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post #1 of 23 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 1:45 pm Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Boosting a Boostaroo for a Zumo

Thread reference: http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40796

I picked up a Boostaroo at a Radio Shack (cheap) but my complaint is that the gain is too low. It has an amplification of 2 (2.3 actually). I need more signal from the Zumo 450 to drive my old Autocom Pro-7 but am unwilling to pay the big bucks for an Amplirider or a Mixit2. However, I deciphered the Boostaroo circuit by looking through the clear plastic under the battery compartment. It uses three LM4808 headphone amplifier IC's with input/output resistors of 4700/11000 Ohms (one common stereo input, three stereo outputs). Gain = 11000/4700 = 2.3, Increasing the 11000 Ohm resistors will up the gain. I'll try a higher gain (5?) in one of the three channels and let you know if it works. Looks like I can simply Dremel some plastic out of the way and swap out two resistors to accomplish this. Stay tuned.
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Dave Moore
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post #2 of 23 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 6:26 pm
 
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Keep us posted. These are cheap enough that I wounldn't mind trying to play with it; providing I have instructions.
A little more "boost" would help when I listen to Howard Stern. It seems to work just fine when I listen to music, but on talk radio, then the volume needs to be all the way up on the Stiletto.

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post #3 of 23 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 7:04 pm
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

beahr comm in the k12oolt series has an ampplifier built in, mine works fine,,,
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post #4 of 23 Old Dec 29th, 2008, 7:44 pm
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

There is a hack you can do that will increase the volume by internally changing the voice module software package. I did it but it did not increase the volume loud enough to make mine work as I have an old AutoCom also. I'm currently talking with Garmin to see why I can't even put a regularset of earphone in my mount and hear anything usable at any speed above idle...

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post #5 of 23 Old Dec 30th, 2008, 3:05 pm
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Get a Mixit it will solve your problems, what bike are you riding ? if you have a LT1200 run it thru the stereo via the aux port, that get you volume control through the sound and audio system....
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post #6 of 23 Old Dec 30th, 2008, 3:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Boosting a Boostaroo for a Zumo

OK, here's what I did. You should probably get a tech to do this if you have no experience with surface mount electronic soldering. Or get the 14-year old geek kid next door to help

Remove battery cover and batteries. Locate three black integrated circuit chips left of center (with switch up, wire left orientation). Look at first picture (sorry about the focus but it conveys what you need). Dremel plastic away from left and right side of uppermost IC exposing the tiny chip resistors either side of the IC. Be careful not to damage the components! The 2nd resistor down on the left and the third resistor down on the right are marked "113" (11,000 Ohms). Remove these two only. Clean the exposed pads with Solder-Wick(TM). Replace with a higher value resistor between 22,000 and 27,000 Ohms (I used 24,900 because I had some). This will increase the channel gain to about 5.

The resistors are size 0603 (.06" by .03"). You can get them from Digi-Key, Allied, Newark, etc. Use a small-tip iron and small diameter solder. Do not apply too much solder. When done, cover openings with a piece of packaging tape cut to fit. Replace batteries and battery cover.

Referring to picture 2, the right most jack will be the channel with the higher volume.
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Dave Moore
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post #7 of 23 Old Dec 30th, 2008, 3:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieth
Get a Mixit it will solve your problems, what bike are you riding ? if you have a LT1200 run it thru the stereo via the aux port, that get you volume control through the sound and audio system....
I'm riding a Triumph Tiger now. Reference my first post regarding Mixit. I'm cheap, what can I say?

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post #8 of 23 Old Dec 30th, 2008, 7:21 pm
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

How are you powering the Boosteroo? Are you using batteries or have you made an additional circuit to power off the bike?

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post #9 of 23 Old Dec 31st, 2008, 9:31 am Thread Starter
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Test Run

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackd
How are you powering the Boosteroo? Are you using batteries or have you made an additional circuit to power off the bike?
I am using two AA alkalines for now. Not sure what their lifetime is. May put some lithiums in there. Not handy, I know. But easy.

The amplifier IC's draw a miniscule 0.8 mA with no signal (times 3). The little red LED that tells you it's on probably draws 10-20 mA. You can probably snip it out and have the batteries last darn near forever.

I ran the setup for 35 miles on the home commute last night. I have several types of earplugs I wear to cut road noise, and I was using the highest attenuation foam plugs (32 dB). The volume was just adequate (had the Zumo volume at 100%). I think I would recommend more boost still. Instead of 22k-27k resistors, use 47k resistors for a gain of 10 instead of 5.

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post #10 of 23 Old Jan 1st, 2009, 9:27 am
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Dave, That sounds encouraging. I have a similar problem. However, mine is so severe that I can't hear any output from mine without the hack I put into the audio profile. Even with just earphones attached directly to the mount. With the hack the earphone work but not at any speed above stopped.

Is that your the same case with yours? or is yours better than that?

I contacted Garmin and they are sending me a new mount to try. I won't have it for another few days and I will be traveling next week.

