Bluetooth Speaker for Sparty

#vanlife .

When we stayed in Hopedale the hosts had a small Bluetooth speaker for us to use. It got me to thinking it would be great to have that with our van Sparty’s radio.

I borrowed their Oontz speaker to test it and it did not work. Sadly Sparty’s Bluetooth was meant for taking music in, not sending it out. I tried several other speakers and they would not connect.

When I searched on-line, I found people connecting rear speakers but not Bluetooth speakers. For rear speakers they were using the optional upfitters rear speaker connector located at the base of the pillar at the passenger door. More info on that here and here

Initially I was looking to use that rear speaker connector and install a blue tooth transmitter in that space. However those transmitters are often finicky and I did not want to take that plastic cover off if I needed to hit reset. My friend suggested a great little rechargable transmitter that could be more accessible. Adding a headphone jack wired to the upfitters connector made more sense.

We ordered a transmitter, female jack and the Oontz speaker from Amazon. The speaker worked great but the jack and the transmitter were both defective. My friend had another transmitter I could use and he was able to fix the bad jack.

We stuck tinned wire ends into the upfitters connector and added strips of aluminum foil to tighten them up with electrical tape to hold everything in place. We tested it before closing it up and discovered we had swapped the wires and were only getting sound on one side. Cut off all the electrical tape, swap some wires, a new batch of electrical tape and it worked fine. Drill a hole in the plastic cover, install the female connector in the black cover and put the cover back on done…almost.

Now the radio needs know it has more speakers. I watched this video out for that. In short, press the radio, media and browse/enter buttons together to enter programing mode. Go to the audio tab and add 2 speakers to make it 8(0x08).

Now we can sit in the back or outside listening to our satellite radio from a great speaker.

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