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npsingh123 30-06-11 01:59 PM

iBall Tarang 2.1 Review, Modding and Use with Mobile
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iBall Tarang 2.1 Review, Modding and Use with Mobile

I was looking for some good 2.1 speakers because I wanted a subwoofer and I don't see the point of 4.1, 5.1 and 7.1. To travel light, I gave my Harman Kardon 2.1 to my brother in Delhi when I came to Bangalore.

In my hunt for a 2.1 Speaker Set I found that there was a certain speaker from Intex which was highly recommended but I could not find any mention of it on web (web=Google) apart from just one post. I bought these speakers on 2nd Oct 2009. The shops were open but empty. I inquired about the prices of Creative SBS A100 at a few shops and they were in close agreement. It seems that all shops stock Creative.

Big Bazaar (ITPL) prices from that month
SBS a3000 2099
iBall Tarang 2.1 1575
Logitech R20 1249
Logitech x210 1999
Umax 980 UBB (FM inbuilt) 1400

I finally entered a shop and asked for 2.1 speakers. I was shown 1121 Altec Lansing and (AL) 1221 for another AL model It seems the current range of Altec Lansing is overrated. People recommend it without even having seen it. Also that 1121 model was in a strange shape. I was not interested to have a conversation starter piece and just wanted a normal speaker so just asked for the demo of 1221.

The shop keeper was not very open to this but I just asked for power on test. I am glad that I did. The unit inside did not have the Indian power connection. Though, there was an adapter kept inside but you never know. He then volunteered to play some songs on this. The speakers were plastic and thinly built. There was lots of distortion and they did not sound 15W,15W +30 Woofer. Being a slow day, I asked the shopkeeper for the demo of iBall 2.1 (Tarang 2.1). This was quoted @ INR 1375 + tax @ 4%. Shopkeeper agreed to sell me iBall because it is slightly more expensive.

This speaker can be very loud for a single room but very clear and is still to distort on me. I am very happy with the speakers though now there is a model with remote and FM built in it. You can find TDA2030 datasheet on web which will tell you which parts to change for more or less gain. The speakers were a lot heavier than Creative or AL, I knew about the weight when I was browsing in Big Bazaar ITPL. And it did sound way better. I am very happy with these. It is near impossible to get a speaker demo in a market like Nehru Place (New Delhi) , Lamington road (Mumbai) or Marathalli/SJP Road (Bangalore). I would suggest you to hear it first and ask for the exact model because quality differs from model to model in the same company.

This speaker is very well made but has low treble response (for my liking). We will soon change it.

Modding the speaker set

This system has 3 TDA2030 ICs inside (basically 3 amp for 3 speakers).TDA2030 is a power Op Amp. These type of chips use very little external components and hence you are almost guaranteed a very high quality amplifier. In an op AMP, most of the gain/freq response can be set using resistors.

TDA2030 Datasheet: TDA2030 . You can see the relevant part in the image

I was not happy with the treble response so I changed two 30K resisters to 100 K. Left side resistor is labeled R11 and Right side as R12. I did not have tweezers so ended up putting the resistors on PCB side. This will increase treble gain about 3.3 times.
That is all to this mod. You need to open only the screws in red rectangles to get access to inside parts.

R11 as seen from top

Modding a MTK based headphone cable to use standard audio jack

This will enable you to use your high-end headphones or speaker set to play your MP3 etc. MTK is the most common chipset used in generic mobiles. Most phones have mobiles but they need to have the headphones connected to start the FM subsystem. All we need to put a small load on the headphone output to make the mobile happy and believe that the headphones are connected.

You need to find a spare headphone to cut. They have a central portion where you can speak in the microphone and also mute it if needed. You also need a headphone jack. Since I cannot find a name for this, you can ask for an Audio extension socket and show the image

You have two choices. You can put the resistor in the audio jack or the Capsule. Since I will never use my mobile when driving etc, I decided to sacrifice the capsule + 15 cm from the headphone cable. Soldering two resistors in the Audio jack is harder of the two.

How a new Audio connector looks like

Resistor soldered. This will be wrapped in tape and the capsule re-sealed.

Audio cable to feed into an amp/Soundcard etc

Ground, Left and Right soldered in place

Open the capsule on the headphone cord and remove the parts there. We don't need the parts to the right of the capsule so cut them after say 15cm. These headphone cables are coated so you need some patience and a rather hot soldering iron. You need to connect the Audio Jack to the cables. Ground to the outer terminal and one to left and other to the right.Identify which is the ground cable and which two are the sound output cables (Left/Right). Connect a 2k resistor (value is not important but I tested it with a 2k piece) between the ground and either of the headphone wires. On one of the cables, your mobile should say "Headphoned connected". You can just one resistor but I have found that some mobiles use left side and some use right side to detect a connected headphone. You can use two resistors and make a universal cable.

Part 3
You need to buy a two sided cable. Connect one end to the blue hole in sound card and one to the mobile. You can use the Windows XP mixer to control the volumes along with Mobile and the External speakers. This will enable you to use the same speaker for FM and PC though if you want to play only FM then you need to make a small external mixer. That is a project for another day.

Disclaimer: This modification voids the warranty and is operates on mains voltage.

MOZ 24-07-11 03:07 PM

Re: iBall Tarang 2.1 Review, Modding and Use with Mobile
Nice VFM speakers and great jugaad!

SidK!! 24-07-11 04:02 PM

Re: iBall Tarang 2.1 Review, Modding and Use with Mobile
Nice guide but how is this a review? :D

npsingh123 24-07-11 04:15 PM

Re: iBall Tarang 2.1 Review, Modding and Use with Mobile
It is not much of a review but I wanted to tell that these speakers are very good for the price. My focus was on the modding part.

---------- Post added at 04:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:10 PM ----------

The external jugaad is not needed for Mobiles which output in a Mini B usb File:Types-usb new.svg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . But for other types like older spice and other models it may still make sense.

And yes, these are VFM speakers indeed.

---------- Post added at 04:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:12 PM ----------

Actually it is a Mini A USB.

JD666 28-07-11 11:04 AM

Re: iBall Tarang 2.1 Review, Modding and Use with Mobile
whats the RMS output of this system like? Im planning to use this to power a 5 inch sub with a 120-150 hz LPF. you think it will work???

npsingh123 28-07-11 12:26 PM

Re: iBall Tarang 2.1 Review, Modding and Use with Mobile
Sub-Woofer RMS Power: 20 Watts RMS max.
Satellite RMS Power: 10 Watts RMS each
Total RMS Power Output: 40 Watts RMS max.

It will of course work. How well is not clear at this stage.

But in case you want to goto that lengths then there must be several cheaper kits in India. You may also try a gainclone.

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