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Xd-v75 Beltpack Ta4f Connector Locking


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#1 tccc

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 05:06 PM

Hi,

 

(this is probably one for Ron!)

 

When you insert a mic into one of your beltpacks, does the little locking pin still keep it securely attached? On mine they all just pull straight out, without having to push the little button in. I bought a few Switchcraft TA4FX connectors this week thinking that some of my cheaper mics may have 'chinese copied' connectors and perhaps the sizing was slightly different, but it's the same with those too.

 

It's not a major issue, but for theatre use it would be comforting to know that something is locking them in place, especially during dance scenes!

 

I note that Rean (Neutrik's budget brand) also offer a TA4F connector - http://www.rean-conn...nectors/rt4fc-b which looks a bit more robust. Don't suppose you've tried one of those? They do a -W version too which has a nice rubberised boot to cover and seal the entire connector. In the UK they're around £2ea, which is actually considerably less than you can find a Switchcraft TA4FX for.

 

Incidentally my Countryman B3s haven't arrived back with me yet, but I'll report back once they do turn up. so that the community knows what the issue was (and hopefully the fix!) I've also ordered some B6s to try out.

 

Thanks,

Daniel.


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#2 RonMarton

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 10:41 PM

...When you insert a mic into one of your beltpacks, does the little locking pin still keep it securely attached? On mine they all just pull straight out, without having to push the little button in. I bought a few Switchcraft TA4FX connectors this week thinking that some of my cheaper mics may have 'chinese copied' connectors and perhaps the sizing was slightly different, but it's the same with those too...

 

That's weird, Daniel...

 

Once firmly engaged, Samson's adapters for my SE50 headworn mics, the Switchcraft TA4 connectors on my Line 6 lavaliers and all of those on my large inventory of Shure TA4F to guitar jack and TA4F to XLF mic socket adapters ALL engage really firmly once properly seated ...and will only release when their tiny ball-shaped pawls are fully depressed.

 

...It's not a major issue...

 

Are you kidding ? :wacko:

 

You must be joking...

 

...I don't think I'm alone in regarding solid connections as being absolutely vital for what I'm doing !  :angry: :lol:

 

…I note that Rean (Neutrik's budget brand) also offer a TA4F connector - http://www.rean-conn...nectors/rt4fc-b which looks a bit more robust. Don't suppose you've tried one of those? They do a -W version too which has a nice rubberised boot to cover and seal the entire connector. In the UK they're around £2ea, which is actually considerably less than you can find a Switchcraft TA4FX for...

 

The China-sourced "Ningbo Neutrik" is Herr Neutrik's own "competing with himself" budget brand.

 

Rean are another firm entirely that has been taken over by Neutrik, ...one that has had a long and honourable history of making and supplying rugged cabinet corners, handles, brackets, accessories and connectors for many aspects of showbusiness.

 

So I'd be tempted to think that their "booted W version" alternative connector may be very good indeed, but also may engage with (or fail to engage with) your beltpacks in exactly the same way as those you already own.

 

That's because TA4 specs are very widely known, as is illustrated by the various provenances of those that I routinely use to great effect.

 

Is it possible that you are being a little too gentle when ramming the connectors home, so that their locking cams haven't gone far enough to engage with the grooves inside the barrels of your beltpacks' connectors ?


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#3 tccc

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 03:54 AM

Hi Ron,

 

I have a beltpack in front of me now, and as firmly as I push any of the connectors in (including the supplied LM4), I can pull them out with or without depressing the button - it's clearly having no effect. The small metal nut on top of the beltpack is secure.

 

I'm puzzled!


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#4 Sheriton

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 02:18 PM

Mine are all at a theatre at the moment so I can't have a closer look but just yesterday, a young cast member was asking me how they unplugged as they couldn't just be pulled out. If memory serves, the button retracts two little barbs on the side of the plug which normally latch inside the socket - when it's unplugged, do those barbs stick out and does pressing the button make them disappear inside the plug body?


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#5 RonMarton

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 02:52 PM

...the button retracts two little barbs on the side of the plug which normally latch inside the socket...

 

That's pretty much a perfect description of the connector mechanism I have in front of me as I'm writing this.

 

...I'm puzzled!

 

Yes...

 

…and you're not the only one !  :blink:

 

It's a "first" for us as the security of latching is something we'd take for granted with any professional connector.

 

I'll just go through my eight beltpacks to see if there's one that behaves like yours.


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#6 tccc

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:40 PM

Hi,

 

Thanks to both of you for your input.

