Friday, April 21, 2006

Line to microphone input.

While in India we had been recording talks by Tibetan Buddhist teachers, both with a mini-disk recorder and a video camera. To transfer these to our laptop for editing with Audacity we had a problem. The Philips X51 only has a micrphone input not a line in, whereas the mini disk and camcorder produce "domestic line out" voltage levels. I knew enough about electronics to know I had an impedance matching problem. My friend Charles, knowledgable about such things was confident that a 100 k Ohm resistor in parallel would do the trick. I set out on my quest to find such a thing in McLeoad Gange (Upper Dharamasala).

Eventually way up near the Taxi stand at the top of town I found a small shed that served as a shop for a man who fixed electronics. He was doing an improvised repair on an old tape recorder. On the way, asking in other stalls selling electrical and electronic bits and pieces I had aquired a lead with a stereo jack plug on both ends and a one male to two female stereo jack adapter. So as not to mess up the moulded plus I got the man in the shed to solder a 100kOhm resistor across between the line and ground pins of another jack plug. It took two of them a quater of an hour to hunt down a suitable resistor from decrepid and dirty circuit boards from broken TVs. This was inserted in one of the holes in the adapter so as to put the resistor in parallel.

Anyway the up shot was that it works, and we were able to get an audable recording of Lama Tenam's talk on the meaning of the Red Crown Ceremony, and Tai Situ Rinpoche's talk on the Four Noble Truths converted to digital form, to the accompniment of many drums and horns playing in the background.

Now back home I could have been more sophisticated, and if you have to solve a similar problem I suggest you consult this helpful page.


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