Sena SRL Ear Plug Mod

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Stoshu, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. Stoshu

    Stoshu Carnivorous Moronius Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,052
    Location:
    Northeastern - PA
    Not sure if this is the right place for this, but here goes...
    Having recently acquired a new Neotec II, and trying out my old SMH10 set up on it, I wasn't happy with the look and it seemed like a shame not to install the SRL system that was made for this helmet. The only problem was that I am a die-hard in ear monitor guy, and can't deal with the crappy sound of helmet speakers. That left me doing a bit of research on any modifications that would allow for grafting in a female 3.5mm audio jack for my S-plugs. I came across a thread where @mickthesaw mentioned this mod, so props to him for coming up with the idea. Here is a step by step with a few pics of how it can be done with no cutting or permanent modifications to the SRL itself.
    Here is the starting point, the entire SRL system as it comes out of the box.
    20180728_084926.jpg
    You want to start by removing the four tiny screws out of the back of each speaker and separate the two halves.

    This is what you will be looking at after you split the speaker cases. Next step is to gently separate the micro JST 1.25mm connector for each speaker.
    20180728_085206.jpg

    Once the connector is apart, install a female 1.25mm JST pigtail into the harness where the speaker was plugged into it. This is what the pigtail looks like:
    20180728_085307.jpg
    Feed the loose ends of the wires through one of the venting holes in the speaker housing near where the factory wiring harness enters the housing. Leave the speaker disconnected and carefully arrange the wires inside so that they are not pinched or kinked, align the harness in the molded relief to prevent it from pulling out of the speaker casing, and carefully screw the two halves back together. Repeat for both left and right speakers. When finished, you will want it to look like this:
    20180728_091953.jpg
    #1
    JSL likes this.
  2. Stoshu

    Stoshu Carnivorous Moronius Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,052
    Location:
    Northeastern - PA
    Next step is to solder in your 3.5mm female audio plug. You will need to strip the outer casing off the wiring (if you are using an old headphone jack extension) leaving the inner wiring exposed. Solder the Green wire from the jack to the Red wire on the left speaker pigtail. Then solder the Red wire from the jack to the Red wire on the right speaker pigatail. Run both Black wires of the speaker pigtails to the ground wire in the jack (this will most likely be bare copper or shielded black).
    Be sure to heat shrink these connections after soldering to insure there is no contact between the different wires and solder joints. Wrap or heat shrink the harness together to give it a finished look. (Sorry, but I forgot to snap any pictures of the connections before it was finished) It should look roughly like this:
    20180728_112505.jpg
    Install the SRL system into the helmet per the instructions, tucking away the newly added harness under the padding with the SRL factory wiring. When installed, it looks like this:
    20180728_115134.jpg
    20180728_115021.jpg
    It goes without saying that if you take on this modification, it is at your own risk. The beauty of this mod is that it can be unplugged, your OEM helmet speakers can be plugged back in, and the SRL will be just as it was when it left the Sena factory.

    This is just one solution to the SRL audio jack issue, I'm sure someone will come up with another. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
    #2
    Boxerbro, budsboy, JSL and 3 others like this.
  3. XICAQUE

    XICAQUE Q' pedo?

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    723
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO Yes, we are full, move on
    Nicely done! Hope Sena is taking notes and releases the 2.0 version NOW!
    #3
    Stoshu likes this.
  4. EvilGilligan

    EvilGilligan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    Seattle suburbs
    1. THANK YOU!! Just had an accident that will have the offending party buying me a new Neotech but i, too, have custom IEMs. Glad i can have it all now.
    #4
    Stoshu likes this.
  5. Bento

    Bento 2017 GS Rallye

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    234
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    I just opened up my 10U to see if I could add earbuds. It looks like both speakers are connected with little connectors. I could use those to add a 3.5mm jack BUT I noticed a spot to solder on earbuds.

    Couldnt measure anything with my multimeter though but I might have been doing it wrong. Any pointers?

    IMG_2705.jpg
    #5
  6. Stoshu

    Stoshu Carnivorous Moronius Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,052
    Location:
    Northeastern - PA
    If you don't need the ability to use either earbuds or speakers, the easiest way to get earbuds wired is to solder your earbud leads into micro JST connector then simply unplug the speakers and plug in the earbud connectors where the speakers were plugged in. If you don't ever plan on using the speakers, just cut their wires and splice a female 3.5mm jack into those connections.
    #6
    JSL likes this.
  7. Bento

    Bento 2017 GS Rallye

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    234
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    My thoughts exactly. I got some 3 pin JST connectors and will disconnect the speakers and plugin new leads for a 3.5mm jack. Will report back here soon.

    [EDIT] I bought JST-PH connectors and these are like 2-3 times the size of the Sena ones. Any idea which ones I need?

    The original connectir is 3mm wide and 1mm thick. The wires are 0.5mm in diameter.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Stoshu

    Stoshu Carnivorous Moronius Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,052
    Location:
    Northeastern - PA
    #8
  9. Bento

    Bento 2017 GS Rallye

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    234
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Cheers, will order some different ones and see what fits :p
    #9
  10. DucatiWiz

    DucatiWiz n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2020
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Bocking
    Brilliant post, thank you so much for taking the time. One thing to add: It will work perfectly well to connect the 3.5mm to the speakers in parallel so that both work at the same time. In practice, if you have in-ear speakers plugged in, the volume is set so low in use that the speakers are barely driven. This has the added benefit of dramatically increasing battery life. If you then decide not to use in-ears for a short urban trip, just turn the volume back up and you have the speakers functioning too. I have this setup using a 3.5mm "Y" cable on my Cardo.

