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First post, by teh_Foxx0rz

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So, I have an Aureal Vortex 2, specifically the Turtle Beach Montego II, and it seems to be living up to the hype, but my setup is equipped for direct digital audio capture, which also works out to be simpler to connect up for me too. Soundblaster Live 5.1s, Audigy series cards and the PCI X-Fi cards are all great as they offer direct S/PDIF output, even if it's with a headphone jack connector. But the Montego II doesn't directly have that. But...it does have that header that's labelled S/PDIF for the breakout bracket.

There are a few other old threads on this topic:
Re: Turtlebeach Montego II (Vortex 2) S/PDIF Pinout?
Aureal Vortex2 based card with Digital Out?
Turtle Beach Montego 2 ( Aureal AU8830 ) S/PDIF Pin out ?
But they all feel incomplete, unconfirmed, or not quite fully clear. The last thread linked seems the most promising, as a reply specifies where the VCC pins are - but there are three. It's also vague in using "top" and "bottom"; is that in relation to the card, or to how it would be mounted, "upside-down" in a case? I can piece it together from where "pin 1" is labelled on the board, but I feel like this could all be made much more clear and documented somewhere.

Primarily, I have a S/PDIF bracket that seems pretty standard that I got in a computer with a Pentium 4 board; what voltage would that be likely to take, so which pin should I connect its VCC to? If that's even possible, given what some of the replies in first thread suggest?

Last edited by teh_Foxx0rz on 2022-05-25, 21:57. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 1 of 13, by ZanQuance

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Hold the card facing you so you can read the AU8830 chip, then rotate it 90 degrees so your looking at the top of the card.
spdif pins are
2,4,6,8 Top row
1,3,5,7 Bottom row

Your spdif output is on pin 6. Ignore connecting any of the rest.

Reply 2 of 13, by teh_Foxx0rz

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So like this, yeah? I suppose it makes sense that the ground is connected to the case ground. So I wouldn't need to connect the voltage wire of my S/PDIF bracket to anything, even though it has one?

And anyway, if someone wanted to connect an optical TosLink output, which would they connect the voltage for that to? If any?

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Reply 4 of 13, by Joseph_Joestar

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ZanQuance wrote on 2022-05-06, 05:49:

Your spdif output is on pin 6. Ignore connecting any of the rest.

For a passive coaxial SPDIF bracket like this would it be possible to take Ground from the AUX header? Assuming it uses the standard RGGL pinout?

Also, does the SPDIF out on Pin 6 use a 0.5V peak to peak signal?

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 5 of 13, by teh_Foxx0rz

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Alright, I've finally had some time again to try things out. I also got a new digital audio bracket that's mounted like a PCI card rather than an ISA card, so doesn't risk touching up against the bottom of other PCI cards.

So, I have the SPDIF pin connected to the SPDIF pin on the bracket, but...I still don't have audio through it. I've seen talk about there being special drivers needed, and I came across this http://vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=1 … &menustate=37,0 which looks to be correct for my card, but then I just get no audio at all.
On the default drivers included in Windows 98, I at least get a buzz through the SPDIF, with the analogue line-out working as normal.

How do I actually achieve the end-goal of getting digital audio out of the Vortex 2?

Reply 7 of 13, by keropi

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I have the montegoII and the extra upgrade card for digital i/o
I will check tomorrow if indeed this is the CD that comes with the digital i/o addon

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus , Action Rewind , Megacard and MK8330 soundcard website

Reply 8 of 13, by ZanQuance

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-05-06, 23:12:

For a passive coaxial SPDIF bracket like this would it be possible to take Ground from the AUX header? Assuming it uses the standard RGGL pinout?
Also, does the SPDIF out on Pin 6 use a 0.5V peak to peak signal?

You can use ground from pin8, and I'm not sure if it uses a 0.5v p2p signal, I've never measured it myself, the AU8830 follows the AES3-1992, EIAK CP-340 and IEC 958 specifications.
The S/PDIF interface can use standard phono connectors, coaxial cable or optical fiber with 75-ohms impedance.

