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Interference Issues....Thoughts?


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#1 gbakerjr

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:32 AM

I'm hoping someone can help me diagnose drop-out problems with my Line6 wireless gear that has only started recently.  On stage I have the following wireless units:

 

Relay G90's - 2 (running RF2)

XD-V75 with handheld transmitter (running RF2)

WiFi Router (running at 5G) using an iPad to control a Behringer X32

**Side note - The Relays and V-75 receivers are mounted in the same rack.  External antennas are connected to one of the Relays, and then daisy chained from that Relay to the other Relay and V-75 in the rear.

 

Additionally, my drummer uses a Line6 wireless unit for his Crown CM311.  I'm not sure which Line6 model, but it's a current model, as it uses the TBP12 transmitter.  We also have 4 wireless IEM systems, a Sennheiser wireless handheld, and my bass player uses a Sennheiser wireless for his bass.  The IEM's and Sennheiser stuff is all UHF, not digital

 

I've been running the Relays and the V75 since 2012, added the Behringer X32 and router to the mix in 2013.  Up until the last few months, I haven't had as much as a cough or hiccup out of anything.  Everything has worked darn near perfectly and played very nice together.

 

When the drop-outs first started, it was the V75 that would give me trouble, but the Relays were fine.  Initially I noticed that whenever I would have problems with the XD-V75, my iPad would also give me trouble staying connected to my router network.  I could see that there were several WiFi networks in range, so I just chalked it up to a bunch of WiFi interference.  Initially, the problem was minimal....Drop outs were few and far between, and just little blips.  Now I've got both Relays and the V-75 system acting up on me, sometimes the iPad gets in on the action with them, sometimes it doesn't.  I should mention that these are all venues that I've been in multiple times before with this same rig, and no problems.  It's very inconsistent.  I can go one night with no troubles, the next night all hell breaks loose.  The venue we were in this past weekend, both of my Relays and the V-75 gave me fits, but the iPad was fine.  The previous time we were in this venue, the iPad give me fits and the Line6 stuff was fine.  My drummer doesn't have any problems with his Line6 unit, but his transmitter and receiver are rarely more than 2-4 feet apart.  I am relatively close to my stuff as well, but not that close.  Typically, my Relay and V-75 transmitters are within 10-20 feet of the receivers.  Plenty close enough that distance shouldn't be an issue.

 

Anyway, because there is no consistency to what's happening, I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what the cause is.  I always scan and use channels with no (or the least amount of) interference.  The router is always kept at least 5-7 feet away from my Line6 receivers (router runs at 5G, so I wouldn't think it would be a problem with the Line6 stuff anyway?).  It's not happening every show, but it's definitely happening more frequently as time goes on.

 

At first I thought maybe something was going bad, but the fact that all three Line6 units are acting up (albeit not always at the same time) leads me to believe it's a transmission and reception problem, not a hardware problem.  Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.  Also, what's the official word from Line6 on RF1 versus RF2?  When I researched it, there seems to be conflicting info as to which is best for a given type of situation.

 

Thanks all!

 

Gary


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#2 Sheriton

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 04:28 AM

I'm a little baffled as to why a drummer needs a wireless mic...

 

First thing I would do is switch everything to RF1. RF2 was created to enable a small number of L6 products to co-exist with 2.4G wifi on specific channels. If you don't need to accommodate 2.4G wifi, don't use RF2 - it's just not robust enough. Also be aware that you can't mix RF modes - everything needs to be on the same setting.

 

Also worth noting that even on completely different bands, transmitters can still cause issues if they're close to other receivers. It's a phenomenon called receiver desense - a bit like someone talking right in your ear making it difficult to hear someone further away even though their voice is in a different register.

 

Try out RF1 and please report back - I suspect that'll solve your issues.


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#3 gbakerjr

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 07:39 AM

Agreed on my drummer needing to be wireless, but it's his preference and his money. I'm not gonna go to war over it.

 

Switching to RF1 was my next move. I hadn't done it yet only because I've been on RF2 for years with no issues. I did a Google search on RF1 versus RF2 and found conflicting info. I did notice, as I was testing and trying to diagnose, that while all of my transmitters were running RF2, once in a while my V-75 receiver would report one of the transmitters on RF1 when I did a channel scan. I'll let you know how I make out.