    Looking at your photos, it seems that connector in the speaker might be a standard JST type, in which case making up a "Y" cable should be fairly easy and it could be just plugged in. I'm going to try and will report back.
    #10
    Stoshu likes this.
  11. DucatiWiz

    DucatiWiz n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2020
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Bocking
    So, just as an update, I think I have located the correct connector. They are Molex MicroBlade 1.25mm 2-Pin Male/Female Connector, often mis-described as "JST 1.25 PH" connectors. They are called MicroBlade as the pins are angled at the tip. External dimensions are as attached.

    HTH

    IMG_1118.jpg IMG_1119.jpg
    #11
  12. DucatiWiz

    DucatiWiz n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2020
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Bocking
    So, I got around to doing this using a pass-though so that the speakers remain connected. Again, huge thanks to @Stoshu for working this out - I'm so pleased to be able to use in-ear speakers with the Neotec II.
    The left side was easy, I used some 2-sided tape to hold the new plug in place.

    IMG_1131.jpg

    The right side is a little trickier as it already has two plugs in (the microphone is connected the same way), however there is still room for a third plug if you place it where I have in the picture and again hold it in place with some DS tape.

    IMG_1134.jpg

    That's it, then close 'em up.

    IMG_1135.jpg

    Same idea and all credit to the OP, but this is a nice way to retain the original speaker option as well as having an in-ear option. Just need to remember to turn the volume back down again if you switch back to in-ears after using the speakers else you'll blow your ears off!
    #12
  13. DucatiWiz

    DucatiWiz n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2020
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Bocking
    So, this is what it looked like when finished. The two tails plug internally into the speakers and end with those Autocom-style speaker plugs, then the 3.5mm socket plugs into the tails with a single wire that needs to be tucked around the back cuff of the helmet. I added the connectors to make it easier to fit and to easier to replace the 3.5 mm socket if it starts to fail (they can start cracking after a while). The end result was very neat in the lid.

    IMG_1139.jpg

    I made these kits up for a couple of friends to send by post. Obviously, you can't poke the plugs through the existing speaker holes, but if you're willing to make a tiny modification to the speaker case it's a very easy fit. You just locate the hole at the bottom of each speaker (at 6 o'clock) and with a sharp knife cut out the plastic between the hole and the edge of the speaker case, which provides a perfect slot for the wires. There is no problem with doing this as it's how the existing factory wires go into the speaker. Just be aware that on the sets I've fitted, the left speaker has the "L" stamped upside down on it, so make sure you are definitely cutting the hole at the bottom edge!
    #13
  14. DucatiWiz

    DucatiWiz n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2020
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Bocking
    And here is the final fit. To hold the 3.5mm socket in place, I used two cable-ties, which I cut the female end off, then heated in the middle so I could fold it in half like a hairclip. I then pushed the ends down between the cuff and helmet shell. I think the end look is about as factory as you can get. The socket is easy to access but keeps the underside of the lid flat so you can put your lid down on its base. If only they had used a MESH system in the SRL rather than crappy Bluetooth it would be perfect :(.

    IMG_1149.jpg
    #14
    KevinP65 likes this.
  15. sorethumb

    sorethumb Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    57
    Location:
    Bluffton, SC
    What brands of IEMs are recommended?
    #15
  16. DucatiWiz

    DucatiWiz n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2020
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Bocking
    I really like Westone, I think they are very comfortable and I get a good seal, but obviously everyone’s ears are different and some of my riding friends went with custom moulded ones.
    #16
    sorethumb likes this.
  17. sorethumb

    sorethumb Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    57
    Location:
    Bluffton, SC
    I already have hearing loss in one ear, so the custom molded ones appeal to me. I like the Ultimate Hearing ones, but looks like they are UK only: https://www.ultimateear.com/product-category/motorcycle-ear-plugs/
    #17
  18. Gruesome

    Gruesome Alter Heizer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,503
    Location:
    Chicago
    Ducatiwiz, this is great! One question though: couldn't you put two of the three 'Y's inside the speakers, so that only one pair of wires comes out of each speaker, instead of two?
    #18
  19. DucatiWiz

    DucatiWiz n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2020
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Bocking
    I think you'll find lots of companies in the US who'll do a custom plug via mail-order (Westone included). Usually you go to a local hearing aid centre, they take a mould and send it off, then you get the plugs by post. I've had a couple of sets but to be honest I get a better seal with the standard Westones. I think it's having the soft, spongy tip in the ear-canal rather than silicone rubber - it allows for more movement whilst retaining a seal. You probably won't know for sure what suits you best until you try though I'm afraid, seems to be the only way (but expensive) :( .
    #19
  20. DucatiWiz

    DucatiWiz n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2020
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Bocking
    Yes you could, but there are two disadvantages to that: Firstly, the wires on the JST plugs are very thin, so having two pairs attached to the external wiring doubles the strength. Secondly that would mean cutting and joining the tails inside the speaker case and there is very little room to do that. I'm sure that someone much better than me could do a neat enough soldering and insulating job to make it fit, but I'm a huge fan of those little pre-soldered and glued heat-shrink connectors you see in the photo and you couldn't make those fit inside. I like them because they hold the wires in place, solder them together, insulate them with heat shrink and the glue the heat-shrink in place creating an extremely strong and waterproof joint all in one go.

    The ones I used for this were the smallest (white) ones and a couple of reds when I connected the common speaker wires to the 3.5mm socket as you need space for three wires to go in together.
    https://www.amazon.com/Connectors-H...shrink+connectors+white&qid=1582624518&sr=8-4
    HTH
    #20