ThinkGeek TShirt Sound System

New Sound System
Nov 10, 2009

This tutorial is based on the Thinkgeek Sound Tshirt
to be use in my R5 droid for a remote sound system.
Kudos to Andy S. for finding this.

What this setup (like the CFII, CFIII Cound Card and VMusic module)
allows is for you to chose a speciifc sound when desired. This makes
R2 seem more alive as it can react to different situations.

Items needed
1. Thinkgeek Personal Soundtrack Tshirt (
2. 12 Channel RF remote – go to ( and search
for “12ch rf remote”

There are a variety of remote control systems that can be used but
I prefer the 12 channel rf remote for several reasons
The RF stands for radio frequency which means that you do not
need line of sight as is needed for a infrared (IR) system
Also the price for such a system will not break the budget and
the wiring of the receiver is not overly complex and can be
easily done with tutorials such as this one.

Once you get familiar with the buttons and sounds you should be
able to access speciifc sounds by touch instead of having to look at
the remote.

Tools Needed
1. Screwdriver - to disassemble the Thinkgeek T-Shirt
2. Soldering gun - to Solder the variosu wires
3. Wire - I use 16 ga wire but heavier or lighter is fine

The Tshirt comes with a variety of sounds written on a
SD card. These will be replaced with your own sounds

Here is the layout of the numbered wires and corresponding buttons

Wire 1 + Wire 5 = Button 1
2 + 5 = 2
3 + 5 = 3
4 + 5 = 4
1 + 6 = 5
2 + 6 = 6
3 + 6 = 7
4 + 6 = 8
1 + 7 = 9
2 + 7 = 10
3 + 7 = 11
4 + 7 = 12
1 + 8 = 13
2 + 8 = 14
3 + 8 = 15
4 + 8 = 16
1 + 9 = 17
2 + 9 = 18
3 + 9 = 19
4 + 9 = 20

That's for all the sounds

1+ 10 = increase volume
2 + 10 = decrease volume
3 + 10 = Play/pause - useful if you have a very long sound file

Pin #10 is the white wire

We will be wiring the wires to all the NO (Nomrally open) relays.

You want the 12channel rf remote to be on momentary as opposed
to on/off. This means when you push the remote the relay will stay
on only momentarily. If it is set to on/off the remote will either
stay on or off until you press the corresponding button again.

In my case I am using only one remote with 10 sounds. The 11 and
12 buttons will be used to turn the volume up or down.

Check my other tutorials for using more then one remote if you want
all 20 sounds.

Note that wires 8 and 9 are not used.

Cost - it is one of the cheaper options for a sound system that can chose
a specific sound.

I find that there can be a slight delay from pressing the remote button and for the
sound to play
Some think the supplied speaker is not loud enough

If you are not happy with the sound level of the supplied speaker you can replace
the speaker and you can get an amplifier if needed. Some have found that a better
speaker is all they need. So far I have found the existing speaker to be good enough
for now.


Here is the 12ch rf remote receiver I got from ebay a while ago. This is the older
version. The newer version is slightly different in the way you chose the momentary
or on/off function. I am also not 100% sure if the polarity of the power supply is the
same so make sure before you apply power to the board.

I recommend you power up the board and check the remote to make sure you have the power
supply polarity correct, all the buttons work and that the relays are all set to momentary
instead of on/off. On momentary the relays will give you a double click for going on and off
If set to on/off the relay will click once when you push the button.

If you have a multimeter you could check to see which relay is the normally open contact
If you do not have one you can set up a quick light circuit to check. In the older unit the
terminals marked 1 and 2 are the nomrally open contact


Here is a wiring diagram of a circuit to check the relays. Here I have used a AA battery,
some wire and a 1.5V incandescent bulb. If you apply 12V power to the boards and then press
the No 1 button on the remote the receiver should click and the light bulb should go on.

Here is the main body of the Thinkgeek sound board. The numbers correspond to the supplied
sounds on the SD card that we will replace.

This is the back of the sound box with the battery cover removed and the locations
of the 4 screws that need to be removed to gain access to the inside of the board
for the wiring we will add. This wiring will allow me to use an external 6VDC power
supply instead of relying on batteries. I will use an auto car adaptor to change the
main 12VDC power supply in my droid to hte 6VDC power needed for the ThinkGeek Shirt

Before working on the sound box I have removed the speaker and the keypad wires
These are connectors that are just pulled out. They are handed so they will only install
one way. This makes working on the box much easier.

Here is the inside of the sound box. The arrows show where there are 2 holes
leading into the battery box which we will use.

Here is a wire I will be adding to the control box. They are split so they will be threaded
into the existing holes for soldering. Make note of which wire is soldered to the black wire
as this is the ground connector.

Here are the wires sticking into the inside of the control box

Not easy to see but the wires are now soldered to the exisitng leads

Now the messy part. You have to cut off the keypad and add wires to the end of the ribbon
to hook up the remote receiver. The wires are all soldered and then protected with heat
shrink tubing. Electrical tape will work here too.

It looks like a complete mess but if you follow the wiirng diagram bellow hopefuly
things will make sense.

You can use a Dan S power distribution board or in my case I used an cheap automotive
DC-DC converter. I cut off the 12V automotive plug and wired the power into my circuit.