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Thread: Converting speakers to earbuds?

  1. #1
    Probably Drunk RTFlyer's Avatar
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    Converting speakers to earbuds?

    I have the ability to clip the wires and re-solder whatever is necessary, but how have you guys done it? I'm seriously considering the etymotic e6 earbuds for this application.

    I'm talking about length of wires, using a plug or not, and that type of thing. I hate my Cardo speakers, but I can live with the system as a whole for a while. I just need to figure out how to make the earbuds and their leads a logical length or whatever so I can get them on with the helmet without leaving wires dangling somewhere.

    I think it might be nice to just solder in a female plug to my Scala and leave the earbud wires as they are so I can just plug the earbuds straight to my Iphone or Zumo too, for times I want real actual decent sound off the bike too. Has anyone done this?

    How about some input??
    Last edited by RTFlyer; 05-05-2010 at 09:01 PM.
    Larry Davis
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    Years ago I mounted some small earphones in my helmet with the male plug removed and replaced by a female plug. I shorted the line and mounted the female plug in the foam at the back of the helmet. I them could connect the earphones to my Walkman (it was that long ago) via a cord with two male ends. It was nice because the headphones remained in the helmet but I did not have a dangling cord to deal with.

    I don't know if this would work as well with ear buds, since they go into the ear, as apposed to earphones that sit next to the ear. The engineering, however, is simple. Just a trip to RadioShack and about 20 minutes will get you a working setup.

  3. #3
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    I have wanted to do the same thing. The Cardo Scala Rider speakers suck. I have some in ear plugs & want to use those. I was thinking of putting a female jack on my Scala, actually, I'd like to open it up & do it inside, as it has 2 wires coming out... I was going to make a loop, about 1'-2' long...

  4. #4
    Probably Drunk RTFlyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JStrube View Post
    The Cardo Scala Rider speakers suck.
    No doubt.

    I plan on working on this soon. Any other suggestions or comments?

    What I'm trying to figure out is the best way to make it for easy helmet on/off if I rig a plug for the earbuds so I avoid a long dangling wire, or a too-short lead that pulls the earbuds out as I put the helmet on or off. I'd hate to cut and solder things up only to realize too late that there was a better/more well-thought-out approach.
    Larry Davis
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  5. #5
    1-2-3-Kick It criminaldesign's Avatar
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    I'm with bandaidman, i'm not sure how well the ear buds will work being outside the ear. When my buds work themselves free from my canals, it's total background noise and incoherent. It maybe my buds though. They're 20 bux and I only use one at a time to have an ear free for the environment. In fact like Mickey from PeeWees big adventure, I cut one of them off (buds).
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    JDW jdwatson's Avatar
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    I've done that with Chatterbox X1. I'm on a quest to my make throat mic work with the N/R cable that I've hacked. I cannot seem to make anything other than the mic that came with the Chatterbox GMRS-X1 work.

    I'm guessing it's a mismatch in power or impedance, but I'm no EE.

    I think you'll be successful with careful soldering.
    JD Watson
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    "Too much of a good thing is not enough..."

  7. #7
    Probably Drunk RTFlyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by criminaldesign View Post
    I'm with bandaidman, i'm not sure how well the ear buds will work being outside the ear. When my buds work themselves free from my canals, it's total background noise and incoherent. It maybe my buds though. They're 20 bux and I only use one at a time to have an ear free for the environment. In fact like Mickey from PeeWees big adventure, I cut one of them off (buds).
    Ummm..I'm not suggesting that they be used outside the ears.
    Larry Davis
    Cape Girardeau MO
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  8. #8
    Registered User ojhengen's Avatar
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    Speakers to ear buds

    There is no reason it shouldn't work unless you have an amplifier to power the speakers; if so, you might get too much power into the ear buds, which would overload the little speakers.

    I've thought of doing the same thing, just to get a good speaker-mic system into my helmet, because speakers most definitely are not as good as ear buds, which also act as good noise suppressors. I've recently bought a mic that plugs in-line to the Blackberry from the Shure ear buds, but I'm not sure that will work if I plug it all into a central relay system to get sound from my XM radio and Garmin. The phone links up well with the Garmin, but I don't know if the mic will work in that configuration; I suspect not.

    Other than having the ability to use a mic, why not just buy a good set of Shure or other ear buds?

    Please let us know how it works out.

    Orv

  9. #9
    Registered User FSwish's Avatar
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    I recently modified my Q2 as described in earlier thread. Cut the wires out of the base and left a few inches to add jack, drilled holes in clamp, tie wrapped the jack to the base and added connector to original speakers.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Fred
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  10. #10
    Registered User FSwish's Avatar
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    I can now tuck away the original plug and use ear plugs with speakers. With ear plugs have to turn the volume on low on the Q2 and on the Garmin Navigator to about 50%.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Fred
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  11. #11
    Probably Drunk RTFlyer's Avatar
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    Fred is the man! That's exactly what I was wondering, and on the same system I have. I was wondering about sufficient volume too, and you answered that! I knew there was someone else out there who just couldn't leave well-enough alone.

    I love this board!
    Larry Davis
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  12. #12
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    Fred, that is awesome! Did you just get a Radio Shack female plug? Also, did you make a new plug for your helmet speakers so you could go back to them if you wanted to, or did you just trash them?

    Nice solution. My ear plug speakers have a short cord, so looks like if I did that, I'll have to get an extention.

  13. #13
    Registered User FSwish's Avatar
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    Yes, got parts at Radio Shack, in the first picture provided is the 90 deg connector I used for the original speaker wires. So I have the flexibility to back and forth. The only issue I have with the Q2 and ear plugs is the FM radio is still way to loud. I am looking at putting a variable resistor inline to see what size resistor I need to put in series with the connector to lower the volume since there is plenty of volume adjustment on the Garmin Nav.
    Last edited by FSwish; 05-09-2010 at 01:28 PM.
    Fred
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  14. #14
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    One more question Fred,


    I took my Scala apart & saw 2 wires soldered in for one speaker & 3 wired in for the other. What are the 3 wires? How did you connect them. I bought your Radio Shack plug, but tried to disassemble first, now I'm just going to cut & solder the wires.

  15. #15
    Seeking Mental Floss
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    Just keep in mind, earbuds are illegal in many states. Even in-helmet speakers are illegal in Mass. YMMV.
    Hugh

    2008 Goldwing
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