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Xd-v Handhelds: Battery Caps Cracking Fix?


Best Answer RonMarton , 28 June 2013 - 02:50 PM

Great analysis, PW !

RichG, toneman2121 and I are hoping that (when my "o" ring kit eventually arrives) the placement of a captive neoprene "buffer" (right where your prophetic "maybe" arrow points in pic 3) will give enough "stop screwing" feedback to prevent the cracking of that incorrectly angled edge.

BTW, you'll have noticed that there's no way that "stop screwing" can be PC...

...and my Mac utterly rejects anything PC, especially on the weekend.

[Later update...]

Here's a link to what I now believe may be a viable D.I.Y. "fix" for this problem:

http://line6.com/sup...xd-v-handhelds/ Go to the full post


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#1 RichG

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 08:04 AM

I have a bunch of XD-V70's.  Over time I've noticed flanging and cracking at the top of the battery cap where the cap threads bottom out against the microphone housing.  To prevent this I drop a quarter-sized washer that's about the thickness of two quarters into the bottom of the battery cap before putting it on the microphone.  Doing this prevents the top of the cap from being forced onto the mic housing.  The bottom of the battery holder now hits the inside bottom of the cap.  This seems to have stopped the caps from cracking.  I'm not sure if it's going to result in other problems yet, but so far it seems to be working.


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#2 RonMarton

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 04:52 PM

...I drop a quarter-sized washer that's about the thickness of two quarters into the bottom of the battery cap before putting it on the microphone.  Doing this prevents the top of the cap from being forced onto the mic housing...  ...I'm not sure if it's going to result in other problems yet, but so far it seems to be working.

 

Hats off !

 

That's a truly ingenious solution, RichG...

 

...PROVIDED that the spacing washer employed is plastic, or, even better, (for friction reasons) nylon, but definitely NOT metal or carbon fibre.

 

I apologise for telling some what they already know, but for others it's worth repeating that the transmitting antenna of the handheld is located directly adjacent to where that spacing washer would sit, so any metal there may severely restrict the effective range of the transmitter.

 

The only other possible issue that springs to mind might be that this cure for a physical problem, being one that occasionally arises with the easily (and cheaply) replaceable battery cap, https://www.globalfu...ode=97-000-0009 may eventually cause another that's harder and more expensive to solve.

 

Like you, I'm thinking that the repeated possible "forcing" of a non-ferrous spacing washer up against those internal structures might eventually cause some sort of pressure-related failure in them, ...but only time will tell. 


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#3 PaleWriter

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:30 PM

It is quite clear to most owners of these handhelds that the battery cap is EXTREMELY prone to failure where its uber-thin edge meets the body or barrel of the mic just above the threads - because the physics of the design make it possible for the most limp-wristed granny to twist it to failure.  Let's not mince words here: this is a poorly thought out and totally unnecessary DESIGN FLAW! Twisting the cap to tighten it to what feels "normal" to any healthy, reasonably experienced human being should NOT force breakage by an inherent WEDGE action built-in by (lack of) design!  That IS the nature of the problem here, which is easily proven by CLOSE examination of the lines, angles and shapes and consideration of the absurd expectation of the tensile strength of a piece of plastic only 30 THOUSANDTHS of an inch thick, which is all that tiny lip is!  Then it's approaching face is angled such that tightening tends to force it to expand outwards rather than but up squarely and STOP.  

 

What is totally lacking here is an appropriate and definite stop against which safe and sane tactile feedback will not cause breakage.  RichG's approach, while ingenious and adequately protective of the frail lip that always breaks, is definitely shifting the force to a piece that's already documented elsewhere to be suspiciously weak in design.  While it MAY prove to work for some for a reasonable length of time, if the washer material AND thickness happen to fit just right, what of the bigger question:

 

why is Line6 working SO HARD to totally DENY their error and DODGE their responsibility?

 

Yes, Ron, it's an EASY fix, but because the (not) CHEAP (enough, IMO) part sports the exact same design (NO improvement has been made, to my knowledge) it is simply a matter of time before the same problem returns.  Trying to hold it from being over-tightened with tape is NOT a solution, either.  

 

Instead of gearing up to produce hordes of replacements that still lack a REAL FIX, why not apply some sufficiently savvy engineer to come up with something that would restore the confidence of consumers like ME, who have been hung out to dry because we put OUR reputations on the LINE by suggesting Line6 equipment for clients purchases?  This certainly doesn't make it easy to sell MORE of these systems, as one should easily imagine!

 

Sometimes management by spreadsheet leaves much to be desired.  I guess my first question right now is: will this post even make the cut???

 

Man up here, Line6!

