Super Sexy Sound Switcher

I have to crane over dangerously to switch my laptop's audio output between speakers and headphones. It involves leaning over, pulling out one plug, and then finding and inserting the other plug. Also, I have to ensure that the speakers are turned off when doing this. It gets irritating after a while. So I envisioned this solution. Two things to be noted here:

1. This is my first Instructable.

2. After coming up with this idea and making it, I noticed a similar Instructable already posted. I apologize in advance, but it really is a coincidence.

Step 1: Bill of Materials and Schematic

Super Sexy Sound Switcher
Super Sexy Sound Switcher

Everything was bought at Fry's Electronics. You can probably save money on them by buying online, stealing, etc. I think this can be done for under 20 bucks easily. I was lazy. In addition to the above listed items, I also used:

1. Wire stripper

2. Two pairs of adjustable wrenches (for mounting the 3.5 mm jacks)

3. Philips screwdriver

4. 22-gauge wire (red, white, black)

5. Shrink tubing

6. Heat gun

7. Drill press

8. Hammer

9. Center punch

10. 1/4" drill bit

11. Solder station, solder, flux

12. ruler, pencil, eraser

13. Safety goggles.

Step 2: Positioning and Drilling Holes

Super Sexy Sound Switcher
Super Sexy Sound Switcher

I positioned the holes (all 1/4") myself, and made sure that the hole on the sloping plane was high enough to clear the wires and contacts underneath. I used a vise to clamp the parts in order to center punch the holes. I then thought...hey, why not drill in place??

That turned out to be a silly idea, and the resulting "hole" had a weird "delta-type" oscillation pattern. Not good. So I went to the drill press, and it was a lot better.

Step 3: Hole Positioning and Drilling, part II

Super Sexy Sound Switcher
Super Sexy Sound Switcher
Super Sexy Sound Switcher

Life improved with the drill press, and you can see the results for yourselves. The fixturing was admittedly tricky and I needed to hand-hold while operating the drill press. A little risky. DO NOT forget safety goggles. You can also see how I used a parallel bar to lay the top side flat.

By the way, all the holes are 1/4" diameter.

Step 4: Reaming

Super Sexy Sound Switcher

I used a 0.2500" reamer to make the holes "true".

Step 5: Soldering, part I

Super Sexy Sound Switcher
Super Sexy Sound Switcher

I started by soldering the middle section of the switch contacts, because they would be harder to get to for shrink tubing afterwards. I then soldered the outside leads. I used short lengths of shrink tubing.

Check the contacts on the switch and align accordingly. I aligned the switch "vertically", such that the top position switched to the right output and the bottom position switched to the left output. The input was in the middle, of course.

Step 6: Soldering, part II

Super Sexy Sound Switcher
Super Sexy Sound Switcher

After soldering ALL the switch contacts, I then soldered the wires onto the headphone jack contacts. DO NOT forget to place the shrink tubing before you solder, then you move it down and shrink it.

Here's how the final soldered product looks. Now you simply screw it back on to the base, and you're done!

Step 7: Final Product

Super Sexy Sound Switcher
Super Sexy Sound Switcher

I used the feet provided with the project box.


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