Intro: How to Make a 3.5mm Audio Switch
Tired of having to get off from bed to unplug your ps3 audio wire from the speaker and then getting on all fours so you can try to find your computer audio wire and finally plugging it back into your speaker? Try these easy steps to make a switch that costs less then $15.00. It'll take no more than 45 minutes from start to finish.
The switch has to be a 3PDT switch. If you take a look at it behind the switch there should be 9 terminals. When it's all said and done there should be 9 wires attached to the switch. Got it? Good. This is important.
Project enclosure 3x2x1 (radio shack)
3PDT switch (make sure the nut comes with it)
(3) 3.5mm mount jack (radio shack)
1/4 or 5/16 drill bit; I don't remember. :/ I recommend to use the 1/4 first. ;)
For those of you out there with a voltmeter you may want to meter it out before you begin to solder. This will guarantee yourself which terminals provide a closed circuit. In other words you'll touch the terminal located in the center with one lead and with the other lead touch either the terminal to the right or the left. The voltmeter should elicit an audible beep so what does this really mean?
This means the middle column will be labeled output. This is where I plug in my speaker wire. The ps3 and the computer in conjunction with a set of brand new Audioengine A5's make use of this 3.5mm switch.
Every part but the 3PDT switch I purchased from radio shack. I found the 3PDT switch for $3.00 at a local electronic store. From start to finish this took me about 45 minutes and total cost was no more than $15.00. Ask friends if they have a soldering tool to borrow.
The mount jack I bought at radio shack contains three terminals and if the package label reads phone jack then this is okay. The mount jack I bought at radio shack was labeled phone jack and it works just fine. A 3.5mm audio connecter should have three rings in the plug namely tip, ring and sleeve. Three rings and three terminals. Tip: ground. Ring: audio right. Sleeve: audio left.
Please don't pay $40.00 for a switch when you can save a lot of money by making one yourself. Set aside an hour or two on a weekend and just do it. I say an hour or two because you actually have to go out and purchase the parts. It's instant gratification when you're finished making the switch, connecting it to your speakers or whatever, and figuring out that it works. This is a simple project just about anyone can do. You just have to put in a little effort.
Notice the first row of the switch is connected to separate jacks but for each jack terminal they're the same. This is what I want to emphasize when it comes to making one of these things. Relatedly the terminal soldered from the switch to the mount jack is arbitrary, however, this specific schematic shown is a working variant. If you do follow these instructions vehemently none other than what is shown you have a good chance making this thing work granted everything else is done correctly. I'll take the extra time to make another picture with color so it would be easier to translate what goes where if I get a lot of traffic. I'll make the picture better if a lot of people get confused looking at this picture. Good luck.