 

pw


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#4 toneman2121

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:55 PM

this pisses me off.. and i don't even own one. why the lolipop do they cost $15. i'd welcome a picture

 

 

 

plus shipping


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#5 RonMarton

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 03:04 PM

Sometimes management by spreadsheet leaves much to be desired.  I guess my first question right now is: will this post even make the cut???

 

Great post, Pale Writer...

 

(Clint Eastwood fan ? ..."Pale Rider" ? )

 

...and speaking from the perspective of someone with a long-standing aversion to the spreadsheet and mouse-click mentality, I hugely enjoyed your "call it like it is" approach.

 

I also happen to be the owner of five of those handhelds. (An owner who has neither affiliation with, nor any particular loyalty to Line 6, or any other supplier or manufacturer.)

 

None of mine actually having cracked and the fact of anything else out there having comparable sonic quality being far more expensive in no way detract from the points you've made.

 

It's just that Rich G and I are simply trying for a "real world" way to continue enjoying our great sound, fabulous modelling power and wireless flexibility at a "bargain" price.


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#6 toneman2121

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 03:43 PM

man, you sure talk good. gooder then me, anyways. clint's great. grew up with him in rawhide. my old man loved him.

 

yeah, i understand where your coming from but if you can't torque it down past a certain point, there should be some type of band at that point to prevent this type of damage. like the old style pens have a small metal band between the top and bottom barrel. jus' thinkin'. ^_^ still $15 for a piece of plastic?


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#7 RonMarton

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 05:46 PM

Like, lotser folk talk gooder dan wot I duz, fershoor.

But, I wuz kinda glad (like) dat plain speakin' did "...make the cut." ...and even though it seems that later iterations of the handhelds are less prone to that "fractured cap" and other breakage problems, Line 6 really should not only be investigating a more robust solution, but also providing free beers for those who've pointed this out.

...still $15 for a piece of plastic?


I guess that I've become "conditioned" (over many years) to the exorbitant prices that are charged for showbiz-related and technical "spares", such as three cent bits of urethane foam that cost fifty bucks because they happen to fit over a microphone.

However, Line 6 are nowhere in Sennheiser's league (to give just one example) when it comes to value for money.

Instead of just one bit of dull grey plastic for $15, Sennheiser give us eight, (count 'em, 8) each a different colour, for less than $2.15 apiece !

http://www.bhphotovi..._Evolution.html
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#8 toneman2121

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 05:59 PM

:lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:


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#9 RichG

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 07:39 AM

PaleWriter: Nicely said!  I've had my reservations about the battery cap ever since I first held the mic.  I had been using a Sennheiser mic before the Line6.  The whole battery compartment/cap/holder of the Sennheiser feels/is more robust than the Line6.  In the Line6 Mic there is one Torx bolt that holds the battery holder to the top half.  It is easily field replaceable.  If a few good engineers were put to the task I'm sure they could come up with something that is sturdier than the existing design.

 

Until something new comes out- not saying it will... chances are it won't... we have to do something to prevent these caps from cracking at the interface.  As you pointed out, It doesn't take much torque for the top of the cap to flange out and crack.  Here's a few ideas I'll toss around:

 

1. Washer in the bottom

I've tried this and it works... at least it keeps one from overtightening the cap to where it flanges & cracks at the interface.  As RonMarton pointed out, don't use a metal washer because the antenna is on a circuit board right at the bottom of the mic.  Actually, the washer I used was metal.  I didn't notice any range degredation, but then again it was used on a small stage where the furthest distance from the receiver was less than 25'.

 

2. Put some kind of spacer between the top half and the cap

Thanks to toneman2121 for the idea- Put something between the top and the cap so the cap doesn't flange out.  I'm thinking a rubber band or o-ring.  The cap could be made snug against the rubber material which would also prevent it from backing off.

 

3. Remove material from the top of the cap.

If you don't want to put a washer inside the cap to prevent the cap from butting up against the top, then why not remove some material from the top of the cap so it "bottoms out" before hitting the top?  Just rub the cap opening on some 150 grit sandpaper to remove the material.

 

4. Strengthen the top of the battery cap.

I've wrapped black gaf tape around the top of the cap to prevent cracks from growing.  It looks bad, but at least it holds everything together.  Maybe some sort of worm gear/pipe clamp would be sturdier?... but again, the asthetics of it is not very "TV" friendly.


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#10 RonMarton

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:54 AM

2. Put some kind of spacer between the top half and the cap
Thanks to toneman2121 for the idea- Put something between the top and the cap so the cap doesn't flange out. I'm thinking a rubber band or o-ring. The cap could be made snug against the rubber material which would also prevent it from backing off.


