So let me start by warning that I am a rookie to these forums and ive only done menial work in the hobby so far. Also, sorry in advance for the long post haha
I want to get into making some of my own electronics as a little hobby, and this seems like a good site to start on haha
In case I come off the wrong way, I would never ask anyone to hold my hand and tell me exactly how to do this. All I am asking is to be pointed in the right direction. I can probably figure out the first project I am going to mention by reading the forums and doing some research, but it’s the second project that I really cant figure out how to start. Needless to say, the second project is something I really want to do haha
I have a nice entertainment center in my room, but I have some issues with my speakers. I don’t need speakers that are really good, so I picked up a set of some cheap cyber acoustics. Im no audiophile, so these sound great to me! (at least a lot better than the speakers built into my tv). I have them plugged into the audio ouput on my TV so anything I do on it (media center, xbox360, wii) plays through the speakers that are hooked up to it. The problem is my old Samsung LCD doesn’t change the volume on the external speakers when I change the volume on the tv.
I have an IR dongle rigged from an old xbox dvd dongle kit. It works great and i can adjust the volume comfortably with my remote when im using my media center, but not for anything else. I would very much like my volume to be controllable from afar no matter what im doing. right now i change volume from the wired volume knob my speakers came with. I like it, its not a big deal, but im a perfectionist and I want to learn how to make things
Basically, I want to make an inline volume knob to replace the one I already have, obviously making it better. I was thinking of making one from scratch, with a built in IR receiver. This way, I can control the volume by turning the dial, and also make the knob think the dial has moved one way or another with a remote. That would solve my tiny little dilemma!
Of course I really don’t know where to start, and for some reason i haven’t found anything online to point me in the right direction. As long as its possible to do, Im sure ill figure it out eventually though.
The problem is that I keep coming up with new things to add into my project, which caused my project to split into two different ones! My first project I want to add a headphone and aux jack on the knob, which shouldn’t be too difficult. I was even thinking of adding some LED lights to it (the one I am using now is lit up, and I love that!)
Perhaps that’s an easy project… but I want to do something even better! I wish I could take that knob around the room with me, like lie in bed with it by my side while I watch a movie. So my second project is to make a wireless knob with IR capabilities. Only thing is, I want to use Bluetooth… sounds ridiculous, im sure, but for what I want to do i think thats my answer.
I want to be able to plug in any set of headphones I have to the wirelesss knob, basically turning any headphones I have into wireless (kind of). I want to have a knob that can receive audio and send commands (and maybe even send audio) to a Bluetooth controller that handles all the volume changes. This controller would also be able to receive IR signals and change volume that way as well. The controller would take in the output of my tv as its source, manipulate volume, then pass it through to my speakers. The controller will look nice, and have a volume knob and mute button as well as headphones and aux jacks. The knob itself will obviously be battery powered, but I would like to allow it to charge via usb or the Bluetooth controller (which will have power from the wall). I would definitely want to have lights on it so I can find it at night and a hold button that would keep it from working but keep the lights on.
I am interested in doing the first project, but I really want to try to do the Bluetooth one. Ive never been one for baby steps haha. Like I said earlier, im not asking any of you to hold my hand. I am simply asking for your opinion on this project (for instance, is it practical? Is it possible to do yet such a pain that it wouldn’t be worth it even for the learning experience?) and for a finger in the right direction. Thank you in advance for your help. I spent some time drawing up some barbaric plans that are a little more detailed than what I just said. Thanks again!
FIRST PROJECT: IR VOLUME KNOB BASIC
- rotate freely left and right to control the volume
- although it will keep turning, volume will cease to go higher or lower at certain levels.
- A hole would be cut out in the middle of the knob for a mute button
- Mute button would not rotate with knob.
- May consider a 2 second hold on the mute button for it to work if it gets pressed too easily
- On the side of the knob would be 2 female 3.5mm stereo jacks. One for headphones, one for aux
- When headphone jack is plugged in, the audio will stop being sent to the speakers
- When plugged in, the aux device will replace the normal source
- Knob would have a built in programmable IR receiver to control various volume functions via a universal remote (in my case, a harmony remote with a learning function)
- when a signal is received, the knob will adjust the volume as if you turned it manually
- Knob gets its power from the wall
- May consider throwing some LED lights on it for fun, in which case I would need to add an on/off switch.
- Designed for better cable management.
- Has a male 3.5mm stereo plug that would plug into the output on the source for input.
- This input would pass through the knob, then back to the main adapter again.
- This allows the knob to control the volume before being sent to the speakers
- The main adapter has a female 3.5mm jack for speaker output that feeds from the knob output
PROJECT 2: WIRELESS VOLUME KNOB
Same functionality as the other project, this time using Bluetooth instead of wires.
Master Bluetooth controller:
-passes audio from the source to the speakers, adjusting the volume in the process.
- connects via Bluetooth to the Bluetooth volume knob
- knob tells the controller how to adjust the volume
- knob sends aux input to the Bluetooth controller (might consider removing feature)
- controller sends audio feed to knob for headphones when needed
- Has a built in programmable IR sensor that allows an IR remote to control volume like the knob
- Has a volume knob on it that spins freely left or right, controlling volume only up to and down to certain levels. Also has a mute button. This is important in case you run out of batteries in the knob and lose your remote
- Knob and button both light up via LEDs
- Has a 3.5mm female stereo jack for aux. When plugged in, aux replaces the regular input source and/or the knobs aux source.
- Has a 3.5mm female stereo jack for headphones. When plugged in, the speakers become muted. Headphones can be used from both the controller’s jack and the knob’s jack at the same time
- Sends Bluetooth commands to controller for volume control
- Receives audio input via Bluetooth for 3.5mm headphone jack
- Speakers become muted if headphone is plugged in
- Sends audio via Bluetooth from aux jack. (might consider removing this feature)
- replaces the normal source when the aux is plugged in
- if aux is plugged in on controller as well as the knob, the aux on the knob will not play
- Knob spins freely left or right controlling volume only up to and down to certain levels
- hole cut out in center of knob for mute button. Mute button does not rotate with knob.
- may consider requiring user to hold mute button for 2 seconds if its too easily pressed.
- Lights up via LEDS when on
- Has an off switch on bottom to save batteries.
- Hold button on side to prevent accidental use while keeping the LED lights on.
- Battery powered. Not sure what kind of battery required yet. If rechargeable, then a charging port would be added to that it could charge via the Bluetooth controller and/or wall