Earlier this year, I got a new PC running Windows for my Flight Sim. I still use my Ubuntu Desktop PC/Server which I use for everything else, but some flight sim some stuff are Windows only and so ... ! Both PCs are wired to my triple monitors, and I can switch monitors over by selecting the appropriate inputs on each monitor.

Sound was an issue however, as I only had one set of speakers. At first, I tried connecting the output of the windows PC into my Linux PC's Line Input. This way I could have both PCs output "mixed" together. That didn't turn out too well, as there was a hum from the second PC when connected to the first, and also the on-screen controls not on-screen when I needed them to be.

Since I didn't really need sounds from both PCs playing simultaneously, I made a simple audio switch:

  1. Ordered three panel mount 3.5mm stereo jacks and a 3PDT Switch - 3 Pole Dual Throw switch. This switches a set of two 3 pin inputs to a 3 pin output. The three pins are used for the audio ground, left and right channel respectively.
  2. Drilled out holes for the jacks, switch and mounting screws on a piece of 1 mm thick acrylic.
  3. Covered the acrylic with a printed label sheet
  4. Attached the jacks and switch to the panel
  5. Soldered the respective connections between the jacks and switch
  6. Mounted the panel to the side of my desk.

Now I can switch audio between the two PCs with the flick of a switch.