If the new mount does not provide relief I will have to do something else. I am very dissatisfied with the Zumo on this volume thing. I'm also dissatisfied with the screen being washed out with the sun at my back. I'm used to an SP III and it was great in almost any light situation.

This Boosteroo think looks like a cost effective solution. I just don't like having batteries in there all the time. I was thinking that I would build some sort a resister network to provide the tap necesseary to take off the 3 V to run this if I use it. I'm also thinking of going Bluetooth and getting a new audio network for the bike. I will still need to connect the audio out to a Bluetooth hub that is powered by batteries. I need to come up with a design for an efficient voltage drop nework to make that work. I don't have an EE so I probably need to do some searches. It must be documented somewhere..

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post #11 of 23 Old Jan 1st, 2009, 2:14 pm
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Perhaps everyone already knows this and I apologize if this is redundant information but there are two cascading volume controls on the Zumo. The MP3 and Navigation volumes have independent controls in the Wrench->Volume menu. There is also the hard button master volume control, hold the speaker button and press the + or - buttons. The individual volumes in the Wrench->Volume menus can be set to 100% and nothing will be coming out of the audio if the master volume is turned all the way down.

On the other hand the Zumo cradle could also be the problem. I am on my second and it just lost audio on the left channel. I have had my Zumo in the cradle less than 10 days the whole year but I do commute on this bike. I just e-mailed a customer service request on it. The first mount was scratchy and intermittent on both audio channels. They ended up sending me a new cradle. Fortunately is hasn't quite been a year since I got the second one so it should still be under warranty. If I had to pay $85 a year to keep replacing them I would not be a happy camper .


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post #12 of 23 Old Jan 1st, 2009, 3:38 pm
 
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

This might seem too easy, but I and a couple of friends have all experienced the same situation with the Zumo gps. There was a sticker on the back of the Zumo gps's that covered part or all of the rear speaker effecting the quality of sound. Remove the sticker for improved sound quality.

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post #13 of 23 Old Jan 1st, 2009, 8:55 pm
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Thumbs up Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

I used the J&M Stereo Headset Amplifier w/Mic. return & Radar Audio Interrupt, # MA-976 and get more then enough amplification, and it works getting the microphone into the Zumo for bluetooth phone. The AmpliRider was not enough nor the Boosteroo, (Both Models).

http://www.jmcorp.com/ProductDetail....D=MA-967&PF=33
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post #14 of 23 Old Jan 1st, 2009, 9:02 pm
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwd98056
I apologize if this is redundant information but there are two cascading volume controls on the Zumo.
No need to apologize this has been a problem and I have tried everything to get the volume up.. I have been though every menu multiple times and even updated the firmware trying to resolve the volume. Seems like this is a problem with quite a few units and it really depends on what your feeding to even know if you have the issue. Soon as I told Garmin that I could not hear it on earplugs directly into the output they agreed to send me the mount.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertit
If I had to pay $85 a year to keep replacing them I would not be a happy camper .
I assumed that the M/C mount was passive but it looks as thought it might not be. I believe that the auto mount (with the speaker) is active. If it turns out that the M/C mount is really the problem and I let myself go through the warranty period I would not have been a happy camper either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jwd98056
This might seem too easy, but I and a couple of friends have all experienced the same situation with the Zumo gps. There was a sticker on the back of the Zumo gps's that covered part or all of the rear speaker effecting the quality of sound. Remove the sticker for improved sound quality.
Mine works great in the auto mount. On the M/C mount there is no speaker. I thought it was straight through wiring but maybe there is some sort of isolation circuit and it is defective.

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post #15 of 23 Old Jan 1st, 2009, 9:22 pm
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Quote:
Originally Posted by brasters
I used the J&M Stereo Headset Amplifier w/Mic. return & Radar Audio Interrupt, # MA-976 and get more then enough amplification, and it works getting the microphone into the Zumo for bluetooth phone. The AmpliRider was not enough nor the Boosteroo, (Both Models).
Yes there is a lot of slick stuff out there to improve the weak output signals but putting all these things together also 'amplifies' the cost considerably. It only masks the real problem of poor design. I didn't pay much more that than for the basic AutoCom system.. A few years ago but still..

One of the reasons I am going away from AutoCom and to another system is the very expensive add ons, like cables specific for each function, that really are not good quality but they still charge lots of bucks. The AutoCom started out relatively inexpensive but has got to be quite expensive. It worked well for a while but my cables and headsets have suffered repeated reliability issues.

I want the Zumo to display the caller ID so I know when the phone rings and if I should call them back when I can pull off... I don't think it is safe, for me, to use the phone while riding. It dangerous enough riding in the traffic that I do. I think that I need these wired connections to make it work like advertised...... I haven't been able to get mine to give me directions yet.. and that is the first step.

I don't want to seem negative but I think that after paying a premium price for a premium GPS it should give enough signal out on a stereo plug to feed just about anything, especially since it uses a volume control on that output jack. After all this was designed to be in an M/C enviornment.

