Very inexpensive USB sound cards for multiple feeds from one computer

Status
Not open for further replies.

andrewclegg

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
9
Location
Shenandoah County, VA
Greetings,

This info may be of interest to folks who want to broadcast multiple feeds from one PC. I purchased very inexpensive USB sound cards off of eBay, and they work great. Each one you add to your machine allows another feed to be broadcast using that machine. The USB cards are about the size of a thumb drive, and I had no problems with them auto-installing in Windows XP in a few seconds.

I am using eBay item #140350775860, which cost $4.99 for each sound card device, with free shipping. My Arlington County (VA) police dispatch feed is using one of these, on the same machine (an old XP laptop) that I'm running my Virginia State Police (Arlington/Fairfax) feed through a built-in soundcard.

Cheers,
Andy
 

Citywide173

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
1,660
Location
Attleboro, MA
You may want to look at these as well, as they look to be the same thing with a different color case-$1.20 shipped:

USB 5.1 Audio 3D Sound Card adaptor For Dell Laptope PC - eBay (item 280398062873 end time Jan-13-10 23:44:57 PST)

I currently have 2 of these on one USB hub that is attached to a computer providing 4 feeds with no problems. I am currently looking at building an appliance similar to the RR 8 feed appliance for Boston PD, and these will be a big part of it if it progresses the way I want (each district, citywide frequency and special ops with dedicated feeds and one feed scanning them all).
 

andrewclegg

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
9
Location
Shenandoah County, VA
Thanks Ed. Those are even cheaper. Must be the neon green color that makes them go for less?

The only drawback of these little things I have found so far is that multiple units won't fit next to each other if your USB ports are closely packed (like you find on the back of some desktops). In that case, you can probably find really cheap USB extension cables on eBay.

Good luck with the appliance!

Andy
 

blantonl

Founder and CEO
Staff member
Joined
Dec 9, 2000
Messages
9,273
Location
San Antonio, TX
The only drawback of these little things I have found so far is that multiple units won't fit next to each other if your USB ports are closely packed (like you find on the back of some desktops). In that case, you can probably find really cheap USB extension cables on eBay.
Pop their little plastic covers off and that opens up a lot of room.
 

gmclam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
5,379
Location
Fair Oaks, CA
I bought several of the $1 sound cards from eBay back in December. I understand they are being shipped from Hong Kong. I have not received them yet (as of 01/11/10). I have been told by the seller there is a 12 to 15 day delay leaving Hong Kong.
 

hvscan

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
181
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9530/5.0.0.328 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

I have received items from Hong Kong anywhere from 1 week to 1 month after purchase via eBay.
 

andrewclegg

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
9
Location
Shenandoah County, VA
Thanks for the tip about breaking off the cases, Lindsay. That should help.

With regard to shipping from China, I've had similar experiences as hvscan, taking between about 10 - 30 days. I'd estimate that two and a half weeks is about average.

Cheers,
Andy
 

VFN05

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
62
Location
Norfolk, VA
"Line in" woes on the cheapy USB cards?

Hello all.

I recently bought a bag of these sound cards on eBay. While the ones I purchased had a smoke colored plastic case rather than the neon green Lindsay mentioned, they appeared to be the same card (mic and headphone connections only). I slapped 4 of them into one machine that I am currently using for my Norfolk,VA feed, which utilizes the internal sound card. While the computer and Oddcast see all 5 cards (built in + 4 USB), 3 of the USB cards seem to think they only have a "Line In" input rather than a mic input. Any ideas? Has anyone used drivers other than the ones auto detected by Win XP?

Also, since I am sure you guys are using attenuating patch cords for your speaker to mic connection, what dB attenuation do you use? Rat Shack has both -60 and -90 dB.

-Jason
 

Citywide173

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
1,660
Location
Attleboro, MA
Hello all.

