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Mod for Creative X-Fi 5.1USB external sound card

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  • Peter
    Hi All, I recently purchased a Creative USB external sound card and was disappointed to find although it appeared to work OK the receiver muted when a jack was
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 1, 2010
      Hi All,

      I recently purchased a Creative USB external sound card and was disappointed to find although it appeared to work OK the receiver muted when a jack was plugged into the Mic jack, even when not connected to anything.

      The manual states that the Line audio has priority, and I assumed that meant that when the Mic was active it might reduce the Line audio not kill it. I figured it was worth investigating even though it might affect the warranty and fortunately after trying various things the fix is quite easy.

      I figured the jack must have had switches that activate when the jack is inserted and found that was the case when I opened the unit; in fact there are 3 switches on each jack.

      Carefully pulling the covers apart will help remove the knob which is a push fit. To dismantle the unit first remove the 4 black plastic feet which are just stuck on, when removed 4 self tapping screws are then revealed and removed. The first step is to carefully bend up the tang of the rear "switch" on the mic jack which can be confirmed by measuring 3.25V on the tang when it is free from the switch connection. Then solder a 4K7 resistor onto the tang and fit a jumper as shown in the photo section labelled: VK3BPN X-Fi mod.

      Please let me know if you have any problems or find a better solution, also if you find any improvements with the X-Fi USB please let me know.

      73, Peter VK3BPN
    • John
      Hi Peter. I am looking at getting an external sound card while waiting for my G59MK2 to arrive. I am currently using a sound blaster audigi value on my
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 1, 2010
        Hi Peter.

        I am looking at getting an external sound card while waiting for my
        G59MK2 to arrive. I am currently using a sound blaster audigi value on
        my softrock. Can you let me know the max sampling rate of the X-Fi, and
        how it performs?

        Thanks 73

        John de VK4JWT



        On Fri, 2010-10-01 at 07:21 +0000, Peter wrote:
        > Hi All,
        >
        > I recently purchased a Creative USB external sound card and was disappointed to find although it appeared to work OK the receiver muted when a jack was plugged into the Mic jack, even when not connected to anything.
        >
        > The manual states that the Line audio has priority, and I assumed that meant that when the Mic was active it might reduce the Line audio not kill it. I figured it was worth investigating even though it might affect the warranty and fortunately after trying various things the fix is quite easy.
        >
        > I figured the jack must have had switches that activate when the jack is inserted and found that was the case when I opened the unit; in fact there are 3 switches on each jack.
        >
        > Carefully pulling the covers apart will help remove the knob which is a push fit. To dismantle the unit first remove the 4 black plastic feet which are just stuck on, when removed 4 self tapping screws are then revealed and removed. The first step is to carefully bend up the tang of the rear "switch" on the mic jack which can be confirmed by measuring 3.25V on the tang when it is free from the switch connection. Then solder a 4K7 resistor onto the tang and fit a jumper as shown in the photo section labelled: VK3BPN X-Fi mod.
        >
        > Please let me know if you have any problems or find a better solution, also if you find any improvements with the X-Fi USB please let me know.
        >
        > 73, Peter VK3BPN
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
      • Peter
        Hi John I have only used an Audigy 2 ZS and this one. I think the X-Fi compares with the Audigy but I can t give a definative comparison as I have removed the
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 1, 2010
          Hi John

          I have only used an Audigy 2 ZS and this one. I think the X-Fi compares with the Audigy but I can't give a definative comparison as I have removed the Audigy.

          I think there would be much better USB external cards but for the price it does the job OK and provides a much more versatile solution than an Audigy in a desktop computer.

          Specs:
          Playback: USB 2.0: Stereo/ Surround ¡Ü 24-Bit/96kHz 5.1
          USB 1.1: Stereo ¡Ü 24-Bit/96kHz 5.1
          Surround 16-Bit/48kHz
          Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >99dB (20kHz Low-pass filter, A-Weighted)
          Recording: ¡Ü 24-bit/96kHz

          Good luck with your build John and make sure you read all the revised data.

