Digital Format Translator

March 29, 1999: The DFT is now available only by special order. To convert between optical and coaxial, please use our Midiman CO2!

September 18, 1998: New lower prices on fiber optic cables!

February 23, 1998: New 9 Volt power cable!

There are two common connector/media formats for digital audio (S/PDIF, AC-3) interfaces in consumer electronic products: Toslink/MiniPlug for transfers over fiber optic cable, and RCA for transfers over coaxial cable. Many digital audio products, (e.g., Sony DTC-670/DTC-690 DAT recorders, Alesis ADAT, DVD players, CD-R recorders, computer CD-ROM players, digital receivers, satellite receivers and CD players) provide only one of the two interfaces. Core Sound's Digital Format Translator ("DFT") fills the gap.

In addition to the industry standard RCA and Toslink connectors, Sony has added a third proprietary connector: the 7-pin connector used on their portable DAT recorders. Until now, interfaces to this odd connector were hard to find. The DFT allows full access to the 7-pin connector, providing coaxial and Toslink inputs and outputs to/from the TCD-D3, -D7 and -D8.

(Please see the other sections of this Web site for details about our low cost 7-pin interface cables for Sony portable DAT decks and Toslink and Miniplug fiber optic cables.)


The DFT has two digital inputs: one Toslink (optical fiber) and one RCA jack (coax). A toggle switch controls a logic element that selects between the two. It has two outputs that are always active, one Toslink and one RCA jack. This lets you add the format that you're missing and retain the one you have. Or if you already have both output types, it lets you add a second of one type. With two DFTs you can add one more of each. With the DFT you can also convert signals between the two formats.

By adding a short (18-inch/45 cm) cable adapter to interface the Sony 7-pin connector to the DFT's RCA coaxial input jack, the DFT provides both coaxial and Toslink outputs from the Sony portables. With the 7-pin input adapter cable in place the DFT selects between 7-pin and Toslink inputs. If you don't need the 7-pin input, just unplug the adapter cable and you get the RCA jack back.

We also have a modification to the DFT that provides a 7-pin output connector/adapter cable in addition to the RCA and Toslink outputs.

Toslink is usually limited to cable lengths of 10 to 15 meters. The DFT acts as a repeater to regenerate the digital audio signal so by using the DFT you can run Toslink for 20 meters or more.

The DFT is roughly the size of a pack of cigarettes, housed in a rugged cast aluminum black case, and powered by an optional six-to-twelve volt wall-mounted power supply. The power supply plugs into a 5.5/2.1mm DC power jack (center pin is positive) on the DFT case. The DFT will operate on power supplies all the way down to 5.5 Volts so it can be powered by the same external battery that you use to power your Sony portable DAT and MD machines. It draws 100 milliamperes of current and so can run on a fresh 9 Volt alkaline battery for more than 4 hours -- an optional 9 Volt power cable is available. A red light emitting diode on the DFT case lights up when power is supplied. Both 110 Volt and 220 Volt power supplies are available.

To prevent ground loops and the interference they can cause, the DFT's RCA input and output jacks are fully trans