Maybe gambling $15 USD for this huge selection of neoprene "o" rings might yield a perfectly fitting "shock absorber" that would also look the part, "like an original".

http://www.oringsusa...ooaktap6m8hfhl5

(The rest might be handy elsewhere.)

I'll try something similar from an Australian supplier (when time permits) and get back with a report, unless someone else "beats me to it".

As his Southern Hemisphere Agent, I'm wondering what royalty payments we should ask RichG's attorneys to negotiate in the event that this solution is adopted ?

Edited by RonMarton, 26 June 2013 - 09:46 AM.
Ditched toneman2121's agency agreement in favour of RichG

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#11 toneman2121

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:19 AM

As his Southern Hemisphere Agent, I'm wondering what royalty payments we should ask toneman121's attorneys to negotiate in the event that this solution is adopted ? 

roll with it. you have my blessing :P

 

Maybe gambling $15 USD for this huge selection of neoprene "o" rings might yield a perfectly fitting "shock absorber" that would also look the part, "like an original"

 

2. Put some kind of spacer between the top half and the cap

Thanks to toneman2121 for the idea- Put something between the top and the cap so the cap doesn't flange out.  I'm thinking a rubber band or o-ring.  The cap could be made snug against the rubber material which would also prevent it from backing off.


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#12 RonMarton

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:37 AM

A quick update, Hand-Helders...

The Australian supplier no longer stocks "multi sized" kits of neoprene "o" rings, so I've just ordered that kit from the O-Rings Inc. USA.

http://www.oringsusa...ooaktap6m8hfhl5

It will take a week or two to reach me via the MyUS forwarding agency and I'll report back as promised.

If it doesn't work out, I'll deduct all costs from the beers I would have bought toneman2121 when we eventually end up meeting in some post-gig gutter.

Whatever happens, details of the remaining "o" rings' implementation shall remain strictly confidential. (So don't ask.)


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#13 PaleWriter

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 02:11 PM

Oh, for PETE!  Now they can't even PROVIDE them: they're OUT OF STOCK!  How about fessing up to the IMPORTANT stats: just HOW MANY of these REPLACEMENTS have they sold, relative to total HH unit sales, I would like to know!?!?!?!?

 

This is really starting to you're in eight me un-on!

 

RichG: I was actually thinking of trying your opt #3 on a new one, IF I can lay my grubby little paws ON one!

 

ToneMan: I'll see if I can setup a tight enough super-macro to show the problematic angles.  

 

RonM: Given the angled lip of the cap, I'd guess that it will be tough to find an O-ring that will actually help.  Perhaps a round gasket w/ a square cross-section, like the decorative chrome ring used in old ball-point pens as ToneMan described....  That PLUS sanding the lip down far enough (about 0.030") to make it also square, and I think it would be solid enough.  Finding that round gasket (ID == 1.327", OD = 1.388") may not be easy.

 

I'm thinking this would be a reasonable fix for Line6 to test and, if proven, provide to us (with an appropriate apology).  How much longer should I hold my breath?  Maybe I should just go ahead and gear up to make those spacers and mass-mod caps for folks.  Yeah, there's my ticket to Paradise!!!

 

Emily Litella's "Nevermind!" comes to mind....

 

pw


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#14 RonMarton

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 07:58 PM

My nomination for this year's (if not this century's) "Greatest Contribution to the Language" award:

 

 

This is really starting to you're in eight me un-on!


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#15 RichG

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:17 PM

How about fessing up to the IMPORTANT stats: just HOW MANY of these REPLACEMENTS have they sold, relative to total HH unit sales, I would like to know!?!?!?!?

I have 4 HH's. I got 3 of them used so I'm not to sure of their history. I can say that two of the three showed up with cracks in the cap. The 4th one has had two caps crack. Based on this I'd say the ratio of cracked caps to HH's is... 1:1. They should probably come with a spare cap when purchased new.

Overall, I think any solution we come up with is just a band-aide for the real problem. That problem being the entire battery housing design. Some design changes that come to mind are:
  • Housing / Cap threads are too coarse (check out the Sennheiser for an example)
  • Battery holder is too flimsy. When the batteries are inserted sometimes the force is enough that the flip down lid doesn't latch. Remove lid or get a better latch.
  • The type of plastic used is too brittle. Use a different material. Metal if possible.
  • The interface between Cap and main housing needs to be such that it doesn't flange-out the cap. Make cap thicker and eliminate angled interface.
The main design goals should be to provide a reliable method of holding two AA batteries, allows for quick battery change, can withstand "normal" torquing when reapplying the cap, and can withstand a drop (4 foot? maybe 5?) at various angles (30, 45, 60, 90)... oh, and doesn't interfere with operational range.

