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Old 10-11-2010, 04:50 PM   #1
Golevi OP
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Cardo Scala G-4 Ear Bud modification

I did the ear bud modification to my Cardo Scala G-4 unit for a few reasons but mostly because I like to wear hearing protection and had a difficult time hearing the helmet speakers while using hearing protection…

So, I figured that I could accomplish what I needed by doing this modification and I was right… This works wonderfully for me as I just returned from a 1700 mile trip without any problems from the G-4 with the modification…

Let me say this before you decide to do this modification – Under the FAQ section on the Cardo Scala website ( http://www.cardosystems.com/us/support/faq ) states this:

Can I add my own earbud speakers to the Audio Kit?
No. Currently we only have one style of speakers with all scala rider headsets and any changes made to the device will void your warranty.

So with that being said, if you do this mod, do not expect any help from Cardo on warrantee issues…

So, on with the mod!

I started out by purchasing this 3.5mm phone jack from a local electronics store…

You will need a Torx T7 to get the unit apart.

To get the unit apart, there are 2 small screws on the back side that need to be removed as well as a collar on the mic boom that needs to be slid away from the plastic housing (I used my pocket knife to pry it off). Then to remove the printed circuit board, there is another T7 screw that needs to be taken out.

Once the PCB is removed you can see how the helmet speakers are wired into the unit. Notice that Right is solid colored, Left is striped, and that R-, and L- are bare copper wire colored.

I then took my dremel tool and began making the hole for the phone jack.

And I had to remove a little of the surrounding plastic inside the housing to make it sit properly inside.

Until everything fits together ok.

I then took some wire that I had around the shop (26 gauge stranded) and cut 3 colors of equal length of about 4 inches.

And soldered them to the phone jack like this. Black to the long lead (in this case is – (minus)) Red to one side, and yellow to the other.

I then took some shrink tubing and used it to insulate each of the 3 soldered terminals.

Then got the phone jack installed.

I then unsoldered the helmet speaker wires from the PCB, cut the phone jack wires to length, and soldered in the new wires. Red to Right, Yellow to Left and Black to R- and L-.

Once the soldering is done I began re-assembly.

Completed project…


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Old 10-11-2010, 05:30 PM   #2
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Well executed and nice workmanship....
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:40 PM   #3
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Nice work... What earbuds are you using...?
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:55 PM   #4
ww73
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The right speaker wire is part of the FM antenna. Does FM still work after this mod?
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ww73
The right speaker wire is part of the FM antenna. Does FM still work after this mod?
Yes it does...
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:42 PM   #6
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I met these guys at Biketoberfest, DB Plgz. They will do the mod but it is with a cord coming from the unit. Not as nice and clean as Golevi's mod. If I were to take an iron to my G4 I'd have a mess. Worth the $40 to me.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_BIKER_KEITH
Nice work... What earbuds are you using...?
Thanks...

I am using the JVC In-Ear Marshmallow earbuds for now... Still looking for the "perfect" ones...
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:18 PM   #8
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Have some questions for Golevi

Great thread. I am looking to do the same. One question: why do you use 3 wires when the original had 4? Did this change it from stereo to mono?
Why not just cut off the speakers and wire in ear buds to the existing wires? When you removed the speakers and wire did that effect the FM signal since the atenna is in the wire (or so I was told).
I'm not that good with wiring so any information you can provide me with would be great.
Again thanks for the detailed description and photos.
Please shoot me an e-mail and any more information you have to the following.
Rjmurr325@hotmail.com

Thanks Bob
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Old 03-18-2011, 03:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HrlyKng View Post
Great thread. I am looking to do the same. One question: why do you use 3 wires when the original had 4? Did this change it from stereo to mono?
Why not just cut off the speakers and wire in ear buds to the existing wires? When you removed the speakers and wire did that effect the FM signal since the atenna is in the wire (or so I was told).
I'm not that good with wiring so any information you can provide me with would be great.
Again thanks for the detailed description and photos.
Please shoot me an e-mail and any more information you have to the following.
Rjmurr325@hotmail.com

Thanks Bob
Quote:
Originally Posted by HrlyKng View Post
I think I understand and see what you did. You jumped the solder on the back side of the black wire. Again you have to forgive me as wiring isn't necessarily my thing. I'm going to purchase a unit and give it a try.

Btw I am doing this cause I ride with a half helmet and my ears are exposed. Do you see any issue with this? I see some posts that say there is a lot of wind noise if you don't have a full face or full shield. What do you think?
Sounds like you have the wiring figured out... The - is common between both right and left speakers... The reason I did not splice the ear buds to the existing speaker wires is that the wire that Cardo uses does not have conventional insulation on it, instead they use a type of varnish that is extremely difficult to work with...
I do not have any experience with half helmets but I don’t see why this wouldn’t work for you...
Good luck...
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:30 PM   #10
HrlyKng
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What is "varnish"? I've seen that in a few posts?
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:38 PM   #11
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Varnish

Quote:
Originally Posted by HrlyKng View Post
What is "varnish"? I've seen that in a few posts?
For very small wires, they don't use a typical plastic insulation that you can strip off easily. The thin wires are coated with varnish to keep them from shorting against each other. This lets the manufacturer use very small wires.

To modify these wires - it is a total pain. The varnish must be carefully scraped off to enable the wires to be connected or soldered to anything else. The wires are very tiny and the varnish is hard to see. So you aren't sure when you have a clean wire to work with.

That is what makes this modification so clever - you avoid cutting any of these tiny wires and can work directly on the circuit board inside the Cardo.

A work of true genius! Mine has been working great for several months now.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:49 AM   #12
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I would so pay someone to do this mod to my Q2...
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:35 PM   #13
HrlyKng
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Quick question. I ordered and received the g4 but can't find the 3.5mm jack quick enough to get the mod done in time for my week long ride on the west coast on Monday. What do you think about just cutting off the speakers and soldering on some earbuds. Will this work for now? I figure I can cut the wire just below the speaker? Thoughts?
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:50 AM   #14
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yes, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HrlyKng View Post
Quick question. I ordered and received the g4 but can't find the 3.5mm jack quick enough to get the mod done in time for my week long ride on the west coast on Monday. What do you think about just cutting off the speakers and soldering on some earbuds. Will this work for now? I figure I can cut the wire just below the speaker? Thoughts?
Sure - it will work, but it is a much harder modification. The tiny wires on the speakers are varnish-coated and hard to clean and solder. I did this to mine before finding this thread. I lost a bit of sound quality and had one circuit cutting out after a few months. I attribute both to my poor skills in stripping and soldering these minute wires. You may have better results.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:25 PM   #15
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Great mod. I will be making a post about that. I recently wrote up a review on the Scala Rider G4 if anyone is considering purchasing.
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