Using two or more USB sound cards for streaming

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timkilbride

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I'm trying to use two of those $1 USB sound cards I bought off eBay but am having some trouble. If I just use one, it will stream audio fine. Once I plug in a second one, neither of them will stream audio. I'm using ScannerCast.

Also, how do you tell the difference b/w them when selecting which sound card to use? I do a trial and error, that's the only way I can figure out how to do it.

Tim K.
 

PeterGV

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Make sure BOTH are set to the specific instance names of the devices, and NEITHER of your ScannerCast sessions selects "Default Sounds Card" or whatever.

And, sorry, yes... determining which device is which is a trial and error activity. These sound cards do not have unique serial numbers, and they are thus indistinguishable from each other.

Peter
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timkilbride

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Make sure BOTH are set to the specific instance names of the devices, and NEITHER of your ScannerCast sessions selects "Default Sounds Card" or whatever.

And, sorry, yes... determining which device is which is a trial and error activity. These sound cards do not have unique serial numbers, and they are thus indistinguishable from each other.

Peter
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That's what I have been doing. One is USB(2) and the other is USB(3), sometimes the numbers may be different. I got some people listening in on the feeds now, hopefully later on today I can play with it some more.

Tim K.
 

hvscan

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I am running multiple USB soundcards along with ScannerCast and I have found the best way to keep track of the soundcards is to set them up one at a time and make a note of how ScannerCast is reading each soundcard. I keep a spreadsheet that helps me keep track of where everything is running.
 

gmclam

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When 2 does not equal 2

I am using up to as many as six of these USB sound cards on a single computer. I did two installations after a test on a 3rd computer with no problems. When it came to the 4th computer, there were lots of issues.

My first 3 computers had only 1 sound card in them, as part of the motherboard. The 4th computer has 4 PCI sound cards in it, and I think that is what caused the problem.

I have not found an exact way yet of setting these up, but be aware of the fact that the "channel" assigned to any sound card can easily change when the computer is rebooted. My best result was achieved by plugging these cards into a hub, and then plugging the hub into the PC. This way seems to provide the most natural means for the cards to be identified and assigned.

I've pointed this out in another thread; but the most confusing part of the process for me is the fact that ScannerCast does not use the same ID as the rest of the Windows system. I am running several applications associated with each input which includes: digital level meter, recorder, and the input level adjustment. These three apps will use an ID from 1 to 6 (for six sound cards) while ScannerCast will use IDs something like 3 to 8 - where USB(2) on all three apps equals USB(4) in ScannerCast.

I've documented all of my installations so I can keep track of them later. But then of one sound card gets bumped or does not log in like it should, then everything gets messed up. I will say though that the sound quality through these cards is much better than what I get through the other cards in these computers.
 

timkilbride

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I think I might have a bad USB sound card. For whatever reason, I think one of the sound cards was creating some sort of dead short on the whole audio system so all incoming audio wasn't going anywhere. Also, on my ScannerCast, both are pointing to USB Headphone (3), but all the audio is going to the right feed. Don't ask, I will just deal with it. LOL.

Tim K.
 

gmclam

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$1 USB sound cards

I bought a lot of 20 of the $1 sound cards from eBay. At least 3 of the 20 cards simply do not work. I have a couple more than don't play well when there are other cards in the system. But then the remainder of the cards work very well. Bottom line; don't just purchase the number of cards you will need, get a couple of spares. Test them individually before running them all together.
 

IAmSixNine

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I bought a lot of 20 of the $1 sound cards from eBay. At least 3 of the 20 cards simply do not work. I have a couple more than don't play well when there are other cards in the system. But then the remainder of the cards work very well. Bottom line; don't just purchase the number of cards you will need, get a couple of spares. Test them individually before running them all together.
Thanks for the heads up on the $1 sound cards from ebay. I was about to set up some additional equipment. I am going to add a few extra just in case the ones i need fail out.
 

c5corvette

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I have a couple more than don't play well when there are other cards in the system.
Can you elaborate on your issues.

