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Old 30th Jan 2014, 1:28 am   #7
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Madrid, Spain / Wirral, UK
Posts: 5,863
Default Re: Transferring reel tapes to PC or other formats - first steps

Notes on DIN connectors

Commonly found on European equipment, the DIN system gets its name from the Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Standards Institute). Although designed with simplicity of connection in mind, numerous permutations mean that working out what signal goes where can be daunting. The plugs tend to be one of three types:
- Input only (usually called Mic or Phono or Disc; may be high level and low level). This type of socket does not concern us for now.
- Output Only (may be called Monitor). Less common.
- Combined Input and Output (often called Rec/PB, Radio, Diode). This is of interest.

For our purposes, i.e. getting an (approximate) line level signal out of a tape machine, we need to look at the common three and five pin connectors.

Generally, the earth/ground is easiest to identify. Usually Pin 2, sometimes the metal barrel/body of the plug is used too. If making a 3.5 mm jack lead, Pin 2 is always connected to cable shielding. The output signal goes to the tip of your 3.5mm jack plug.

One crude way to find out where the signal is on your recorder's DIN plug is to use a cheap set of amplified PC speakers. Solder some sewing needles or pins to their line input cable (one needle on the red/white inner cable, the other to the shielding).

The needle with the shielding can be inserted into Pin 2, then the other four holes can be probed one by one until audio appears. If you accidentally touch the wrong pin, you won't have damaged any expensive equipment!

Here are a few model-specific pinouts:
(Remember: pin 2 is Ground)

-On a mono unit using a 3 pin DIN, often called 'Radio' or 'Diode', the output signal can be found on Pin 3 (the case on the Tandberg series 15 example seen below).

-On the Philips EL3548 mono unit with a 5 pin DIN ('Diode'), either pins 3 or 5 can be used for signal Output - both wired together internally. Pictured in post #3 above.

-On the Philips N4308 (6 pin DIN) the output is on Pin 3 on either the RADIO/PHONO or STEREO sockets. Note: Pin 5 of the latter has a 26v supply, so be careful! Pictured below.

-The simpler Philips N4307 has a sole DIN socket. Output on either Pin 3 or 5.

-On a stereo unit such as the Sony TC 377 using a 5 pin DIN for Rec/PB, it is often the case that pins 1 and 4 are left and right input, and 3 and 5 are the left and right signal outputs. Therefore, we only need three of the five pins: 2, 3, and 5.
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Last edited by ben; 30th Jan 2014 at 1:40 am.
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