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Connecting To A Desktop Computer

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Computer Inputs. Desktop computers usually have several connectors on the back of the case that are inputs and outputs to the computers sound card. To use the Audio Delay program, you must bring audio signal from an external radio into these inputs. Normally, you will connect the radio to the computer through the Line-In input. To determine which inputs are Line-In inputs, refer to your computers manual, or search the online documentation for your computer or your computer's sound card. The connectors are usually color-coded to help you identify the correct the connector.



Adapters. Once you have identified the proper input port, you will also need a cable and potentially one or more adapters that will convert from the ear phone jack that plugs into the radio to the jacks that connect to the sound card. The basic problem is that jacks come in different sizes and types and the sound card and the radio rarely have the same type. As a result, you must find a cable and/or adapters that will plug into both the sound card and the radio.

The most important aspect of the jacks is whether there is stereo or monaural Most computer jacks are stereo and most radio earphone jacks are monaural.


As a result, you usually have to find a cable that has a stereo jack on one end and monaural jack on the other. If you can't find a cable that satisfies this requirement, you can usually use an adapter on one end of the cable that will convert it to the type and size you need.

You can tell stereo jacks from monaural jack by carefully examining the tip of the jack and counting the number of conductors. Stereo jacks will have three; monaural jacks will have two. The drawing to the right illustrates what stereo and monaural jacks look like and how to tell them apart.

Warning: Be careful and make sure the plugs for any adaptor you use match the radio and computer you are using. For example, miniature plugs like these can be either monaural or stereo. AM Radio outputs tend to monaural, but computer inputs tend to be stereo. If you plug a stereo jack into a mono socket, it may short out part of the circuitry and do damage to your Computer or your Radio. Radio Shack generally has adaptors that can convert stereo to monaural, as well adaptors to convert between different sizes.

The final step is to make sure the input is configured as a "Line-In" input. On a desktop computer, at least one of the inputs is normally configured a Line-In input. If one of the inputs isn't configured as a Line-In Input, you will need to reconfigure it. This is usually done with a special utility program that is installed on your computer along with the sound card. The image below shows the typical configuration utility for the RealTek sound card.

As you can see, the bottom pink connector shows a microphone symbol just to the right, indicating that it is not configured as "Line-In' input


To change the configuration, you can click on the microphone and the program will display the configuration window shown to the right. The "Mic In" option is checked, which shows that the input to be configured for a microphone.

Checking the "Line In" option and pressing OK, will change the input from a Mic-In to Line-In. As you can see, the icon next to the pink plug as changed from a Microphone Symbol to a Line-In symbol.

Not all computers use Realtek sound ICs, so you may find different sound setup programs on your computer. Even  computers that do use Realtek sound ICs, may have a different setup program from the one pictured here, so it may take some exploration to find the controls that set the sound ports.

Generally speaking, you need to use the setup program for the sound card or sound chip, and not the Windows sound-configuration programs. The Windows  programs usually don't allow you to control low-level options like sound port assignments.


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