 

I've just picked out 4 random beltpacks (we've got a full set of 14), and a mix of different mics. The release buttons have seemingly no effect on any combination! Looking at the connector, there's the raised, gentle 'v-shape' piece of metal at the very top near the button, and a second piece underneath that (with barbs on the side as Sheriton stated), which is pushed down by the button. They all look fine - the metal sticks out initially, and if you depress the button the metal retracts into the connector.

 

Looking at the beltpacks, there doesn't appear to be anything obvious for the connectors to latch on to. The beltpack socket has a hexagonal metal nut, covering a thin plastic surround, but this plastic surround doesn't have any lip. I can see an extremely slight groove in the plastic, but because there's no lip above, I can't see what would stop the metal barbs from pulling straight out. Perhaps I should take a photo - might be easier to narrow the issue down that way!


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#7 RonMarton

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 05:17 PM

...Looking at the beltpacks, there doesn't appear to be anything obvious for the connectors to latch on to. The beltpack socket has a hexagonal metal nut, covering a thin plastic surround, but this plastic surround doesn't have any lip. I can see an extremely slight groove in the plastic, but because there's no lip above, I can't see what would stop the metal barbs from pulling straight out...

 

OK, Daniel...

 

On ALL of my eight beltpacks, (I've just finished the rig for a "show" late this afternoon) that fine groove does have the lip you're expecting, albeit one that looks surprisingly flimsy.

 

It is, however, definitely enough to securely engage with those barbs, ...even though your enquiry also enabled me to find and fix one where accumulated "gunk" provided it with enough "infill" and lubrication to behave as all of yours seemingly do.

 

So, given the recentness of your purchase, I'm guessing from your description that there MAY be a whole batch of XD-V75 beltpacks out there that left Line 6's Chinese factory with defective "non-latching" connector sleeves.

 

Line 6 take note:

 

In the event that this problem does indeed arise from defective manufacture such as I have indicated above, I firmly believe that it MUST be subject to cost-free rectification under warranty, as the non-latching of this input connector would render the goods in question unfit for their intended use and so not of merchantable quality. 


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#8 tccc

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 05:41 PM

Ron,

 

Outside of the groove, does the rest of the connector sleeve on yours have a lip? Mine has no lip either over the groove, or around the rest of the connector. My thinking is that if they ship from the factory with a very thin plastic lip over just the groove, then it's probably quite likely to eventually wear away. If however yours has a lip around the entire sleeve, mine has clearly shipped from the factory with no lip from the start. Perhaps it's just an issue with the XD-V75 packs (I seem to recall your set are V70s which you've updated the firmware on?)

 

Line 6,

 

I filled in an RMA request for one of our sets last month, because I was hoping you could investigate the constant background hiss I continue to experience from the receiver whenever a beltpack is turned on (regardless of whether a mic is connected). I eventually received a response stating that you don't provide RMA facilities outside of the USA, and that I should return them to the point of purchase. Surely you can provide some form of service within Europe?!

 

Thanks,

Daniel.


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#9 RonMarton

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 06:09 PM

...mine has clearly shipped from the factory with no lip from the start. Perhaps it's just an issue with the XD-V75 packs (I seem to recall your set are V70s which you've updated the firmware on?)...

 

A re-read of my last response will confirm that's pretty much what I'm suggesting in respect of a "batch" of new XD-V75 beltpacks, Daniel...

 

…And yes, my eight are the TBP12 beltpacks that I purchased in XD-V70L form, supplemented with the alternative of a further four THH12 handhelds …and later by the addition of my "stand-alone" XD-V75 handheld "kit" that keeps them all up to date via Line 6 Monkey.

 

...I filled in an RMA request for one of our sets last month, because I was hoping you could investigate the constant background hiss I continue to experience from the receiver whenever a beltpack is turned on (regardless of whether a mic is connected). I eventually received a response stating that you don't provide RMA facilities outside of the USA, and that I should return them to the point of purchase. Surely you can provide some form of service within Europe?!...

 

Have you tried via Line 6's new UK website ?

 

http://uk.line6.com/index.html


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#10 Fulgerite

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 09:31 PM

My issue with my new TBP12 belt pack is that the battery door pops open too easily.  Even if I don't depress the small button... the slide will still slide open with a little force.  It seems like an accident waiting to happen.  Really kinda scary.


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#11 RonMarton

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 11:11 PM

I'm not very happy with those battery hatch doors either, Fulgerite...

 

…To the extent that I'd describe them to be "just OK", with the rider "in civilised hands" firmly attached.

 

(More firmly attached than the TBP12 doors themselves, it would seem.)  :lol:

 

That being said, I've experienced more breakages and failures with some far more expensive alternatives, so I guess I "tolerate" what I reckon to be this "worst" aspect of the eight TBP12s I rely upon, …as their extensive array of advantages seems unmatched by anything that's available for under (roughly) five times their price.

