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 Post subject: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:30 pm 


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Between mods and native support I've got SNES, Gamecube, PS1, PS2, Xbox, Saturn, Dreamcast, and probably N64 soon all hooked up for digital audio via TOSLINK. My current receiver has 2 TOSLINK inputs so I'm using two 4 port TOSLINK switches, but I know at some point I'm going to need a new receiver and it looks like most newer ones only have 1 TOSLINK input.

Are there any TOSLINK switches out there with 8 or more ports? Only up to 4 seems common, with an occasional 5 or 6 port one on Newegg by 3rd party sellers. I figure there has to be some kind of bigger professional switches from when TOSLINK was the latest and greatest, but I'm not finding anything. I'd like to keep things simple and avoid daisy chaining switches and such if I can.


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:14 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
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Unfortunately, I don't think you're going to find much that fits your bill unless you start looking at custom electronics. I don't think there are any pro switches or processors because, as I understand it, TOSLINK was designed and intended for consumer electronics, not professional equipment.

There are several members of this community that could very well design and commission/build addon boards for the gcompsw, gscartsw, and/or OSSC to add TOSLINK switching support, which would be much cleaner to implement and simpler to use than a standalone TOSLINK switch; but that really depends on their workload and interest in a project like that.


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:41 pm 


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toslink to spdif converters are $8 on ebay... most any switch with also switch spdif instead of analog audio


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:19 pm 



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maxtherabbit wrote:
toslink to spdif converters are $8 on ebay... most any switch with also switch spdif instead of analog audio

I'm not sure I believe you when you say most any switch will also switch S/PDIF. A good number of popular component and SCART switches don't include inputs for digital audio; and, assuming that their analog audio circuitry will pass the S/PDIF signal without screwing with it, it's risky to propose that someone use analog audio inputs for digital audio, because someone is going to end up mixing analog and digital sources and damage their equipment and/or hearing.

Now, assuming cr4zymanz0r has something like that ShinyBow 6-in/2-out component AV switch with digital coax inputs rather than TOSLINK, it's certainly possible to use a bunch of TOSLINK to coax adapters, but he would have to get 9 or so of them (estimating 8 for input, 1 for output), each of which would require (over an integrated solution) a power cable, a power source, and an RCA cable. The ones I see on eBay for $10 appear to be 5V and have USB-based power cables, so a 10-port USB hub would work as a consolidated power source, but it's yet another expense.

The ones I found for $8 are TOSLINK to analog stereo, which could be used with existing switches, like the gcompsw or gscartsw, but they obviously won't pass 5.1 signals from consoles like the PS2, PS3, Xbox, or Xbox 360.


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:55 pm 


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There is a DIY auto-switching 8 input optical SPDIF switcher project on a german forum


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:58 pm 


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nmalinoski wrote:
maxtherabbit wrote:
toslink to spdif converters are $8 on ebay... most any switch with also switch spdif instead of analog audio

I'm not sure I believe you when you say most any switch will also switch S/PDIF. A good number of popular component and SCART switches don't include inputs for digital audio; and, assuming that their analog audio circuitry will pass the S/PDIF signal without screwing with it, it's risky to propose that someone use analog audio inputs for digital audio, because someone is going to end up mixing analog and digital sources and damage their equipment and/or hearing.

Now, assuming cr4zymanz0r has something like that ShinyBow 6-in/2-out component AV switch with digital coax inputs rather than TOSLINK, it's certainly possible to use a bunch of TOSLINK to coax adapters, but he would have to get 9 or so of them (estimating 8 for input, 1 for output), each of which would require (over an integrated solution) a power cable, a power source, and an RCA cable. The ones I see on eBay for $10 appear to be 5V and have USB-based power cables, so a 10-port USB hub would work as a consolidated power source, but it's yet another expense.

The ones I found for $8 are TOSLINK to analog stereo, which could be used with existing switches, like the gcompsw or gscartsw, but they obviously won't pass 5.1 signals from consoles like the PS2, PS3, Xbox, or Xbox 360.

