3.5mm SPDIF to Optical

garlik_bread

Novice Member
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stainless-steel

Active Member
I thought it would do the job well. But then i read on this post here that it cant be done:
It can be done, in fact its exactly what I do with my laptop, 3,5mm miniTOSlink into the laptop's S/PDIF with a TOS link connector at the other end of the cable to plug into the optical in on the amp.

You need to check that the S/PDIF on your laptop is optical (it should be as digital co-ax isn't an S/PDIF connector!), most laptops (with S/PDIF) have a combi socket that'll accept either optical miniTOS, in which case you configure the soundcard to digital out. And then plug in one of these between the computer and amp:


http://www.audiovisualonline.co.uk/...link-1m-audio-interconnect-cable/display.html

There are cheaper cables than this available if you want to give it a go first.
 

garlik_bread

Novice Member
Well looking at the laptop, the 3.5mm jack has god SPDIF written next to it but no other indication of whether it's optical or not. Looking inside the hole i cant see any light so im assuming the 3.5mm-coax would be better?

Thanks for the replies, will get a cheapy cable to test!
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
You need to check that the S/PDIF on your laptop is optical (it should be as digital co-ax isn't an S/PDIF connector!),
Both optical and electrical coax are types of S/PDIF connector. S/PDIF refers to the protocol, not the type of connector. optical is more correctly labelled toslink, both optical and digital coax carry the same S/PDIF stream
 

garlik_bread

Novice Member
Both optical and electrical coax are types of S/PDIF connector. S/PDIF refers to the protocol, not the type of connector. optical is more correctly labelled toslink, both optical and digital coax carry the same S/PDIF stream
Easy way of telling them apart? Would it be shining a light in there if it's optical?

If it is the electrical coax type, will this work or does it need to be a specific digital one like the one posted above? i think i've got one at home from my digital camera:

http://cpc.farnell.com/CS13413/computer-products/product.us0?sku=hama-046941
 
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mossym

Distinguished Member
Easy way of telling them apart? Would it be shining a light in there if it's optical?

If it is the electrical coax type, will this work or does it need to be a specific digital one like the one posted above? i think i've got one at home from my digital camera:

http://cpc.farnell.com/CS13413/computer-products/product.us0?sku=hama-046941
usually will be a light, but on some laptops you need to enable the spdif out, so if it is optical the light may not come on until you enable the spdif.

surely the manual must ell you what type of connector it is?

if it is digital your cable should work. if you like you can but a really cheap 3.5mm to phono adapter in maplin and use a standard dig coax cable. Any 75ohm cable will be fine
 

garlik_bread

Novice Member
usually will be a light, but on some laptops you need to enable the spdif out, so if it is optical the light may not come on until you enable the spdif.

surely the manual must ell you what type of connector it is?

if it is digital your cable should work. if you like you can but a really cheap 3.5mm to phono adapter in maplin and use a standard dig coax cable. Any 75ohm cable will be fine
Just checking the online manual for the laptop now.

One S/PDIF Output Jack - This S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format) Out Jack allows you to connect your
DVD-capable PC to a Dolby AC-3 compatible receiver for “5.1” or ‘dts’ surround sound.
really handy info there :rolleyes:

Will try to configure it later to see if it's optical or not, and if not i'll try my current lead to see if it works...whats the worst that could happen?! lol :suicide:
 

stainless-steel

Active Member
Both optical and electrical coax are types of S/PDIF connector. S/PDIF refers to the protocol, not the type of connector. optical is more correctly labelled toslink, both optical and digital coax carry the same S/PDIF stream
You're right there mossym, sorry for the confusion. What I was tryng to say was that the connector types are (in my experience) either RCA in which case it's an electrical S/PDIF or TOS/MinoTos in which case it's optical S/PDIF.

I've never seen an electrical digital minijack working with the S/PDIF protocol - not that that means they don't exist.

Garlik-bread, you can't always see the light even when the digital out is enabled, certainy with my Acer laptop the light doesn't come on 'til you.....plug in the cable:rolleyes:

If you can't find anything conclusive from anyone with the same laptop then just get the cheapest cable you can and give it a go, you can get them for less than a fiver.
 
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mossym

Distinguished Member
I've never seen an electrical digital minijack working with the S/PDIF protocol - not that that means they don't exist.
the creative vards(audigy and soundblaster at least, all have a 3.5mm digital coax conenction, easily made to standard dig coax with a 3.5mm to phono connector, but that is the only place i've ever seen it, even onmatx mobo's they are generally full size sockets, so you're right, they are rare
 

stainless-steel

Active Member
the creative vards(audigy and soundblaster at least, all have a 3.5mm digital coax conenction, easily made to standard dig coax with a 3.5mm to phono connector, but that is the only place i've ever seen it, even onmatx mobo's they are generally full size sockets, so you're right, they are rare
Ahh, thanks. Out if interest is it still S/PDIF or 75 Ohm? It does annoy me when manufacturers are this vague, so far the only thing we can tell garlik-bread for sure is:

It might be, or then again it might not.