 

Given that (like yours) much of my work involves decidedly uncivilised hands, I routinely enclose my TBP12 beltpacks in these:

 

http://www.amazon.co.../dp/B001S3283K/

 

…often having first encased them in a nitrile rubber surgical glove (for moisture protection) as well.

 

The "trick" is to first use a Philips head driver to reverse the belt-pack's stainless clips, whereby they act as "stand-offs" for the transmitting antenna, (keeping it clear of potentially sweaty bodies) before "squeezing" the beltpacks into the pouches of Tune Belts.

 
Not only are those wetsuit-material belts amazingly cheap, washable and durable, but they also
  1. Easily adjust and securely clip on to to all (even the tiniest) body sizes,
  2. Provide shock-resistance and security from the accidental opening of battery hatches,
  3. Allow the belt-pack to remain enclosed, with easy access at both "ends" for switching and/or re-connection to mics …and...
  4. Provide a "platform" for the really obvious "labelling" (via white PVC electrical tape and black permanent marker) that's required for the instant identification of given transmitters in the poor lighting that's an inevitable consequence of backstage work. 

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#12 tccc

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:06 PM

Hi all,

 

Further to my message above... here's my best attempt at a photograph of the TA4 connector on one of our beltpacks (all 14 look identical). Quite tricky to get a good photograph with enough light down the connector!

 

Could someone please compare to one of their own packs..?

 

http://i44.tinypic.com/20aaut0.jpg


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#13 RonMarton

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:49 PM

Great macro work, Daniel !

 

Now to the bad news...

 

...That fine "lipped" locking groove repeatedly mentioned earlier in this topic (as being evident in all examples of the same model of beltpack owned by both me and other respondents) is clearly and conspicuously ABSENT from the shot you've taken.

 

So it seems to me that your fourteen units are indeed the products of defective manufacture, whereby another of my earlier statements would now also appear to be highly relevant: 

 

Line 6 take note:

 

In the event that this problem does indeed arise from defective manufacture such as I have indicated above, I firmly believe that it MUST be subject to cost-free rectification under warranty, as the non-latching of this input connector would render the goods in question unfit for their intended use and so not of merchantable quality. 


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#14 tccc

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:13 PM

Thanks Ron. Well I'm glad to hear that!

 

When you've got 14 different units with the same issue, you tend to assume that it's just 'how they are'... but clearly there must have been an issue with an early batch.

 

Can someone from Line 6 comment please?

 

Many thanks,

Daniel.


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#15 tccc

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 04:52 AM

I've since spoken to the European support team, who appeared aware of the issue with early beltpack transmitters, and quoted a price for replacing the sockets on each unit. He believed that they are now fitted with metal sockets instead of the thin plastic sockets which ours have.

 

Despite the units being less than one month out of the 12-month warranty, and the issue clearly being down to a manufacturing defect (especially if they've now re-designed the sockets because of it!) the support team have not yet agreed to my request to repair/replace these free of charge.

 

I'm also convinced that the continuous 'hiss' I get from all 14 receivers as soon as an associated beltpack is turned on (regardless of whether a mic is connected or not) will turn out to be a hardware issue, probably with the beltpacks.

 

I'm sorry to be negative on here, as I generally perceived the support from Line 6 to be excellent, judging by how Don, etc respond to queries posted on these forums.

 

Any feedback from Line 6 would be much appreciated, as these systems are required for use again in mid February.


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#16 RonMarton

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 12:47 PM

A letter from your legal adviser to Line 6 may prove worthwhile, Daniel...

 

...Reminding them of a purchaser's statutory rights in respect of goods purchased in good faith, but that can now clearly be demonstrated to have not been of merchantable quality when delivered.

 

It is noteworthy that under European and International Law, these statutory rights often transcend such exclusions and/or conditions as a supplier and/or manufacturer and/or their servants may be seeking to impose.

 

I believe the volume of your purchase alone renders the matter worthy of considerable prosecutorial effort.


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#17 dboomer

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 09:46 AM

Tccc

You'll need to connect with Line 6 in Rugby and return your units to them. If a warranty repair is in order then that's what will happen. But they can't commit to anything in advance of inspecting the units. Shouldn't be a big problem but they will need to be examined.

#18 tccc

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 10:52 AM

Hi Don,

 

The team in Rugby have now agreed to repair them free of charge, so all 14 transmitters are being shipped to them tomorrow. I'll report back once they've examined the units.

 

Thanks for the response.

 

Daniel.


