Modifying Altec Lancings "Life Jacket 2" Waterproof portable speaker.

So I got one of these portable speakers for work. Works great though it could be a touch louder.
It lets you charge your phone while either using Bluetooth or direct aux input.
Now there's only one problem/annoyance. Every time you power on/off the device and sync to Bluetooth, this voice confirmation plays this audio file that's much longer than it needs to be.
"Powering on! Welcome to Altec Lansing"
when Bluetooth kicks on
"You are now paired! Enjoy!"
when you turn off
"Powering off!"

Anyway, I was already planning on modding it by adding an amplifier to the Line In, since its much louder when a PC is connected vs a phone.

I may also add more 18650's but with 15 hour battery life its not necessary. Unless I plan on turning it into a charging hub for all my co-workers phones or something.

Anyway, I am here to try to get some help on disabling the voice, its only really a problem because on max volume the voice is WAYY too loud and usually startles people.

Here's a review video that shows all the features. Amazingly I can't find a Youtube video of the Voice Confirmation.


Here's the useless manual.
Manual

I Already emailed Altec Lansing to see if there's anyway to disable the voice.

I have several images for you to see. I can grab more if necessary.



Alternatively, would I be able to just replace the entire board with another one?
Such as, an amplifier, USB charger, 18650 charger, and some hacked up Bluetooth headset (with no voice-confirmation)

I ask because I rather like the case for its shock resistance capability, and the control buttons are removable so adding new controls and switches would be easy.

Picture of Modifying Altec Lancings
highresstuff.jpg
sort by: active | newest | oldest
THB128 months ago

Have you tested for undocumented button combinations/sequences like the + and - buttons that are used simultaneously to disconnect Bluetooth pairing ?

Missing 2 terminal components may be locations for optional components such as resistors or shorts used to select a language or no voice prompt. I see in one set of such locations, two that have ~ icons, one set of three pads looks like a transistor, and there is one more two terminal device not inserted. I doubt that these apply, the two might refer to L/R analog channels.

It is a long shot, however optional components for selecting voice options might be near the MCU, the Buttons connector, or the voice data storage chip (the MCU appears to only have 8K ROM, which I doubt is sufficient for the voice prompts/confirmations).

Matching or close datasheets :

1. SC51P03A04SC1G ... Silan ... MCU ... 4K OTP & 4K MTP ... 128 RAM ... 4MHz Internal OSC ... 8MHz External Osc

2. IC401 ... 4558CM-E1 ... Advanced Analog Circuits ... dual opamp ... 5.5 MHz GBWP

3. IC402 ... M62429 ... Mitsubishi Electric ... serial data controlled dual variable analog gain

4. IC701 ... PAM8620 ... Diodes Incorporated ... 15W Stereo Class-D audio power amplifier

The BT module appears to have a CSR chip.

Thirdly, the voice storage chip must be elsewhere (I count 8 ICs + BT module). It is not close to the MCU and probably connects directly to the sound analog circuits, switched by a MCU control line. It may therefore be possible to simply disconnect the MCU control line and set the open i/p H or L as necessary.

Alternatively the voice chip o/p could be disconnected and the unused analog sound channel i/p set to the appropriate mean DC voltage via a resistor (the downline Class-D power amp has dual differential analog i/ps).

In fact the large number of standard identifiable chips and the small amount of ROM in the MCU are very encouraging, suggesting the voice function is localized to one chip and can be readily disabled via interconnections.

IC402 is the MCU driven (data & clk) stereo volume control chip, probably the last chip before the IC701 audio amp. Before this IC401, the dual opamp, could be in a dual summing configuration combining the voice chip and bluetooth stereo audio channels.

IC403, also an SOIC-8 package, would then be the voice chip, between the MCU and IC401. If the above is correct the MCU would simply alternatively select the BT module o/p or the voice chip o/p.

Data for the SOIC-8 package NV0x0C OTP voice chips, made by N-EC of China (not NEC of Japan) can be found at their website, Alibaba trade listings, and elsewhere. These appear to be exactly what is required. They have Busy, Key & Data digital controls and single ended (probably used) or differential o/p configuration.

Use Alibaba search terms : "NV040C" and "N-EC voice chip greeting card"

(select results that show the chips themselves), for parts of the data sheet including circuit diagrams. Other sites have further datasheet information including sample PIC code.

The website www.h-nec.com has chip options and description (must email for the datasheet however).

If you upload a higher resolution image of the board and of the individual chips, particularly IC401 & IC403, it is likely that tracks/pins to disconnect/modify can be identified.

The other ICs to the LHS of the audio amp and near the inductors are probably DC2DC converters and a battery charging circuit, however for the sake of completeness it would be neat to have their markings as well.

I am considering a similar product where I too would like to disable the voice prompts/confirmations, and I see a number of other people with the same interest.

ZachH471 year ago

How did ya'll take it apart? I'm trying to repair the charging port right now

AlanN40 ZachH4711 months ago

Did you get a response to this question? My charging port needs repair but I need to know how to get the case open. Thx

tmankster1 year ago

This is a question that does not have to do with modifying a life jacket 2, but a problem I am having and can not find the answer anywhere. When my speakers are totally charged, even plugged in, they power off on their own after being on for 15 minutes. It is 15 minutes exactly. Does anyone know how to change this??

MikeP1381 year ago

HI I WONDER ARE YOU AWARE OF THE ALTEC LANSING MINI LIFEJACKET 2 AND IT'S MAJOR PROBLEM OF NOT BEING ABLE TO TURN IT ON. ? I PURCHASED AT TARGET BLACK FRIDAY 2015. I'M A CAREFUL RESPECTFUL ADULT. LIGHT USE OF THE PRODUCT. I DON'T BELEIVE I REGISTERED IT AT PURCHASE. SO I THINK ALTEC WILL TELL ME TO TAKE A HIIKE. VERY EXPENSIVE HIKE. ONE I CAN'T AFFORD . PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU KNOW HOW I CAN RESOLVE THE PROBLEM . THANK YOU

HowardN31 year ago

I also contacted Altec's support about the full volume notifications, but received no reply. I power mine on and off at my office, so I have to put both hands over the speakers to try to mute the sound some so it doesn't disturb everyone else...but it's STILL loud! I was thinking about adding a speaker disable toggle switch that's mounted on the outside of the case. I could just shut that off at power on for x number of seconds until it's "safe" to turn them back on (or just leave it off after power down, then turn them back on at the next power up "safe" time). I'd like to know if anyone found an easy way to do that before I start tearing into it.

TravisN91 year ago

I would really like to know how to lower the power on and off voice thing also. scares the crap out of me! Please if you find anything on that let us know

Crusty-Bobcat (author) 2 years ago

So I decided to gut the entire thing and stick it in a electric pencil sharpener shell.

I ordered all new parts to stuff inside the waterproof enclosure.

Perhaps I'll make an Instructable on the "upgrade".
I have everything ordered except a bluetooth module, since I'm unsure of which to get where I can have control over it while also maintaining the waterproof aspect of it.
I'll probably just have to leave it as external.

Your not going to be able to disable the voice. Even if you figure out which chip is the ROM for the voice, disabling it may prevent the system from working all together. Chances are the ROM with the voice also contains other key bits of code to run the whole system. But start putting all the text on the chips through google and see what comes up. Though most of them will be custom chips and you won't find any data on them. I can tell you the section in the upper left corner is the bluetooth module.