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Inexpensive Adapters Speed AoIP EAS Connection

Also, an inexpensive introduction to electronics from Radio Shack

RJ45 jack, RJ45-RCA jack, audio adapters
Use two connector adapters to connect an S/PDIF output to an EAS input.

William Harrison, chief engineer at WETA(FM) in Washington, wrote us to share a simple way to connect an S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format) output to an EAS input on an AoIP system, in his case on an Axia xNode.

He uses a combination of two readily available adapters: an RJ45-to-F adapter and an F-to-RCA. William chose adapters from Tech Tool Supply as shown in the first photo, but you can find them elsewhere as well.

The adapter obviously doesn’t take into account the difference in peak-to-peak voltage between AES and S/PDIF, but it usually works, and it is incredibly easy and inexpensive.

William has only tried this to get audio into the xNode. Getting audio out of it, or using it with, say, WheatNet-IP may give different results; but the adapter cost is minimal, so you may want to try it.

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The process is straightforward. First plug an RJ45-to-F adapter into the xNode. (At the TechToolSupply site, a Rexford Tools female F to RJ45 Plug is Product Code RTC-RJ45-F). Then add an F-to-RCA adapter to mate to the S/PDIF plug (that’s Product Code SKY01130).

The same result can be achieved using an RJ45-to-BNC ( and BNC-to-RCA adapter (at, search Product Code 200-173).

William says the adapter combination also works great in getting the audio from consumer gear into your AoIP network.

Shure, X2U, XLR adapters, XLR-USB audio, microphone preamps, USB audio preamps
Shure X2U XLR-to-USB Signal Adapter.

I really connect 2U

Speaking of adapters, Dan Slentz amazes me with the things he finds on the internet.

The microphone people at Shure Products are selling a useful device called the X2u. It’s a connector adapter that mates the XLR connector of a professional broadcast microphone to a USB plug.

This makes for easy connection directly to a computer without the need for any additional hardware.

Ideal for podcasters or home recording studios, the connector adapter is compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10 (both 32- and 64-bit), as well as XP, 2000 and Mac OS X (10.1 or later).

What makes this adapter especially helpful is the built-in headphone jack. It lets you monitor the sound without an additional sound card. The adapter includes an integrated preamp with mic gain control, so signal level can be controlled. The X2u also has phantom power, so a condenser microphone can be connected to your computer.

Shure, X2U, XLR adapters, XLR-USB audio, microphone preamps, USB audio preampsThis is a plug-and-play solution, no software is needed. A USB cable and zippered pouch are included, all for $99. Order from your Shure dealer or head to

If you enter X2u in the search box, the search will also bring up over a hundred application notes; user questions and answers; and specifications.

Learn the basics

Dan also found something for every entry-level engineer on the Radio Shack website: a complete electronics course in 128 pages, originally written for Radio Shack in 1984.

Author Forrest Mims teaches the basics, takes you on a tour of both analog and digital components, explains how they work and then shows how they are combined for various applications.

This sounds ideal for the jock ops manager who wants to know more about electronics and move into engineering.

The lessons include circuit assembly tips and 100 electronic circuits and projects you can build and test. “Getting Started in Electronics” by Forrest Mims is an ebook costing less than $20. It’s available from

Engineering textbooks

And speaking of learning, Charles Frodsham is a retired engineer, nearing 79 years young. Charles writes that he is starting to downsize his library of classic radio and antenna engineering textbooks collected over the years. Charles hasn’t had much success in finding buyers or even a non-profit to donate the books.

Finding classic radio engineering books is a rarity, so here’s what we’ll do. If you have an interest, send me an email with “Workbench Engineering Textbooks” in the subject line, and your contact information. I’ll forward your message on to Charles. These volumes were published between 1937 and 1956. If you are interested, my email address is [email protected].

John Bisset, CPBE, has spent over 50 years in broadcasting and more than 30 writing Workbench. He handles western U.S. radio sales for the Telos Alliance. He is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award. Workbench submissions are encouraged and count toward SBE recertification. Send to [email protected]