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Electronics Home-made volume control..?

Discussion in 'Modding' started by riggs, 22 Dec 2004.

  1. riggs

    riggs ^_^

    22 Jul 2002
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    I picked up a set of Altec Lansing speakers about a year ago, which are specifically designed for Dell systems (which is why they were so cheap).
    Anywho, they don't have any volume controls (volume is adjusted through windows/soundcard software) which TBH, is a pain in the ass if I'm in the middle of gaming and need to change volume.
    I've been searching around for a soundcard for a while, hoping I can find a reasonably priced external soundcard with volume control, but then I thought 'why not just build a standalone volume control box'.

    I was wondering if any knows how I'd be able to actually build one?
    I'd just want a single knob that'd control all 6 speakers, so I presume I'd need some kind of pot with 6 inputs/6 outputs?

    Also, do I want to be adjusting the input volume (pre amp) or output volume (post amp)? If there's a way to adjust the post amp volume that'd be great (the speaker volume is constant (and loud), which results in a slight hissing sound - I imagine that a lower post amp signal would reduce the hissing?).

    Any ideas?
  2. bigal

    bigal Fetch n Execute

    8 Oct 2004
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    we need more info! this is a 5.1 setup i assume? What inputs does it have, 3x jack plugs or something else?
  3. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

    27 Nov 2001
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    Either way you want the volume controls between the soundcard outputs and active speaker inputs. In the absence of data, try some 10k or 47k log pots. To control 6 channels easily you could try slider types.
  4. guzzler

    guzzler What's a Dremel?

    14 Dec 2002
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    You'll need to follow the pot you use with a buffer as well, if you're going for cable runs over 1m. A simple unity gain opamp would suffice, or you could go with a monolithic buffer, eg BUF634, or you could even go for a discrete design. It's possible it might reduce, but I wouldn't count it. I always run the outputs from my computer at around 80% or so, which eliminates most of the hiss.


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