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post #16 of 23 Old Jan 3rd, 2009, 9:53 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackd
I don't want to seem negative but I think that after paying a premium price for a premium GPS it should give enough signal out on a stereo plug to feed just about anything, especially since it uses a volume control on that output jack. After all this was designed to be in an M/C enviornment.
I made the same point on amazon.com cutomer reviews in August. My Zumo replaces a Garmin iQue3600 PDA that saw years of use as my onboard nav. It had PLENTY of volume. What gives, Garmin? A $.25 IC audio amplifier added to the Zumo design would have made it perfect.

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post #17 of 23 Old Jan 3rd, 2009, 10:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackd
Dave, That sounds encouraging. I have a similar problem. However, mine is so severe that I can't hear any output from mine without the hack I put into the audio profile. Even with just earphones attached directly to the mount. With the hack the earphone work but not at any speed above stopped.

Is that your the same case with yours? or is yours better than that?
With all volumes up to full, I can barely hear anything without a boost. As I mentioned above, I always use earplugs when riding because they cut down the higher frequencies and improve signal-to-noise from the Autocom (not to mention saving me hearing in my old age).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackd
...This Boosteroo think looks like a cost effective solution. I just don't like having batteries in there all the time. I was thinking that I would build some sort a resister network to provide the tap necesseary to take off the 3 V to run this if I use it. I'm also thinking of going Bluetooth and getting a new audio network for the bike. I will still need to connect the audio out to a Bluetooth hub that is powered by batteries. I need to come up with a design for an efficient voltage drop nework to make that work. I don't have an EE so I probably need to do some searches. It must be documented somewhere..
Let me see what kind of circuits I have at work next week. Shouldn't be hard to do, 4-5 parts.

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post #18 of 23 Old Jan 3rd, 2009, 10:16 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Quote:
Originally Posted by brasters
...The AmpliRider was not enough nor the Boosteroo, (Both Models).
Hence the reason for this thread!

Hi Bob. Are you going to Cambria this May?

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post #19 of 23 Old Jan 3rd, 2009, 11:05 pm
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Smile Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Quote:
Originally Posted by davemoore
Hence the reason for this thread!

Hi Bob. Are you going to Cambria this May?
Hi Dave, Yup, looking forward to seeing you again,

Just Bob.
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Quote:
Originally Posted by davemoore
Let me see what kind of circuits I have at work next week. Shouldn't be hard to do, 4-5 parts.
I did some looking around and there are some dc-dc power circuits that when combined could give me just about anything that is necessary. Unfortunately they look like buying them loose piece would make a $50 power source. Anything you can come up with would be much appreciated.

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post #21 of 23 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 11:15 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackd
I did some looking around and there are some dc-dc power circuits that when combined could give me just about anything that is necessary. Unfortunately they look like buying them loose piece would make a $50 power source. Anything you can come up with would be much appreciated.
Jack - I had a 3V regulator circuit sketched out but then discovered something... My bike had been sitting in the cold bike port for almost 3 weeks without being ridden. I hopped on and discovered the Boosteroo was still switched on, red light still glowing and still working, albeit with low batteries (audio a little scratchy). Maybe not the answer you want, but heck, just turn it off if you remember and keep some extra batteries on board if you don't. Saves on wiring complication. Now I plan to implement what I mentioned before: clip out the LED as being the greatest current hog in the Boosteroo, and also snip the supply pins (pin 8) on the two other unused LM4808 amplifiers. Pin 8 is the pin opposite the dimple on the part (dimple=pin 1, count pins counterclockwise). Should last durn near forever after that.

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post #22 of 23 Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 7:32 pm
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Dave, Thanks for the post.

I can't get a response from the manufacturer for the Bluetooth application I wanted to convert from batteries so I will move on and try another configuration. I understand that these type things don't use much battery but since there is DC available already on the bike it kind of doesn't seem right to keep a bunch of batteries that can get real expensive when you need them at a gas stop..

I was even thinking of making a battery compartment from some off the shelf components from RS and have the battery voltage output switched on by a 12 volt relay off the accessory 12 circuit. Crude but it would get maximum use out of the battery and I could use some heftier batteries like a couple of 'D' cells instead of 'AA' or 'AAA'.

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post #23 of 23 Old Feb 24th, 2009, 2:09 pm
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Re: Boosting a Boosteroo for a Zumo

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwd98056
Perhaps everyone already knows this and I apologize if this is redundant information but there are two cascading volume controls on the Zumo. The MP3 and Navigation volumes have independent controls in the Wrench->Volume menu. There is also the hard button master volume control, hold the speaker button and press the + or - buttons. The individual volumes in the Wrench->Volume menus can be set to 100% and nothing will be coming out of the audio if the master volume is turned all the way down.
I didn't know this and bought an amplirider because the Zumo was too quiet. Now that I know there are 2 volume adjustments, I can get it almost loud enough. It is worth repeating for new Zumo owners.

I know there are some threads on changing out the speakers on a Autocom. I'm going to look into that. The standard ones are very tinny sounding, with no bass. If that's not enough, I may actually install that amplirider that's been sitting on my desk for 6 months.

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