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Concentric Combined Jack Socket and Potentiometer

product : electronic component
  [vote for,

This is an electronic component which, as far as I’m aware, doesn’t exist.

Imagine a potentiometer that has, as the shaft, a 3.5mm jack socket (preferably stereo and switched, too). The pot knob surrounds this, just like they do on dual concentric pots. Ideally, then, also make this a dual concentric pot.

This would be highly useful for a single thing that fits into a single chassis hole, that can accept an input through the concentric jack, and offer surrounding concentric knobs that allow control over the level and pan (or, if a stereo input, balance).

Ian Tindale, May 30 2016

Cat o’ nine arseholes https://docs.google...C0/edit?usp=sharing
A nine input audio mixer. For people with a lot of Volcas [Ian Tindale, Jun 01 2016]


8th of 7, May 30 2016

FlyingToaster, May 30 2016

normzone, May 31 2016

       [+] and far better than my idea of having the potentiometer on the inside.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2016

       [-] just so it'll have both sides connected. The vote's positive, though.
lurch, May 31 2016

       I’ve been thinking that the track could be cylindrical on a flexi-pcb, rather than the flat horseshoe shape (because that was the only way of doing things back then). In which case, it could have a variable resistance track; or as an option, a variable optical density track and LED / LDR arrangement; or as another option, a 12-bit binary step readout.
Ian Tindale, May 31 2016

       //...it could have a variable resistance track [on the pcb] or as an option, a variable optical density track // or more innards circuitry, such that all the jackpots can have the same Ohmage or whatever.
FlyingToaster, May 31 2016

       Space savering [+]
whatrock, Jun 01 2016

       So, to use this for headphones, you would plug your headphones into your phone or iPod and then twist the jack in the socket to adjust the volume - is this right?
hippo, Jun 01 2016

       I must admit it hadn’t occurred to me that this could also be an output, but, yes that usage could work that way too. The concentric knobs surround the shaft which is below the level of the socket, so you’d grip the surrounding knob, or the one that surrounds that. The jack socket is flush with the top of the knob cap.
Ian Tindale, Jun 01 2016

       Maybe I'm missing something: the idea is about a pot with a jack sticking out the bottom, right ? That stands pretty much on its own: why focus on dual functionality and switching ?
FlyingToaster, Jun 01 2016

       I was imagining the jack itself would be the potentiometer knob. So, the edge of the jack, where it meets the iPod/phone case, would engage with a toothed potentiometer control, flush with the iPod/phone case and surrounding the socket.
hippo, Jun 01 2016

       That’d be too subject to spurious twisting from the patch lead itself. As you’d patch one device to another or one module to another, they’re not necessarily going to remain coherent in terms of rotation.   

       Have a look at vernier dials often found on oscilloscope channel inputs, and imagine there were a socket in the centre in the otherwise unused knob cap. The central shaft isn’t just a solid cylinder of metal, it now has a jack socket mounted inside it. Surrounding this is a concentric knob (and surrounding that, perhaps another), with all the usual dials and gradations and indications and knurling.
Ian Tindale, Jun 01 2016

       I see what you mean, but this wouldn't work with the iPod/phone model because it would require a sticky-out bit which wouldn't fit the aesthetics of the device. My approach would work (and avoid the spurious twisting of which you speak) if the jack/potentiometer knob was of the "push to engage" type so that you have to push it in slightly before twisting it.
hippo, Jun 01 2016

       //wouldn't fit the aesthetics of the device// I thought the whole point of iPhone "aesthetics" was that there's nothing you can add and nothing you can take away. If you wish to waste pointless wear-and-tear on useful functioning neurons trying, go for it. It's not the path to inner peace.
lurch, Jun 01 2016

       I don’t think jack sockets belong on a phone anyway, they should do without them. Vernier dials, on the other hand…   

       (btw, my phone has a clock that displays graphics of a 4- digit nixie display.)
Ian Tindale, Jun 01 2016

       This is pretty fabulous. [+]. A similar idea might be to create a jack with a control integrated, especially if it could be made with a ring on the barrel where you push-turn- release. Great for headphone-line conversion etc.
bs0u0155, Jun 01 2016

       Ideally, you'd want one of these for each audio channel. If only there were some way to have more than one such device. No, no - that way madness lies.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 01 2016

       I came to the idea because I wanted to design a small compact and cheap nine-input audio mixer. In the shape of a cat. See the link.
Ian Tindale, Jun 01 2016

       // cat. //   

       Perfect timing. Dry, sunny weather, long late-spring evenings, and best of all the first Wicker Man event of the season.   

       Just get yourself up that ladder, [Ian]. Come on, don't keep everyone waiting.
8th of 7, Jun 01 2016

       Aha, have you looked to see where you plug the jacks into the cat?
Ian Tindale, Jun 01 2016

       This is really clever, but it has to have been done before no? [+] anyway.
doctorremulac3, Jun 02 2016

       Long ago in my early youth, I invented an audio jack that would accept either a 3.5mm mono plug or a male RCA phono plug. I called it the "ambi-jack."   

       I think this could be implemented in the current idea, giving added input flexibility.   

       How many other features can we add on? XLR, 1/4" TRS, 5way binding post... ?
csea, Jun 03 2016

       Next: the combined SCART/VGA plug
hippo, Jun 03 2016

       The only thing the SCART plug should ever be combined with is fire...
bs0u0155, Jun 03 2016

       that multipad metal thing on sim cards could actually go with a suction cup functional at any oreintation, (placement neutral) then have a knurled rotator annulus to adjust, er possibly volume, possibly a variety of things
beanangel, Jun 04 2016


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