I recently bought a bag of these sound cards on eBay. While the ones I purchased had a smoke colored plastic case rather than the neon green Lindsay mentioned, they appeared to be the same card (mic and headphone connections only). I slapped 4 of them into one machine that I am currently using for my Norfolk,VA feed, which utilizes the internal sound card. While the computer and Oddcast see all 5 cards (built in + 4 USB), 3 of the USB cards seem to think they only have a "Line In" input rather than a mic input. Any ideas? Has anyone used drivers other than the ones auto detected by Win XP?

Also, since I am sure you guys are using attenuating patch cords for your speaker to mic connection, what dB attenuation do you use? Rat Shack has both -60 and -90 dB.

-Jason
If you go into the properties for the sound card, you can switch from "Line In" to "Mic In" as the active input
 

KLH

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 10, 2005
Messages
353
Location
Indiana
I bought one of these from China, and my computer does not recognize them.
I am using Windows XP. Does anyone know where to download the drivers at?
 

gmclam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
5,379
Location
Fair Oaks, CA
I recently bought a bag of these sound cards on eBay. While the ones I purchased had a smoke colored plastic case rather than the neon green Lindsay mentioned, they appeared to be the same card (mic and headphone connections only).
I bought 20 of them. Mine were some shade of blue, I wouldn't call it smoked.

I slapped 4 of them into one machine that I am currently using for my Norfolk,VA feed, which utilizes the internal sound card. While the computer and Oddcast see all 5 cards (built in + 4 USB), 3 of the USB cards seem to think they only have a "Line In" input rather than a mic input. Any ideas?
I have installed these cards on no less than 5 different computers. All are running XP Pro. On some machines the SAME card showed a LINE IN, while on other machines would show up as MIC inputs. I also had 4 of the 20 cards which were essentially defective.

I ignored what the input was called and treated it as a mic input. I built some custom cables with isolation transformers that also dropped the signal level a bit. I could have gotten by without dropping the signal level, it just makes setting the level in "Record Properties" a little less touchier.

Also, since I am sure you guys are using attenuating patch cords for your speaker to mic connection, what dB attenuation do you use? Rat Shack has both -60 and -90 dB.
I only dropped the signal about 4:1. Considering that I am connected to the EXP SP jack on the scanners, I can set the volume control on the scanners relatively low, and then also set the input level on the cards low. By not attenuating "too much", I have better range. I found that range necessary on some undermodulated channels I am receiving. I think the -60dB would be fine.

A side note: One of the machines I installed these in has 4 PCI sound cards in it. The cards are all different, some with line inputs, some with mic inputs and some both. The sound from NONE of the PCI cards sounds as good as from these USB cards. Well worth the $1 each (which is closer to $3 when I consider the dead units and the shipping charges).
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2004
Messages
1,334
Location
Colorado
I bought one of these from China, and my computer does not recognize them.
I am using Windows XP. Does anyone know where to download the drivers at?
My feed computer uses Win XP, and it recognized one of these instantly. I don't think there are any drivers out there since they should be recognized by XP. Is your Win XP upgraded to SP3?
 

richtidd

Live Audio Administrator
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,139
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Greetings,

This info may be of interest to folks who want to broadcast multiple feeds from one PC. I purchased very inexpensive USB sound cards off of eBay, and they work great. Each one you add to your machine allows another feed to be broadcast using that machine. The USB cards are about the size of a thumb drive, and I had no problems with them auto-installing in Windows XP in a few seconds.

I am using eBay item #140350775860, which cost $4.99 for each sound card device, with free shipping. My Arlington County (VA) police dispatch feed is using one of these, on the same machine (an old XP laptop) that I'm running my Virginia State Police (Arlington/Fairfax) feed through a built-in soundcard.

Cheers,
Andy
Not USB and not cheep but this is what at least one feed owner is using to run several feeds: BroadWave - Serve up to 8 separate live audio streams from the single PC. Needs a sound card like this: Delta 1010LT 10 channel sound card.
 

gmclam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
5,379
Location
Fair Oaks, CA
My feed computer uses Win XP, and it recognized one of these instantly. I don't think there are any drivers out there since they should be recognized by XP. Is your Win XP upgraded to SP3?
I think that is a good point. All of the systems I installed these sound cards on are updated to SP3.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top