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landon79

Why is the left XLR out different than the right?

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The right appears to have this little plate near the top.  My connectors snap in place with the left but don't on the right.

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The left and right should have the metal plate.  Mine does.  If yours is missing I'd contact Line 6.

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post-552610-0-01750200-1446849903_thumb.png

 

See that little plate on one side only - what is that and why isn't it on both sides?  This is Sweetwater's picture btw.

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My helix alsi has the "missing" plate on the left xlr!

 

I suppose that's nothing to worry about?

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It just locks the cable in place.  Doesn't affect the sound (unless the cable accidently gets pulled out).

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I actually think it has a function -- to tell if there is one or two XLR cables plugged in, to switch from stereo out for 2, and mono-summed for one XLR only. The 1/4" outs do this with an internal contact. With XLR you don't have a moving contact, so need some way to tell if 1 or 2 cables are connected. You can do it with one sensor, if you always use the same out marked for mono - sense the other input - get a contact, then serve up stereo output. If you have sensors on both outputs, you can provide mono when only one cable is connected to either output. Think we're seeing a minor physical revision of those with one and those with 2 sensors.

 

I might be wrong, but that's what it looks like to me.

 

Dave

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I'd like an explanation.  If it is a defect it needs to go back.  If there is a difference in any way that gives the advantage in any way to one type or the other, it needs to go back and be corrected.

 

Stuff like this plays havoc with my OCD.  I first noticed it not because I saw it, but because of the difference in the way the cables snapped in place.

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I took a look at mine - it has the plate on the right XLR only. I tried an XLR into both, and they both lock in fine. The release button just pops out further on the left XLR, but both need to be pressed to release both of the XLR connectors.

 

The left XLR and the left 1/4" are both marked "Left/Mono", while the right are both marked just "Right" - even in the picture above with the plates in both. I'm really guessing it's for sensing if 2 outputs are present or not.

 

The picture above with the plate in both may be the exception rather than the norm. It's possible the assembler at the factory grabbed the wrong part for that unit's left XLR, or ran out in their parts bin for it and used the one with the plate for that one's left XLR. I would bet the unit in the pic above with both probably acts the same as everybody else's, because the plate on the left is probably not hooked up to the circuitry to do the mono/stereo signal choice.

 

To do that one little bit for a circuit revision would be much more trouble than "either/or" mono would be worth - especially when it's still only marked "Left/Mono" and "Right" AND if you're going mono to an amp or PA, you'd only be using one cable anyway, so why not just use the one marked "Left/Mono"? IMO, the one with the "defect" would be the unit with both plates, in the pic above, and it's really not a defect, they just used the (probably more expensive) connector on that one. I'd be interested if many more are reported -- and I'll bet they won't, or the number will be very small.... Mountains or molehills.... I'm thinking the latter....

 

Dave

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I checked my Helix and it has the plate on the right and not on the left like yours but If you look at the Helix Cheat Sheet it depicts a picture of that exact layout.

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I suspect that plate is just connected to a microswitch that tells the helix there is no left output connected, therefore it needs to sum both channels to the right.  Most XLR male ports don't have anything like that.  The lock on the end of a female XLR cable should still be functional without that plate.

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In case anyone else runs into this issue, those tabs are only for the tooth on the XLR cable to lock into. It's not a major issue if the tab is missing, you just won't have normal XLR locking action. I ended up fixing an issue with my tabs, but first a warning:

 

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, ESPECIALLY IF YOUR HELIX IS UNDER WARRANTY.

 

When I got home from rehearsal Sunday night and pulled my Helix out of its case, I heard a tiny loose part rattling around inside the Helix itself. So I pulled the old pick-inside-the-acoustic move, holding the Helix upside down and shaking the loose part towards the opening for the expression pedal. Out popped this:

 

img_0871.jpg?w=739

 

After scratching my head for a second, I realized it was one of the tabs at the top of the XLR outputs. Sure enough, one was missing and one was pushed halfway in:

 

img_0872.jpg?w=739

 

Compare to my gig backup Helix:

 

img_0873.jpg?w=739

 

I submitted a support ticket with L6, but since my Helix is way past warranty and would cost me shipping and bench fees, I decided to fix it myself. Opening up the Helix isn't too hard if you can work a screwdriver and Allen key, but again, DO NOT DO IT IF YOUR UNIT IS UNDER WARRANTY. I don't know for sure about the Helix specifically, but with electronics generally you run the risk of zapping something with static or breaking a connection if you're not careful. Anyway, opening up my unit, this is what the top of the XLR connectors looked like. You can see where one tab is coming out and one is gone:

 

img_0901.jpg?w=739

 

The tabs are just a simple press fit, nothing clicks into place, so it's not too surprising that after 4.5 years and lots of rehearsals and gigs with random house XLR cables they would start to work loose. Pushing them back in was easy:

 

img_0909.jpg?w=739

 

I also ran some CA glue between the tabs and the connectors to try to delay any repeat of this happening. Incidentally, on this unit one connector is an Amphenol and the other is a JT. The Amphenol has a little spring-loaded wheel: that's the switch that tells the Helix the right XLR is being used. You can just see it on the inside of the left wall of the right connector:

 

img_0913.jpg?w=739

 

Back to normal:

 

img_0915.jpg?w=739

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