          73, Peter VK3BPN



          --- In GenesisRadio@yahoogroups.com, John <jwtitmus@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Peter.
          >
          > I am looking at getting an external sound card while waiting for my
          > G59MK2 to arrive. I am currently using a sound blaster audigi value on
          > my softrock. Can you let me know the max sampling rate of the X-Fi, and
          > how it performs?
          >
          > Thanks 73
          >
          > John de VK4JWT
          >
          >
          >
          > On Fri, 2010-10-01 at 07:21 +0000, Peter wrote:
          > > Hi All,
          > >
          > > I recently purchased a Creative USB external sound card and was disappointed to find although it appeared to work OK the receiver muted when a jack was plugged into the Mic jack, even when not connected to anything.
          > >
          > > The manual states that the Line audio has priority, and I assumed that meant that when the Mic was active it might reduce the Line audio not kill it. I figured it was worth investigating even though it might affect the warranty and fortunately after trying various things the fix is quite easy.
          > >
          > > I figured the jack must have had switches that activate when the jack is inserted and found that was the case when I opened the unit; in fact there are 3 switches on each jack.
          > >
          > > Carefully pulling the covers apart will help remove the knob which is a push fit. To dismantle the unit first remove the 4 black plastic feet which are just stuck on, when removed 4 self tapping screws are then revealed and removed. The first step is to carefully bend up the tang of the rear "switch" on the mic jack which can be confirmed by measuring 3.25V on the tang when it is free from the switch connection. Then solder a 4K7 resistor onto the tang and fit a jumper as shown in the photo section labelled: VK3BPN X-Fi mod.
          > >
          > > Please let me know if you have any problems or find a better solution, also if you find any improvements with the X-Fi USB please let me know.
          > >
          > > 73, Peter VK3BPN
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > ------------------------------------
          > >
          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
        • Grant
          Hi Peter and John, I too am using this sound card and I have found it fine, although I am only using it at 48 kHz; haven t tried 96 yet. I have also used it
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 3, 2010
            Hi Peter and John,

            I too am using this sound card and I have found it fine, although I am only using it at 48 kHz; haven't tried 96 yet. I have also used it only on CW with my Softrock RXTX v 6.3 and with my G40 to do the image rejection. Sigs come in nice and strong - I have monitored various sigs (CW, SSB and Digi) successfully using a few of the popular SDR programs.

            73s
            Grant VK4JAZ

            --- In GenesisRadio@yahoogroups.com, "Peter" <peterc281@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi John
            >
            > I have only used an Audigy 2 ZS and this one. I think the X-Fi compares with the Audigy but I can't give a definative comparison as I have removed the Audigy.
            >
            > I think there would be much better USB external cards but for the price it does the job OK and provides a much more versatile solution than an Audigy in a desktop computer.
            >
            > Specs:
            > Playback: USB 2.0: Stereo/ Surround ¡Ü 24-Bit/96kHz 5.1
            > USB 1.1: Stereo ¡Ü 24-Bit/96kHz 5.1
            > Surround 16-Bit/48kHz
            > Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >99dB (20kHz Low-pass filter, A-Weighted)
            > Recording: ¡Ü 24-bit/96kHz
            >
            > Good luck with your build John and make sure you read all the revised data.
            >
            > 73, Peter VK3BPN
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In GenesisRadio@yahoogroups.com, John <jwtitmus@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hi Peter.
            > >
            > > I am looking at getting an external sound card while waiting for my
            > > G59MK2 to arrive. I am currently using a sound blaster audigi value on
            > > my softrock. Can you let me know the max sampling rate of the X-Fi, and
            > > how it performs?
            > >
            > > Thanks 73
            > >
            > > John de VK4JWT
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > On Fri, 2010-10-01 at 07:21 +0000, Peter wrote:
            > > > Hi All,
            > > >
            > > > I recently purchased a Creative USB external sound card and was disappointed to find although it appeared to work OK the receiver muted when a jack was plugged into the Mic jack, even when not connected to anything.
            > > >
            > > > The manual states that the Line audio has priority, and I assumed that meant that when the Mic was active it might reduce the Line audio not kill it. I figured it was worth investigating even though it might affect the warranty and fortunately after trying various things the fix is quite easy.
            > > >
            > > > I figured the jack must have had switches that activate when the jack is inserted and found that was the case when I opened the unit; in fact there are 3 switches on each jack.
            > > >
            > > > Carefully pulling the covers apart will help remove the knob which is a push fit. To dismantle the unit first remove the 4 black plastic feet which are just stuck on, when removed 4 self tapping screws are then revealed and removed. The first step is to carefully bend up the tang of the rear "switch" on the mic jack which can be confirmed by measuring 3.25V on the tang when it is free from the switch connection. Then solder a 4K7 resistor onto the tang and fit a jumper as shown in the photo section labelled: VK3BPN X-Fi mod.
            > > >
            > > > Please let me know if you have any problems or find a better solution, also if you find any improvements with the X-Fi USB please let me know.
            > > >
            > > > 73, Peter VK3BPN
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > ------------------------------------
            > > >
            > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • John
            Thanks for the info Grant, I might look around for a X-Fi on ebay while waiting for my G56MK2. Thanks for the advice on the build Peter. By the way I am
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 4, 2010
              Thanks for the info Grant, I might look around for a X-Fi on ebay while
              waiting for my G56MK2. Thanks for the advice on the build Peter.
              By the way I am running KGKSDR under WINE in Ubuntu at the moment, works
              very well, but I can only get 48Khz sampling.

