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I'd like to be able to pipe some audio from a computer in my basement to some speakers upstairs. When thinking about the best way to do this, I realized that my house is already wired with coax cable, which I'm not currently using since I don't get cable. Would it be possible to use the coax cable system to send audio around my house?

A few details:

  1. For the audio I'm sending, I wouldn't care if the audio signal were mono only
  2. The audio would come out of the computer using a 3.5 mm plug, and the speakers I'd be using to listen to the audio would also have a 3.5 mm plug.

I'd be able to buy plugs and wire to create the needed cables myself; I'm just not sure if this system would even work, though.

  • People are assuming you only have one coax cable, is that true? Sometimes, two coax cables will be provided. The older cable TV systems needed two and even if you never did, having a spare is nice, so there is some chance you have two coax cables available. – Philip Ngai Apr 29 '13 at 16:25
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COAX to RCA adapter

You could get a "Y" adapter but it doesn't matter because you are getting mono. The Y would just split the mono in two.

For stereo it is doable but the only thing I know is S/PDIF - so search for a COAX to S/PDIF adapter.

Either way I wouldn't spend a lot of money on adapters. You are getting mediocre end product no matter what you spend. Go to the local radio shack and enjoy your music today.

  • 1
    S/PDIF is digital, and will actually give you multi-channel sound over coax, but of course you need compatible equipment on both ends. Many of the coaxial S/PDIF cables are actually RG-6 or 59. For analog stereo, you could use two coax cables with RCA ends, and this is actually a very common way to do long-range line-level signals. In particular, many off-the-shelf "subwoofer cables" are RG-6 or 59. – gregmac Apr 29 '13 at 16:11
  • Exactly right - could have edited my answer if you wanted. Didn't want to get to techie since he was asking if he could even use the coax. – DMoore Apr 29 '13 at 19:52
  • You cannot use SPDIF as it will only cary data for roughly ten metres without either losing quality or complete connection. Since SPDIF operates by sending light via a Fibre Optic cable. – iamchristos May 23 '13 at 11:49
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COAX to 3.5mm Adapter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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It will work. You will be dealing with an unbalanced mono signal and are almost certain to have some nearfield EMI as a result. A low buzz will be audible. Also, there will probably be an issue with impedance so unless you have the ability to adjust gain on your receiver you might experience sub-par results.

I recommend using ethernet if you can. If you have any cat6 or cat5 runs in your home, those work great for analog audio. There are 4 twisted pairs per cable, so you can run 4 lines of balanced audio (highly recommended) or 8 lines of unbalanced audio (you will almost certainly get some EMI). If you do want to send a stereo feed somewhere, I highly recommend these audio extenders

https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=101&cp_id=10105&cs_id=1010502&p_id=3597&seq=1&format=2

I had this exact problem on a client site and they were the solution. It allowed us to run unbalanced, stereo audio over an existing cat6 run to a receiver where it converted back into a pan-able stereo mix by placing one of the converters at each end. The converters balance the unbalanced audio so you can take advantage of the near field EMI rejection of cat6/5. Good luck!

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