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W A R N I N G !

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Coaxial S/PDIF-out from X-Fi XtremeGamer SPDIF_IO header

The low-profile X-Fi XtremeGamer is devoid of connectivity; but hey, which consumer soundcard isn't.

Apparently the connections of some newer high-end soundcards are becoming more bare than that of on-board sound, but I digress.

The SPDIF_IO header on my XtremeGamer has always interested me. I've been using this card's optical out but would prefer coaxial, and I needed a coaxial in for testing purposes.

This is my actual card.

And this is the connector:

A bit of poking with the multimeter reveals this:

Considering the alignment of the +5V, Ground and 10k to ground pins, those are probably for the optical SPDIF-in. Or the 10k to ground pin could be something to connect to +5V to activate the other ground pins which are otherwise too numerous. Perhaps I should call them "mystery pins". At any rate, it does not work as coaxial SPDIF-in.

EDIT: After looking around other Creative cards with this connector, I came to a conclusion that, the unknown 10k to ground pin, is indeed SPDIF-in. However since it has a 10k load it will not work well with a 75-ohm coaxial cable source. A buffer or a source that can handle the load, like the electrical signal generated from the optical-in, Creative's drive-bay console whatever things, even SPDIF-out from the motherboard and CD-ROM drive should work - I haven't confirmed it myself yet but you can always try.

I didn't get the first prize but at least got the consolation prize. So all that's needed for coaxial SPDIF-out is pins 7 and 9. Digging through the box-o'-rubbish I came up with this contraption:

Fixed onto the card, center (signal) wire to pin 9, outer shell (ground) to pin 7.

Installed it into my com. Viola, it works.


Anonymous said...

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Thx! Ur pic of the close-up spdif i/o and labeled pins is exactly what I needed to get my gtx 285 and xtremegamer hooked up correctly to my hgtv. + karma to u! 8D

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for the pinout. It helped a lot.

Cat Square said...

This is very much appreciated. I'm getting analog noise from my Extreme Gamer card to the analog inputs on my receiver (that also has digital coax in) -- this should do the trick nicely!

shortswiss said...

Can the author suggest on how to make the buffer for spdif in?


shortswiss said...

Can the author please update this page with appropriate instructions on making buffer input? It is in essence a COAX to TTL converter which requires two gates on a hex invert-er and a few other components. Please see the image I have a link to for further reference!


It would be appreciable if the author of this blog would change/update the image.