              Cheers

              John de VK4JWT


              On Sun, 2010-10-03 at 22:54 +0000, Grant wrote:
              > Hi Peter and John,
              >
              > I too am using this sound card and I have found it fine, although I am only using it at 48 kHz; haven't tried 96 yet. I have also used it only on CW with my Softrock RXTX v 6.3 and with my G40 to do the image rejection. Sigs come in nice and strong - I have monitored various sigs (CW, SSB and Digi) successfully using a few of the popular SDR programs.
              >
              > 73s
              > Grant VK4JAZ
              >
              > --- In GenesisRadio@yahoogroups.com, "Peter" <peterc281@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi John
              > >
              > > I have only used an Audigy 2 ZS and this one. I think the X-Fi compares with the Audigy but I can't give a definative comparison as I have removed the Audigy.
              > >
              > > I think there would be much better USB external cards but for the price it does the job OK and provides a much more versatile solution than an Audigy in a desktop computer.
              > >
              > > Specs:
              > > Playback: USB 2.0: Stereo/ Surround ¡Ü 24-Bit/96kHz 5.1
              > > USB 1.1: Stereo ¡Ü 24-Bit/96kHz 5.1
              > > Surround 16-Bit/48kHz
              > > Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >99dB (20kHz Low-pass filter, A-Weighted)
              > > Recording: ¡Ü 24-bit/96kHz
              > >
              > > Good luck with your build John and make sure you read all the revised data.
              > >
              > > 73, Peter VK3BPN
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In GenesisRadio@yahoogroups.com, John <jwtitmus@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Hi Peter.
              > > >
              > > > I am looking at getting an external sound card while waiting for my
              > > > G59MK2 to arrive. I am currently using a sound blaster audigi value on
              > > > my softrock. Can you let me know the max sampling rate of the X-Fi, and
              > > > how it performs?
              > > >
              > > > Thanks 73
              > > >
              > > > John de VK4JWT
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > On Fri, 2010-10-01 at 07:21 +0000, Peter wrote:
              > > > > Hi All,
              > > > >
              > > > > I recently purchased a Creative USB external sound card and was disappointed to find although it appeared to work OK the receiver muted when a jack was plugged into the Mic jack, even when not connected to anything.
              > > > >
              > > > > The manual states that the Line audio has priority, and I assumed that meant that when the Mic was active it might reduce the Line audio not kill it. I figured it was worth investigating even though it might affect the warranty and fortunately after trying various things the fix is quite easy.
              > > > >
              > > > > I figured the jack must have had switches that activate when the jack is inserted and found that was the case when I opened the unit; in fact there are 3 switches on each jack.
              > > > >
              > > > > Carefully pulling the covers apart will help remove the knob which is a push fit. To dismantle the unit first remove the 4 black plastic feet which are just stuck on, when removed 4 self tapping screws are then revealed and removed. The first step is to carefully bend up the tang of the rear "switch" on the mic jack which can be confirmed by measuring 3.25V on the tang when it is free from the switch connection. Then solder a 4K7 resistor onto the tang and fit a jumper as shown in the photo section labelled: VK3BPN X-Fi mod.
              > > > >
              > > > > Please let me know if you have any problems or find a better solution, also if you find any improvements with the X-Fi USB please let me know.
              > > > >
              > > > > 73, Peter VK3BPN
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > > ------------------------------------
              > > > >
              > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
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