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Variax And Wireless

variax 89f g50 wireless relay

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#1 BluesPlayer76

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 08:55 AM

Hey all -

 

Well, my JTV 89F is on the Fed Ex truck as I eagerly await it's arrival.  I'm in a country rock / classic rock band so the Tele / banjo/ 12 string / acoustic models will come in handy.

 

When we gig, I have a DT50 half stack and the HD500, my Ibanez Prestiege and strat, and my G50 wireless.  THe wireless has been flawless in execution.  We try to put on a show, not just stand there and play, and our band has a real frontman who hangs back when I have a solo or whatever so I move around a lot.between my "spot" and the front of the stage and of course sometimes down with the audience and it's helpful on sound checks too.

 

I realized last night that the VDI cable that does not come with the guitar has no wireless option.  As this is just a glorified/fortified ethernet cable, the wireless soluton should be relatively straight forward with the  802.11n protocal. this is only going a short local distance, not a home clunky network and not subject to network traffic slow downs.

 

Oddly, I find little on the subject.  I'm surprised - I would think the demand would be there.  Unless there just aren't that many people gigging with Variax.  I hate having cords underfoot.

 

What I will have to do is use a guitar cable as before and just not keep my JTV models stored in my presets, or use the VDI cable for one set and switch back to a chord when I want to do sound checks, etc.  That kinda sucks.  The dream rig just had an anxiety dream moment.

 

Any ideas/thoughts/hope?

 

-S

 

 


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#2 rchibnik

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:08 AM

This is commonly requested feature, but regrettably not available.

 

While the cable is a CAT5E with the same pin configuration as Ethernet,  the VDI protocol is not packet based like Ethernet. Instead, Line6 uses the four pairs for bi-directional digital signals. It gives them a lot of flexibility, and provides a reliable connection to move a lot of data. Maybe they'll come up with a wireless protocol ... I hope they will.

 

 

The maximum length, according to Line6, is 50'.


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#3 stevekc

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:29 AM

Most Variax Wireless folks use the 1/4" out to feed a typical wireless guitar system.

 

Although the VDI cable connection looks like a Cat-45 cable - ITS IS NOT ETHERNET, and will NOT work with Ethetrnet Routetrs, etc.

 

 

]http://line6.com/sup...ax+midi+AES.jpg


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#4 BluesPlayer76

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:29 AM

Thank you for the reply, rchibnik.

 

Ugh - the last time I used a cord on stage it got wedge into my volume pedal and I couldn't turn up  - i had to kick it out.  The longer the cable the bigger the pile to stand on when you're not using the length.

 

Thanks for the exlanation though.  I wonder though - "move a lot of data" - I wonder how much data that really is.  I'm a programmer (C++/Java/Javascript) but obviuosly don't anything about the data and meta data used for their modeling and tuning communication.  I would think it would have to be optimized or else they wouldn't have developed a proprietary protocal. My point is, and this is conjecture - I'm not telling you your're wrong - that I don't thnk it could be that much data.

 

Then again I may well be flat out wrong.  Either way I'm going to have ot compromise a bit to get what I want on stage.  Dang it.


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#5 BluesPlayer76

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:32 AM

Right Stevekc.  If it's not packet based it's not using the TCP/IP tech stack and a router wouldn't know what to do with it.

 

STILL a wireless solution shouldn't be challenging for them to do.


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#6 davidb7170

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 10:22 AM

As others pointed out, they are using the physical ethernet cable not in a packet-based ethernet manner... Mainly L6 is using the 4 pair cable for 4 paths: 1 for DC power to run the Variax, 1 for Variax model digital audio stream, 1 for digitized magnetic pickups digital audio stream, and one for 2 - way control Variax to HD500/Pro (knob parameter control) and HD500/Pro to Variax to switch models, set Tone, and set alternate tunings on the JTV. Theoretically you could do everything but power the guitar in a wireless device (use the battery), but it seems to me it'd make more sense to have a regular wireless 1/4" setup ready and either for-go the special control abilities, or run with VDI plugged in for needed special abilities, then unplug and go to wireless for those numbers that don't need the pedal to switch the JTV.... I use the VDI 100% of the time, but I'm not a "showy" player....

