Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: Speaker Wire to 3.5mm Jack

  1. #1
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Mostly Harmless
    bigross86's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Aug 03
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    14,070

    Speaker Wire to 3.5mm Jack

    I've got a really old stereo system that is pretty much on it's last legs and I'm getting rid of, but it's got a pair of really decent speakers. The problem is, these speakers are the kind that have a red/black wire coming out of them, the kind you connect to clamps in the back of the stereo system. The only reason I'd have to keep these speakers is if I could convert the speaker wire into a 3.5mm jack that would get plugged into my laptop.

    That being said, does anyone here know exactly how I'd go about doing this? Is it as simple as cutting a pair of earphones open and then splicing the cables together, or is it something a bit more complicated?

    More importantly, does this have the potential to screw up my laptop, because if it does, I'll be tossing these speakers first thing tomorrow
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

  2. #2
    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Dec 08
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,434
    speakers are very simple - there is a voice coil which drives the cone - the speaker impedence is important - 4, 8 or 16 ohms normally

    the wrong impedence can cause damage to the amp
    connecting a speaker to a jack is as simple as splicing the wires - try to get the polarity right it will sound better - but that won't cause damage itself if wrong - but incorrect impedance could damage a PC sound card
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
    If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

  3. #3
    Global Moderator
    Devil's Advocate
    ArmchairGeneral's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 May 06
    Location
    Boston, MA.
    Posts
    4,668
    Get together with gunnut and test it out on his Win 98 machine...
    I enjoy being wrong too much to change my mind.

  4. #4
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 Aug 08
    Location
    Skopje, Macedonia
    Posts
    13,666
    Quote Originally Posted by USSWisconsin View Post
    speakers are very simple - there is a voice coil which drives the cone - the speaker impedence is important - 4, 8 or 16 ohms normally

    the wrong impedence can cause damage to the amp
    connecting a speaker to a jack is as simple as splicing the wires - try to get the polarity right it will sound better - but that won't cause damage itself if wrong - but incorrect impedance could damage a PC sound card
    Nothing to add there, except that at the time there were adapters - jack on the one end, black and red slots on the other. Not sure if you can find any at the moment.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  5. #5
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Mostly Harmless
    bigross86's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Aug 03
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    14,070
    So, yeah, first tried splicing the cables to a regular earphone cable. No joy. Then I took an RCA/3.5mm converter cable and tried splicing the speaker cables to that. Still no dice. Finally I took 4 RCA cables (2 per speaker), spliced those on, spliced those together onto the RCA/3.5mm converter cable and plugged it into my laptop. I finally managed to get some buzz out of the speakers, but apparently they don't have an internal amp and my laptop is not powerful enough to power these speakers. I can understand where gunnut is coming from now, it was kinda fun, though in the end I just put the entire system out on the curb, an hour later it was gone
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

  6. #6
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 Aug 08
    Location
    Skopje, Macedonia
    Posts
    13,666
    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    So, yeah, first tried splicing the cables to a regular earphone cable. No joy. Then I took an RCA/3.5mm converter cable and tried splicing the speaker cables to that. Still no dice. Finally I took 4 RCA cables (2 per speaker), spliced those on, spliced those together onto the RCA/3.5mm converter cable and plugged it into my laptop. I finally managed to get some buzz out of the speakers, but apparently they don't have an internal amp and my laptop is not powerful enough to power these speakers. I can understand where gunnut is coming from now, it was kinda fun, though in the end I just put the entire system out on the curb, an hour later it was gone
    This is what happens when you let a tankie boy do fine electronics
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  7. #7
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Mostly Harmless
    bigross86's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Aug 03
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    14,070
    I blow stuff up or talk people to sleep, I don't do fine electronics
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

  8. #8
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    10 Nov 04
    Location
    Wellington, Te Ika a Maui, Aotearoa
    Posts
    19,744
    Parihaka shudders at the state of youth whence someone should actually not understand the nature of a closed circuit and then try to connect high impedance speakers direct to a phone jack. If anyone else should be so foolish but less foolish by realising they need to put a suitable amp in the circuit, remember to keep the volume output on the computer below half volume or you'll blow the preamp in your amplifier.