When Line6 acquired the X2 line they made great improvements on the belt pack. It's a shame the HH's didn't follow the same robust model.
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#16 RonMarton

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:59 PM

I have 4 HH's. I got 3 of them used so I'm not to sure of their history. I can say that two of the three showed up with cracks in the cap. The 4th one has had two caps crack. Based on this I'd say the ratio of cracked caps to HH's is... 1:1. They should probably come with a spare cap when purchased new.

 

While in no way excusing the perceived inadequacy of their design, I've yet to experience cracking in any of my four V70 (coming up to two years of operation) plus one V75 (nearly a year) handhelds, so the earlier ones would seem to be more prone to failure.

 

Discussion of their actual cost notwithstanding, it is nonetheless my opinion (one that I would seem to share with PaleWriter) that Line 6's failure to keep adequate stocks of replacement battery caps is negligence bordering on criminality.

 

1. Battery holder is too flimsy. When the batteries are inserted sometimes the force is enough that the flip down lid doesn't latch. Remove lid or get a better latch.

 

2. The type of plastic used is too brittle. Use a different material. Metal if possible.

 

A metal (or carbon fibre) battery holder and/or cap would force a major re-design for RF propagation (no bad thing for the next model, I reckon) and probably one that would employ an external transmitting antenna, such as the rubber-enclosed version that protrudes from TBP12 beltpacks, or the somewhat trapezoidal (and colour-codeable) plastic appendage that's attached to Sennheiser's handhelds.

 

SKM135G3-A-medium.jpg

 

Additional cost would probably exclude the use of exotic polycarbonates. 


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#17 Sheriton

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:51 AM

Seems they've just released a new version of the handheld - the V75-SC. I wonder what the battery cap is like on that one...


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#18 RonMarton

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 03:19 AM

Seems they've just released a new version of the handheld - the V75-SC. I wonder what the battery cap is like on that one...

 

Well, Sheriton,

 

It appears to be a transmitter that's identical (in every way, including the battery cap) to the current XD-V75, but with a new Line 6 supercardioid capsule, as distinct from the cardioids that were the only Line 6 capsule available prior to its release.

 

There's also yet another capsule on the way, ...a hypercardioid. 


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#19 PaleWriter

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 10:41 AM

Well, if I may BUTT IN again?

 

Without digging out MY super-macro setup (where a fruit fly fills the frame) I submit my attempts to splain myself, Lucy, by these photos of the angles in question (in my questionable gray matter).  Not sure how this board works w/ posting pix, and I really NEED to be getting on to my Honey-do list before I get BUSTED, so I hope this turns out for y'all.

 

The 1st is an overview showing a piece of the lip (top right) approaching the base (to left) against which it gets forced.

 

The 2nd shows the dainty cross-section of the lip with the wedge pointed in red.

 

The 3rd looks at wedge shapes of the base.  Perhaps the "maybe" in red is cleared by the afore-mentioned wedge of the lip, but my observation of the working of this tells me that this design is DESTINED TO FAIL.  NO DOUBT AT ALL!

 

The 4th simply re-examines the "probable" slope of pic#3.

 

None of these examine the action of the threads, another possible point of wedging outward, but my entire point is that there is nothing REMOTELY appropriate in this design functioning as a positive stop against which a reasonable application of torque will stop without undue forces upon the dainty little plastic lip.

 

Any questions?

 

Fine.

 

Start reading the next chapter.  No quiz Monday.  Have a reasonable week-end.

 

pw

 

 

PS - RonM - That's PC speak.

 

(Positive Commentary Poised Cautiously Perhaps Conveying Potentially Controversial Personally Chosen Poignant Content Postulated Clearly)

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  • Attached File  lip.jpg   32.66KB   36 downloads
  • Attached File  base.jpg   31.95KB   34 downloads
  • Attached File  wedge.jpg   29.38KB   24 downloads

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#20 RonMarton

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 02:50 PM   Best Answer

Great analysis, PW !

RichG, toneman2121 and I are hoping that (when my "o" ring kit eventually arrives) the placement of a captive neoprene "buffer" (right where your prophetic "maybe" arrow points in pic 3) will give enough "stop screwing" feedback to prevent the cracking of that incorrectly angled edge.

BTW, you'll have noticed that there's no way that "stop screwing" can be PC...

...and my Mac utterly rejects anything PC, especially on the weekend.

[Later update...]

Here's a link to what I now believe may be a viable D.I.Y. "fix" for this problem:

http://line6.com/sup...xd-v-handhelds/

Edited by RonMarton, 13 July 2013 - 04:35 AM.
A link to my proposal of a probable D.I.Y. solution to the problem.

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