Cheap Optical Plug

Cornelis ([email protected])
May 2001

This is yet another optical miniplug DIY idea

After reading about the CD-ROM digital output I tried this little trick, it is very simple. Get a 3.5mm stereo (i.e. headhone) plug from an electronics store. You will need the kind that has a pliable plastic cable shroud (not hard plastic).

  1. Grip the very tip with a pair of pliers and twist it off. The tip has a metal pin going down the shaft of the plug, hollow this out to allow light to pass through.
  2. Remove the plastic screw-on shroud, drill the back of the plug to make it concave.
  3. Let the plastic shroud soak in boiling water to soften it up.
  4. Take your highbrite LED and stick its legs through the plastic shroud, from the threaded side. Grab the LED's legs with a pliers and pull the LED into the plastic shroud.
  5. Screw the shroud onto the plug, presto!
My Sharp MD-MT831 seemed to require that the remaining (electrically isolated) piece of the plug be present in order to detect when the optical plug is inserted.

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