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Thread: Modify Helmet

  1. #1
    Slow & Easy
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    Modify Helmet

    GA you all. I'm planning my cross country trip and thinking abt modifying my helmet for wind noise and my radio. I'm looking for ideas on how to do it or where can I get parts for what I want to do. What I want to do is install a set of cover the ear muff type head phones. What I was thinking is using a sheet metal type locking latch like you would see on an exterior airplane door. I was going to shape a piece of plastic into a cam and attach it to the latch. When I closed the latch the cam would push the muff into the helmet and seal around my ears. I would have to cut a couiple of small slots on the exterior of the helmet for the latches. Where would I find such a latch or something that would work??? I don't like ear buds.

    Any ideas???

  2. #2
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Dave, since this isn't oilhead specific, I'm moving it to GEAR where it will receive a wider audience..

    Hang on..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  3. #3
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Faria View Post
    GA you all. I'm planning my cross country trip and thinking abt modifying my helmet for wind noise and my radio. I'm looking for ideas on how to do it or where can I get parts for what I want to do. What I want to do is install a set of cover the ear muff type head phones. What I was thinking is using a sheet metal type locking latch like you would see on an exterior airplane door. I was going to shape a piece of plastic into a cam and attach it to the latch. When I closed the latch the cam would push the muff into the helmet and seal around my ears. I would have to cut a couiple of small slots on the exterior of the helmet for the latches. Where would I find such a latch or something that would work??? I don't like ear buds.

    Any ideas???
    Dave,

    If you ride with your helmet above the slipstream of the wind shield or you have an unfaired bike, you're going to be limited by the flow noise on the exterior of your helmet. Any bump, crack or step will trip the flow turbulent and put a strong noise source at the maximum width of your helmet . For most of us, that area of the helmet is near our ears. The power level of this noise source will be on the order of db ~ Log10 (V^50), so it's best avoided. Therefore, in my opinion, if your helmet is exposed to wind, you'll need a very smooth exterior. Relative to the ear cup concept, that will not be easy. The performance of cup style ear protectors is very dependent on the seal of the gasket. The quality of this seal is, in large part, a function of the compression force exerted by the head band. Many people find long duration exposure to that force (especially, at the rear of the jaw) to be mildly painful.

    On a practical note, any structural changes you make to an existing helmet will likely impact the strength of the helmet. Unless you had the resources to test the strength of your creation, it would not be wise to assume that it will actually offer any level of protection.

    Good luck
    Last edited by 36654; 04-26-2010 at 10:40 AM.
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  4. #4
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    A good set of earplugs will be a lot easier. I have also seen air dams for helmets. Not sure where, maybe Aerostich.

    The Schuberth helmets have an neck roll and a cloth flange at the front. Mine is much quieter than any of the other helmets I use. Maybe you could duplicate that on your helmet.

  5. #5
    otherwise
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    I've been playing with adding a roll to a balaclava
    that will act as a gasket on the bottom of the helmet.
    First try showed promise.

  6. #6
    Nickname: Droid
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    Any physical modification through the helmet shell WILL alter the impact strength and integrity of the helmet. Only you can determine if your alterations are worth the potential injury to your head in a crash if your helmet fails.

    I agree too with the comment about anything external on the helmet potentially creating some noise issues that, even if it seems slight, in the context of long term exposure from hours in the saddle can be harmful.

    Now if I get this right, you plan to mount earmuff style headphones on the exterior of your helmet? If that is you plan I don't see it working very well at all.

    Why not just buy the Bass-Blaster style flat (1/4" thick) speakers that fit behind the ear pads inside your helmet? I have used these on various full-face helmets with good sound results. The only vsisble part of the system is the small coaxial connector that comes out from behind the ear padding.

  7. #7
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    I too will counsel against compromising the integrity of the helmet shell. Possibly you might re-consider the ear-buds or helmet speakers?

    I too have yet to find a set that works for me, I am enticed by the idea of good silencing earbuds with audio input rather than my present earplugs with helmet speakers. I just hate to amass an expensive drawer-full of plugs that don't work for me.

    So far the best I have found is helmet speakers along with foam plugs in my ears. Seems kind of counter productive, but the plugs seem to work for me by reducing the wind noise, somehow alowing me to adjust the volume of my music to just over that threshold. I am continually surprised that, to my ears at least, I seem to hear better on the road (traffic noises etc) with the earplugs in place.

    I am "cheaping out" by using a I pod Nano (in a jacket pocket) set to just below maximum volume, feeding into a chatterbox intercom and headphone set-up (helmet mounted) I control the volume and cut off (when needed) via the helmet mounted unit.