I should have said "most any passive switch"

passive switches will work perfectly fine - use the composite video port for your digital audio and the red/whites for your analog and you will never mix them up

now in the realm of active switches you're totally right - I would not go connecting spdif to an analog audio or video port unless the switch specifies compatibility

my key digital active component switch actually has separate digital coax and stereo analog ports for each input, which is nice


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:10 pm 


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this is the $8 adapter I'm using
https://www.ebay.com/itm/TOSlink-Optical-to-Coax-S-PDIF-Coaxial-Digital-Audio-Converter-Dolby-Digital-DTS/311555060580


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:20 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 374
Unseen wrote:
There is a DIY auto-switching 8 input optical SPDIF switcher project on a german forum

Neat! It has the circuit diagram and BOM included; seems like it could be fairly straightforward to adapt into an addon board for the gcompsw, gscartsw, and/or OSSC.


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:41 pm 



Joined: 07 Apr 2016
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Is toslink future-proof? In terms of sound quality and usage.


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:53 pm 


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GeneraLight wrote:
Is toslink future-proof? In terms of sound quality and usage.


I don't know what you mean by this, but Coaxial digital has more furture-proofing due to the higher bandwidth and ability to be used in passive switchers. Digital audio these days is done through HDMI, which uses the same kind of technology as coaxial, albeit on a smaller form factor with multiple transmission lines instead of just one. That's why you can get these 10.2 discrete digital sound systems going (or whatever crazy number of speakers they go up to now).
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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:11 am 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 374
GeneraLight wrote:
Is toslink future-proof? In terms of sound quality and usage.

No, because it has limited bandwidth compared to HDMI, and HDMI is way more prevalent today than TOSLINK. TOSLINK maxes out at compressed 5.1 Dolby-/DTS-encoded or uncompressed PCM stereo. Supposedly, it can support compressed 7.1, according to Wikipedia, but there's no citation.

HDMI can support, what, uncompressed 11.2 surround now? Plus additional goodies, like Dolby Atmos and ARC. If anything, digital AV over HDMI is currently the future-proof solution.

That said, there are only a handful of viable HDMI mods developed (Those for N64, GameCube, and Wii), and they're not readily available; so continuing to use TOSLINK for digital audio for now makes sense, at least to me.

FBX wrote:
I don't know what you mean by this, but Coaxial digital has more furture-proofing due to the higher bandwidth and ability to be used in passive switchers. Digital audio these days is done through HDMI, which uses the same kind of technology as coaxial, albeit on a smaller form factor with multiple transmission lines instead of just one. That's why you can get these 10.2 discrete digital sound systems going (or whatever crazy number of speakers they go up to now).

TOSLINK has its faults, but the main problems I see with coaxial S/PDIF are that it doesn't seem as prevalent as optical, and every game console that I'm aware of that supports digital audio over anything other than HDMI does so over TOSLINK, not coaxial.

In my case, I have both an Xbox and a PS2 hooked up via TOSLINK to a component AV switch, and then to my home theater. If I were to throw any kind of coaxial digital equipment in the mix, like if I were to replace my Audio Authority component switch with one of those 6x2 units from ShinyBow, I'd need to buy a couple optical-to-coaxial converters (I think my receiver has one coaxial digital input), and, if I were to add any other optical devices, I'd need to buy more converters; and all of these converters add complexity, power requirements, and cable mess.

It's my opinion that TOSLINK is the solution for now, because it's still readily available, and it works out-of-the-box with consoles like the Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS2, PS3, and PS4. For new development, I would hope we're looking at HDMI solutions.


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:46 am 


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nmalinoski wrote:
GeneraLight wrote:
It's my opinion that TOSLINK is the solution for now, because it's still readily available, and it works out-of-the-box with consoles like the Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS2, PS3, and PS4. For new development, I would hope we're looking at HDMI solutions.


It's unfortunate because a properly shielded coaxial cable offers a more reliable transmission line with no jitter problems (which is why HDMI uses miniature coaxial lines and not optical). My own mod board for the SNES offers both coaxial and optical to serve both needs, but I admit to having to use the optical for ripping music tracks because my PC only handles optical input.
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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:37 pm 


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GeneraLight wrote:
Is toslink future-proof? In terms of sound quality and usage.


