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Does Variax Firmware need to be specific version to work with Helix 2.30?

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#1 nvgiambruno44

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 09:50 PM

I have my Helix updated to 2.30 and my Variax JTV-69 connected to the helix via the VDI cable. I'm not getting any signal to my helix tuner (or anywhere else) with the Variax through VDI.  I confirmed the tuner input is set to "Multi", and the guitar volume is up, and I tried another cable. The 1/4 inch output from the Variax also seems to work just fine.  

 

I'm wondering if the Variax itself needs a specific firmware version before it can communicate using VDI with the Helix? 

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated! 


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#2 Gkf9

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 05:09 AM

I have my Helix updated to 2.30 and my Variax JTV-69 connected to the helix via the VDI cable. I'm not getting any signal to my helix tuner (or anywhere else) with the Variax through VDI. I confirmed the tuner input is set to "Multi", and the guitar volume is up, and I tried another cable. The 1/4 inch output from the Variax also seems to work just fine.

I'm wondering if the Variax itself needs a specific firmware version before it can communicate using VDI with the Helix?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!



Is your work bench software up to date and the fw on the Variax?

I'm a little out of the loop now with the all Variax thing, but I'm sure that's worth a check?
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#3 silverhead

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 05:21 AM

The latest version of Variax firmware works with Helix v2.30. If your Variax worked OK with previous versions of Helix firmware then it should still work; there was nothing in the v2.30 update that should affect Variax operations.

Check the VDI jacks on both the Helix and the Variax. Visually inspect them to see if there are any bent pins at the connectors. If so, fashion a J-hook out of a thin wire - something like a bread-tie - and gently pull the pins back into position.
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#4 nvgiambruno44

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 05:48 AM

The latest version of Variax firmware works with Helix v2.30. If your Variax worked OK with previous versions of Helix firmware then it should still work; there was nothing in the v2.30 update that should affect Variax operations.

Check the VDI jacks on both the Helix and the Variax. Visually inspect them to see if there are any bent pins at the connectors. If so, fashion a J-hook out of a thin wire - something like a bread-tie - and gently pull the pins back into position.

 

 

I just checked the pins, and they look good on the Variax and the Helix. I can get power to my Variax (without using the on board battery) from my helix, so the DVI seems to be connected.

 

I bought my Variax 2nd hand, so I'm not sure of the Firmware version of it. This is my first time connecting it to my Helix. The seller did not include the USB dongle, so I'm stuck waiting on the workbench hub to arrive in the mail to find out the version.

 

My concern is that the Variax is on such an early firmware version that the Helix is not supported. Are the old JTV firmware versions compatible with the Helix at all? Will a firmware update to the Variax resolve this, or am I just spinning my wheels?


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#5 phil_m

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 06:09 AM

The Variax should be passing audio and receiving power from the VDI cable regardless of its firmware version.


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#6 specracer986

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 06:50 AM

Out of curiosity, does the guitar work with a 1/4" cable into the Helix? 


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#7 nvgiambruno44

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 06:51 AM

The Variax should be passing audio and receiving power from the VDI cable regardless of its firmware version.

 

So if it's not the Variax firmware, the Helix firmware, Helix settings, the VDI ports, or the cable... looks like it might be a defective board somewhere inside the Variax? (unless anyone has any other suggestions)


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#8 nvgiambruno44

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 06:53 AM

Out of curiosity, does the guitar work with a 1/4" cable into the Helix? 

 

Yeah, the 1/4 inch works, the modeling/tuning selector also works. It just seems to be the VDI to the helix causing the problem. I'm hoping its not a hardware issue :(


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#9 brue58ski

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 07:02 AM

It is true your Variax needs to be on the correct firmware. You should be able to update the Variax through the Helix. This is all a guess but it's an educated one. Try downloading Line 6 Monkey (it appears Line 6 updater doesn't work with the Variax). Connect your Variax to the Helix and the Helix to your computer via USB. Run Line 6 Monkey and it should see your Variax. If it doesn't see it, see if there is an option to "select a different unti" or something to that effect. That should tell you what version your Variax is at. Definitely update it to the most recent version. Don't have antything else running just to make sure there are no conflicts. The main thing I'm not sure of is whether Line 6 monkey will see your Variax through the Helix. Workbench HD sees my Variax connected through the Helix so I'm prettty sure it will work. One thing to check is to see if the model selector will light up. If it doesn't, then it's getting no power. Also do not power the Variax with the VDI with the battery in it. It can lead to damage. It doesn't always, in fact I get the impression it doesn't happen often but it can happen so make sure that battery is out before you connect the VDI. Hope this helps in some way. Good Luck!