    I strongly suspect that a better set of speakers could be had for the helmet. I am content with my present set-up and can tolerate the lack of high fidelity all things being considered. After all this is not a home theatre stereo den we are talking about.

    Good luck on silencing wind noise in your helmet, I believe that as you experiment you will reach a point where you will find yourself balancing noise versus needed ventilation.

    In some jurisdictions helmet audio & earplugs are prohibited. Not that these are the most enforced laws, but a set of stereo earphones bracketed to the exterior your helmet would seem to be quite an attention getter, they might even check for a tinfoil helmet liner if you were stopped.

  8. #8
    rocketman
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    I've tried two options so far. One is to get a pair of ear plug type headphones, Koss makes a nice set that has a soft form cone that fits very much like regular ear plugs and does a good job of cutting down the wind noise and with a low volume setting you can still hear the music without doing damage to your hearing. the other option was to get a set of small 20 dollar over the ear headphones with soft form ear pads. On the Nolen you can remove the center cushion in the ear cup of the helmet and Velcro the speakers inside them. The helmet is designed for this so no modifications to the shell or padding is done. Both seem to work pretty well for me, the in-ear has better sound blocking but is a bit hard to keep in place when putting on the helmet. The in-helmet speakers have the convenience of being in the helmet and staying put. In either case just be careful about volume, to much and it does as much damage as the wind noise alone would do.

    RM

  9. #9
    Jim
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    In ear molded speakers are the "bomb". VERY good at reducing noise and they sounf awesome!!! I use speaker set up from Arizona Al. No I have no connection only very pleased with product (so is my girlfriend).
    2008 R1200RT Sand Beige
    1984 Honda V65 Magna

  10. #10
    Pressing #1 for English! tictac's Avatar
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    Any modern helmet will have room for a set of speakers inside.
    Any headphone set can be taken apart and speakers installed in the helmet. Stores like ROSS sells those low pricesed headsets. Any set with db level higher than 110 will do the job. It can be set both ways. One: when you put the helmet ON you will need to press the speakers inside your helmet and this will make speakers press against your ears. Once on the road they will produce nice sound and reduce the wind noise. Or just install them deep inside with Velcro. It all depends on the helmet. You can run a wire from your sound source or use wireless connections. I prefer 925mhz frequency. Works fine for me. I have my IPod, Radar Detector, Phone, GPS. They all working together at the same time without any problems.
    Last edited by 104554; 04-27-2010 at 01:00 AM. Reason: edit

  11. #11
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 104554 View Post
    Any modern helmet will have room for a set of speakers inside.
    True, but.... the supplied pocket may not fit your speakers and/or the location of the pocket may not put the speakers in the optimum position for your ears. Both issues were true the last time I tried in-helmet speakers.

    In ear speakers (AKA monitors) are a better solution for me. That said, I don't think I've used them on the bike in the last 18 months. I don't use a phone on the bike... callers can wait. I hate GPS that talk to me. Music is nice when on the super slab, but with some planning I can stay off the slab so I don't miss the music.

  12. #12
    Pressing #1 for English! tictac's Avatar
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    I do agree 100 percent with all the negative effects of the toys we put on our bikes.
    Music in the helmet, talking GPS, cell phone, cruse control, even simple throttle rocker can create a problem at the low speed in the parking lot. But we live in the GREAT time and have all the conveniences available to us. All those devices do create a BIG distraction and potentially dangerous situation on the road, not to mention putting other travelers in danger. It does require practice and knowledge of how all those devices function and how they all work together. For example: I can receive a phone call while I am riding and clearly hear who is calling, even thou I have capability to answer the call, I never do that, but at least I can make my judgment to pool over and call back, or continue my journey. We all have families and responsibilities, even while on vacation. One thing I will not do is put the ear buds or molded speakers into the ear canal. They will do damage to the eardrums, big time and in the long run will cause hearing loss. As far as installing speakers in to the helmet, they donÔÇÖt have to be perfectly align with the ear canal or ear, in order to get a good sound. Properly fitted helmet should muffle most of the wind noise. So, if you like riding with the tunes, get it done right and enjoy the music, but if you feel it effects your concentration and driving abilities, then donÔÇÖt do it.
    P.S. My last set of speakers I installed in my Nolan 102 helmet were PHILIPS SHS5200 for $14.00 from Target and wireless system SENNHEISER 120 for $25.00 from Amazon.
    Good luck to all of us and safe rides.

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