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Author Topic: Sound Card Interface with Lenovo T410 Laptop (uses 3.5 mm TRRS jack for audio)  (Read 5950 times)
K1OC
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Posts: 65




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« on: February 09, 2014, 08:58:23 AM »


I am trying to use a Donner Digital Interface soundcard interface with a Lenovo T410 (Windows 7) laptop.  The laptop has a single 3.5 mm (1/8") TRRS jack for mic in and headphone out.  That's the four-conductor jack found on iPhones, for example. The DDI has two 3.5 mm TRS plugs (your standard stereo miniphone). I have the appropriate adapter to take the two stereo miniphone plugs to a single TRRS plug.

Here's the problem: The laptop won't recognize the audio input.  It does switch the audio output from the laptop's built-in speakers to the headphone portion of the jack, but it won't switch off the microphone built into the webcam and accept audio input from the TRRS jack instead.  FWIW, it behaves the same way when I try it with my Heil iC headset.  I have tried two different adapters, so that's not the problem.

The "Recording" tab in the Sound properties box shows two microphones.  The default device is the one that's part of the built-in webcam (and is associated with the "Digital Jack" in its properties box).  The other microphone is associated with the right panel 3.5 mm jack (that's the one I've been trying to use), but it is greyed out and shown as "Not plugged in," even when the DDI is plugged in.

The DDI puts out a line level output, but I have used it inadvertently plugged into the mic jack of a Windows XP box.  (I use the DDI with the XP box currently, so I know the interface is working.)

Yes, I could get an outboard soundcard like a SignaLink, and that's Plan B, but I'd prefer to get the laptop working with my DDI.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks and vry 73,
de Tony

 

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KZ1X
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Posts: 3227




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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 06:27:11 PM »

I have a T420 and most folks would consider me to be a 'go-to' type guy for this sort of thing.

I gave up fiddling with the built in interface.  Maybe I could have eventually made it work.

Sometimes, you just have to know when to stop banging your head against the wall.

I use one of these now:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-External-7-1-Channel-3D-Virtual-Audio-Sound-Card-Adapter-PC-A-229-/400460458738?pt=US_Sound_Card_External&hash=item5d3d4daaf2

Although I bought mine from the local emporium for 3x this price.

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KS2G
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Posts: 364




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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 09:13:54 AM »

Yes, as KZ1X recommended -- just treat yourself to a USB external sound card.

I use this one:
http://www.packetradio.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=26&products_id=2150&zenid=7rcnhnf6qspqtqgce0d6k7d542

Purchased it from Buxcomm when I acquired one of their Rascal digital interface units.

Works like a charm.

73,
Mel - KS2G
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K1OC
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Posts: 65




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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 07:19:50 PM »


Thank you, Stephen and Mel.

Yeah, that looks like the way to go. I have a USB adapter for a Plantronics headset, same idea as the devices you referred to.  Just tried it on receive and am able to decode just fine. I expect it will work on transmit as well.

Maybe see you at the next OCRA meeting, Stephen.

73,
Tony
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NA4IT
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2014, 04:42:22 AM »

I had one similar to the mentioned one at Buxcom, first time I plugged something into the mic jack, the jack popped off the board.

I have spent a lot of money doing this, that, and the other thing regarding sound card interfaces. When I broke down and bought a Signalink USB, the money stopped flowing out of my billfold and my sound card modes have worked right ever since.
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K1OC
Member

Posts: 65




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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2014, 05:07:16 AM »


Yes, well, a SignaLink is Plan C, but my $40 Donner has worked flawlessly for years with an old Dell desktop running XP for every sound card mode I've tried, including JT65 and packet (using AGWPE for packet). I'm replacing the XP box with the laptop but I'm not quite ready to give up on the Donner.

Btw, the laptop puts out terrible RFI on 2 meters, especially at the bottom of the band. Seems ok on HF.  But maybe that's for a new thread.

73,
Tony
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KD8CGF
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014, 09:28:37 PM »

   If your old XP machine is still in running order, why replace it with anything newer?   I have a 2004 era laptop with a dead battery that is used when I run my radios.  This is a perfect application for something I wouldn't otherwise use, and which has no resale value.   So often the latest & greatest computer hardware causes problems similar to what you have described.
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G7MRV
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Posts: 472


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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2014, 10:35:37 PM »

I have a T420 and most folks would consider me to be a 'go-to' type guy for this sort of thing.

I gave up fiddling with the built in interface.  Maybe I could have eventually made it work.

Sometimes, you just have to know when to stop banging your head against the wall.

I use one of these now:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-External-7-1-Channel-3D-Virtual-Audio-Sound-Card-Adapter-PC-A-229-/400460458738?pt=US_Sound_Card_External&hash=item5d3d4daaf2

Although I bought mine from the local emporium for 3x this price.



I'd second that! I got two of these for less than the price of a beer, and they work just fine. One needed a mod but thats dead easy, just a couple of caps and a couple track cuts. Instructions all over the net or on my blog  http://g7mrv.blogspot.co.uk/
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K1OC
Member

Posts: 65




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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2014, 08:05:42 PM »


Just to close this out, I have been using the Plantronics USB device referred to above for a week or so, and it works just fine. It has a mike input instead of a line input, so I have to fiddle with the software audio level controls, but it doesn't seem to bother the DDI, the computer, or the sound card modes software. So, future reader looking for a solution to the posted problem, sorry, you won't find it here.

And, 'CGF, as much as I love XP and my eight year old Dell 8400, and I do, the Dell is dying. I can hear the hard drive grinding every time I log a QSO. Also, I want something more portable. I'm just grateful I could get a laptop with Windows 7 instead of 8. Now, if I could just get rid of the RFI on 2 meters. . . .

Thanks for all the input!

73 de Tony K1OC

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