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Everything posted by cbrillow

  1. I'd say that, unless there's a significant difference in what you're expecting to read and what you see, you'll be in good shape. My experience has been that the output of AC supplies, such as the ones for your XPS mini, is generally not that close to the rated value, and is often a little higher. (not in your case, though...) More significantly, it usually goes into the first stage of an on-board power supply -- almost always into a full-wave or bridge rectifier to convert to pulsating DC, then filtered and regulated by a semiconductor device to create the actual operating DC. The raw ac voltage from the transformer can also be somewhat dependent on the incoming voltage from your house wiring. Very unlikely to be a problem unless it's way out of whack. Battery voltages are nominal, depending upon type and age. NiMHs are different from Alkalines and nicads. A tenth of a volt is not unusual to see, and it's certainly not a problem. Again, the first thing that an incoming voltage -- ac or dc -- sees is often a voltage conversion or regulation circuit. The actual operating range for consumer equipment is very likely to be + or - a volt or more. They have to account for sagging voltage from batteries before the performance starts to degrade or cut off entirely. Good that it zeroes on your resistance ranges, but even it being off a minor amount there doesn't indicate a significant problem. I'm betting that it will be just fine to perform your testing!
  2. Guessing that you bought this 'used' - was it from a reputable dealer, online auction or private individual? Were any claims made with regard to its working condition? psarkissian has helped you out with a link, so that's one problem solved... Good information. Let's simplify your connections to see if we can find where the problem is. Since you have put in fresh batteries, remove the XPS footswitch and Helix from the equation. Plug your regular 1/4" mono cable into the Variax output jack and connect it to your guitar amp. If you have sound, this will verify the output of the Variax, and we can take it from there... Yes, this is the VDI connection, a digital interface that permits some Line 6 devices to power and control Variax guitars. The pinout is the same as a Cat-5 ethernet cable, but it's advised that a regular Cat-5 not be used, even though it will work. The reason that it's not advised to use a Cat-5 cable is that the correct cable for making this connection has a metal shell (made by Neutrik) that looks like an XLR microphone connector, and it provides protection and proper pin positioning in the jacks. In a pinch, you could try the Cat-5 connection, but be very careful, and avoid moving around a lot... You're on radar -- keep listening to the control tower!
  3. In my mind, the answer is pretty simple: 'Volts is volts'... In other words, as long as you're supplying the guitar with the clean, regulated, protected and AC-line isolated voltage that it wants to see, it shouldn't care if they're coming from a battery or Mr. Fusion... I would advise checking out the converter board very carefully to verify that it works as-advertised when you receive it. Sometimes 'imported' products can be dodgy. You should be able to verify its functionality with a simple voltmeter. Take your time, double check all your connections and -- have fun!
  4. Hello, Hope you don't mind my 'butting in' on your conversation with westryder, but this is a topic in which I'm very interested. The board you've linked to looks like a good match for your project! It appears that it's very versatile in terms of both input and output voltages. The only thing I would be hesitant about would be if you were trying to use it near one of the limits of either the minimum or maximum input or output voltages. But you'd be using it comfortably in the middle of the range for both input and output, so it looks like a very good choice. Good luck with your project - keep rocking!
  5. If you wish to have a direct link with me, you can do it via Gmail.com, with cbrillow being the first part of the address. I'm always happy to keep in touch and was very pleased to hear that your project worked well! Yeah, that works too, and is easier than using separate parts! My gosh, I guess my first Variax is around 18 years old, or so. I ordered it before they actually started to ship to music stores! The one that I built the power supply for is a 600 that I bought in around 2007 or so. (and probably have played it for less than a couple of hours, total...) Don't have any idea about the newest line of the Variax, those made since the sale to Yamaha. Maybe they have eliminated use of the XPS? Take care, my friend, and drop me a line via email, if you'd like..
  6. Yes, I do remember that English wasn't your native language, and the other details of your message make it clear that it was you that I'd been in contact with! I did have a different diagram, similar to this 'final version', but think there was a wiring error on that one. It's also possible that I send something cruder before this one. At any rate, I've often wondered if you'd managed to put together your project, but as crazy as the world has been with Covid the past year, wasn't surprised that we've lost contact. I'm delighted to know that it's you! If I were a couple of years younger, I'm sure I would've immediately recognized your forum ID. I THOUGHT it might be you, but my memory isn't as sharp as it once was. Have fun and may you and your Variax enjoy many years together!
  7. Very happy to help, my friend! Some time ago, I drew up a wiring diagram for someone who wanted to use the board the same way you have - in a box, as a replacement of the XPS Footswitch. I didn't post that diagram in the forum, I sent it to him via a personal message. I looked for that message and can't find it! It looks like direct messaging may have been removed from the forum's functionality. Booooo! But I did find the attachment, and I'm including it here. Obviously, you don't need this, because you figured out all the details yourself. But it may help someone else looking to do the same as you. Variax external power supply (corrected).pdf
  8. Ouch -- probably should've verified it compatibility with the Amplifi. Better reach out to Line 6 customer service on this. I'm guessing that you won't get much help from this forum, which is user-based. Psarkissian may check respond, but it'll probably mean a trip to a Line 6 repaid depot or California...
