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Bob Cole
mystery cable
on Mar 6, 2011 at 8:32:55 pm

Something very trivial today, but this has been bugging me. Going through a case of miscellaneous audio stuff, I found a mystery cable. Radio Shack brand, 3.5mm stereo male plug on one end, and two connectors - one male RCA, one female RCA - on the other. I must have bought this for something -- does anybody have any idea what this is good for?

Thanks!

Bob C


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Eric Toline
Re: mystery cable
on Mar 6, 2011 at 11:16:12 pm

A 3.5 mm TRS in & out connection where the output goes to the male RCA from either the tip or ring and the input to the 3.5mm comes from the female RCA via the tip or ring?

Eric


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Ty Ford
Re: mystery cable
on Mar 6, 2011 at 11:47:42 pm

I think Radio Shack made them up as part of an April Fool's Day promotion for people who didn't know if they were coming or going.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide





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Bob Cole
Re: mystery cable
on Mar 7, 2011 at 1:53:20 am

[Ty Ford] "for people who didn't know if they were coming or going."

Clearly it's going to be my cable of choice.


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Bob Cole
Re: mystery cable
on Mar 7, 2011 at 2:00:22 am

Great question. Results of continuity testing of the mini TRS:

Mini Tip and ring: continuity. So it's a stereo that is a mono.

Mini Tip or ring to signal (the non-ground part) of each RCA, either male or female: continuity.

Mini Sleeve to ground of each RCA plug male or female: continuity.

I'm beginning to think that Ty is right....


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Ty Ford
Re: mystery cable
on Mar 7, 2011 at 2:08:10 am

I was guessing the center contact of the female rca was connected to the tip of the 1/8" TRS and the ring of the TRS was connected to the pin of the male RCA.

maybe some sort of pass through cable that takes a signal from the input (female RCA) injects it into something with the TRS and at the same time passes.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide





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Richard Crowley
Re: mystery cable
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:53:50 am

That cable was for "CueTV", part of the "CueCat" debacle. CueCat was a barcode reader scheme that would enable sponsors to collect interest and query data on individuals for targetted marketing. (Something they do with cookies today.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CueCat

http://www.digitalbroadcasting.com/article.mvc/NBC-launches-CueTV-to-connec...

There was an ancillary scheme to encode TV commercials with sub-audible codes that could be collected and deciphered by your PC so it would pull up the advertiser's website on your computer while/after the advert ran over the air. That cable was provided as the method for collecting an audio sample from your TV and routing it into an audio input on your PC. I vaguely recall that cable was pretty long so that it would reach from your TV to your PC.

Note that "declawed" CueCat barcode readers are readily available on eBay, etc for <$10 each and make handy inexpensive USB barcode readers. ("Declawed" because the original products were encrypted to keep them used only for the original purpose. But soon hacked to make them output plain-text, and remove the unique ID code that enabled the personal preference database.)


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Bob Cole
Re: mystery cable
on Mar 16, 2011 at 12:58:40 pm

Do you think so really, given the way it is wired? But your theory is very intriguing, Richard. I don't think that was what was on the label from Radio Shack, though. Now that I read your post, I have a very dim memory that it was something to do with a cassette recorder.


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