 

Thanks for the reply!


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#4 beastofbourbon

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 08:42 PM

gbakerjr, any news on better performance with RF1? Recently I've been using the the XD-V75 handheld series and all the channels seem to be full at the gigs I've been doing.
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#5 gbakerjr

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 11:51 AM

I've switched to RF1 and have run probably 8-9 gigs on RF1 now.  The performance is definitely better than what I was getting on RF2, but I'm still getting very sporadic drop outs.  It's so sporadic and intermittent that it's literally impossible to diagnose.  The last two gigs I set myself up so that my rack with the wireless rigs was literally less than 10 feet away from me all night.  The first of those two gigs, according to the channel scan on my V-75 system, there was quite a bit of interference in the area, but I picked the channels (3 of them...Two Relay G-90's and a V-75) that had the least amount of interference.  My The G-90's worked fine, as long as I was within 7-8 feet of the receivers.  As soon as I got further away than that, both cut in and out intermittently (and significant drop outs).  Line of sight didn't seem to matter....I had clean line of sight the entire time.  The V-75 did the same thing, but again very sporadically.  The V-75 was about 8 feet from the receiver, and the only thing between the mic and the receiver was me.  I had better luck with the V-75, but I assume that's because the mic was on a stand and basically stationary all night.  The second of those two gigs I had the same issue....As soon as I got more than 10-15 feet away from the wireless rack, things went south.  However, as long as I was within a few feet of my rack, everything went fine until towards the end of the night, where my G-90 beltpacks just went nuts, to the point that I switched to a cable mid-set.  Again, there wasn't more than about 6-8 feet between me and the receivers, and clean line of sight.  Now, this was towards the end of the night, and the beltpacks were reading about 2-3 hours of battery left (note - new batteries in the TBP12's always show 8 hours of battery.  I NEVER get 8 hours out of a new set of batteries.  I get 4.5-6 hours tops).  I don't know if lower battery is maybe compounding the issue?

 

The only thing I haven't tried yet, is swapping out beltpacks.  I have several TBP12's.  I typically use two live with my guitar, and occasionally a third if I go to a headset mic, so I have several for back-up purposes.  I'm going to try swapping out the two I normally use for my guitar for two of the other ones and see if maybe it's just wear and tear issue.  I'm playing around 80 gigs a year on a regular basis, and I've had the Relays and V-75 since 2012, so they've got some miles on them.  I'm not holding my breath though, because of having the same problem with two TBP12's and a V-75 handheld leads me to believe that it's not a hardware issue.

This really baffles me.  I've run this same setup for years without as much as a hiccup.


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#6 gbakerjr

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 06:23 AM

Update...Switched to different TBP12's, no change.  Still intermittent dropouts.  Last night's gig I specifically had the receiver's less than 5 feet from me (what a cramped stage position!).  Dropouts were fewer and further in between, but at that distance, I should be able to have a 6 cell phones, 2 routers and a microwave circled around my rig and still have it work (sarcasm...).

 

What I don't understand is that I've been using this same rig for years with absolutely zero problem.  Up until a few months ago when the dropouts started, I never bothered to scan for open channels (always ran channels 1, 3, and 6 on the Line6 stuff), I had the router that I use for my X32 connection sitting right on top of the wireless rack (note...that router runs at 5G), my cell sitting on top of the wireless rack, and I always had plenty of distance (40-50 feet plus) before I had any troubles.  Since everything "just worked", I had no need to channel scan and/or be cognizant of where routers and cell phones were in relation to my wireless rack.  I initially started running RF1, and updated everything to RF2 when Line6 came out with RF2.  No problems with either.  What changed?  Is it just the fact that over the years there is simply more things competing for space in the 2.4G range?  While that sounds plausible, I find it hard to believe in the recent short distance tests I've done.  Even if the 2.4G space is cramped, having just a couple of feet between the transmitters and receivers with clean line of sight should overcome the cramped space (BTW, I run the transmitters on Hi power).  What I know for sure is:

 

1.  I simply can't deal with less than a 10 foot range on my wireless gear.

2.  I highly doubt it's a hardware issue, since I have the same issues with three separate receivers and a half dozen transmitters.

