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DIY Headphone Splitter Project

March 24th, 2008

I completed a simple project today. I needed a headphone splitter, mainly because I use a set of headphones that are attached to a long home-made cable, so that I can record in the kitchen, or the other side of the room etc. It gets a little messy dragging that long cord with you when you go back to the board to do rough mixes and whatnot. With a splitter, I can keep one pair of phones by the board while the other is free to roam. Also, in case I ever record with another person it would be helpful if we could both hear the mix! So yesterday I found these simple instructions for a passive headphone splitter. Not a distribution amplifier, which I would like, but they’re more complicated. You don’t get any gain and there’s no volume controls or anything, but it’ll work. I went to RadioShack for the parts and threw it together this afternoon.

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Front and Back with the components installed. I used a metal plate that I got at AxMan (Surplus store) when I realized that the box I bought was too small to house jacks and those huge resistors. Everything is just open in the back. The resistors are non-inductive 8-ohm 20W, and I used hot glue to hold them in place.

I used a switch to cut the ground coming from output 2, as an on/off. It doesn’t work, presumably because I didn’t fully insulate the jack from the metal plate. I think I need a DPDT switch to cut the signal from each channel rather than cutting the ground.

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Here’s the wiring. Pretty simple. I still managed to fuck it up, however.

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I installed the thing under a shelf, which is where my monitor will be when I get it.

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There it is hooked up. I tried it out just checking into the mic, but have yet to record with it. It seems like it’ll do what it’s supposed to.

I have yet to finish any complicated projects, but I really enjoy drilling holes, soldering and designing the layout and housing and everything. For this I used regular old silver paint marker. I like it.

The other thing about this project is that if I need to (or want to) I can keep expanding it pretty easily if for more outputs. I have several of those black plates from AxMan!

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