Automatic RCA audio switch?

  • Thread starter Graeme Williamson
  • Start date
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Graeme Williamson

Enthusiast
Hi folks. I'm a relative beginner so bear with me. I have a situation where I want to switch automatically between two analog RCA audio inputs depending on what signal is available. If both signals are available, it should prioritise one over the other. I bought a cheap product that I thought would do the job, the trouble is the auto-switching is triggered by the video signal (and I only have audio) - this wasn't clear in the description. I'm happy to pay a little bit more for a product that works but this is a non-essential item so I'm not really wanting to spend lots of money on it. It's all linked to an amp in my loft and a waterproof speaker in my bathroom so the sound quality doesn't really need to be amazing. Help appreciated.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Might help to be more specific about all your gear and why this solution was needed....can't say I'd even seen something like your switching box before tho I've always had many inputs to use...
 
G

Graeme Williamson

Enthusiast
Ok, here goes - I know, it’s pretty nuts ;-)

I have a Yamaha MusicCast multiroom system and it was critical for me that the bathroom integrated into this as well as being able to be used as a stand alone system. Regrettably, Yamaha don’t do a water resistant speaker (unlike Sonos), so I needed to opt for a separate waterproof speaker connected to an amp, connected to the MusicCast enabled WX AD-10 wireless streaming adapter https://uk.yamaha.com/files/download/other_assets/5/890865/web_WXAD-10_om_ABG_En.pdf

This works well, but I wanted to take it a step further and get voice control so that I can have hands free operation in the bathroom for obvious reasons. So I got an ‘Amazon Echo Input’ https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=GQFQVWJNM65N7FM8 - this is the only bit of kit (apart from the speaker) that is in the bathroom itself, the rest is in the attic above the bathroom. Now, Alexa can control the WXAD-10 via the MusicCast skills but the options are limited. The WXAD-10 also supports Bluetooth so I can connect the Echo to it that way. But if I’m playing music through the WXAD-10, this disconnects the Bluetooth link between the Echo and the WXAD-10 and so when I talk to Alexa, I can’t hear what she’s saying and it takes a while to reestablish the Bluetooth link which is a pain (the Echo Input doesn’t have a speaker itself - it relies on an external speaker connected by aux or Bluetooth). So I was trying to find a system that allows me to run the Echo and the WXAD-10 back to the amp individually and use the AUX out on the Echo to connect it to the amp. The problem is that the amp is in the attic, so I can’t switch between inputs on the amp itself, so I wanted something that would switch automatically between the inputs so that I can connect it to a single input on the amp. The Echo would be priority so that if Alexa was talking/playing something, then you’d here it, and if not, it would default to the WXAD-10.
I realise that this system is pretty convoluted but I am eager to try and make it work if possible without breaking the bank. I’ve found several products that would do exactly the job I need if I also had a video feed, but regrettable I only have analog audio outs from the Echo and WXAD-10.

Maybe you wish you hadn’t asked!
 
G

Graeme Williamson

Enthusiast
Thanks for the reply. I don’t see anything about it being able to detect which input is live though (and switch between them), do you know if this would do that or if it would simply mix the sound from both inputs together?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
It seems that would do it but wonder how well it works for your purposes with the way it reacts to signal sensing when the B signal comes thru (in the product description). It also doesn't specify what the signal strength needs to be but if it works with typical audio line levels then it should be okay. I'd also run across what looked to be a discontinued product called the Speakercraft LL-1 that might do it but the descriptions I found weren't very detailed. All this fuss just to talk to a box? :)
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
What you want would be a ducker. Something that ducks one audio signal when another is present, then returns to the other signal after the second one goes away. This is often used in paging systems with background music. Someone speaks into a mic, the music cuts out. They stop talking and the music cuts back in.

It is not typical for home audio systems, but the Sonance ASAP1 is an example of an amplifier with two inputs on it where it auto-switches between two inputs. Designed for 'local' and 'remote' sources.

I found this as it looks like a current product without amplification built in...
https://www.newark.com/mcm-custom-audio/50-8396/automatic-two-way-source-selector/dp/29X0259

Key features are that it can be set to wait to switch back to the 'first' source with a range between .5 and 120 seconds. So, quiet passages won't trigger it to return to the first audio source in error.
 
Last edited:
G

Graeme Williamson

Enthusiast
It seems that would do it but wonder how well it works for your purposes with the way it reacts to signal sensing when the B signal comes thru (in the product description). It also doesn't specify what the signal strength needs to be but if it works with typical audio line levels then it should be okay. I'd also run across what looked to be a discontinued product called the Speakercraft LL-1 that might do it but the descriptions I found weren't very detailed. All this fuss just to talk to a box? :)
Thanks for all your help!
 
G

Graeme Williamson

Enthusiast
What you want would be a ducker. Something that ducks one audio signal when another is present, then returns to the other signal after the second one goes away. This is often used in paging systems with background music. Someone speaks into a mic, the music cuts out. They stop talking and the music cuts back in.

It is not typical for home audio systems, but the Sonance ASAP1 is an example of an amplifier with two inputs on it where it auto-switches between two inputs. Designed for 'local' and 'remote' sources.

I found this as it looks like a current product without amplification built in...
https://www.newark.com/mcm-custom-audio/50-8396/automatic-two-way-source-selector/dp/29X0259

Key features are that it can be set to wait to switch back to the 'first' source with a range between .5 and 120 seconds. So, quiet passages won't trigger it to return to the first audio source in error.
Thanks so much - this is really useful information. I'm in the UK and it's looking more difficult to source this product here but it looks like it might be what I need. Much appreciated!
 
L

latteDev

Audiophyte
A simple solution is to use noise gates. You can get these as multiple input or just buy guitar noise gates.At around £23 each they should do the job. A noise gate is simply a variable level input device that is triggered at a threshold Voltage. Sound engineers use these combined with a compressor to give soft gating, but given you only want a given audio signal selected when there is a signal present these are ideal.
 

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