Built in wireless



  • Built in wireless

    I play only with my wireless link rather than a cable, it gets in the way. Since the receiver is pretty much permanently attached it seems silly to have it be battery powered and hanging outside the amp like it is.

    I also don’t like having to turn it on and off with the amp separately. They’re only used together. Charge the receiver? It’s attached to something already powered!

    Building the wireless in isn’t difficult and if you can already solder and have that equipment, and a wireless, it’ll cost less than 10 bucks more.

    There’s two parts to this, a standard wireless unit and a DC to DC converter to take the 19 volts from the power supply and turn it into whatever your wireless needs. In my case it was 3.7 volts. When you open your unit you’ll see the voltage of the battery printed on the case. If not, use a meter after charging it.

    I got a DC converter that’s adjustable with the little brass screw you can see in the photo. Some have a set voltage, either will work fine. Amazon sells these for just a few bucks each.

    First I popped open the wireless and removed the ¼ inch plug, save that for later. You’ll need it. I was going to attach the wireless board to the Spark’s main board by itself but the guitar shaped case made a nice insulating tray so I left it in there after grinding off a bit.

    Use the soldering iron to remove the battery. I don’t have a picture of mine but it’s a small 3.7 volt lithium. Next un-solder the phono jack input wires. Be careful it’s easy to damage the pads the input is soldered to.

    Next I used some of that really cool two sided gel tape to attach the receiver tray and the DC to DC converter on empty spots of the Spark’s main board. The gel tape is also a good insulator for the bottom of the DC to DC converter as it’s not in a plastic tray like the receiver.

    I’ve attached a switch on the rear panel to control the power going to the wireless if I want to go back to using a cord.

    To power the DC to DC converter I just soldered onto the switched connector of the Spark’s main switch. That goes to the new switch on the back of the amp. The Spark can be on with the wireless unpowered. At the same time if the wireless switch is left on it will be powered up and down by the main Spark switch.

    Leave the new switch on and it operates as you want. The wireless goes on and off with the amp but you can also turn it off with the amp still powered up for cord use.

    When you solder the output leads going to the amp from the wireless don’t use the ground pad. Use the USB connector for the output ground. It will now act as a strain relief keeping any damage from happening to the positive pad. Also, you must use shielded cable for this. Not only for the noise but for the strain relief. The thin red and white wires won’t be strong enough on their own.

    The power ground for both the DC converter and the receiver should be attached at the same spot on the board to keep noise down. I found a nice plated hole to use. There’s plenty of other spots though.

    On the left of the main picture you’ll see where I soldered the output of the wireless onto the jack input of the amp. There’s a few things about that. Use some strain relief. You’ll see a small zip tie holding that wire to a Spark set of wires right next to a plug. Your soldering spots are small. If you don’t strain relief that it’ll break after a while, maybe a few years. Next, reverse the wires as you see them in my picture. I have no idea why but on the Spark amp’s jack wiring red is negative and black is positive. When I took the picture I had it reversed, red to red….black to black. If you do this you will have no sound, no damage, but no sound.

    Now it’s time for that plug from the wireless that you saved. Guitar amps short out the input section when there’s no jack inserted to keep noise down. If you don’t put that plug from the wireless into the amp’s jack, you will have no sound. There’s no wires attached to this. It’s just plugged into the amp.
    Built in wireless! Enjoy.

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  • @mbthinline That's a great mod for those of us who might be handy with soldering and willing to void our warranty for the amp. Personally I don't find it a problem keeping my wireless units charged, but I do agree what you suggest would be a great mod if I were willing to attempt it. Thank you for sharing the detailed message explaining how to do it. It's amazing how clever so many members of the Spark community in adapting this great amp to make musical life better/easier for them.