 

Dave


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#7 rchibnik

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 02:31 PM

Ugh - the last time I used a cord on stage it got wedge into my volume pedal and I couldn't turn up  - i had to kick it out.  The longer the cable the bigger the pile to stand on when you're not using the length.

 

I am ALWAYS getting the VDI caught in the HD volume pedal, no matter what I do. I would LOVE to have a VDI wireless setup.

 

I suspect they are using at least two of the pairs - one for the signal going from guitar to the pedal, like a typical guitar signal, but likely digital, but maybe its a straight analog. The other is some kind of talk back to the guitar, sending instructions for tuning and model. The POD to Variax is probably not a constant signal, but an instruction on patch change that the Variax listens for. Then again, maybe its sending a heart beat type signal.

 

Anyway, the system is relatively closed, so we may never know. Like you, I'm a software developer, and so find it  fun to speculate.


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#8 ooremy

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 01:32 AM

Just a thought: Integrate the Variax guts into the HD500X2, that way you can use any guitar and get the modeling, tunings & be able to go wireless. I just got my new JTV59 and love it. It plays/feels better than my LP Custom.


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#9 ShawnHeld

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 07:37 PM

I would like to see the next evolution of Pod/JTV be wireless without an intermediate receiver. All in one. And if it could also receive signal from an  XD-V55HS headset, it could all go out on the L6 link from one convenient location, right in front of the live performer with fewer cables and connections in the signal path. (Even though it is mostly digital)

Just a thought, it might not be possible.


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#10 snhirsch

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 07:15 AM

I am ALWAYS getting the VDI caught in the HD volume pedal, no matter what I do.

 

That's what duct tape was invented for :-)


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40 years of Rock-n-Roll and proud of it!

 

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#11 silverhead

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 07:46 AM

I think wireless VDI could probably be done for everything except power. You would need to make sure you have well charged backup batteries for the JTV, and keep an eye on the charge so you can swap before it dies mid-song.

 

I'd love to see it; I too get the VDI cable fighting with the expression pedal.


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#12 BigChas52

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:53 AM

Keep dreaming.  Sorry, ain't gonna happen.  Yes, it is possible, but you are also talking about it being expensive (2 way wireless communication), and chewing up 2 precious digital channels.

 

Remember, that Line 6 is in this to make a profit.  Without a profit there is no incentive to keep making cool stuff for us to purchase.  Folks have been asking for this for years now.  If Line 6 thought they could manufacture this, and sell it at a price point to be profitable, I'm sure they would.

 

As someone else pointed out in another thread on the same topic not too long ago, it's just one more thing to break during your performance!

 

That said, if someone wants to create this magical device, and figure a way to mass produce it efficiently, I'm sure that Line 6 would pay a tidy sum for your patent.  After all this time, I'm sure that the wizards at Line 6 HAVE thought about it.  :)


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#13 clay-man

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 12:35 PM

Of course a regular wireless system will work, but I'm sure people want to be able to use the VDI connectivity features when they think of wireless.

 

Obviously you HAVE to go battery, there's no way you can get power unless you're wired.


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#14 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 01:58 PM

Regular wireless and battery is the only option you will ever have with a Variax unless you want to kludge something up yourself.  I doesn't make sense for Line 6 to do a wireless system for the digital channels required to use the VDI.


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#15 BigChas52

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 03:04 PM

I use my Relay G50 with my Variax all the time.  Yes it would be great to have wireless VDI, but it WOULD be prohibitively expensive, as you're talking about 2 way wireless, and would probably eat up two channels.

 

I find it's really not that hard to change Variax settings on the fly without using the VDI.  It just takes some planning and practice :)


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#16 jakeman19

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:06 PM

I've read in an other post elsewhere here about someone moding a MIDI wireless unit to work with the VDI.

http://line6.com/sup...+midi +wireless

Worth a read at least.

Jd
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#17 orangekeeper2

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 11:42 AM

I've read in an other post elsewhere here about someone moding a MIDI wireless unit to work with the VDI.

http://line6.com/sup...+midi +wireless

Worth a read at least.

