Cardo Scala G-4 Ear Bud modification

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Golevi, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Golevi

    Golevi Been here awhile

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    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!
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    I started out by purchasing this 3.5mm phone jack from a local electronics store…
    [​IMG]
    You will need a Torx T7 to get the unit apart.
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    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    I then took my dremel tool and began making the hole for the phone jack.
    [​IMG]
    And I had to remove a little of the surrounding plastic inside the housing to make it sit properly inside.
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    Until everything fits together ok.
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    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.
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    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.
    [​IMG]
    I then took some shrink tubing and used it to insulate each of the 3 soldered terminals.
    [​IMG]
    Then got the phone jack installed.
    [​IMG]
    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-.
    [​IMG]
    Once the soldering is done I began re-assembly.
    [​IMG]
    Completed project…
    [​IMG]
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    #1
  2. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Well executed and nice workmanship....
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    #2
  3. BMW_BIKER_KEITH

    BMW_BIKER_KEITH Been here awhile

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    Nice work... What earbuds are you using...?
    #3
  4. ww73

    ww73 Been here awhile

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    The right speaker wire is part of the FM antenna. Does FM still work after this mod?
    #4
  5. Golevi

    Golevi Been here awhile

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    Thanks...

    I am using the JVC In-Ear Marshmallow earbuds for now... Still looking for the "perfect" ones... :D
    #5
  6. Golevi

    Golevi Been here awhile

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    Yes it does... :thumb
    #6
  7. Stromtrooper246

    Stromtrooper246 Lost again

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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.:eek1 Worth the $40 to me.
    #7
  8. RoundOz

    RoundOz Plenty of seasoning

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    Nice job man!
    #8
  9. DocWong

    DocWong Long timer

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    Very cool, just what I was wanting to do.
    #9
  10. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    Fantastic!!
    I was going to just buy a Sena - but this gives me hope that this mod can be done without monkeying with the tiny wires and varnish. I'll give it a try!!

    You are a craftsman!!
    #10
  11. Golevi

    Golevi Been here awhile

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    Thanks JS... I also did the similar mod to a Q2 and it is quite a bit more complicated (the wiring) then the G4... For some reason Cardo used 3 wires per speaker on the Q2, but 2 wires for each speaker on the G4... Those tiny wires with the varnish are a PITA and that is another reason why I mounted the 3.5mm jack in the unit itself...

    Good luck!
    #11
  12. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    I emailed Cardo directly to ask about a 3.5mm plug option. I actually got to talk to a guy who commented on the variability in the laws in the US regarding the legality of ANY earplugs. Some states outlaw them directly, others allow only one ear. I could see their lawyers getting nervous. Apparently, the in-helmet speakers are legal everywhere.:deal

    Apparently, the Sena lawyers are a more happy-go-lucky bunch as they offer the 3.5mm earbud jack as a $39 option.
    #12
  13. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    You are the man!!

    I just replicated this mod and everything worked perfectly. It is 100x easier to directly solder to the mini-circuit board rather than monkey with those stinking tiny ear speaker wires!!! It also gave me a great excuse for a trip to Harbor Freight to buy the tiny T7 Torx bits!

    My only addition: I packed some JB Stick epoxy putty around the female socket inside the G4 to provide some additional structural strain relief.

    NOW - here is what I want next: A button on the G4 that pumps sound from the mic directly into the headphones. This will allow me to hear what others are saying to me when I'm stopped at a gas station, etc. The G4 mutes the input signal when you push both buttons on top. But the Etymotic earbuds are quite good for isolating noise and I still can't hear too well. Why not take advantage of the boom mic and sound circuitry in the G4 to route ambient sound to the earbuds when I push these same two buttons?

    Any ideas?
    #13
  14. Golevi

    Golevi Been here awhile

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    Good! Glad it worked out ok... Good idea about the epoxy... :nod
    Not sure how to achieve getting the mic into the headphones...
    Have to think about that one for a bit... :mully
    #14
  15. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

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    How do you solder the one black wire to both negative terminals?

    Will you do mine for me?? :D
    #15
  16. Golevi

    Golevi Been here awhile

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    The black wire that is attached to L- is soldered to R- on the back side of the circuit board...

    It is really an easy mod... :1drink
    #16
  17. Wrong

    Wrong wrong way

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    Thank you very much, I use bigear buds and it allows me to have the volume low and still listen to music. Excellent mod.
    #17
  18. wgabriel

    wgabriel Been here awhile

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    Very Nicely done,, nice to see good work-man-ship isn't lost.


    keep up the good work
    #18
  19. swjdude

    swjdude n00b

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    Hi - I was wondering if you took any pics of your installation mod of the Q2?. Can you provide son guidance with wiring colors etc? How were you able to fit the jack in the unit itself?
    Thanks
    #19
  20. Golevi

    Golevi Been here awhile

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    No, I did not document any of the Q2 modification... It was very different in the wiring if I recall... I do remember that after I got it wired up the music would work through the ear buds, but the phone would not so I had to go back in and reconfigure the way it was wired... I finally ended up trying every wiring configuration with some test leads until I found the combination that worked... <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    #20