  9. I'm guessing that he drew that conclusion from the title: Line 6 Expert Most of us realize that this is an honorary designation that reference your contributions to the forum, but usnavychiefret probably didn't...
  10. Congratulations on your build, westryder! Very glad to hear that you found a suitable DC - DC converter and it worked for you! This is a dead-easy solution, and it should be very safe, given the protections built into these modules!
  11. This looks like an advert from 6 or 7 years ago…
  12. If I am reading this correctly, you purchased this new 2 months ago? If that's the case, you should have an active warranty, and you may also be within the return period, depending upon the vendor from which you purchased it. That gives you a couple of options to pursue. At minimum, reach out to Line 6 customer service, either through the website or via phone. My experience with them has been mostly positive, and they should be able to advise you on steps to take to obtain warranty service. Don't expect that they will see your forum post and reach out to you -- this forum is primarily a peer-support tool, and only one Line 6 employee contributes to the discussion, on occasion. If you have the option to return it for refund, this would be a good opportunity to exercise it -- you've purchased a product that, while it may have been 'new', it's basically abandoned by its maker and will almost certainly see no updates or improvement in the future. There have been none for several years now.
  13. I have an AMPLIFI 30 and an AMPLIFI 150, both of which use an FBV Shortboard MK2, which makes for a very versatile solution when used with either of those amps. While the AMPLIFI 75 with the FBV Express MK2 sounds like a decent buy at $275, the EXPRESS is very limiting, as it's a 4-switch box that doesn't control individual amp effects, and I don't think that it allows switching banks, either. (May be wrong on that...) I also have the Brand X amp that you mentioned, which is similar in size and power to the AMPLIFI 30, and costs about the same, brand-new. I'll be honest and say that I've not used it much since buying it, but that's because I've been doing a lot of other things rather than playing guitar. But my impression is that it matches up well with the AMPLIFI 30 in tone, effects and amplifier models, and they sound similar to my ear. The each suffer from a critical (IMO) design deficiency in that they both lack a line output for running directly into a PA. Of course, you can mic the cabinet or use a summing cable on the headphone output, but both of those solutions are 'hacks'... The AMPLIFI has one huge advantage -- access to 25 banks of 4 presets each, controllable via the footswitch. Brand X has just been outfitted with a simple 4-switch foot pedal for selecting one of the 4 presets, but I don't think there are provisions built into the amp, itself, to store more than 4 of them. You can modify them at-will and save in one of the 4 preset locations, but that's it -- only 4. Brand X has some extra functionality that's not in AMPLIFI. But its huge advantage over the AMPLIFI is that it's still quite new and still strongly supported with firmware and app updates, the most recent of which added 3 new amplifiers and an EQ pedal. The footswitch was also developed after the unit was released, appeasing the early adopters who cried out for it. It's possible that future enhancements might include more tone storage, similar to AMPLIFI's banks, but that's just conjecture on my part. For me, the decision would be a no-brainer. I would buy a new device that's still being supported, developed and modified. I like my AMPLIFIs, but they're what I consider abandonware. If they were to come up with a firmware change -- very unlikely -- I'd be scared-to-death to attempt to update it. It failed on my 150, and I had to ship it to California at my expense to have it updated. Look in this forum for tales of woe from users whose amps have bricked during firmware updates. It's an extremely unreliable procedure, and Line 6 gives you ridiculous update advice, like telling you to keep trying different computers and USB ports until, maybe, one will work.
  14. Good luck, especially if it's not running the latest firmware and you decide to update it. These have a nasty habit of failing firmware updates and turning into boat-anchors. Of course, Line 6 will always be willing to fix it for ya. If it's under warranty, maybe even at no cost. Just hope that you don't have to send it all the way across the country - - they don't cover that. Cost me over $100 to have it fixed for 'free'. You should consider these 'abandon-ware'. There may be some 'new' unsold units sitting in stores, but Line 6 turned their backs on us with this series several years ago. Make sure that you have a backup amp...
  15. I ordered a Spark before they went into production and waited for MONTHS for it to be delivered. It's similar in many respects to the Amplifi 30, in size, power and functionality. There are a couple of features in it that the Amplifi lacks. Like the Amplifi series, the Spark doesn't offer a line output, making connection to a mixing deck or external amplifier somewhat of a hack. It can be done, but not in an ideal way... But, IMO, there is one glaring deficiency: Although there are now (mostly experimental, user-designed) 3rd party footswitches available, PG didn't account for this functionality in the original design. More significantly, there's no provision for bank switching, meaning that you're stuck with having the choice of 4 tones at your disposal with the footswitch. This makes the Amplifi far more versatile, although it requires the purchase of a Line 6 floorboard to avail yourself of the extra banks of tones. The big advantage of the Spark, is that it's near the beginning of its life-cycle, and has far more chances of being improved and updated than the Amplifi series, which has been all-but-left-for-dead...