3.  If this means I have to replace the wireless systems, so be it...But if it's a 2.4G issue, then replacing with new Line6 stuff won't fix the problem, so that rules out Line6 stuff.  I'm a firm believer in Line6, but I don't know what else to do in this situation.

 

I'm going to call Line6 Tech Support tomorrow and see if they have any other suggestions.


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#7 Sheriton

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 12:29 AM

Something has to have changed somewhere. I suspect it may be the kind of thing that a good second pair of eyes might spot straight away - do you know any local RF gurus who could cast their eye over your setup?

 

Failing that, the only approach is a methodical one. Switch on just one single channel of L6 kit, nothing else, and see how that works. Add another channel, try again. Once all of that is on and working, continue with other RF sources. I suspect there's something right next to your L6 receivers (doesn't matter if it's on a different band) that's saturating their inputs. That won't necessarily show up on a channel scan either.

 

As a side note, I routinely run eight channels of L6 beltpacks for theatre shows. 20m or so from stage to the receivers, three high power installed wifi access points plus all the audience phones and rarely have any issues at all. The kit itself is capable of working well. The last time I had an issue was when a camera man set up his DSLR right underneath one of my antennae (after the dress and before the show - the worst time to be changing the RF environment) and I immediately saw an increase in activity on the RF meters. Turns out the camera had wifi which he couldn't disable. I moved him further away and all was good again. Sometimes (potential) interference comes from sources you don't immediately expect - using lots of RF devices together successfully isn't an easy task, regardless of the plug & play claims of many manufacturers. There's a certain amount of voodoo involved at times. You mention external antennae and daisy chaining - which antennae are they and what type of cable? Where are the antennae located and if directional, what are they pointing towards and away from? If those bits aren't right, that'll knock out the entire system.

 

Do report back on a methodical troubleshooting approach - if that doesn't find the culprit, nothing will!


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#8 gbakerjr

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 02:56 AM

Okay...So I ran the following test at my house yesterday:

 

I set my wireless rig up in my studio, exactly how I set it up live, including the Behringer X32 that I use to mix us live.  First, I turned off everything Wi-Fi in my house...No routers, cells, etc. on.  I did a channel scan with the V75 receiver.  All channels wide open. I hooked up two TBP12's to a guitar (one on mags, one on piezo, like I do live), and my V75 mic.  I was able to go about 60 feet before I had any dropout.  Note that the 60 feet took me through other rooms, and there was at least three interior walls between transmitters and receivers....No line of sight whatsoever.

 

Next, I created as much interference as I could.  I have two 2.4G networks running in my house, and a third 2.4/5G network.  All on.  There was a router on in the studio.  I then took the two routers I use live (I only use one at a time...One is set up for 5G, one is setup for 2.4G.  I typically use the 5G, unless something about the venue creates problems with the 5G) and set them up directly on top of the rack with the receivers.  I also put three iPads, an iPhone, and an Android phone directly on top of the rack, WiFi enabled on everything.  All of the devices except for the room router were literally inches from the Relay G-90's and V75 receiver.  I ran a channel scan on the V75 receiver.  All channels completely blocked up with interference.  I started walking with my guitar and the V75 mic, and got the same exact results as I did with zero interference.  About 60 feet and three interior walls before I got any dropout.

 

So, this leads me to believe that there's obviously something at the venues creating interference, but what, and why is it so intermittent?  Why can I go 3 hours into a gig with no problems, and then all of the sudden get dropouts?  Makes no sense.  At any given venue, even if there are WiFi networks running other than my own, the base of the network would be no where near my rig.  The only things I can't account for in my home test are my band mates wireless rigs (all are on UHF except for my drummer's headset mic, which is on a Line6 system, and I make sure we're always running the same RF1 or RF2), and the fact that there would be hundreds of cell phones in the venue at any given show.  None of which *should* have an impact on me.

 

Sheriton - regarding my antenna daisy chaining...I have all of my wireless receivers in one rack.  The Line6 stuff is all daisy chained.  I have external antennas connected to a Relay G90 (the antennas that came with it), then in the rear, that G90 is connected to the second G90 via BNC cable, and the second G90 is connected to the V75 via BNC cable.  Everything has been in the same rack, connected the same way, since 2012.  The external antennas on the first G90 I always point up at a 90 degree angle.

 

I would welcome any suggestions.