My bet's still on optical though!:devil:
 

garlik_bread

Novice Member
Ahh, thanks. Out if interest is it still S/PDIF or 75 Ohm? It does annoy me when manufacturers are this vague, so far the only thing we can tell garlik-bread for sure is:

It might be, or then again it might not.

My bet's still on optical though!:devil:
Cheers :thumbsup: :D

I'll try the coax later and if not then i'll break the bank with the £5 optical one and check that :smashin:
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
Ahh, thanks. Out if interest is it still S/PDIF or 75 Ohm?
75 ohm is just the impedance of the cable, for digital coax it is recommended to use 75 ohm cable, for impedance matching reasons. For instance, in theory, in a composite video cable with audio(yellow, white and red connectors) the yellow is 75ohms, and the other two aren't. In reality the yellow is probably not 75 ohm, but will still do as a 75 ohm cable. to be honest, over a very short run, i'd expect any cable to do, but I stick to proper cables for piece of mind.

so, in digital coax, it is spdif carried over a 75ohm cable, in optical it is spdif carried by light, but on the optical reciever side you have the optical converted back to electrical format, so no matter the transport you end up with exactly the same stream of 1's and 0's

( now watch the cable junkies start streaming that dig coax has more jitter than optical so it is not exactly the same stream of 1's and 0's, but that is a totally seperate arguement and has no relevance here)
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
i have a copy of the spec on the shelf beside my desk..;)
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
:rotfl::rotfl:

I wasn't aiming that at you mossym, rather the rest of us than need educating!:D
oh i know, i was laughing as i clicked on your link as i had a sneaking suspicion what the link was..:)
 

garlik_bread

Novice Member
i have a copy of the spec on the shelf beside my desk..;)
Something just popped in my brain reading that :rotfl:

All i had at home was a 3.5mm jack to Yellow and White RCA, i didnt try it. Think i'll have to settle for buying something! :smashin:
 

garlik_bread

Novice Member
I've just bought this for £1.78:



Will then use a mono RCA to the amp and see what happens!!
 

garlik_bread

Novice Member
Update -

Using the jack converted above and a bog standard mono RCA from the laptop into the Digital Coax In on my Sony STR-DG910 all i could get was 2ch stereo.

Is it most likely because:
1- I'm using really crappy connectors and non-digital cables
2- The output is both electrical and optical, but optical will give me proper 5.1.
3- Im destined for rubbish sound from the laptop and i need to buy another one with HDMI out.
 
Update -

Using the jack converted above and a bog standard mono RCA from the laptop into the Digital Coax In on my Sony STR-DG910 all i could get was 2ch stereo.

Is it most likely because:
1- I'm using really crappy connectors and non-digital cables
2- The output is both electrical and optical, but optical will give me proper 5.1.
3- Im destined for rubbish sound from the laptop and i need to buy another one with HDMI out.
Certainly not the first two, the jury is out on the third! ;) However, I used to use a very similar system to watch downloaded episodes of 'Lost' in 5.1 on my laptop, only I used an external USB soundcard which gave an optical output to my amp.

It sounds to me like a configuration problem or lack of the correct codec perhaps? I think you should persevere!

The codec I used was AC3Filter
 

garlik_bread

Novice Member
Certainly not the first two, the jury is out on the third! ;) However, I used to use a very similar system to watch downloaded episodes of 'Lost' in 5.1 on my laptop, only I used an external USB soundcard which gave an optical output to my amp.

It sounds to me like a configuration problem or lack of the correct codec perhaps? I think you should persevere!

The codec I used was AC3Filter
To test the audio i wasnt using a movie for the 5.1, so it wouldnt be the codecs. I was simply using the sound card software to configure the speakers etc. But even when selecting a 4/6/7/8 speaker configuration i'd only ever get sound from the front 2.

Also, on the amp the digital light was not on. So basically it wasnt receiving a digital connection.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
To test the audio i wasnt using a movie for the 5.1, so it wouldnt be the codecs. I was simply using the sound card software to configure the speakers etc. But even when selecting a 4/6/7/8 speaker configuration i'd only ever get sound from the front 2.

Also, on the amp the digital light was not on. So basically it wasnt receiving a digital connection.
was there another connection between your laptop and the amp? if not , does the socket on your laptop double up as a line out/digital connection?

there is normally a setting in your soundcard software to enable the spdif output. if not you want to make sure you enablr dolby digital/dts passthrough so that the 5.1 tracks are passed to your amp untouched
 
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garlik_bread

Novice Member
was there another connection between your laptop and the amp? if not , does the socket on your laptop double up as a line out/digital connection?

there is normally a setting in your soundcard software to enable the spdif output
No, there was no other connection, no VGA not even a power connection :)

On the socket itself it reads 'spdif' but i think it can be used as a general line out.

In the software, i went into the digital out settings and it was already enabled for digital out @ 48khz.

This is basically the screen i get (at work PC now, same software). Realtek somethingorother.

 

mossym

Distinguished Member
looks like it is detecting it as LB/RB as they are highlighted. you may be passing a mono signal to both channels using the adapter/cable you used. what options do you have if you click on the little spanner to the side of the digital connection
 

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