Switch Box for Your Sound/headphone





Introduction: Switch Box for Your Sound/headphone

About: I'm a Computational Physicist at University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. My hobbies vary among music, electronics and drawing. Black Lead (draw): www.wix.com/dpizetta/blacklead Spin Di Pexe (products): www.vitri...

If you are like me and have problems to switch your sound with headphones in you computer.

Materials' list:
1 dual channel switch (for stereo) - Mod. 17203 in this case;
3 female P2 (3.5mm) in my case - from old pc sound board;
• 1 mini box - I don't know where I found it :);
8 wires - net wire;

Accessories and tools:

  • Glue;
  • Sandpaper (#300 and #600);
  • Drill;
  • Soldering iron;

I put three female connectors because all my cables/extensions are male. If you prefer, you could use a cable soldered internally.

Step 1: Preparing Wires, Connectors, Switch and Box

Prepare your box making the roles for each connector and the switch, Fig. 1. I put all components reaching the back of the box, so I can glue all of them.

After making the roles, I sanded the box to give it a mat aspect - you could see through it but not clearly, Fig. 3 and 4.

Now we should prepare the switch with the wires, because it is easier if you put the wires in the switch before you put it into the box; remember, you have two independent channels, so use colored wires to keep organized. The third wire color you will use to the GND - I use a green one, Fig. 2 and 5.

For some schemes of those jacks see here.

After all parts are OK, you should glue the connectors and wait to be fixed. Then you easily weld all parts together, Fig. 5

Step 2: Finishing

You could use a metallic box to keep it shielded. But I've tested and I have no noise in this current configuration.

You should test (including with a multimeter) to check the resistance and short-circuit.

TIP: If you build like me, when you turn the switch to the left, you will activate the right out. If you prefer to keep the same side, turn the switch 180º.

I used a double-sided tape to stick it behind the monitor.

TIP 2: You can use the foot monitor to hold your headphone like the last picture. Enjoy!

Comment: I would like to see a monitor with a frontal-bottom output for headphone. All that I see have a back output that is unusual (or unpractical).



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Please be positive and constructive.




Hi! Nice project! In fact, I actually just made one and it works fine, but the sound is verry bad and I don't know what I could do to make it better. I don't know if you can help, but thanks in advance!

5 replies

Hi! Could you send me more information about your project. Some pictures for example would be nice, so I can help you. Tks! You said that the sound is bad, how are you comparing them?

Hi! Thanks for answering! Here are some pictures of the finished product. I'm not sure I understand your question about how I'm comparing them... It's just that the sound quality is poor (actually, very very poor). If I do well understand though, it's just that the signal which goes through the switch is has downscaled vocals (or downgraded or degraded -- sorry for my English, not my native language). The instrumental part is kind of fine, though.

stereo switch 2.jpgstereo switch.jpg

Hey, sorry for the delay, these comments sometimes does not work and I don't know why. I have already answered for you, but I will post again. So, this problem you said can be created by the negative (GND). In your photos I don't see any negative wire, just two of them (left and right channels) maybe. This should be the problem. If there is a negative wire, try to check it. If you see my pictures, red and blue wires are positives (R and L channels) and the green one is negative. I hope to hear from you. Good luck!

Thanks a lot! You were right, the problem was just the negative wire! All works fine now! Thanks again for the help and the project!

I'm glad I could help you! Thanks! If you need any help in the future, please, contact me :)

As far as I know HDMI has 4 differential pairs plus some sort of two wire interface plus additional channels for hotplug detection and ethernet, so at least 10 lines in total. You most likely won't find a switch that big, and if you do it'll be expensive.

Anything with high spped signals is incredible sensive, any difference between both wires of one pair in thickness (resistance) lenght (inductance) and distane to other wires (capacitance) will effect the signal negativly. Thats why you sometimes see on pcbs two traces close together and going in loops to match the lenght. Imagine now at least 20 wires randomly stuffed into a box.

For a simple solution you shoud rather consider to a switch. They would propably cost less than the huge switch alone.

If you however absolutly want a diy solution you should look out for specialy designed ICs. I quickly checked and TI (Texas Instruments) has some nice ICs to switch between two or three lines (2:1 / 3:1) in a small, but hand-solderable 64-TQFP SMD package. For companies they offer a sampling service, so if you ask nicely you might even get one or two chips for free. If you go this way, pleeease share your experience with us. Good luck

I think that this is not a good idea. HDMI is a high speed digital channel, so any bad quality material used could damage your signal. You need do ensure the components quality and shielding. Including to that, may you have problems with sync. If you try, share with us.

would say rca have the same problems as hdmi that you were talking about

3 replies

RCA, on the other hand, is a relatively low speed analog signal. Obviously there will be some degradation, maybe not even noticeable, but NOWHERE near the negative effects of HDMI tampering.

Yeah! For HDMI I recommend to look at here for some commercial option: http://hdmi-switcher-review.toptenreviews.com/
For HDMI we have problems even with bad quality cables.

RCA is the same as cable sound as P2, P3 (sometimes they could be pre-amplified or not), but they work at 20Hz-80kHz with analog signal. HDMI work with 50-150MHz with digital signal.

RCA connectors SHOULDN'T have problems, since they're coping with the same types of signals as the 1/8" jacks used in the OP's build.

Incidentally, you can buy 1/8" stereo jacks that automatically switch over when a plug is inserted (like what happens when you plug headphones into your stereo), eliminating the need for the switch, and in addition it would make the project even smaller.

I love this idea! I've seen this before and yours look great! I love the matte finish that you put on it.

1 reply

Thanks tomatoskins, if you build it, let us know! :)