Soundblaster Audigy soundcard

Mesh / Matrix
January 18, 2009 at 17:32:08
Specs: XP Pro SP3 Build 260, AMD Athlon XP2100 1.RAM 1.5Gb
Can anyone help me with details of the microphone input for the Soundblaster Audigy soundcard, please? I would contact the manufacturers of course but I have recently had a bad stroke and am now partially-paralyzed, so I am unable to open my PC to find our the serial number etc of the card and their support e-mail system won't accept anything without this information being sent!
What I really would like to know is what impedance microphone should I use with the Audigy card and should it be balanced or unbalanced ( ie does it need a 2-pole or 3-pole connector fitted)? The reason for wanting this info is I am now unable to operate my Amateur Radio equipment so would like to use EchoLink to communicate with other 'hams' using my PC. I do hope someone is able and kind enough to offer me some advice.

Peter.


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#1
January 18, 2009 at 18:27:45
Don't really understand what is the mic problem.

I have an Audigy card, and I've used several mics on it.
You can either use Stereo or mono mic, both will work fine, as for the impedance it doesn't matter as you can adjust the mic settings within creative software.

Once upon a time the floppy disk was king.


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#2
January 18, 2009 at 18:49:19
Dear Dark666,
Thank-you for your reply to my question. The problem is that in the user-manual it shows the mic connected to a 2-pole 3.5mm(mono)jack plug on one page and a mic connected to a 3-pole 3.5mm stereo jack plug on the following page. If the mic has to be connected to a 3.5mm 3 pole plug that would imply the mic has to be a balanced type and its cable would have three connections viz: 2 centre connections and the outside braiding or 'screening' if you like. Likewise, if connected to a 2-pole plug the mic is unbalanced and the interconnecting cable would normally have only a single centre conductor which is screened. I am not sure which the card calls for. I have an electret mic which is of the un-balanced type (1 centre conductor in its cable )having an impedance of 600-ohms and I have connected it via a 2-pole (mono) plug but it doesn't seem to work at all well, giving a very low output indeed ( although, as you know, this type of mic usually has the opposite problem ie output too high!)
Hope this explains more fully.

Warmest regards,

Pete


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#3
January 18, 2009 at 21:08:23
Skipping all the technical details on microphone connections.
Lets take a simpler look at this, the average person using a microphone on this card, would be using it for chatting with others.
They would have no knowledge of electronics and would just go and buy a, headphone/microphone combo and expect it work, and so it should.
I can't see any reason you can't use the same, albeit a higher quality unit would no doubt be your choice.
I think your ham radio brain, being used to needing technical nowhow for your hobby, may be overcomplicating the requirement.
Remember you are plugging into the same card as tens of millions of others, who simply plug in and use it.

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#4
January 19, 2009 at 03:18:13
Dear Anmor,
Thank-you for your response. I note the points you make and you are right, I would prefer to use a better mic BUT the problem is: should it have a 2-pole or 3-pole plug fitted? I have, of course,seen the 'cheaper' PC-type mics to which you refer and most of them seem to be of the unbalanced 2-600-ohm type BUT as I said the SoundBlaster user-manual shows both 2 and 3-pole plug types - it can only be one or the other. As the mic I am using is unbalanced (and consequently uses a 2-pole connector)I am left wondering what kind of jack is fitted to the Audigy board - is it 2-pole or 3-pole? As you so rightly say, the majority of mics in use are fairly cheap and would therefore without doubt be unbalanced (2-pole)I am currently using this type of mic. If the jack on the board is 3-pole that's why it's not working properly and I wondered if anyone knew what was fitted to the soundcard because I have recently had a bad stroke and can't experiment with the various options now.

Best wishes,

Pete


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#5
January 19, 2009 at 13:10:48
I think your only option is to get a friend to open the case and pull the card to check, as I have been unable to find any specifications that even mention it.
I doubt even with an exact model number we would be able to find this info on the net, unless you get lucky enough to find someone using it for the same purpose.
I guess if you were able to use your ham rig you would get a fairly prompt reply.
Is there any way you could get someone to help using it to find a solution.

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#6
January 19, 2009 at 15:27:53
Hello again,anmor,

Well, another site I have posted on appears to have come up with PSK31 interface which utilises the soundcard microphone input.
With PSK31, the operator typically uses a single sideband transceiver connected to the sound card of a PC. When the operator enters a message for transmission, the software produces an audio tone, which sounds to the human ear like a continuous whistle with a slight warble. ***This is then fed through the microphone jack and an intermediate resistor used to reduce the sound card's output power to microphone level at the transceiver (or an auxiliary connection is made to it). The diagram for the module shows just the tip and sleeve of the plug being used, so I will try that as it looks the most likely solution.

I completely agree with what you say, though. It has been incredibly difficult to find out about the mic input requirements, which call for a mic of 200 - 600 Ohms impedance to be used.


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#7
January 19, 2009 at 17:12:53
That's clever, I didn't think of that possability as I have been away from eclectronics for about 25 years and havn't been keeping up with what's been going on.
I was assuming all would have been done with the computer and software, which I heard about, 10 years ago, give or take a year.
The hardware and software cost for the computer at that time, was nearly as dear as a decent ham rig.
I hope it works out for you, good luck.

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