• Welcome to the Speedsolving.com, home of the web's largest puzzle community!
    You are currently viewing our forum as a guest which gives you limited access to join discussions and access our other features.

    Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community of 30,000+ people from around the world today!

    If you are already a member, simply login to hide this message and begin participating in the community!

Connecting Stackmat Timers with Macs

Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
139
Likes
76
Location
Adelaide
WCA
2017MCNE01
Thread starter #1
A lot of us use Mac computers, new and old, for cubing. But it's a fact that it's difficult to connect Stackmat timers to them. This guide aims to help you setup and use your Stackmat timer with your Mac in conjunction with timer software to provide a better cubing experience.

Hardware

You will always need
- A 3.5mm male audio to 2.5mm male audio jack
- Depending on your Mac some additional equipment


Old Macs (Macs with two 3.5 audio jack ports)


One of these ports is an audio out and the other audio in (or microphone). All we need to do is use the 3.5mm to 2.5mm cord to connect the timer through the audio in port. That's all for hardware.


New Macs (Macs with a single 3.5 audio jack port)


You will also need
- A 3.5mm stereo input jack to USB converter


People run into trouble with new Macs. The 3.5mm audio port is audio in and out. However, you CANNOT use it as a solitary audio input port AT ALL. This sucks, but you can only use it for output or for a combination jack (output and mic input), even if you Bootcamp windows.

A small audio to USB converter can provide the seperate audio input port. They are usually really cheap on sites like eBay or Amazon (<$5). You WILL need this to connect your timer to your newer Mac. there isn't any other way.

Connect the USB converter to your Mac and then use the 3.5mm to 2.5mm audio jack to connect the Stackmat timer to the USB converter. Make sure you connect it to the input or microphone port and not the output audio port.


New New Macs (MacBook Pro 2016, MacBook and assuming future MacBook products)

You will also need
- A 3.5mm audio jack to USB converter
- USB-C to USB converter

In addition to New Macs above, you will need an adaptor for your single (or multiple) USB-C ports to use the audio adaptor, if you don't already have one. Use this to connect the USB to audio input adaptor to your Mac and follow the instructions in the New Macs section.


Software

This is the second hurdle people encounter.

Step 1: Adjust the audio in System Preferences


Go to System Preferences > Sound > Input and set the input source to line in or the USB adaptor. Turn on your timer and you should see the input level fill up and jitter at the end. I found that I didn't need to adjust my input volume at all (it worked on 1% and 100%), but some people report you need to. Experiment with the audio level if you need to.

Step 2: Get out your favourite Stackmat supported timer

You could use csTimer on the web or Block Keeper for the desktop available here. (shameless self promotion) In your timer settings, be sure to enable the Stackmat timer. If you do use a web timer, make sure that your microphone isn't blocked. This is difficult on Safari, but Chrome and Firefox will usually prompt you for permission to use it. Block Keeper will use your microphone automatically once the Stackmat timer is enabled in settings.


Step 3: Enjoy

If everything worked, you should see the timer's time on the screen and be able to record times while using it. A series of dashes indicate the timer is off or it isn't connected properly. If so, make sure you setup everything correctly, hardware and software.


Happy Cubing :)
 

Attachments

Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
409
Likes
66
WCA
2012THIE01
#2
Thank you! Did always enter the times manually, when i timed with my stackmat timer. but i might give this a try :)

And btw.: These new macs are so sexy <3
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
139
Likes
76
Location
Adelaide
WCA
2017MCNE01
Thread starter #4
Great guide! But how do you add the StackMat mat?
The guides a bit outdated because development is a bit quick and the interface changes too. To add a Stackmat timer, plug it in, turn it on and set it up with your audio settings. Then open Block Keeper, go into preferences and turn 'Use Stackmat Timer' on. You should see your timer's time displayed. If you see dashes, make sure everything is connected and set up correctly. If you need any more help, I wrote a guide on connecting timers to Macs which may offer some help if you do/don't use a Mac. https://www.speedsolving.com/forum/threads/connecting-stackmat-timers-with-macs.64052/

EDIT: Noticed you already saw and liked the guide, Thanks :)
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2017
Messages
190
Likes
60
Location
Mars
WCA
2017MYKL01
#5
The guides a bit outdated because development is a bit quick and the interface changes too. To add a Stackmat timer, plug it in, turn it on and set it up with your audio settings. Then open Block Keeper, go into preferences and turn 'Use Stackmat Timer' on. You should see your timer's time displayed. If you see dashes, make sure everything is connected and set up correctly. If you need any more help, I wrote a guide on connecting timers to Macs which may offer some help if you do/don't use a Mac. https://www.speedsolving.com/forum/threads/connecting-stackmat-timers-with-macs.64052/

EDIT: Noticed you already saw and liked the guide, Thanks :)
Thank you so much, the guide is great and now I'll definitely have an AWESOME setup!!!
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
139
Likes
76
Location
Adelaide
WCA
2017MCNE01
Thread starter #10
I have no experience with Yuxin timers, but if they act similarly to Stackmat timers, check the following.

1. Does the timer have any setting to output or not output to a display?
2. Is the 2.5 to 3.5 plugged in correct, including the 3.5 end in the microphone port of the adaptor, not the speaker port.
3. Is the 3.5 to USB working (maybe it has a light or is registered as a sound device, mine blinks when working)
4. Have you selected the correct input device in system preferences?
5. Is the timer on and working?

Hopefully after checking this it should work
 
Top