A Balun is a type of transformer. It is used for matching one type of coaxial or twin lead type cable to a device such as a stereo receiver or television. For example, twin lead (300 ohm) ribbon cable has different properties than coaxial
(75 ohm)TV cable therefore a matching device is needed. This is where a balun fits in to balance the impedance of one type of cable to the other.
1/8" and 1/4" Connectors
If you have headphones, you most likely have a 1/8" male plug at the end of them. The headphones are operated by inserting the 1/8" male end
into a 1/8" female jack of a radio, MP3 player, portable radio or – well, lots of things. The larger, 1/4" stereo plug is the type
of connector you find on larger, more high-fidelity headphones or professional microphones. Both types of jacks come in either a mono or stereo style, and it is fairly easy to tell the difference between the two. The male jack will either
have one or two rings around the tip of the jack. If there are two lines, the jack is stereo, and if there is only one line, then the jack is mono.
Motorola and BNC Connectors
There are two types of connectors commonly found on scanners. They are Motorola and BNC. BNC could stand for either Bayonet
Nut Connector, British Naval Connector or Bayonet Neil Consulman. A Motorola jack can be connected by just pushing the male plug into the female jack. This type of connection is also used to connect an automobile antenna to a car stereo. The
design of the BNC connector requires that you push down while turning to make the connection This type is often referred to as the "Twist Lock" style.
Coax Cable and F Connectors
Coax cable is the cable that connects a TV to a cable television service. The coax cable is connected using F connectors. Most television sets have a threaded F connection in the back for connecting a cable television service or antenna. Coax
cable is also the type of cable you'll need if you're using a cable modem. With Radios, a coax cable can come in very handy when connecting an external antenna to your radio, or even when positioning an internal antenna like
the FM Reflect somewhere else in a room.
Putting them all together Connecting a lot of electronic devices could call for a combination of just a few or several types of these connectors. For example,
let's say you want to take advantage of all the connectors on a CCRadio 2E. If you'd like to plug a CD player into the radio, you would need a cord with
a 1/8" plug at both ends. Then it's simple. You plug one end into the headphone jack or line out of the CD player, and the other end into the Auxiliary line in (Aux. in) in the back of the CCRadio 2E. If, however, you'd like to plug the
CCRadio 2E into a stereo system, you may have to go for a connector that has a 1/8" plug at one end and an RCA plug at the other – or, if your stereo has two RCA jacks, you may have to use an RCA y-patch cable. You plug the RCA jack
into the single end of the y plug, and it splits into 2 RCA plugs.
Common Computer Cables
Though they're used primarily with computers, some types of cables also connect to scanners, transceivers, radios, and electronic devices like MP3 players. The
main types of cables you're likely to encounter are USB cables and serial cables. You may even run into something called a Firewire. If you have a newer printer and computer, you may be using a USB cable to make the connection between the
two. The big plus is that the USB cable has something called a plug-and-play feature, which basically means that when you plug into your computer's USB port(s), the computer automatically notices that there's a new device attached, and
loads the drivers you'll need, or, if you've already installed the drivers, it lets you use the device right away.
http://www.vxm.com/21R.35.html (also called IEEE 1394) is a lot like USB, except that it's a lot more powerful and much faster – it's ideal for digital video and photography, as
well as other high-volume feeds.
The Simple FM Transmitter Solution
Remarkably enough, you can actually bypass many of these connections by just using C. Crane's FM Transmitter 2. Recently, while trying to play a DVD off a laptop computer on a TV, I
couldn't find the right combination of cords anywhere. It was extremely frustrating. After about forty minutes of playing around with the laptop computer, I was finally able to get the video to look just right on the TV screen – aspect
ratio and everything. But I couldn't get any sound through. Finally it occurred to me that I could just plug an FM Transmitter 2 into the headphone jack of the laptop and send the signal to the receiver that was wired into the TV. In just a
matter of minutes, and with just one simple wire, I was able to play a DVD from a laptop computer on the TV, and through the stereo's speakers instead of just the laptop's speakers. The FM Transmitter only sends the audio signal, but for the
video signal, I still had to connect the computer to the TV with a standard cable.
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