Jd

 

Hi Folks,

 

This was me and unfortunately I never got it to work. That said though, I strongly believe the idea was sound, but my knowledge of electronics is too poor to figure out where it's going wrong...

 

I KNOW that the HD500 will change the patches on my Variax 500 when it is connected to a spare 500 mainboard and only connected to my Variax with PIN 7 of the VDI being split.

 

I KNOW that I can send a midi signal over the air from the HD500 to a Wireless midi sender when I substitute that onto PIN 7. On my sender, I see the data light flash as I changed patches...

 

I THINK that the signal is being received successfully by the midi receiver (I see the data light flash), but when I connect it's output onto PIN 7 of the Variax 500, it doesn't change the patch.

 

I THINK this is due to me being unable to properly configure the voltage/current being sent from the midi receiver to the Variax...

 

 

 

If there are any old timers around, they might remember that this functionality has been asked for pretty much over a decade now, and Line 6 have done it before, without needing to modify anything within the Variax itself. They modified the firmware of the old Flagship Vetta amps in order to be able to send patch changes without having the variax physically connected. See here, from 2006http://www.vettavill...more.php?id=166

 

My vague understanding was that the Variax uses AES to send it's digital audio data to/from the PODs and this relies on a clock sync mechanism. Without the physical connection, the clock sync pulse is not initialised and so the connection isn't completed. I think that when Line 6 updated the Vetta, they added a soft switchable option which somehow removed the need for this. However this feature was never added to the HD, X3 or XT POD series... 

 

This is why I thought if I took an old spare variax mainboard, so I could trick the POD into thinking it was connected and for all intents and purposes, it did work in theory (As per the diagram in my post). I could just never figure out how to get the variax to receive the correct signal after it had been sent wireless....

 

I still have the kit and my request still stands... If someone is able to walk me through the electronics side of things, I'd be more than happy to test and feedback any progress.

 

However, in order for my idea to work practically for JTV, you'd need to purchase 2 JTV's, rip the guts out of one and use it to trick the POD. This is absolutely not cost effective, so the only practical solution is for L6 to somehow implement the same firmware change into the PODs, then release a wireless MIDI/Audio hybrid system...

 

So close, yet so far ;-)


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#18 jmpollard3

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 05:31 AM

I enjoyed reading this discussion and was confused / had a question about one of the posts on what signals actually come out of / go through the variax / VDI.

 

I've been looking at some of the more advanced presets for using the HD500 with a JTV and I recall seeing a video where you could have one "guitar" with standard tuning and another with say an alternate tuning (like a 3rd or 5th up/down) for doing harmony.  What wasn't clear was do I need to run both a 1/4 line AND a VDI cable or can it all get done with the VDI?  I'm also assuming I want the HD500 to change the models/tunings on the JTV when I select the preset.

 

My 2nd question would be is there ever a case where you would want to have both a 1/4 cable and VDI going to the HD500?

 

 


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#19 jandrio

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 01:19 AM

1stq:
vdi signal carries both the variax model AND the mags sound, so if u set input1=variax and input2=variax mags u have both sounds.
furthermore, u can force alt tuning 2 the JTV from a HD500 preset, so in this way u can obtain what u described.

2nd q:
practically speaking no.
however u cld send the 1/4 JTV out 2 the recording console 4 recording a dry signal.

here is mags+model patch:
http://line6.com/cus...ne/tone/409204/
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#20 ricstudioc

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 07:28 AM

That's what duct tape was invented for :-)

OR - order one (or two) of the cloth cables made by one of our locals (Dallas-something-or-other, I'm not at my home pc...), then just run a strip of male velcro down the sides of the HD.  Cable sticks well to it, lets you route it down either side.  And no sticky residual....


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#21 zaphodboy

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 07:34 AM

OR - order one (or two) of the cloth cables made by one of our locals (Dallas-something-or-other, I'm not at my home pc...), then just run a strip of male velcro down the sides of the HD.  Cable sticks well to it, lets you route it down either side.  And no sticky residual....

What a great idea! I'm definitely gonna try that.


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