  16. Don't have any experience with the Katana, but the Amplifi series is, essentially, abandonware, fraught with unreliable Bluetooth, and firmware update problems that can leave you with a bricked device that has to be sent to the factory for repair. You'll see many threads on the firmware issue in this forum. IMO, Line 6 dropped the ball bigtime with this amplier...
  17. The Amplfi series was a nice idea -- cool features, pretty good sounding, etc. But there have been a lot of complaints about bluetooth connectivity, and with the amplifier versions, an firmware update process that infuriates users be failing, turning them into monolithic doorstops. If you happen to have good luck with those two issues you'll eventually learn that this is a 'mature' product line. Like your grandfather, who's at death's door. Line 6 has effectively abandoned these, leaving them with unfixed problems, few, if any, updates for several years, and a very good likelihood that the latest version(s) of the app required to use it will not run on your phone or tablet, especially if you use an Apple device. And don't count on Line6 to bring the app up to conform to the latest iOS specs. Ain't gonna happen. I wish you luck -- maybe it will meet your needs and expectations. That's a big maybe...
  18. I'm in the US. My mains adapter takes 110-120Vac as input and supplies 12Vdc 1000ma to the charging cradle into which the Variax battery sits while charging.
  19. It will record whatever patch settings you have selected, so if you want the most stripped-down guitar sound available, you'll have to customize a preset that gives you that result, sans amp model, cabinet model & effects. It all depends upon what you like to hear and whatever signal processing you want to do after recording.
  20. Kudos, psarkissian. That's the kind of commitment that inspires confidence.
  21. Vettacon mentioned the 3-way selector switch, and I wholeheartedly agree -- It is the one axe-to-grind I have with my JTV-59. Here's my problem: I have a Strat and two older generation Variax guitars -- a 500 and a 600. All of them use a 5-way selector switch to achieve their pickup selection, or, in the case of the Variaxes, the model selection. That's fairly straightforward and easy enough to remember. The JTV-59 is patterned after a Les Paul in body shape and also in control positioning and switch functionality. In other words, it has a 3-position toggle switch in a position similar to where you would find it on a Les Paul. When using the Variax models, each model bank has 5 guitars from which you can choose. Only 3 of them are selectable at any given time from the toggle switch. To get the remaining two models, you have to press the model bank selection knob, which sends the remaining models to the 3-position toggle. One of the models that's available from the first set of 3 is ALSO available in this second position, because, well -- you have 3 positions from which to choose. Keep in mind that you have 25 model banks that you'll have to keep track of, plus a couple of custom banks. That's a lot to remember. I'm an older guy whose memory isn't what it used to be, and I find this incredibly confusing, trying to keep track of the various positions in which to find my favorite models. It's MUCH easier to have, say, the Acoustic bank selected and pick from those 5 models on the Variax 500 or a JTV-69, both of which use the 5-way linear model/pickup selection switch. Although I prefer much about the Gibson-like design of the JTV-59, if I had a do-over, I would purchase a JTV-69 or Standard to avoid dealing with this awkward model/pickup selection issue.
  22. Hi Dave, Happy to try to help. Sounds like you have a good handle on this -- a switch is a good idea. Now all you have to do is remember to check the switch position before plugging it in! The power bank that I experimented with was a low-cost, relatively low capacity unit, and my initial thought was also to attach it to the strap. But I really don't play the 600 much, so I just wound up sticking it on the guitar body with a loop of removable Scotch tape whenever I wanted to use it. That was easy to apply and take off, and left no damaging residue on the finish. I would've come up with a more suitable solution if I were to be playing out somewhere, but this was good enough for fiddling around in the basement. Good luck to ya!
  23. This is a 'fool me once' scenario. The life of my G10 battery is pretty degraded, but still works. (kinda, sorta...) Updating the firmware would be like entering it into hospice care. When it dies, it will be replaced, but by something other than Line 6.
  24. They want you to buy another one or send it to them and pay to have it 'fixed'. I bought one that's now on its last legs, and I have not updated the firmware, which would undoubtedly render it useless. Truly garbage-can worthy, but that's such a waste of $. I have two iPads, one of which is 9 years old and it has great battery life. Apple seems to have its stuff together about the care and feeding of rechargeables. Line6? Not so much. My JTV-59 battery started to fade quickly, as did the one in my G10.
  25. As long as the cable has the correct 1/4" connectors and doesn't have an open or short, it should work, regardless of length. As an experiment, can you plug your guitar directly into your amp using this short cable? If it works that way, it should work just as well with from the output of the receiver to your amp. Maybe make certain that the plugs seat correctly in the jacks, and aren't in some way impeded by the angled ends.
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