I spent many hours searching the internet, looking to buy some sort of 1/8" jack audio switcher box, but to no avail.
So, I decided to make my own, and it was surprisingly easy.
For this project I used:
1 - 4x4x2 pvc junction box (from Lowes) - $6.38
6 - 1/8" stereo jacks (from RadioShack) - $3.99 per 2 pack
6 - DPST (Double Pole Single Throw) toggle switches (from www.electronix.com) - $10.35 for 15*
!! - 22 gauge stranded wire - (from RadioShack) - $6.59 per 3 pack - red, green, black**
Note: * - You have to order atleast $10 worth of merchandize from electonix.com for them to ship, hence I had to order 15 switches instead of the 6 that I needed, but still it was a better deal than at RadioShack and now I have 9 other switches for other projects.
Note: * - It looks like electronix.com isn't selling the switches I used at the time I wrote this (01-09-09) so I would just search the web for "DPST switch" and see what you can find. But, check electronix.com first because they seem to have great pricing.
Note: ** - 22 gauge wire is probably overkill for this project, but it works well and is easy to solder
Step 1: Wiring Diagram
Below is the wiring diagram:
It's pretty straight forward.
I used a soldering iron for all the contacts.
Rosin core solder works very well for these types of projects.
Step 2: Put Together the Pieces
The Rx and Tx Audio leads on the stereo jacks are the main right and left speaker leads , which one is which doesn't matter as long as you stay consistent throughout all the soldering.
All the green audio grounds are linked together - causes no audio distortion, works perfectly
Note: Most every normal speaker has a main lead and a ground lead. For mono systems one ground and one main go to each speaker - all grounds are the same and all mains are the same. For stereo systems there is one common ground that goes to both the right and left speakers, and there are two separate mains, one going to the right speaker and one going to the left speaker.
For some the above note is a, "Duh! everybody knows that", and for others it's, "Oh! I get it," so I thought I would throw it in there.
Step 3: Put It to Some Use
The way that this box is designed any audio jack can be used as an input or an output:
This means you can have 1 input and 5 different outputs or 5 different inputs and 1 output or any variation in between.
I have mine set up with 3 inputs: 1) Flat Screen TV 2) Small TV/Computer Monitor 3) Mackbook Pro (Laptop)
2 outputs: 1) Computer speakers 2) JVC stereo system
To select the audio path you want just flip ON the switch for the input you want, and flip ON the switch for the output you want, and Bahm! You got it!
Note: You can have as many or all the outputs flipped ON with no problems... very nice if you have multiple speaker systems. However, you can only have one input ON at a time. If you flip more than one input ON, sound distortion will occur because only one input can dominate, whichever has the stronger signal.
Good luck, hope this instructable helped!