These forums are read only, please use our new forums here.

Main :: Variax Guitars / Bass / Workbench



Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by mdmayfield on 2012-04-14 13:32:36

I have a Pod HD500 and a Variax 300. Most of the time, everything works as expected with patch changes.

Sometimes, intermittently, something will happen that causes these symptoms:

1. The HD500 will not boot with the VDI connected; it gets stuck in a reset loop.

2. If I disconnect the VDI cable, the HD500 will then boot.

3. If I then reconnect the VDI, the HD500 does NOT recognize that there is a Variax connected (no Variax shown in the Setup screen).

4. However, the Variax *audio* DOES work.

Occasionally, I'll start a playing session where everything works as normal, and suddenly the Variax stops responding to HD500 patch changes. At that point, this happens:

5. There is apparently no MIDI program change or Tone CC communication, in either direction, between the Variax and HD500 (Variax patches don't change when HD500 patches change, and moving the Tone, 5-way, or Model Select controls with the Variax screen up on the HD500 does not show updates).

If at that point I then power off the HD500 and turn it back on, I experience symptoms 1-4 as above.

I've tried two different VDI cables, and visually inspected both of the Neutrik Ethercon jacks (in the HD500 and Variax). Neither seems to have any bent pins or debis in them.

What further steps can I take to troubleshoot this? I need to have 100% reliability at gigs in order to make use of the Variax.

Thanks,

Matt



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by mdmayfield on 2012-04-14 15:30:57

As so often happens with these intermittent problems, it happened last night at a gig, and now everything is behaving perfectly today at home. Has anyone encountered issues related to AC power, maybe low or high voltage at a venue?



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by amx05462 on 2012-04-14 15:51:43

id check your vdi connectors  on both the guitar and  the  hd  for a slightly lowered  wire connector. they have to be all the same  height. a slightly lowered  one   will dcrease  the spring tension of the connection. if you find one  slightly lowered   you can fix it by  taking a bread tie  stripping the   plastic off it  bend the end  into a J shape  and carefully   working it  under the connector and pulling it up. this is tedious work though.  most likely the problem. the other  problem could be   the cable itself if the  actual plug  has  slipped  back into the metal bezel just a bit.   the metal bezel  limits the depth of the plug. so if it  has moved a bit you have a loose  connection



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by mdmayfield on 2012-04-14 16:35:14

Thanks for the reply! But I have already done this. Both the VDI jacks look perfect, on the HD500 and on the Variax.

My top two guesses so far:

1. Something loose inside the Variax (would show up if I'm moving around at a gig, but not at home)

2. AC voltage issues at venues (assuming my home has good power, which I think it does)

Any other ideas?



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by mdmayfield on 2012-04-14 16:43:31

Whoops, sorry I didn't see the other thing, about the cable. Yes I did look at that.

After my gig, it still wasn't working so I tried 2 different cables. Neither one worked. Also, earlier during a break, I was testing between different cables and it just started working out of the blue - but once it started working, both cables worked.



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by amx05462 on 2012-04-14 17:30:43

next step would be  internal connections  at the vdi..  i dont suspect   the power thing  because  even a  bit of a drop   should still leave  you with  enough the power supply  is rated  at 000 ma   i would  imagine   the power  from your pedal would  be the  same  .  from what ive read  in the past the  guitar only draws 800 ma. 



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by mdmayfield on 2012-04-15 10:17:07

Thanks. I'll take a look at that.



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by amx05462 on 2012-04-15 11:16:06

dont forget that there are  a few   flr  lack of a better word  jumpers  on there   . check  those as well.



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by Line6Hugo on 2012-05-17 17:50:12

The POD's and Variax's are sensitive to low or inadequate voltage which can cause the device not to function properly.  If this problem only occurs at venues but not your own home, I would suspect that there could possibly be a voltage problem with those locations.

If the problem persists, regardless of location there may be something else causing this.  If so, please contact us through the following link to open a direct ticket with support:

http://line6.com/support/tickets/

Regards,


Line6Hugo

">http://line6.com/support/tickets/">http://line6.com/support/tickets/

Regards,


Line6Hugo



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by mdmayfield on 2012-05-24 09:56:01

Thanks! So in the end I took apart the instrument and examined all the multi-pin connectors. They looked dirty, so I used a soft pencil eraser, cut into tiny pieces, to clean them off - even after 2-3 times, they left dark marks on the eraser! After a thorough cleaning of all the contacts, I put it back together.

This is the VDI jack housing. I also examined the connectors for the ribbon cable between the control board and motherboard.

Connectors.jpg

Here, you can see the way I pushed the soft eraser onto the pins to clean them:

Eraser.jpg

So far, I have not had the problem since then. I'm cautiously optimistic that it's fixed - I'll keep you guys posted. Thanks.

Matt



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by mdmayfield on 2012-05-24 09:56:32

Thanks for the response. See my other reply for what I've done to (so far, seemingly) solve the problem.



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by mdmayfield on 2012-06-09 08:38:02

Since using the eraser to clean the internal Variax contacts last month, I've done several gigs and the problem has not happened at all. It seems likely that this was the fix for the problem. If it crops up again I'll add to this thread for others having the same issue.



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by silverhead on 2012-06-09 08:55:26

That's a great story and a brilliant DIY fix!

Reminds me of some time ago when I was having problems with my Variax 300. I was unsuccessful with a DIY fix for my problem which was a little different from yours. I ended up replacing the whole jack assembly you are holding in your hand in the photos. I was pleasantly surprised to find it only cost about $25, and it fixed the problem. I only mention this in case you or anyone else has further issues with their jack assembly - you might consider just replacing it if unable to fix it yourself (or if you don't have a soft eraser handy! ).



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by mdmayfield on 2012-06-15 10:45:59

Thanks - good to know!



Re: Intermittent problem with VDI communication
by mdmayfield on 2012-08-20 15:36:11

In case it helps anyone out, I've uploaded a video on YouTube detailing the exact parts to clean, and my eraser technique:




The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.