When I use 1 card, its crystal clear - as soon as I add a second card I get horrible hum, whine and crosstalk.

Any help appreciated.
 

gmclam

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Can you elaborate on your issues.

When I use 1 card, its crystal clear - as soon as I add a second card I get horrible hum, whine and crosstalk.
I set up a brand new computer, straight out of the box, with a USB hub and 5 $1 USB sound cards and it worked perfectly.

Then I took a computer that had already been used, it has 4 PCI sound cards in it. I then added a USB hub with 5 $1 USB sound cards. Now this is a "2nd installation", but otherwise I was using the same brand/model hub and sound cards from the same order. Things were goofy ....

To try and trace down the problem I unplugged the USB sound cards and started over. The 4 PCI sound cards "worked". I say worked because they did what they were supposed to do, but each has different sound quality (some have no mic in, some have an input with 2 settings, some have a mic and line in, etc).

I added the hub, OK. I plugged in 1 USB sound card, OK. I plugged in a 2nd USB sound card, OK. Upon plugging in the 3rd USB sound card, other sound cards stopped working correctly. My theory is that the driver for one of the internal cards interferes with this somehow. I could use a different set of USB sound cards, same result. Each card worked individually, and any card would make the rest fail if it was the 3rd one in the hub.

However, when I plugged a 3rd USB card directly into the PC and not via the hub, all is good. Go figure.

My solution is to remove all but one internal PCI sound card and see what happens. But I don't want to take the system out of service (it is streaming two feeds here to RR). So I will wait until I can swap another computer into that spot, then see what I can figure out.

As far as "crystal clear" is concerned; this issue has to do with being able to set the level correctly, and possibly "inheriting" attributes of other sound cards that its hardware does not support. It was not an issue of taking clear audio and making it fuzzy (unless that fuziness was caused by too much or too little audio level).
 

datainmotion

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I have a similar issue where 1 USB audio ($1 e-bay specials) is fine, but if I hook up a second USB audio (exact same type) to the same PC, the second is nothing but hissing audio. Each individual device is fine when plugged in by itself.

I'm thinking some boards just don't do well with multiple audio inputs via USB or as mentioned above, drivers conflict (since they are MS native and not shipped with the devices).
 
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c5corvette

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I have a similar issue where 1 USB audio ($1 e-bay specials) is fine, but if I hook up a second USB audio (exact same type) to the same PC, the second is nothing but hissing audio. Each individual device is fine when plugged in by itself.

I'm thinking some boards just don't do well with multiple audio inputs via USB or as mentioned above, drivers conflict (since they are MS native and not shipped with the devices).
Thats my problem - exactly - finally isolated it to this. I am using the same USB hubs other people are using successfully, so I down to building another computer next.
 

datainmotion

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The one thing I haven't tried yet is disabling the USB Root Hub that the devices are ultimately connected to and then re-enabling it to let Windows re-enumerate the ports...stay tuned;)
 

gmclam

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The one thing I haven't tried yet is disabling the USB Root Hub that the devices are ultimately connected to and then re-enabling it to let Windows re-enumerate the ports...stay tuned;)
I thought I might try unplugging all USB devices, deleting all of the related USB drivers that got loaded and then starting over. These type of approaches like the one above just might work.
 

c5corvette

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I thought I might try unplugging all USB devices, deleting all of the related USB drivers that got loaded and then starting over. These type of approaches like the one above just might work.
How do you delete all the USB drivers that have been loaded - once you uninstall the device where do you go to delete the drivers?
 

avtarsingh

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this is kind of an old thread .. but i ran across the same problem .. trying to tell what card is what

i have also used the spreadsheet idea to tell which is which

here is what i have also done.. it might help

i only buy 1 sound card of a certain type
i try to get as many different types of usb sound cards from diff vendors in china

then usually each one has a different name and it's easier to distinguish

i have also tried some of the usb sound cards that have 2 mic ports - they dont always work right either
 
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