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Onboard wireless...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Sundogue, Mar 27, 2009.


  1. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I used to use my Samson Airline wireless transmitter as an onboard wireless for my old passive bass. I removed the plug and hardwired the connection to my bass's input jack.

    I now have an active bass so when it's plugged in it drains the active preamp battery. Anyone have a quick, cheap idea where I could use my wireless onboard again in my new bass's control cavity? A kill switch? Would removing the transmitter battery be enough to kill the preamp connection even though it would still be hardwired to the input jack? I'm looking for something that would simulate unplugging the jack to keep the preamp battery from draining.

    Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks.

    Here's a few pics of my old onboard wireless setup...

    Samson Wireless transmitter out of case...

    [​IMG]

    Inside the control cavity...

    [​IMG]

    With the control cover plate on (with battery compartment cover)...

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I was thinking of adding two on/off switches to the front of my bass so I wouldn't need to expose any part of the transmitter, and all control would be with little switches on the front of bass.

    One on/off switch for the battery compartment (allowing me to leave the transmitter's on/off switch permanently on) and one on/off switch between the hardwired input jack wires (which I"m thinking would make an effective kill switch to the input jack, so it doesn't drain the battery).

    It is the cable plug making contact with both connections of the jack that engages the preamp, right? So if I put a kill switch between the wires form the transmitter to the input jack, that would remove one connection, which would be the same as unplugging my bass, right?

    Would this work?

    I kind of like the front switches for this as it would clean up the whole thing. Last time it was just a sloppy throw together job that worked (but not without some inconveniences...like the switches of the transmitter being on the back of the bass and having to tape the on/off in case I bumped the switch off). And this time I'd just use a separate battery box and wire it to the battery terminals of the transmitter (allowing me to only need the circuit board and antenna in the control cavity...easier placement of components).
     
  3. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I must be the proverbial "tree falling in the woods..."

    I can't believe I am the only one, out all the bass players on talkbass, that has put in an onboard wireless system.

    Nobody has any input on this?

    I guess I'll just pick up a battery compartment and some on/off toggle switches and try setting this up. I'll let everyone of me know how it goes. :D
     
  4. WOOFMAN

    WOOFMAN

    Mar 12, 2003
    USA, PNW
    May be add a push-pull volume switch on the bass. The push could disconnect the active supply(cut the circuit), while the pull would be for turning the bass on. Or something like that.
     
  5. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I already have a volume control (and a pickup blend knob, and two EQ controls).

    Perhaps I could replace the volume control with a push/pull control for that purpose. I'd still need an on/off switch for the wireless battery box (so I don't have to open the cavity cover to access the transmitter's on/off switch).

    If you look at the first pic it shows the transmitter circuit board with the attached on/off switch. In the pic where it's mounted in the old bass, I had it positioned to expose that switch. But I'd rather not have it exposed on the back of the bass (and risk bumping it while the bass rests against my body).

    It would be easier to put in two on/off switches on the front.

    I'd like to know if a kill switch between the wires running to the jack, and the jack would essentially "unplug" my wireless from the jack as I don't want to drain the preamp battery with a "permanent" wired connection. I think it would break the connection, but I'm not sure.
     
  6. people will accuse you of faking it when they don't see a cable going into the output jack :)

    I like the idea though, I would just put a switch inline between the jack and the + terminal of the battery, that should break the circuit nicely
     
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Onboard wireless would be great, but I have no where to put it. My control cavity is full of Bartolini preamp.
     
  8. Sundogue, I like this idea for passive. My active basses are too cramped for me to consider it. Maybe a photocell kill switch would work, but I'm no electrician.
     
  9. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    People have already done that...until I stopped playing for a moment...then they keep looking over my bass to see how in the heck I'm playing because they can't even see a wireless transmitter plugged in. ;)

    I got the idea from a photo of Kenny Chesney playing where he obviously did not have anything plugged into his guitar and people accused him of not actually playing. After more research I found out his guitar tech installed wireless units in all his guitars.
     
  10. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I have no idea how large other wireless circuit boards are, but if you look at the first pic in my post, that circuit board is just a tad over two inches long. I can easily mount it in my control cavity of my active bass. Tight fit with the little preamp and all the other stuff, but it will work.

    I also really have complete disregard for the construction of my basses. My basses are tools to be used as I need them. I never buy expensive basses, and never buy for resale value. I wouldn't even think twice about routing out an area for an onboard wireless and making a new cover for it, if that's what I wanted to do. But that's me. Since it would still look the same on the front (except for two switches I'd add for this project) I don't really care what it does to the value of it. My basses only have value to me if they do what I need them to do.

    These little Samson wireless units are about $300 new. The transmitter is so small, it could easily be installed in just about any bass. I'm even toying with the idea of mounting it inside with velcro and snap connectors for the wires, so I could move it from bass to bass if I wanted to. Of course, that wouldn't work live if I played with more than one bass Unless the control cavity cover was easily removable (but even then it would still take too much time).

    I did it as a matter of convenience before. It was so nice when the only thing I ever had to do to plug in and play was to simply turn a switch on. :)

    Onboard wireless units should be an option on any bass for an upcharge.
     
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I hear what you're saying. I don't have "big time" basses either. I don't mind modding, but I'd have to do a bit or routing to make it work - like an entire new compartment. I just don't have the tools or skills and living where I do, no real access to anyone who does.

    It would be great to have an X2 installed in the bass. The transmitter is larger than what you are using, but who knows how much or that is for the form factor.

    An intriguing idea for sure....
     
  12. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I'm sure most wireless circuit boards in the transmitters are much smaller than what they are encased in. The cases need room for a battery too and I can't imagine any wireless transmitter circuit board is very large. There's nothing to these things!

    The X2 transmitter case's outside dimensions are only 2.4" x 4" x .8". Since most of the width is for the battery I'm sure that isn't a very large circuit board.
     

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