No. I have a large amount of quadraphonic (4.0) and 5.1 mixes of albums sourced from DVDA, SACD, BD-Audio, etc. encoded into lossless FLAC at 88.2/96/192KHz and 24-bit. These are stored on a network share, which I play using Kodi on Nvidia Shield. In order to do this, I had to connect via HDMI (and because of this I ended up upgrading to a new receiver with ARC, etc.) because of the uncompressed FLAC audio at 5.1 channels. As a consequence I removed all SPDIF and Toslink from my living room with the exception of connecting retro game consoles.


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:02 pm 


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Unseen wrote:
There is a DIY auto-switching 8 input optical SPDIF switcher project on a german forum


This looks amazing, and wouldn't be too expensive to build:

Parts:
https://www.mouser.com/ProjectManager/P ... 883b5d7e33

TOSLINK:
Inputs:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/5-Sharp-GP1FA5 ... %7Ciid%3A1
Output:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/5-Original-Tos ... 5731.m3795
Feet:
http://a.co/5xv6nYA

The gerber for the board and the hex file for the microcontroller can be found on the german site.

If there is an interest, I might like to try to make a few of these, or someone else can try. As per the creator's request I would only charge the cost of shipping and parts. It looks like it would cost somewhere around $25-$30 per board. However I have no experience with programming microcontrollers so I'm not even sure how I would go about it, with something like this?:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9825

Further in the thread there is a link to an alternative board design with all of the ports facing backwards:
https://github.com/psych0d0g/pcb_designs
However some of the parts have changed.
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Last edited by arithmaldor on Thu May 03, 2018 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:44 pm 


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nmalinoski wrote:
TOSLINK has its faults, but the main problems I see with coaxial S/PDIF are that it doesn't seem as prevalent as optical, and every game console that I'm aware of that supports digital audio over anything other than HDMI does so over TOSLINK, not coaxial.


Yeah that's it, both the PS2 and Original Xbox only do Toslink, Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4 all do either HDMI or Toslink as well. Coaxial for video game consoles are pretty much available only as modding, like for the recently released SNES Coaxial mod.


FBX wrote:
It's unfortunate because a properly shielded coaxial cable offers a more reliable transmission line with no jitter problems (which is why HDMI uses miniature coaxial lines and not optical).


Some HDMI cables uses optical technology apparently.


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:04 am 


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Lawfer wrote:

Some HDMI cables uses optical technology apparently.


Not your typical ones though. When you look at the leads, they are copper.
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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:27 am 


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FBX wrote:
Lawfer wrote:

Some HDMI cables uses optical technology apparently.


Not your typical ones though. When you look at the leads, they are copper.


Yeah I know that's why I said "some", optical technology in HDMI is not the norm.


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:17 pm 


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arithmaldor wrote:
If there is an interest, I might like to try to make a few of these, or someone else can try.

I'd definitely like to have one. I could probably populate the PCB myself (though it wouldn't be fun :P), but I don't know anything about getting PCBs made and I don't have anything to program the microcontroller.


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:11 pm 


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cr4zymanz0r wrote:
arithmaldor wrote:
If there is an interest, I might like to try to make a few of these, or someone else can try.

I'd definitely like to have one. I could probably populate the PCB myself (though it wouldn't be fun :P), but I don't know anything about getting PCBs made and I don't have anything to program the microcontroller.


Alright I'll give this a shot. I'll get enough for 3 and make one to test, and if I can get it working I will put the microcontroller on the board and program it and I can ship the other 2 out as kits or assembled. I'll post notable progress here and on my website.
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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 3:00 am 


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Had to rename some of the gerber files for OSHPark, but it looks good. All parts are on order and I just ordered the boards. I should have everything except maybe the rubber feet within 2 weeks or so. Then I can build the boards. I can ship them out either fully populated or with just the microcontroller after flashing (assuming I can get this to work).

All told it ended up being slightly more expensive than my estimate, totaling $40 a board.

I will post a new thread in the For Sale section to see who wants the other two as I don't have a TOSLINK receiver. EDIT: Here is the sale thread.
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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 3:34 am 


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I wonder if there's a project box or something that would be suitable for the board to keep it from being a bare PCB.
Also, if you'll allow it I'd like to go ahead and call dibs on one of your spares when it's done. I don't want to miss out.