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#19 tccc

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 05:49 PM

I thought I should post an update on this, although I'm afraid to say it's not the fairytale ending people will be wanting to hear!

 

The Line 6 team in Rugby in the UK arranged for the 14 transmitters to be collected last Wednesday, and I received them all back today, so I was happy with the quick turnaround. Things looked promising when I examined the first transmitter - a new silver, metal TA4M connector which seems to hold any mic securely. The remaining 13 now have black (rather than the previous grey) plastic TA4M connectors. Admittedly they all hold mics very firmly at the moment, although I had been told on the phone that they'd switched production to metal connectors now for durability... If that's the case, then I don't think I'm being unreasonable in expecting them all to be replaced with metal connectors, not just one.

 

Unfortunately that was the end of the good news. We have a show coming up in a couple of weeks which will require all 14, so I went through testing every pack to ensure that everything was working as it should. Ron and regular readers of these threads will recall that I've posted before about a constant 'hiss' we get from the receivers as soon as an associated transmitter is turned on. I did ask the team at Rugby to investigate this. Unfortunately this noise is now considerably worse on virtually every transmitter. The body of the transmitter seems to be picking up noise, which then makes its way to the audio path. The noise is still present when you connect a mic, although you don't even need to bother - you can play a nice tune just by pressing your hand around the transmitter. In fact, if you touch anywhere near the TA4 connector on the transmitter, you can make 2 of the audio LED bars on the receiver illuminate! This is a fair distance away from the receivers, nowhere near any metal objects, etc. It just can't be right! 

 

To add to the disappointment, one of the transmitters now sits there constantly turning itself off and back on again.

 

Obviously I'll speak to the guys in Rugby again in the morning and see what they suggest. However, anyone from Line 6 reading this - if this fault is known or has surfaced before in other support cases, please let me or the support team in the UK know. They didn't seem especially surprised that the transmitters all needed new input connectors,, whereas no-one responded on here to say that production had now moved to metal inserts.

 

According to the repair notes, all 14 transmitters were manufactured on the same day - early December 2011, which presumably makes them some of the first XD-V75 units.

 

Thoughts..?!

 

Thanks,

Daniel.


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#20 RonMarton

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 08:58 PM

...Things looked promising when I examined the first transmitter - a new silver, metal TA4M connector which seems to hold any mic securely. The remaining 13 now have black (rather than the previous grey) plastic TA4M connectors. Admittedly they all hold mics very firmly at the moment, although I had been told on the phone that they'd switched production to metal connectors now for durability... If that's the case, then I don't think I'm being unreasonable in expecting them all to be replaced with metal connectors, not just one...

 

My eight TBP12 beltpacks pre-date yours by about a year, Daniel.

 

All have plastic TA4Ms and you'll recall it was your post that prompted me to discover a possible problem with just one, caused by an un-noticed build-up of residue filling and lubricating the "groove and lip" that holds the TA4F's locking barbs.

 

After cleaning, all eight are still functioning perfectly, (I have two that are actually on people as I write this) so I feel that your "make good", while not "latest model", could be regarded as having been both effected and effective in this respect.

 

...I've posted before about a constant 'hiss' we get from the receivers as soon as an associated transmitter is turned on...

 

...Unfortunately this noise is now considerably worse on virtually every transmitter...

 

...The noise is still present when you connect a mic, although you don't even need to bother - you can play a nice tune just by pressing your hand around the transmitter. In fact, if you touch anywhere near the TA4 connector on the transmitter, you can make 2 of the audio LED bars on the receiver illuminate!...

 

It took me quite a while to cease being bothered by that sort of vastly varied cacophony, which is consistent with the racket that I've found to be routinely generated in any or all of my TBP12s whenever they're on without their inputs having been correctly terminated.

 

However, once their inputs ARE being correctly "fed" by any of my comprehensive inventory of sources, all I receive is pristine signal, to the point where I now regard the presence of any residual "nastiness" as an almost certain indicator of "upstream" failures in things like incorrect connections and/or batteries in phantom supplies and/or capsule contacts.

 

...To add to the disappointment, one of the transmitters now sits there constantly turning itself off and back on again...

 

As this only surfaced after the "laying on of hands" by The Rev. Webb-Ellis, the referee will probably rule that it's covered by the warranty attached to the Rugby repair.

 

With any luck, it's merely due to a component that's not been re-seated properly subsequent to their replacement of the input connector assembly.

 

Ten minutes in the Sin Bin should suffice.

 

...According to the repair notes, all 14 transmitters were manufactured on the same day... 

 

It wasn't a Friday by any chance, was it ?

 

...Maybe the 13th ?


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