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Offline BluePilot

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Hacking the bike speakers
« on: May 24, 2013, 12:16:19 PM »
Hi all,

After much research, banging my head  :157: and talking to both local and factory Triumph people I have finally come to the conclusion that I am going to have to hack the speaker wiring on my bike in order to get the intercom functionality I require without the use of battery-powered equipment.

Due to their infinite wisdom and foresight the Trophy designers chose to only output the audio of the SE to either the on-board speakers or a bluetooth 2.1+EDR headset. They chose not to include a simple 3.5mm "audio out" socket or a "microphone in" to enable hard-wired equipment.

Next, they assumed that any bluetooth receiver would have its own built-in volume control and so actively disabled the bar-mounted volume controls when outputting to bluetooth. This decision effectively renders any bluetooth-enabled intercom system unusable because the sound is always sent at full volume.

In order to get volume-controlled audio to an intercom system the only way is to hack into the bike speaker wiring. The easiest place to do this would be at the main audio wiring loom/speaker sub-harness connection.

I ordered a pair of speaker sub-harnesses so that I could look at the connector used with a view to getting some plugs and sockets of the same type. The idea was to get an Autocom lead (part number 2275) that I have on my ST1300, fit the appropriate plugs and sockets to it and simply plug it in between the main loom and speaker sub-harnesses. When I received the speaker sub-harnesses, however, I did not recognise the plug (the other ends are simply two DIFFERENT SIZED spade connectors for the speakers) which is a two-wire, FOUR hole configuration. Desipte intensive searching I was unable to find any plugs or sockets of this configuration. I even took a sub-harness to a specialist car audio workshop near me and they had never seen anything like it either.

In the end I contacted Triumph who told me that the bike harnesses are made for them by a company in Taiwan and come as complete items. I have emailed the company requesting information on the connectors but so far have had no reply, and am not holding my breath waiting for one! As the plug seems to be a custom item moulded onto the wiring I hold out little hope of finding a supplier or obtaining any parts from the Taiwan factory.

This leaves only one option - hacking the Autocom switch into the speaker sub-harnesses. Having spoken to both local and factory Triumph people about this option they all sympathise with my problem and although they agree that this is not approved they cannot see any problems with doing it as it is not part of the CAN Bus system on the bike.

I have the speaker sub-harnesses and the Autocom lead. The next stage is taking the bike apart to figure out how to fit it all and where the switch can go. I was thinking of fitting the switch into the left fairing stowage compartment but at this stage I don't know if there is any space behind the pocket next to the 12V and USB sockets. Also, I have just had this compartment replaced under warranty as the "spring" failed and it would not pop open when the button was pushed. If the switch was fitted here it would cause problems if the pocket was replaced again. The current favourite looks like the facia panel surrounding the fairing stowage compartment.

Will keep you posted.

BP
"Let's be careful out there"

Offline CoJaW

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Re: Hacking the bike speakers
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2013, 12:48:25 PM »
Good luck BluePilot!

But my bluetooth headset - Nolan N-Com - has a volume control built in. I realise that's not going to help you, but it does mean that not all bluetooth enabled intercoms are  useless - or am I missing something?
 :261:

Offline BluePilot

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Re: Hacking the bike speakers
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2013, 01:32:00 PM »
CoJaw,

The Nolan N-Com is a headset. The intercom systems I am talking about are hard-wired and bike-powered. They are generally mounted under the seat and so there is no access for changing the volume. These hard-wired systems have a number of advantages - batteries don't go flat, connection to bike-to-bike radio systems, connections for audio-out (via second headset connector) that can be fed into video systems for training purposes etc.

A bluetooth system is not suitable for me. The main reason being battery charging.

BP
"Let's be careful out there"

Offline jebess

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Re: Hacking the bike speakers
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2013, 05:47:00 PM »
Hey BP-
I didn't see this in your various posts about this subject, but you may need a device in-line that converts the amplified signal of the speakers to a "line-level" signal required by your Autocom.  Failure to drastically reduce the signals from the amplified speaker feed can absolutely destroy the input circuit of the down stream device.  Think of it as plugging into the power of a big Jaguar V12 engine directly to the axle of a go-cart with no transmission - you'd shred the rubber right off the tires before even touching the accelerator.

Not sure who carries a product like this on your side of the pond, but here its somewhere like BestBuy or Crutchfield. 

Something like this would do the trick-
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_142LOC80/Scosche-LOC80.html

Hope this helps, and if you knew this already, think of it as a brother looking out for another.....

Offline BluePilot

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Re: Hacking the bike speakers
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2013, 07:04:08 PM »
Hi jebess,

Matching is not required- the Autocom lead is designed specifically for this application and sorts it all out:

www.autocom.co.uk/PDF/CarTypeMusic.pdf

BP
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Offline Nudger

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Re: Hacking the bike speakers
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2013, 07:58:21 PM »
BP.  Thanks for your progress update on fitting the Autocom lead.  I want to go down the same road so I can use my speaker earplugs.  Please keep the updates coming.

Offline w8d4it

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Re: Hacking the bike speakers
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2013, 02:07:48 AM »
BP you are a brave man than I to screw around with all those wires on a brand new bike.  Aren't you worried about voiding the warranty?
Proudly Riding Triumph Since 1968
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Offline Trumpetman14

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Re: Hacking the bike speakers
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2013, 02:26:55 AM »
Quote: Also, I have just had this compartment replaced under warranty as the "spring" failed and it would not pop open when the button was pushed. If the switch was fitted here it would cause problems if the pocket was replaced again...
 
  The door is supposed to pop open??!!! Dude, mine never has and it drives me crazy trying to get into it when I press that button!  :112:  ( Yep, I do know that ign needs to be "on", sheesh!)  -Dr Ron
Growing old MAY BE mandatory...But
Growing up is OPTIONAL !!