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#10 specracer986

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 07:02 AM

Well, everything can be fixed. You're only lacking the ability to preprogram your model selection and other JTV parameters into your Helix patches. Plus you'll need to keep the battery charged. If I didn't play live, I probably wouldn't use the VDI cable and would use my G10 Relay to play wireless. But preprogramming Variax settings makes gigging so much less stressful. After you've exhausted what you can do, you'll probably need to bite the bullet and take it into a Line 6 repair shop. Good luck.


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#11 phil_m

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 07:39 AM

So if it's not the Variax firmware, the Helix firmware, Helix settings, the VDI ports, or the cable... looks like it might be a defective board somewhere inside the Variax? (unless anyone has any other suggestions)

 

When you're plugged into the Helix with the VDI cable, does the modeling knob on the Variax light up when you press it down?

 

One thing to check on the Helix is Page 2 of the input block parameters. Specifically, under Knob 3. Is it set to "Don't Force" or is there a value there? I've seen a few times where people have inadvertently saved a Helix preset where this was set to 0.


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#12 sleezye1

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 10:46 AM

I just picked up a second hand jtv59 that was still running 2.0. Worked just fine with helix

As someone already noted the line 6 monkey will show the version number when plugged into helix. However, I did have to use the dongle to update the fw
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#13 TonyHay

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 11:40 AM

I have a Variax still running 1.7 I think.    I don't really want to change it because I like the sounds, including the Strat and Acoustic sounds. 

 

I get some functionality on the Helix using a VDI cable, but it doesn't work perfectly... I can change guitar models with no problem, but I can't change tunings using the Helix. 

 

I have ordered a new VDI cable to see if that makes any difference.  


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#14 nvgiambruno44

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 10:41 PM

Just an update.

 

I had a buddy come over with his Variax and his helix (along with the USB dongle). We updated the firmware on my Variax and tried it our on both helix models. We tried his Variax into his helix (VDI), and it worked like a charm. We plugged my Variax into his helix (same cable) and nothing. The strange thing is that my Variax is correctly recognized by the workbench after the update. The 1/4 inch outputs work fine, and the modeling knob is glowing (which indicated power).

 

It's looking more and more like some issue where the component that actually sends the audio to the VDI cable is broken. I'm technical enough to replace the part, I just need to know which part is the one that is busted. Anyone familiar with the electronic know which component could be the one in question? 

 

Thanks in advance, and another "thank you" to everybody who has given their input on this so far. I'm beyond impressed with the Line 6 community here!


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#15 silverhead

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 06:06 AM

If your Variax is still under warranty I would open a support ticket and have it repaired by Line 6.

If not under warranty I suggest you start by checking (and if necessary replacing) the Input jack assembly which includes an internal snap-in connector to the electronics. If you're lucky it's just that part that has become partially disconnected inside or has failed. Try reconnecting th existing part and replacing if the connection still doesn't work.

Here is the part I'm talking about:
http://shop.line6.co...k-assembly.html

If that's not the problem you will probably require Line 6 servicing to fix it.
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#16 brue58ski

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 07:04 AM

If your Variax is still under warranty I would open a support ticket and have it repaired by Line 6.

If not under warranty I suggest you start by checking (and if necessary replacing) the Input jack assembly which includes an internal snap-in connector to the electronics. If you're lucky it's just that part that has become partially disconnected inside or has failed. Try reconnecting th existing part and replacing if the connection still doesn't work.

Here is the part I'm talking about:
http://shop.line6.co...k-assembly.html

If that's not the problem you will probably require Line 6 servicing to fix it.

 

 

Here's that part cheaper

 

http://www.fullcompa...-6-50-04-0079-1


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