VCR Audio Input Jacks

You might want to record a ball game, a daytime talk radio show or a nighttime NPR show. Here is an easy and economical way to do it.

Every VCR typically has an audio input jack that is normally used by a camcorder or another input device. The audio portion of your VCR can double as an excellent audio tape recorder! Unlike the usual audio cassette recorder, the VCR has a timer that lets you program the actual recording time and duration.

Here's how to set up your VCR to record a radio program:

  1. On the back or front of the VCR, look for a jack (monaural) or a pair of jacks if it is a stereo model.
  2. Check your VCR documentation to find out how to record from a "Line" or "aux" input source. Set the VCR to that mode.
  3. Purchase an audio patch cable with a phono plug or plugs at one end and the appropriate plug on the other end (typically a one-eighth inch plug) to match your recording source. You might use a portable radio with an earphone jack or an AM/FM stereo receiver with an earphone jack.
  4. Connect the patch cord between the VCR audio input jack(s) and the radio receiver's earphone jack.
  5. Leave the radio receiver on, tuned to the station you wish to record.
  6. Program your VCR as you would for taping a TV show, choosing the correct time and duration of the radio show.
  7. When finished, play the tape back as usual, through the TV for the sound. It may take some experimentation to get the audio level setting at the radio receiver exactly right.

That's it. You now have the ability to record up to six hours of radio shows on some relatively inexpensive tape and in stereo! This procedure saves using multiple audio cassette tapes to record a long radio show and gives you the benefit of the VCR's timer.