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G55 Weirdness On Gig, But Now It's Fine Again


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#1 yelemusic

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:27 PM

So, as the title said, the other day I experienced some really weird behaviour with my G55 unit. We played a gig at some mid size venue, where all sort of things went wrong.

 

I've been using the G55 for  couple of months now, and so far I'm quite excited about it. However, two days ago on said gig the thing acted up so badly I had to play wired again.

 

First during sound check I noticed the belt back switching itself off while in my back pocket. The only way to switch it back on was to take the batteries out and put them back in. This happened a couple of times, but after it didn't reoccur for a little while I decided to use it during the gig anyway.

First song first set, no sound from guitar, and the LEDs on the receiver turned red. This time it came back to live by itself, I just took it out of my pocket, that's all. At least I could finish the song.

 

Didn't take long until I noticed the batteries going flat rapidly, which was kinda weird as they were fully charged. So I changed the batteries between songs, only to realise just 5 mins later the new batteries were almost empty - again!

 

I had to finish the gig wired.

 

I've run tests with the G55 yesterday and today, and everything works as it should, the same batteries work like a charm, no self switching off, everything fine.

 

Now, what got me puzzled is, a couple of other weird things happened during the gig, mostly related to digital gear, like the digital console we're using, or my TC-Electronic Nova System FX unit.

 

During soundcheck there was no signal coming from the keyboards, even though it was clearly there. The keyboardist uses a submixer to plug his 3 keys in, and there it was, a strong healthy signal. Yet no signal getting to the stage box. Different DI boxes, same problem, keys directly into stage box, same, until all of a sudden we got a signal through. No idea wha happened, it seems to have cured itself.

 

As for my rig, I had huge problems, as it sounded complete and utterly crap. My distorted tones were just harsh and unpleasant, and the levels seemed all over the place, sometimes too loud sometimes too quiet. Normally I'm quite pleased with my gear, but this time I had to fight for every note. (Haven't checked the amp yet, maybe a valve is dying)

 

So, naturally it turned into a really crappy gig, as one could imagine.

 

Anyway, so the queston I keep asking myself, is it possible that certain places have some weird frequencies or negative vibrations floating around in the air, that can have such an impact on digital gear? There was WLAN stuff installed, but the red LED on the receiver didn't show any sign of a problem.

 

I have yet to talk to our engineer to see if his gear went back to normal the day after. I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

Anyone experienced similar things?

 

I'm seriously unsure whether I should keep using the G55. Next time it does that, it's gone!

 

As I said, today it works as it should, no sign of a defective unit. So if I send it in for repair, they might return it right away, cos there's nothing to be found.

 

 

Hm... Any ideas?


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#2 dboomer

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:20 PM

Couple of things ...

 

First, assuming that there is no internal hardware failure, digital can't get wanky.  It either works or it doesn't.  2+2 always adds to 4 or to nothing, but never to 3.7 :)  I can't think of anything digital that doesn't behave this way.

 

with reference to  Line 6 wireless, batteries either power the unit or they don't but again you never get anything less than 100% except for zero sound wise.

 

I would recommend NOT putting the transmitter in your back pocket.  You'll likely cut the transmission power in half and/or break the cable quickly.  So when your receiver went to red that means that the transmitter dropped the lock with the receiver and the red was just showing background RF (this is normal).  Taking it out of your pocket increased the effective power and it locked back up again.

 

I would also recommend running your G55 in RF1 mode.  If you don't know what mode you are running in then you are running in RF2 mode which almost always requires some specific setup.  RF1 is pretty much always plug and go.  There was a big green sheet packed with your instruction book that tells how to switch.



#3 yelemusic

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 04:11 AM

Hi dboomer, thanks for your reply.

Normally I'd totally agree with you, but it seems that you haved missed the part, where I wrote that the transmitter turned itself off a couple off times, and could only be switched on after taking the batteries out and putting them back in.

 

 

 

First, assuming that there is no internal hardware failure, digital can't get wanky.  It either works or it doesn't.  2+2 always adds to 4 or to nothing, but never to 3.7 :)  I can't think of anything digital that doesn't behave this way.

 

 

This time it most certainly did. Believe me, I have no explanation why, but it WAS behaving strangely. Once I left the venue, everything was back to normal. How do you explain that?

 

Besides, if digital never gets wanky, why do computers? Oh, they can get wanky :)

 

 

with reference to  Line 6 wireless, batteries either power the unit or they don't but again you never get anything less than 100% except for zero sound wise.

 

 

Again, the behavior I noticed was the transmitter eating through fresh batteries in no time, twice, after which I decided to go wired. I could see the green battery indcator on the receiver going down within minutes! With two sets of batteries!

And again, once I was at home the very same batteries lasted for hours as expected.

 

 

I would recommend NOT putting the transmitter in your back pocket.  You'll likely cut the transmission power in half and/or break the cable quickly.

 

 

I've read that a couple of times, that it's not a good idea to do it that way. However, I've been doing it that way for almost 6 months now, and never, I repeat never had any issues with bad reception or drop outs, even in large places and stages. I find it more convenient this way, especially as I'm swapping guitars frequently, and can't have the transmitter on the guitar strap.

 

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, it always worked, never any problem with cutting transmission power in half. Always a strong healthy signal, even when I'm not right next to the receiver. And now all of a sudden?

 

 

So when your receiver went to red that means that the transmitter dropped the lock with the receiver and the red was just showing background RF (this is normal).  Taking it out of your pocket increased the effective power and it locked back up again.