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 3:36 am 


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cr4zymanz0r wrote:
I wonder if there's a project box or something that would be suitable for the board to keep it from being a bare PCB.
Also, if you'll allow it I'd like to go ahead and call dibs on one of your spares when it's done. I don't want to miss out.


Don't worry, I have 2 spares because one of the three is for you :D I haven't got a TOSLINK receiver yet, this just looked like a cool project.

Several pages of the thread on the german forum are devoted to talking about enclosures. I think someone ended up making one, but in truth it would be best to redesign the board with this in mind. The very last page on that thread has a board another user designed based on the original one that has holes for posts so you could do a plexi sandwich.
Image
https://github.com/psych0d0g/pcb_designs
However there are other changes to the board and I don't think anyone has tested it. Maybe once I learn how to use KiCAD a bit more that would be something to try out.

And as usual thanks Unseen for being awesome and sharing this cool project.

Edit: I compiled all of the information here to make it easier for anyone else that wants to try this project: https://oshpark.com/projects/AaaZmruL
It looks like some of the top silk screen was missed, namely the input and output labels and the labels for the DIP switches. Oh well, it should still work just fine, I will try to fix it on oshpark soon. 2nd edit: even though the silk screen is missing from the preview, the boards arrived with all of the silk screen present.
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Last edited by arithmaldor on Thu May 31, 2018 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 2:12 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 374
arithmaldor, I really appreciate you making at least a couple of these available.

Would there be any chance of modifying the design, so that the automatic switching can be overridden in favor of being deterministically switched from a gscartsw or gcompsw via their respective EXT headers?

(I'd ask for support for switching based on OSSC input, but, as far as I know, the current OSSC design doesn't allow for any kind of serial port for remote control/communication.)


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 3:14 pm 


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nmalinoski wrote:
arithmaldor, I really appreciate you making at least a couple of these available.

Would there be any chance of modifying the design, so that the automatic switching can be overridden in favor of being deterministically switched from a gscartsw or gcompsw via their respective EXT headers?

(I'd ask for support for switching based on OSSC input, but, as far as I know, the current OSSC design doesn't allow for any kind of serial port for remote control/communication.)


As far as I know, this might be possible, but I don't have any experience with this. I can look into this for the future but it will all be a learning experience. The hex for the microcontroller by micro is available if someone wanted to tinker with it
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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 9:32 pm 


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Ive received the boards and all parts except for the rubber feet. I'm still working on programming the microcontroller but this is what it looks like so far:
Image

More info here. Once I figure out the programming I can send out these first 3 either built, partially built, or as a kit with just the microcontroller on the board and programmed.
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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 9:38 pm 


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I got mine in from arithmaldor the other day. I haven't had time to mess with it much or test all the inputs, but I did plug a few things into it and it worked fine in my few minutes of testing. I really like the autoswitching option so I don't have to keep up with what's plugged into what input and having to manually change to each system.

I didn't want all the exposed solder points when I integrate this in my setup, so I did a quick and dirty fix by putting electrical tape on the bottom and hot gluing a small rectangular piece of clear acrylic to the top. Easy enough to undo later If I want to make it a little more professional.


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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:27 pm 


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cr4zymanz0r wrote:
I got mine in from arithmaldor the other day. I haven't had time to mess with it much or test all the inputs, but I did plug a few things into it and it worked fine in my few minutes of testing. I really like the autoswitching option so I don't have to keep up with what's plugged into what input and having to manually change to each system.

I didn't want all the exposed solder points when I integrate this in my setup, so I did a quick and dirty fix by putting electrical tape on the bottom and hot gluing a small rectangular piece of clear acrylic to the top. Easy enough to undo later If I want to make it a little more professional.


Glad it's working well! I sent out the other 2 boards today. I might try to redesign the layout at some point to accommodate a case but nothing planned in the immediate future. If anyone else wants one, post here and if I get 3 more people I'll do another run. I put all of the info needed to build it on my oshpark page so check there if you want to try it out, it was a fun project.
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 Post subject: Re: 8+ port digital audio TOSLINK switch?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:07 pm 



Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 524
Mine arrived today. I need to get more cables before I can actually test it, but looks like quality work.
And yeah a case would be cool eventually.


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