DS1802 is a Stereo Digital Volume Control IC. It consists of two 65-position, 45kΩ digital potentiometers with logarithmic resistance properties incrementing 1dB per step. It can be operated under automatic software control via a serial 3-wire interface where wiper settings are written with 8-bit words, or under push button control with simple contact closure. The part can be used in either 3V or 5V environments and anywhere within the industrial temperature range of -40°C to +85°C. The DS1802 supports daisy-chaining with other devices under single-processor control.
In addition, the DS1802 features four contact closure points for pushbutton control. When combined with mode control, this allows eight different pushbutton control functions. Secondly, the DS1802's potentiometers can be controlled separately or in stereo mode control where wipers from both pots are positioned together from one control input.
The DS1802 provides high-performance audio volume and tone control in most applications where mechanical potentiometers are used, including CD players, guitar amplifiers, and sound boards. Digital potentiometers consume very low power while providing digital accuracy and reliability under flexible, automatic processor control.
DS1802 chip costs few dollars and needs NO CPU! its unique in that it uses simple up/down/mute buttons. very easy for a DIYer to deal with. and they make the chip in DIP format, also easy for us pt-pt wiring guys to deal with.
I suppose if you NEED 5.1, you could gang together 3 of these chips and just wire the push buttons in pure wire-OR parallel fashion. as long as they all powered up at the same 'cold' time, they'd stay in sync.
Two digitally controlled, 65-position potentiometers
Ultra low-power consumption
Software and hardware controlled mute
Digital or mechanical pushbutton wiper control
Potentiometers can be linked for stereo control
Logarithmic resistive characteristics (1dB per step)
Zero-crossing detection to eliminate noise
Serial port communication
Can be daisy-chained for single-processor, multidevice designs
Operating temperature range: -40°C to +85°C
Operating voltage range: 3V or 5V
Resistance available: 45kΩ