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#9 Sheriton

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 04:09 AM

Great to hear that your kit is working as expected under lab conditions. I think we can reasonably safely rule out a fault in the L6 equipment itself then.

 

Minor pedantry but worth noting that UHF is just a frequency range (300MHz to 3GHz) so your L6 kit is also UHF. Do your band ever get together with all this kit for rehearsals? Any issues present there?

 

Where abouts are your IEM transmitters in relation to your L6 receivers? Even though they're on different frequencies, if they're close together, there's still potential for problems as the presence of those signals can swamp the input stage of the receivers. You really need to keep all transmitters away from the receivers. The slight downside to digital RF systems is that you rarely know just how close to the edge you are - you might be right on the cliff edge (at which point everything is still working fine) but it would only take a passing mobile phone to push you over the edge.

 

Another phenomenon to be aware of is near-far, which is common to all radio systems. If you have one L6 mic right next to the receivers, that can compromise their ability to pick up mics further away.

 

One more thought - you mention you use an X32 which is essentially a computer and hence inevitably chucks out a certain amount of RF. Is that very close to the receivers?

 

I suspect that what you're dealing with here is not a single big problem but rather a collection of little issues that on their own would be insignificant but together form a perfect storm. My best advice at this stage without being able to actually see your setup (do you have any photos of your stage setup?) is to look carefully at exactly where each bit of kit is in relation to each other. At the risk of suggesting further expenditure, it might be beneficial to consider proper external antennae like the P180s. They'll let you move that critical component out of the back of a rack and well away from other equipment. I use them with my kit - it's really useful to be able to locate them in the best place for them rather than being stuck on the back of the receivers.


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#10 gbakerjr

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 07:11 AM

I won't know for sure until I can test it out at a gig, but after some additional testing and diagnosing, I'm thinking my UHF IEM systems are the culprit.  I never really looked at them because the frequency range they're operating is is no where near the L6 stuff (the IEMs are in the 600-800 MHz range, the L6 stuff is 2.4GHz), but it appears I need to keep some distance between the IEM antennas and the L6 antennas.  The IEM antennas are on extension cables, so they're not in exactly the same place all the time, which would explain my problem being sporadic and intermittent to the point that I couldn't recreate it.  It's probably not a cramped frequency problem, just a simple interference problem.  Thanks Sheriton.  You talking through this with me has been a HUGE help!  I knew it had to be something stupid, turns out the something stupid was me!  Although in my defense, it appears just shifting the IEM antennas an inch or two has a significant impact.  Who would've guessed?


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#11 gregusa007

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 06:55 AM

Here's a thought or two - A lot of venues have entertainment systems that partially operate on wired CAT 5 or MoCA networks as well as wireless networks. I suspect the potential for interference is there. Also, nearby businesses that close before you're done for the night may (and likely do) have alarm systems that use wireless PIR and window monitors.

 

The venue you're playing in may have added / removed or changed out wireless components in their entertainment system about the time you started having trouble. The business next door may have installed or changed their alarm system or changed their in-house WiFi system.

 

This all makes me very nervous. I just bought my first Line 6 XD-V75 yesterday. My only wireless experience is with my Sennheiser wireless guitar unit, which has been rock solid for ever.

 

Several respected sources told me the Line 6 XD-V75 system was the absolute best way to go for the money. My over all experience with Line 6 products has not been stellar. Had a Spider that died almost out of the box, a Flextone II that received several circuit boards and a POD X3 Live that spent more time in the shop than at my feet. I have faith in Yamaha which is why I took a chance again on Line 6 with the XD-V75. All of my prior Line 6 purchases were prior to the take over.

 

I hope we can get the drop out issues solved. I have 4 Heil PR35's. The most awesome wired mic ever! The v75 sound reproduction right out of the box is very close, but I doubt the v75 is anywhere as durable as the PR35.


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#12 kurtweimer

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 08:04 AM

Following this...

 

Having the same issue with 8 Line6 XD-V75's. A year of trouble free use then issues suddenly.

 

We are working on a solution with our xFinity provider - we think our issues started when we switched to xFinity. We can turn our 2.4 off, but xFinity still broadcasts their generic xFinity signal and it appears that we have to call them and have them shut off the 2.4 transmission.

 

 

 

 


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