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Hardwired Or CTX Headphone Connector For Excal?


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I am interested in changing out the headphones on my Excal. My intended use is diving down to a max of 30 ft. Would you all recommend a hardwired connection or a CTX-style connector? I can see advantages to both. With the CTX connector I can try different types of phones for underwater, but the hardwired connection may be less likely to leak. Any advice? Thank you!

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Hardwire only will be the more dependable setup. 

Now if your very relaxed about pulling the endcap off/on, why not have two endcap setups. One with the CTX connector and one with a stock set (Yellow) hard wired. The hardwired set will be your backup.

To insure CTX/excalibur endcap with the female M-12 8 pin fitting will last to 30 feet....

You have to aquaseal the small gap between the control pod and the endcap and seal both the allen set screws when installing. Aqua seal only, and a thin coat, I have found the more the easier it does peel off. 

Also important is to clean/rinse both connections, male and female M-12's OFTEN.

Make sure the endcap mod is done correctly, sealed correctly inside the endcap, with no crack if using a older stock endcap).. they are famous for fracturing. 

The M12-8 pin male fitting that the headphones use. If done correctly, filling the fitting with 2 part epoxy to seal the internal connection.


I did several hundred of the CTX M-12 endcaps years ago, never had a fail. I never recommended them for anything more than 10 feet for there are so many factors involved which could cause issues down the road. I've been using them since 2012 at one to two feet submerged (In saltwater) and to this day love the opp to swap head phones. 

Any question just ask...Good Luck!







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Many thanks Joe! One more question for you. Would you recommend speakers or piezos for diving? A guy in Ukraine sells end caps with CTX fittings and headphones created from Peltor Optime 1 and 65mm piezos on ebay. Has anyone tried these? Could be a bit dicey getting shipments from there right now.

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I know Anton, helped him with several questions. 

I'm not sure which would be best for diving, specially at 30 feet.   Just a guess, I would say the piezo can be sealed best and I think less apt to be affected by the pressure of 30 foot under....

Alton has asked which piezo's I used, I suggest he try both the 50mm and the 65mm's....Me...I like the audio of the 50mm Unlimited audio piezo for it is higher pitched (and works best with my hearing, diff reson frequency). when I tested the head phones on the second round AQ, Alexandra Tartar had found some 65mm's and used them on the set for the AQ and the audio was great, but the audio is a little bassier...  I did make a set of head phones using the 65mm, they are loud and the frequency is different..but the 50mm's work as well. I don't know of anyone that has used Altons.

I used the 65mm set that came with the Fisher AQ on the excalibur almost immediately, they are way better than the stock yellows. In Fact I recommended to Fisher they manufacture the new headset w/65's and sell them for all water machines..I was that impressed. Never heard a word.

So I don't think you can go wrong with Antons 65mm's, if his quality is good. Diving 30 feet, all though it does not sound to deep..it is tough on head phones, one little weak point and your looking at having issues sooner or later.

I think the stock yellows excalibur HP's use like a 40mm, been a while can't remember for sure, all I know is they maybe the worse headphones made. I use the 50mm mostly now, than pictured below is the 65's

Here are a few pics, and the Fisher set I tested that had a little weepage and you can see that they were going to have future issues. The problem was they used the stock base plate, which pushed the limits of the size of the 65 piezo and silicon.

First pic is the big 65 compared to the 50mm

Second is the Set of Fisher AQ HP's using the 65 mm

Third is the water damage

Forth the chart for the 65






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  • 3 months later...
On 12/30/2022 at 6:46 PM, BigSkyGuy said:

Joe, Thank you for the excellent post! I think most of the time i will be in less than 15 feet. I think I will order Anton's phones and report back on them. Hopefully there will be no issues shipping from Ukraine.

Thanks again!




Did you ever get the headphones from Anton for your Excalibur?  I am considering the same thing and I was curious if you went through with it.  If not, did you go with different headphones for your Excalibur at all?

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I received the phones from Ukraine but have not yet installed them. They look like pretty good quality, but I have no way to test them until I get the time to open up the Excal.

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Let me know when you have a chance to try out the headphones.  I am considering either a pair of Aqua-Tek headphones or the same ones you got from the Ukraine...

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  • 4 months later...

What is the goop material you cover the piezo with? Do you just set the piezo on the earpiece, or attach it somehow first?

I’ve got a set I’m rebuilding as the piezo’s were compromised and the black wire in the wiring totally corroded.

Is anyone making the rubber headband attach thingies yet with a 3D printer? Should be able to get away with plastic instead of rubber(?).

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I go with hardwired every time....coils and especially headphones. My conditions are hard on equipment....hunting in 2 to 3 foot breakers will just about force you to hard wire everything.

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