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Tag Archives: Electronics

Ok, so I began this little “how to” in this post way back in March, and I’ve finally gotten around to buying the parts (i.e. had time) and putting it together.


DISCLAIMER: You undertake this project entirely at your own risk. By attempting this you understand that I cannot be held liable for any damage you cause to your own equipment.

That being said: seriously, audio signals are of negligible voltage. You can cause a short circuit… and nothing will happen. There’s no way you’re going to cause a fire or anything.


You can click on the pictures on this post to get the full size image. Incidentally, while I’m at it I might as well license them to you under the GPL as Attribution Non-commercial.


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So, as a recap, the components I have bought: x2 3.5mm Male Mono jacks, and x1 2.5mm Female Stereo jack.

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(Photos showing the inner connections of each jack.)

02082009134 (2.5mm Connected to the headset.)

So: I’m using a couple of pieces of cable I had lying about, single core in two wires, core is probably about 1mm diameter. You don’t want anything more than that or wiring the ends into the jack becomes particularly fiddly.

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Wiring the mono jacks: the outer cable was marked with a white strip, and this was how I kept track of which wire was neutral.

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I put a dab of solder on each connection to hold it in place and make a good connection.

At this point, don’t forget to put the outer plastic of the female jack onto the wire! It’s going to be frustrating if you have to unwire the jack afterwards to put the plastic on and start again!

02082009155 (Yes, I know it seems obvious, but… well.)

Test the headphone socket first, see if you can get anything playing through the 360 headset so you can see that you’ve wired the audio jack correctly. I would expect (if you have the same design of connector as me) that the silvery inner connection is the speaker wire connection, rather than the brass-coloured one.

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Make sure the audio is actually turned up on the headset if you’re testing it this way. Same for the mic, when you do  that. Turn it on.

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As above, I cropped the wires to the correct length. The first photo makes them look cropped shorter than they actually are, so careful here. You want enough left to go through the holes, but not too much, or it just gets in the way.

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A couple of dabs of solder later, and there you have it! Note that you may want to mark which jack is the mic and which is the speaker, avoiding confusion later.

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Ta da! If you do attempt this, let me know! It’d be nice to see if I can actually help anyone out here.

Next up: an overview of the equipment I use to film a “Let’s Play”. Adios.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a lovely new Resident Evil 5 XBox 360, which I pre-ordered from Game.

But for some reason, I now find myself wondering about the potential uses of the wired headset that came with it, instead of actually playing on it.

So, I ask myself: “How do I hook it up to my laptop? I want to use it for Skype!”

The headset, for those who don’t already know, features a 2.5mm stereo jack which plugs into the wireless controller for use with online gaming. This makes it reasonably friendly for people who want to put it to other uses…

But- my laptop doesn’t have a 2.5mm stereo jack… It’s got a veritable wealth of standard 3.5mm ones, but no 2.5mm.

For reference, a picture. Taken with the less-than-trusty webcam:

Jack size comparison

6.35mm (1/4"), 3.5mm, and 2.5mm Stereo Jacks.

If you have a mobile phone with a stereo jack for handsfree, chances are that’ll be a 2.5mm one. You could probably make calls with it. Hell, you could probably plug it in and use the Bluetooth Audio Service to connect it to the PC! But I don’t have one of those phones, so that wasn’t an option. [EDIT: Actually, I think phones have a 4 pole jack… but it might still work.]

I’ll go for the hard-wired approach:

Maplins Electronics was my first port of call. I quickly found what I was looking for. A female 2.5mm stereo socket.

That sorts the connection of the headset onto something I can wire. Next, I need to split the Speaker and Microphone up.

Effectively, I need two 3.5mm Mono Jacks– one for the speaker, one for the mic. Maplins again.


It should be fairly simple to sort out which connection is the mic and which is the speaker. I’ll test it by holding the wires to an audio signal source… my laptop, playing music out through the speaker output, for instance.

Anyway, I’ll solder it all together when I get the chance. Watch this space.


So, want Part 2?