    :Shudders:
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility

    Gottfried Leibniz

  9. #9
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Jan 06
    Location
    DPRK, Demokratik People's Republik of Kalifornia
    Posts
    23,775
    bigross, how big are these speakers? Does your laptop's earphone jack have enough power to drive them? That's the first thing I want to know.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  10. #10
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Mostly Harmless
    bigross86's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Aug 03
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    14,070
    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    Parihaka shudders at the state of youth whence someone should actually not understand the nature of a closed circuit and then try to connect high impedance speakers direct to a phone jack. If anyone else should be so foolish but less foolish by realising they need to put a suitable amp in the circuit, remember to keep the volume output on the computer below half volume or you'll blow the preamp in your amplifier.

    :Shudders:
    I shudder at the state of aging men that grew up with this technology all around them and work with said technology and still don't know that a 3.5mm jack has nothing to do with phones...
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

  11. #11
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Mostly Harmless
    bigross86's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Aug 03
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    14,070
    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    bigross, how big are these speakers? Does your laptop's earphone jack have enough power to drive them? That's the first thing I want to know.
    The speakers were about a 15 inches tall, 10 inches wide/deep. My laptop was not powerful enough to get them to emit more than a soft buzz
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

  12. #12
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 Aug 08
    Location
    Skopje, Macedonia
    Posts
    13,666
    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    I shudder at the state of aging men that grew up with this technology all around them and work with said technology and still don't know that a 3.5mm jack has nothing to do with phones...
    Ben, hint, mobile phones, speakers, earphones
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  13. #13
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Mostly Harmless
    bigross86's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Aug 03
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    14,070
    He said a phone jack. I don't know of a phone that uses a 3.5mm jack for anything other than earphones, and that is clearly not what Pari meant
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

  14. #14
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    10 Nov 04
    Location
    Wellington, Te Ika a Maui, Aotearoa
    Posts
    19,744
    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    I shudder at the state of aging men that grew up with this technology all around them and work with said technology and still don't know that a 3.5mm jack has nothing to do with phones...
    :SIGHS: :MUTTERSABOUTYOUTHOFTODAY: :SHAKESHEADSADLYABOUTSTATEOFU.S.EDUCATION:

    Phone jack may refer to:

    Telephone plug, used to connect a telephone to the telephone wiring in a home or business, and in turn to a local telephone network
    TRS connector, an audio jack, jack plug, stereo plug, mini-jack, mini-stereo, or headphone/phone jack
    Named phone jack of course because
    In the original application in manual telephone exchanges, many different configurations of 1/4″ jack plug were used, some accommodating five or more conductors, with several tip profiles. Of these many varieties, only the two-conductor version with a rounded tip profile was compatible between different manufacturers, and this was the design that was at first adopted for use with microphones, electric guitars, headphones, loudspeakers, and many other items of audio equipment.


    and yes, before you ask I am that old
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility

    Gottfried Leibniz

  15. #15
    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
    Join Date
    17 Jul 06
    Posts
    6,094
    You're gonna have to excuse our Benny here...

    it was the US that spawn him....but Israel is stuck with him, so I don't feel THAT bad.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. R.I.P. JACK KEMP
    By BudW in forum American Politics & Economy
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06 May 09,, 09:06
  2. The Blues-wire GWoT Update Thread
    By Bluesman in forum World Affairs Board Pub
    Replies: 94
    Last Post: 20 Dec 08,, 21:53
  3. Magic Jack
    By Capt Bluesman in forum Science & Technology
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06 Feb 08,, 19:48
  4. Russian tank and barbed wire
    By Stan187 in forum Ground Warfare
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 15 Mar 07,, 14:32
  5. The new face of wire guided missile
    By shakari in forum Ground Warfare
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 14 Sep 05,, 17:20

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •