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on-line chat - headphones failed

(8 Posts)
ibbydibby Thu 11-Nov-10 14:09:56

Was supposed to be taking part in an on-line chat session this morning, (using software called Elluminate). Was intending to use headset, to listen in / chip in, as required but was unable to get any activity via headset at all.

Could not hear anything via my speakers either, though could still hear the usual "computer" sounds when speakers switched on. The head set has 2 cables, one for microphone, and one for speakers. I do have 2 sockets on my PC labelled as such, but one is at the front and one is at the back of the PC. Could it be that because I could only plug in one thing the fact that the other was not plugged in meant that the headset did not work.

Even if the headset was at fault, I should have been able to follow discussions at least by accessing via my speakers shouldn't I? Am I missing something vital? Suspect so....any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks

NetworkGuy Thu 11-Nov-10 18:32:51

Can you use iPlayer to get one of the BBC radio stations to play through the headset ?

If that works OK, then there may be a software setting giving problems (in Elluminate).

If you don't hear a radio station they there could be a problem with the sound card.

As well as what goes through headphones / speakers it is common for a small speaker to be in the PC which may handle some of the sounds you hear. It is normally used so that during system boot it can make noises to alert the use if there is no keyboard plugged in, that sort of thing.

NetworkGuy Thu 11-Nov-10 18:36:26

Have come across a number of PCs with 2 (or 3 or more) sockets at the back and generally 2 at the front, never spread apart like yours (what PC is it?).

However, I know you can get a stereo extension lead in Poundland for a quid. It's a 3.5mm plug to 3.5mm socket, so put that in the back and you can have the headset plugged into the front socket and the extension will run around the PC for the second plug from the headset.

ibbydibby Thu 11-Nov-10 20:30:25

thanks networkguy, will have a try at iplayer first. Other users did not have similar problem so presume not elluminate.

PC is a Dell, bought around 2003-ish I think. Has served me well -touch wood. That is until hiccup earlier this year when I lost icons for Word, Excel etc. You and others gave some helpful suggestions, for which thanks)

will also explore Poundland...

ibbydibby Tue 23-Nov-10 16:15:47


Picking up where I left off...I tried iplayer and managed to listen through headphones to that. So presumably this means it is something to do with Elluminate? Any ideas what I should be looking for?

Only problem I don't think I can try things unless I am invited to a "session". Next one is Thursday, and am hoping for a bit of time before it starts properly so that I can I have a play around.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have, NetworkGuy, or anyone else...panic panic!

NetworkGuy Tue 23-Nov-10 20:12:37

Hopefully on your PC under Start / ( All Programs ) / Accessories / Entertainment you will find both

Volume Control and Sound Recorder

If you start Volume Control and use the Options / Properties menu, you can then use the "radio buttons" to switch from Playback to Recording 9or similar names)

Make sure that Microphone is ticked

Then back to Start / ( All Programs ) / Accessories / Entertainment and get Sound Recorder running

now, if you start the recorder, you should get a horizontal line and if you speak, you will see a waveform appear.

If you have the volume control on a different part of the screen, you can adjust the level up or down on the microphone so that with a 'normal voice' you can see a waveform using say 50% of the available space.

If that is working OK, have the Volume control set up in time for the conference chat and if other people say you are too loud or quiet you should be able to adjust a bit (though if you get to 100% on the volume slider and they still say "too quiet" it is time to speak louder!!)

NetworkGuy Tue 23-Nov-10 20:15:08

I meant to say the other week - most of the 'chat' software I have seen has a 'test' mode which walks you through setting up to be sure the volume lvels are set OK. Might be worth checking the Elluminate software / help in case it is there but hidden somewhere on some menu.

ibbydibby Sun 05-Dec-10 21:08:18

Hi again, thanks NetworkGuy for all your suggestions.

I finally managed to solve both my talking and listening problems yesterday....

I had been accessing Elluminate from home via my work desktop, and wondered if it would be better to use it from my own desktop, so emailed the link from work email to my personal email (sure there must be some better terminology than this), and once in Elluminate via my own desk top, I managed to find a "test" area (something which I had been unable to do previously). I then discovered that I had indeed been plugging the headset in incorrectly, and in fact the 2 sockets were next to each other blush, just not labelled in the same way as the headset plugs so that put me off the track a bit.

Just raring to go now! Thanks again for all your helpful suggestions. I love working from home, but struggle sometimes with PC problems!

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