RCA / Composit AV Switch




sick of having to unplug one video device from your TV just so you can plug in another? Here's how to make a cheap Composite video audio switch for your vcr, dvd, xbox, etc... I built mine for under 5 bucks, here's where i got it all the parts http://www.surplusgizmos.com/ best store ever!!! I live right up the road from them.

this is a pretty simple project that my friend Shawn and I built for fun. Its a good way to practice your soldering skills.

Disclaimer. this is a home built project and as such should be attempted at your own risk. i seriously doubt you can cause much damage to your TV or anything if you do it wrong, but just be wary and make sure not to bridge any wires, and to solder everything well.

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Step 1: Parts/tools List

first you will need all your bits and pieces
3 yellow composite video jacks
3 red composite audio jacks
3 white composite audio jacks
a switch like the one in the diagram below here's a link to the part i used for sale
a project box
a lot of wire
various screws

next you'll need tools,
drill bits
exacto knife
hot glue gun
soldering iron

Step 2: Prepare the Project Box

now you have to cut out the holes for all the parts, this can be tricky if u use the bracket like i did, because you'll have to line up all the holes perfectly. but if your using just individual jacks, than you just have to space them so they will all fit inside. use the drill to cut the holes and use the knife to clean up any burrs.

the hole for the switch is a little more tricky. I marked out a rectangle, and drilled the corners and as much of the inside of the rectangle as possible than cleaned everything up with the knife. I made the hole smaller than the rocker on the switch, and removed to put it in and replaced it once it was in place.

Step 3: Solder Everythign Up.

Solder a separate lead to every hot post and one to every ground on the jacks. take all the grounds from each set of input jacks and solder the ends together into two separate bundles (see picture)

take all the leads and solder them to their respective spots on the switch (see diagram)

Basically I made a quick diagram and added some notes. if theirs any confusion just write a comment.

IMPORTANT!!!! you must use flux when you solder. it helps the solder bind to the metal. your solders will break if you don't

Step 4: Putting Everything Togather.

now its time to put everything in the project box and secure everything. If your not using brackets like I did, than simply hot glue all the jacks in place. and finally put the cover on the box

Step 5: Test

there are a couple ways of testing, you can use a meter to test all the connections, or you can test it on your TV (preferably don't test it on your best TV in case something goes wrong, i doubt anything will tho) have two inputs plugged in and turned on simultaneously. Now flip the switch to make sure it flips between the two inputs.

Step 6: Done!

If the last step worked, your done! if not go back and check your wiring.

please comment on my instructable! any questions, feedback, and/or constructive criticism is welcome. =)

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    11 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Have you updated this switch to allow for more modern AV connections and/or a powered control function?


    10 years ago on Step 3

    the inside of a composite cable has two sets of "wires" (actually a lot of wires to carry one signal) which part of the wire is the ground?

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 3

    He is using the orange for the ground. My question is, are you using a high isolation switch to keep the bleed over down if multiple sources are powered at one time?


    10 years ago on Step 1

    is it possible to get a better picture of the output jacks? and a link to the product?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    You spent 5 bucks on this one but I found one of these units at Big Lots for 4 dollars. It has one input and three outputs. Just a tip for the less creative out there...


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I agree with Bartboy! I am so gonna ramp this one up, maybe five or six connections with a spinning selector knob. I had to go out and buy one of these once... I could have built it all along. NICE!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Surplus Gizmos is a great store. I've been going there for a little over a year now, and love walking through the aisles looking at the shiny things. I recommend anyone in the Portland/Hillsboro area check them out. They have tons of stuff that they don't put on the website! Great 'ible. Simple solution to a problem that a lot of people deal with.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Has anyone said" AWSOME!!!!!!!" This should be featured, and If i had feature powers ( >:( ) I would SO feature this!

    Phil B

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the lead on Surplus Gizmos. I live near Boise, Idaho; but we are planning for retirement in Vancouver, Washington. My brother lives in Forest Grove, Oregon not far from Hillsboro. I will have to get myself to the store sometime when I am in the Portland/Vancouver area. Is there any need to shield the "hot" wire from the other lead? Would it make any difference in performance? Just wondering.