a usb and mic switch too.

author
nqtronix (author)script_coded2014-11-03

You have to be really careful when working with USB, high speed signals require a very clean and organized layout. A common switch probaly goes beyond the distortion margin, so don't be surprised if it doesn't work as aspected.

If you're really serious about it you should know that there are specific IC's out there to do just that task. However they only come in SMD packages and are usually not sold by local distributors. I'd try to ask the manufactures politely if they could sample you two pieces (in case you destroy the first), if they do it's usually completly free.

For research (parts in hand-solderable cases by companies who offer sampling):

Texas Instruments:

TS3USB30E

Fairchild:

FSUSB11/20/30/31/42/46

Toshiba:

TC7USB40FT/ TC7USB42FT

Have fun :)

author
script_coded (author)nqtronix2014-11-16

Oh, thanks a lot! That'll really help me out!

author
dilipaz (author)nqtronix2014-11-15

This is pretty awesome, because now I find myself wishing that there was a good USB switch on the market, and I don't see one. Thank you for this.

author
tomatoskins (author)2014-10-27

I love to see simple solutions to simple problems. Especially such beautifully executed solutions such as this. Great job!

author
dilipaz (author)tomatoskins2014-10-27

Thanks tomatoskins, just followed you!

author
tomatoskins (author)dilipaz2014-10-27

Thanks! I'm looking forward to more awesomeness from you!

author
ibenkos (author)2014-10-27

Really smart idea!!! Good job, thanks for shearing :)

author
dilipaz (author)ibenkos2014-10-27

Thanks a ton!

author
seamster (author)2014-10-27

Well done! I've needed a device like this for years. Glad to know I'm not the only one annoyed every time I have to swap plugs in and out of my computer like this.

Nice work!

author
dilipaz (author)seamster2014-10-27

Thank you for the feedback. Just followed you.

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