 

 

I believe what actually happened is, that the tansmitter turned itself off again, as it did that day on a couple of occasions. The display went blank and the thing was dead, untill I removed the batteries (only that time it came back alive by itself). So it was not the typical "it dropped the lock" szenario, because I could have told. I would have known that the problems are caused by user error.

 

The question is, why has it done this? Why did my digital gear act up (it wasn't just the G55, but other digital stuff too) Maybe digital CAN in fact act up, and get confused by weird frequencies floating around in the air.

Or maybe there was a witch in the audience mumbling away magic verses to put a spell on our gear :)

 

 

 

I would also recommend running your G55 in RF1 mode.  If you don't know what mode you are running in then you are running in RF2 mode which almost always requires some specific setup.  RF1 is pretty much always plug and go.  There was a big green sheet packed with your instruction book that tells how to switch.

 

 

That's curious, as RF2 seems to be on by default, and if I remember correctly I've read somewhere, that one should just leave it alone, unless there are problems. So I had it on RF2 without problems for the last months. I just switched everything on and it worked, no specific setup required...

 

Boy I can't wait to see how the next gig goes :)

 

Thanks for your input!

Hope you can see how my experiences aren't consistent with the usual szenarios :)


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#4 RonMarton

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 05:36 PM

Maybe two cents' worth from someone with neither affiliation with, nor any particular loyalty to Line 6 (or any other supplier or manufacturer) may help a bit here, yelemusic.

 

First off, regardless of the brand or system, my half century of dealing with this stuff tells me that all bets are off the moment a beltpack is put into a performer's pocket.

 

It may work. It may not.

 

What IS absolutely effing certain ...is that doing so is the gateway to a whole universe of grief, if not immediately, then eventually.

 

Things like battery intermittency (which sounds like it may be what actually happened to you, given that the battery hatch is possibly the TBP12 beltpack's  only known weak point) and/or RF attenuation, and/or moisture penetration and/or torque fracturing and/or pressure fracturing of componentry are ALL common consequences.

 

So, rather than jamming it into a pocket, why not invest under seven bucks in one of these perfectly fitting little beauties: http://www.amazon.co...lowepro rezo 10?

 

All that's required is a little scissor work to create a hole each for connector and antenna, then your now-protected beltpack can either be clipped onto a belt or instrument strap, or onto the belt loop of your pants, or hung from the neck strap that LowePro include with their pouch. 

 

To other issues now...

 

...Why did my digital gear act up (it wasn't just the G55, but other digital stuff too) Maybe digital CAN in fact act up, and get confused by weird frequencies floating around in the air.

Or maybe there was a witch in the audience mumbling away magic verses to put a spell on our gear :)

 

 I ever-so-slightly disagree with... 

 

...digital can't get wanky.  It either works or it doesn't...

 

...but only inasmuch as digital gear in and of itself "can't get wanky", but I reckon that many of us have indeed experienced "one of those nights", very much along the same lines as the one you've had the great misfortune to suffer just now.

 

While voodoo undoubtedly does present a delightfully exotic scapegoat, my investigations of such systemic failures has invariably led me to attribute the cause (or causes) to factors that are that are not only far more mundane, but generally also far more chicken-friendly.

 

From countless others, here are just four common ones that spring immediately to my mind: 

  1. Law enforcement and/or military mobile communications bombarding a venue with staggering levels of RF and/or
  2. The nearby operation of TV "remote" microwave gear doing the same and/or
  3. Inadequate earthing arrangements at a venue and/or
  4. Poor quality mains power being supplied.

...RF2 seems to be on by default, and if I remember correctly I've read somewhere, that one should just leave it alone, unless there are problems...

 

Check this out: http://line6.com/sup...eting-decision/.

 

I firmly believe that you should change to RF1 at your earliest opportunity ...and (as I do) reserve RF2 for when there's both the need to (and you have the time to) arrange a "work around" allocation of channels to accommodate any "slowing" of WiFi that might occur should that requirement also demand that your beltpack operates quite close to those WiFi systems.


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#5 dboomer

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 06:53 PM



My first qualification was that there was not any hardware failure. There may have been and that certainly could account for your problems

Now the batteries aren't digital and are part of the power supply. The most likely thing about turning on and off by itself was probably mechanical or was less than perfect batteries. Because it took removing and replacing the batteries it's possible that something may have fallen into the battery compartment or possible there was something inside that shifted and cause the batteries to not properly seat. But that's just a guess. But didn't that problem cure itself with the next set of batteries?

As far as "digital wonky ness". What I am saying is that if you are creating audio then that audio is ether correct or there will be muting. But there won't be partial audio. Ones will always be ones and zeros will always be zeros. Any distortion to the audio would occur in the analog section or somewhere else down the chain

As far as operating in your pocket... It will cut down on the possible distance. Now if you don't need all of the possible range then because the digital signal will not change, then you will get perfect audio. But I'm betting that in this case you simply had more interference than other times and the range was reduced. And with the transmitter in your pocket that became the straw that broke the camel's back.

There are reasons to pick either of the available modes. RF2 offers more channels and lower latency but it requires that you match the channel you are operation on to the local conditions. If you don't analyze the local conditions then the channel you pick may not be reliable in that situation. RF1 doesn't really care which wi-fi channels are operating in the space as long as you don't get them too close to the Line6 receiver.




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