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Topic # 220171 29-Jul-2017 07:23
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I am trying to help a friend to transfer some cassette tapes onto his laptop that does not have an audio input port. His Voice Recorder (Tape Recorder / Dictaphone) has a 2.5 mm TS sub-mini earphone output.

 

The iMic USB Audio Interface from Griffin Technology seems to be what he needs.

 

Does anyone know of other options or different ways of approaching this problem?

 

Cheers


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  Reply # 1833214 29-Jul-2017 09:08
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Some laptops have a combined headphone/mic jack.

 

Not sure how they detect what is being used though.

 

Could be worth investigating further.


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  Reply # 1833247 29-Jul-2017 09:36
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Not sure about that iMic thing.... without seeing the specs, I would be first looking at the input impedance i.e. line/phono/mic are all different impedances and you would have to look at the output impedance of the recorder device. 

 

Depending on budget you can get away with the simple to extravagant.... 

 

Would this be what you are after?

 

https://surplustronics.co.nz/products/6228-compact-audio-usb-interface-with-soundcard

 

Theres a heap of solutions out there.....

 

 


 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1833272 29-Jul-2017 10:17
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spudster:
Some laptops have a combined headphone/mic jack.
Not sure how they detect what is being used though.
Could be worth investigating further.

 

Thanks for that spudster, much appreciated.

 

The notebook is Asus F540S. Asus website shows two models: F540SA and F540SC. I checked the manuals for each and they both describe the port as:
"Headphone/Headset/Microphone jack
This port allows you to connect amplified speakers or
headphones. You can also use this port to connect your headset
or an external microphone."

 

So, I should be able to connect the headset port on the voice recorder to the audio port on the laptop using a 2.5mm-3.5mm adapter and regular 3.5mm audio cable and than use Audacity to record and cleanup the tapes.

 

This is great and will be much cheaper than any of the USB Audio converters.




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  Reply # 1833274 29-Jul-2017 10:19
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Goosey:

Not sure about that iMic thing.... without seeing the specs, I would be first looking at the input impedance i.e. line/phono/mic are all different impedances and you would have to look at the output impedance of the recorder device. 

 

Depending on budget you can get away with the simple to extravagant.... 

 

Would this be what you are after?

 

https://surplustronics.co.nz/products/6228-compact-audio-usb-interface-with-soundcard

 

Theres a heap of solutions out there.....

 

 

 

Thanks for your suggestion Goosey, I will look into this if the simpler option above does not work.

 

I should be able to try that in a day or so.

 

Cheers

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  Reply # 1833311 29-Jul-2017 11:26
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Tandem:

 

spudster:
Some laptops have a combined headphone/mic jack.
Not sure how they detect what is being used though.
Could be worth investigating further.

 

Thanks for that spudster, much appreciated.

 

The notebook is Asus F540S. Asus website shows two models: F540SA and F540SC. I checked the manuals for each and they both describe the port as:
"Headphone/Headset/Microphone jack
This port allows you to connect amplified speakers or
headphones. You can also use this port to connect your headset
or an external microphone."

 

So, I should be able to connect the headset port on the voice recorder to the audio port on the laptop using a 2.5mm-3.5mm adapter and regular 3.5mm audio cable and than use Audacity to record and cleanup the tapes.

 

This is great and will be much cheaper than any of the USB Audio converters.

 

 

If mono is good enough for you, and the output of the voice recorder can go low enough to not overload the input then yeah.

 

Most PC hardware has settings somewhere for mic gain, which I had to go into the realtek audio software to configure. This gave from memory 30dB of change in quite large steps so I think it was changing the preamp on the device rather than just appling attenuation at the ADC part of the chain. This would be better than dropping the output level but its common for laptops to strip out all the audio controls.

 

Otherwise I have found the cheap blue metal cased "USB Soundcard" to be quite a good performer for input use. - like this one I found the image of Click to see full size





Richard rich.ms



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  Reply # 1833317 29-Jul-2017 11:48
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richms:
If mono is good enough for you, and the output of the voice recorder can go low enough to not overload the input then yeah.

 

Most PC hardware has settings somewhere for mic gain, which I had to go into the realtek audio software to configure. This gave from memory 30dB of change in quite large steps so I think it was changing the preamp on the device rather than just appling attenuation at the ADC part of the chain. This would be better than dropping the output level but its common for laptops to strip out all the audio controls.

 

Otherwise I have found the cheap blue metal cased "USB Soundcard" to be quite a good performer for input use. - like this one


Thanks Rich,

 

The recorder is Olympus Pearlcorder S713
Relevant Specs:
Tracks: 2 tracks, 1 channel monophonic
Speaker: 36mm dynamic internal speaker
Overall frequency response:
400 ~ 4,000Hz at 2.4cm/sec.
400 ~ 3,000Hz at 1.2cm/sec.
Earphone jack: 2.5mm diameter, impedance 8 W

 

To avoid the danger of overloading the input on the laptop, would I just need to turn the volume of the recorder to low and increase the mic volume through the Control Panel > Sound Devices > Audio ?


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  Reply # 1833329 29-Jul-2017 12:14
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You can give it a shot. Not sure if the jack retasking on laptops will cope with a mic signal on a mono plug or not, I have never had reason to try it. Normally the mic is on the sleeve of the plug, with a ground on the next ring up, which may cause you issues. Retasking lets it swap signals around based on what it sees as a load or else in the software you can choose if a socket is a mic or a headset or whatever. That may also need you to mess about with it.

 

 





Richard rich.ms



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  Reply # 1833332 29-Jul-2017 12:21
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richms:
You can give it a shot. Not sure if the jack retasking on laptops will cope with a mic signal on a mono plug or not, I have never had reason to try it. Normally the mic is on the sleeve of the plug, with a ground on the next ring up, which may cause you issues. Retasking lets it swap signals around based on what it sees as a load or else in the software you can choose if a socket is a mic or a headset or whatever. That may also need you to mess about with it.

 

What is the chance of causing a damage to one or the other device?
The last thing I want to do is to break something.




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  Reply # 1833972 31-Jul-2017 06:02
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Not much luck so far.
Although we were able to get sound in through the combined headphone/mic jack we could not figure out how to disable the internal (built-in) mic on the laptop without also disabling the audio jack at the same time.

 

Some type of USB Audio adapter will probably be necessary.


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