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can i use a micro controller to switch audio or will i need to also use relays? Answered

hi, I'm thinking about making an audio linked house (each room can listen to music playing from another) (for details read my other post) basically all the rooms are going to be linked to a central switcher witch will have a micro prossesor in it, maybe an arduino or pic. my current design uses a whole load of relays connected to the digital pins via a transistor. i was wondering if there was an easier/simpler way to do this, maybe direct onto the micro prossesor?



8 years ago

Depends--are you switching high-current output (amplifier output), or small-signal stuff, like line-outs? I.E., will it be amplified separately in each room, or have a "mothership" amp?

There are lots of cheap CMOS analog switches (like the 4016), easily controllable by an Arduino or AVR. Great for line outs or iPods, etc.

But these cannot handle the high-current loads that actually drive speakers. Best to use relays in that case. It's possible to find digital relays that are, in essence, the same circuitry as the 4016, but use large mosfets instead of the tiny ones internal to the CMOS quad switch.


Answer 8 years ago

okay, i've had a look at the 4016, would there be any way of to have like, for example:
i will have 6 stereo audio channels, each one can be either an input or an output which means that they all need to be able to connect to each other, how would i do this simply? (sorry for the not verry good wording, please let me know if you have trouble understanding


Best Answer 8 years ago

You will want to use relays, or an audio switch chip, or something of that sort. Using a microcontroller directly would require digitizing the audio and then converting it back... which needs a fairly fast microcontroller to avoid losing too much sound quality, and careful coding, and generally much more work.

Let hardware do the switching, and let the micro tell the hardware what to do.