Saturday, October 31, 2015

The things one learns

As a part of my push to outfit my vehicles with communications gear, I have come upon the need to learn about 3.5mm audio plugs.  I had no idea that the subject had the history and complexity that it does.  Amazing.

Now if it wasn't so blasted hard to find 3.5mm mono audio plugs of reasonable quality.  Who would have thought we'd ever miss Radio Shack so soon?


wheelgun said...

Element 14

Which came to my attention via the Ben Heck show.

I would also check GigaParts, and some of the Ham Radio suppliers for stuff.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen one in your reference, but is this what we used to call 'RCA plugs'?

They were used a lot for certain ham radio applications. The outside is typically run to Ground at the 'socket' or Female connector when it is in a chassis.

The Freeholder said...

Wheelgun, you're pretty much on target there. The only problem for me in dealing with the average electronics parts supplier is the minimum purchase requirement and shipping. Normally I can find what I need at Amazon, and even though in the onsie-twosie it's expensive, I still come out ahead. I did find some, although I think the quality is questionable. They're cheap enough I took a gamble. We'll see Tuesday, I suppose.

Mountain Man pinged me, he says he has some good ones, and since I'll see him this weekend, if the ones I order suck, I'll probably take him up on his offer. He's also a better solderer (is that a word?) than I am, so I'll probably take him up on the offer to solder them up as well. It's been years since I did much soldering.

Anonymous, it's not an RCA plug, but similar. Think of the old 1/4" phono plug in half scale. Wheelgun's link about has them. They're really common these days on things like cell phones, MP3 players and computer audio cards.

jed said...

The RF Connection

Big selection, quality parts, fast shipping.

wheelgun said...

Freeholder... if you are going to do soldering, get yourself a decent solder station. They are not that expensive - and heads/shoulders above the cheap stuff at the big box stores. And some de-soldering wick.

Lots of stuff is surface mount today, but if you do some searching via your favorite web search you will find a lot of hacks to turn garage-sale toaster-ovens into reflow ovens. And the de-soldering tools can be used to re-solder stuff as well. (Search through the episodes of Amateur Logic - one of the early builds had this as a main part. (AL is a Ham-radio podcast that comes out once a month. For the past 10 years.)