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Old 06-22-2018, 10:37 PM
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Default Nox Wired Headphone build along with parts list (pic heavy)

As anyone who has bought the Minelab Equinox 600 knows, the stock headphones are junk. Mine lasted a few hunts then failed due to no strain relief and or no coiled cord causing excess strain on the tiny wire where it enters the ear cup. Kudos to Minelab for replacing them quickly, but I didn't trust the first set of headphones, and the replacements are identical, so obviously I needed an alternative. I had no interest in Wireless, so my focus was on building a wired headphone.

I started searching different websites and posts trying to get the specifications to build my own headphones from parts. There was enough information on the web to figure out what I needed, but it was scattered among numerous sources. So I decided to try to document my build start to finish and get all the information in one place. Basically, I borrowed ideas from several places, I am not claiming to have originated any of these ideas.
Hopefully this post saves someone from duplicating all my time researching the parts. I am super cheap, so I was trying to keep this build as inexpensive as possible. I sourced everything from ebay. You may be able to source parts cheaper than I did, but it depends on a few choices like weather or not you modify an existing headphone or build from scratch. I bought a set of Xbox wireless headphones to convert to wired. I got the idea from Sven here on this site from a post he made several years ago on a different headphone build thread. Here is a link to that thread, his post is #12
http://metaldetectingforum.com/showt...69#post2050569

So I found a set of similar headphones on ebay for $8.49


I knew that coiled guitar cable would work well. I wanted mono cable so it had fewer wires to keep the outer cable diameter thin as well as being lightweight. I found what I needed on ebay for $8.34 shipped.


I needed a 1/8" mono plug with solder connections, that was easy. ebay $2.39 shipped.


Now, the part that gave me the most headaches was the threaded waterproof fitting that screws into the detector. I had seen multiple part numbers listed as being suitable, but it took me a while to understand what exactly the appropriate parts had in common. All the parts I read of being used were Lumberg connectors. But there were several different types being used. I eventually deduced that the main part of the requirement to make the connector work was that it was a Lumberg brand, RKC designation, and size M12. The M12 refers to the thread size. I ended up buying a 5 pin because I had read of one person noticing that if you have a center pin it gives you a pilot hole when you drill out the connector to modify it. This was definitely a useful tip and made my drilling easy. I thought I was only buying one but actually purchased 5 of these connectors on ebay for $7.90 shipped.


Now I had all my parts and it cost me under $30

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  #2  
Old 06-22-2018, 10:51 PM
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My first task was to modify the Lumberg connector. I figured if I couldn't get that done than none of the rest of the project mattered. I figured out that if you took the compression fitting off the connector that you could access the screw terminals that were connected to the pins. I removed all the screws hoping that the pins were not molded in. I was in luck, with all the screws removed, I was able to easily press out all the pins using a small punch.




I had measured the outside diameter of the mono jack base and determined that a 5/16" hole through the Lumberg connector should be about right to allow the jack to fut through without excess movement. I took the photo before I had removed the pins, but did the drilling after the pins were removed.



Now a quick test fit to make sure everything was in order.


And then solder the jack onto the wires.


Now the only thing left for this end of the cord is to epoxy the jack inside the Lumberg connector. But I'll wait until I can get the headphones assembled and test everything first.

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Old 06-22-2018, 11:02 PM
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I started by wiring up one speaker to make sure the volume was loud enough. The headphones had a pair of AAA batteries connected to the printed circuit board and I wasn't sure if they powered an amplifier. I was planning on omitting the original circuit board and batteries, so I needed to know that everything would work without them.


Finally a chance to test everything with the detector. I carefully plugged into the jack on the detector. The internal speaker on the detector went quiet and the headphone speaker was loud and clear! Now that I knew that I could make everything work, I could move toward fine tuning and final assembly.

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Old 06-22-2018, 11:15 PM
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So, the cord started out at 25 feet long if stretched out straight. Even all coiled up it was probably still 6 or 7 feet long. I wasn't sure how short to make it, so I used my Grey Ghost amphibians from my AT Pro as a guide. I also needed some more of the straight section near the jack so I could strap it to my detector and take the strain off the jack. I have straightened coiled cord before by stretching it along a dowel and using a heat gun.


I uncoiled the section to be straightened and zip tied it to the dowel pulling it tight as I went. I slowly heated it with the heat gun until the outer plastic casing began to turn from dull to shiny. Any hotter and the casing may melt. I then dunked it in cold water to cool the plastic and make the new shape permanent. I cut the zip ties off and it held pretty well. I also straightened a section where it would connect to the headphones.


Next was final assembly.

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Old 06-22-2018, 11:36 PM
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I pulled the wire through the hole where the microphone used to be and started on the final wiring. The wiring in the headphones is very fine and coated with something that made it impossible to solder and it isn't like sheathing that you can strip off. I burned it off with a torch and then brushed the char off with a tiny stainless steel brush. I fluxed and tinned all the wires then soldered everything together.


I left plenty of extra wire inside the headphone housing to use later. I plan to eventually buy different earmuffs and build waterproof cups like OBN does in his builds. For now, I just want to be able to use my Nox with something reliable. OBN has a picture of how he does his in the same thread that I got my headphone idea from. Post #8
http://http://metaldetectingforum.com/showthread.php?p=2050569#post2050569

I hot glued everything in place before I put the headphones back together. I also closed up a couple holes with hot glue where parts that I removed had been. The only thing left to do is epoxy the jack into the Lundberg connector to hold it together. I would have done that tonight but one of my tubes of epoxy leaked out and the other set up and was unusable. Tomorrow I should be able to grab some 5 minute epoxy and completely finish them. But here is the (mostly) finished product.


If anybody has other Ideas, feel free to add them. I am sure there are other ways to do this, but for my needs and budget, this worked pretty well.

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Old 06-22-2018, 11:40 PM
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This is my first attempt at a tutorial, so if I missed anything important, feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to help things make sense.

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Old 06-23-2018, 05:51 AM
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Well done! Heck of a deal on the Lumberg fittings. Wanna sell the other 4 for $10?

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Old 06-23-2018, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by itsaring! View post
Well done! Heck of a deal on the Lumberg fittings. Wanna sell the other 4 for $10?
I PMd you the link to the connectors. Same seller I got mine from. $8.95 shipped.

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Old 06-24-2018, 12:37 AM
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I got a chance to finish the epoxy up this morning. Detected with them this evening. They worked great and sounded good.

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Old 06-26-2018, 05:48 AM
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Nice build. Was there any way to keep the volume dial intact when you removed the circuit board? Minelab could build (or have built) a similar headphone for less than what you did. Catastrophic failure of gear in the field is not fun.

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Old 06-26-2018, 06:22 AM
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Turtle Beach headphones I have used for years X31 and X32's. They are comfortable and the speakers produce the nicest audio. I have taken out the speaker and mounting plates and incorporated them into other headphone shells for extreme external noise block out.

Sometimes you can find the wired Turtle Beaches on ebay cheap. Otherwise look for the wireless versions for parts. I have converted the wireless to work on many detectors, with no noticeable lag.
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Old 06-26-2018, 06:30 PM
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Nice write up thanks for sharing!

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Old 06-26-2018, 08:27 PM
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Nice job man, looks like you took your time and did it right!

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Old 06-30-2018, 09:12 PM
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Great and well detailed tutorial Steve! Thank you for sharing!
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Old 07-01-2018, 10:08 AM
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Great tutorial.
Thank you.
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2018, 10:44 AM
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Thanks everyone! Hopefully this helps a few people.

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