@teh_Foxx0rz
For any card putting S/PDIF output on a breakout bracket you'll need to use the 2046 Quadzilla drivers. The SuperQuad and SQ2500 can use the 2041 drivers with my S/PDIF fix util.
After they are installed mute then unmute S/PDIF in the windows mixer in order to get the S/PDIF output working.

Reply 10 of 13, by Joseph_Joestar

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ZanQuance wrote on 2022-05-26, 21:04:

You can use ground from pin8, and I'm not sure if it uses a 0.5v p2p signal, I've never measured it myself, the AU8830 follows the AES3-1992, EIAK CP-340 and IEC 958 specifications.
The S/PDIF interface can use standard phono connectors, coaxial cable or optical fiber with 75-ohms impedance.

Thank you, that worked perfectly! I will summarize the steps that I went through, in case someone else is in a similar situation:

  1. I own this Turtle Beach Montego II i.e. only the base card with no extra add-ons
  2. I have made a simple coaxial SPDIF bracket as described here
  3. I connected the SPDIF bracket to the Turtle Beach Montego II as follows: signal wire to pin 6 and ground wire to pin 8
  4. I've done a clean install of Win98SE and then installed the Quadzilla 2046 drivers that are attached to this post

With all that done, I now have working SPDIF out from my card, and the mixer properly shows the relevant volume slider:

MontegoII_SPDIF.jpg
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MontegoII_SPDIF.jpg
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90.26 KiB
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Fair use/fair dealing exception

And here are some recording that I made using SPDIF out:

P.S.

@ZanQuance I think you should upload that driver archive (complete with au30gm.arl) to Vogonsdrivers. I have previously tried the drivers from this CD and they didn't work for me. Only the Quadzilla 2046 drivers that you provided gave me working SPDIF out.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 11 of 13, by teh_Foxx0rz

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Joseph_Joestar, I was literally about to reply saying that it wasn't working, using a different image linked in that thread, and then Vogons says there's a new message, and it fixed all my problems. I didn't try that attachment, but I now have, and yes, it works! Thank you very much!

So, that issue is now solved for me at least, but there's just one small thing, which might be just how this card works: I tried out some DOS games in the DOS prompt, using a Soundblaster 16 sent into the external line-in. However, it seems this line-in audio isn't sent to the S/PDIF output. Is there a setting I can change, or is that just how the card is designed?

Reply 12 of 13, by ZanQuance

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If the windows drivers aren't already routing the line-in to the S/PDIF output, I don't think this can be done easily. There are issues with the drivers not mixing the A3D channels correctly that I was able to fix with the 2041 S/PDIF fix tool, but input routing is more complicated. The windows drivers love to overwrite the VDB routes and mess up the audio chain, a line-in loopback out to S/PDIF requires a few VDB chains to make work properly.

I looked into doing this before I released Version 1.0 of the dos mixer util, but ran into a few issues with it. I'll look into it again and see if it's something that can be done.

Reply 13 of 13, by teh_Foxx0rz

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If you're able to fix it, I'd be most grateful.

For posterity, I tested things with a game which has a separate DOS and Windows version, and both digital speech and CD audio. The DOS version used my Soundblaster 16 for digital speech, and the Windows version used the Aureal Vortex 2 for it. In both, the (analogue) CD audio was routed into the Vortex 2. As might be expected, but seemed helpful to test, not even the CD audio was routed to the S/PDIF; the only output I could get from the S/PDIF was the digital speech in the Windows version, generated by the Vortex 2.

So, perhaps no digitisation of analogue inputs is happening at all...?

It seems like a strange configuration, to offer a digital output on a PCI card from 1998, but not route any analogue inputs to it, making its use pretty limited. The Sound Blaster Live cards from the same year do this without any thought on the user's part. But, perhaps this was early for digital outputs on regular sound cards, and maybe Creative were ahead of the curve here.

But if it is just a routing issue that can be fixed with drivers, or something, then that'll be really useful. But, I understand if not. Best of luck though, and thanks for the effort either way.