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Relay G10 USB input poor design

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I was excited to receive my Line 6 Relay G10 I ordered from Musicians Friend the first week of June 2016.

I worked great in my bass guitars and latency was not noticed, I was impressed with the wireless capabilities and ease of use.

I play with a part time bar cover group and It worked fine with all the wireless stuff we have in the band.

THIS UNIT IS NOT ROAD WORTHY.

After the third gig, the unit kept cutting in and out.

It appears the Micro USB input in the back of the base unit that are fragile in nature in most devices with connection-disconnection use, had became loose within the unit and failed all together.

If I may offer a suggestion to re engineer the design of the Relay G10 to incorporate a more durable power input for gigging musicians.

The unit was still under warranty from the seller and I returned it for a refund.

I was contemplating just swapping for another G10 but came to the conclusion that it may have the same issue down the road with a new one.

I'm afraid to reorder a new G10.

Too bad, I loved this Line 6 Relay G10.

Thanks:

Dri

 

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Same here. Lasted 2 gigs. Crapped out at tonight's. I'm going to return it and try one more but I think you are correct about the design. I kept it in a padded case and was always careful with it. Bummer. Otherwise a great wireless system.

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I don't think there's anything inherently weak with the micro-USB input... I mean, there are literally millions of devices on the planet using that sort of connection for charging, and they are probably plugged in and unplugged way more than a typically guitar pedal would be. What is that failed on your units, exactly? The micro-USB port became loose?

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phil_m, Your reply does not deserve a return comment. But thank you for reading.

 

Not sure why you say this... Just asking what exactly came loose in your unit. Are you saying the port itself detached from the unit, or was something internal to the port?

 

These micro-USB ports are on nearly every Android phone and tablet right now, so it's not like the port technology in and of itself is inherently dodgy. But if you're saying the port came loose from the housing, well, that's something a bit different.

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Please re read my original post.

As far as USB fragility, most micro usb inputs in devices I have personal experience with has crapped out over time from use a just as for millions of micro usb device users.

P.S.

Please re read my original post and of Dkeefer

Thank you for reading.

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In my case I'm not sure what failed. The port itself seems secure but wiggling the cable at the port causes the unit to power on and off. It will not stay on. It seems to be in the port and not the cable.

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I agree that this is a really poor engineering decision. Micro usb is fine for plugging in a device on your desktop to charge it. But for the rigors of the road and stage? Not even close. Mine just sort of hangs there, easy to wiggle around, and doesn't even insert all the way, maybe 75%. If I move the unit a little bit, it falls out.

All that's standing between me and awkward silence is this little "electronics device" connector, unless I duct tape the hell out of it. I like the unit enough that I may do that, or bring it into an electronics shop and have them hardwire a different type of connector. I'll be trying to get a replacement from Sweetwater. Maybe I got a lemon. I'll post the results. 

 

For stage, give me big, clutchy, reliable connectors, not consumer electronics stuff. 

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Looking at it closely just now, it only inserts about halfway. The lightest tension on the cable pulls it out. 

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Got my replacement, and it's not as loose, but still inserts only about halfway. So I'll duct tape it, or maybe loc-tite or something. 

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I broke mine after very light use as well.  Even structured the board to protect the usb cable (which was a waste of space given it sticks straight out), but must have hit it at a weird angle packing it up or something - it's pretty loose now and won't power on.  

 

Shame since it's an otherwise great device, but the design choice just baffles me.  And when you refer to cell phones/etc using micro-usb, that's because there's a clear need for general interoperability, so you can charge it just about anywhere, etc - none of which applies here.  What's the most common use case?  On a friggin pedal board, so why would you choose something that's not compatible with any pedal power source??  And then on top of that to stick a fragile usb port straight out the back of this thing - did you even think about your target audience at all?  

 

(I also tried to open it up and see if there wasn't something to solder back on - and maybe change the angle of the port or whatever if it's not fab'd onto the PCB, only to find that the screw is stuck under the XLR jack.  So I'm gonna have to cut around it or drill it out or something - just gave up for now. But really guys?)

 

Blows my mind really - an otherwise great product and you build in fatal flaws that show a clear lack of thought for the target audience, and I've seen this in almost every line6 product I've bought.  (DT Amp, Variax, Firehawk FX)  The one exception is the helix, which I have to say is killer and definitely had plenty of thought put into it.  So what gives? Can you please have whoever was in charge of the helix design look over the rest of your products before they go to manufacturing?! 

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So out of sheer curiosity I had to open it up, and sure enough, the micro-usb jack is mounted directly to a smaller PCB, so there's nothing but a bit of solder standing between you and failure from a light hit - as thse posts would indicate.  (Clearly this thing is not meant to be opened though, which is understandable, so I retract my complaint about the screws at the very least - wouldn't want to be unfair!)

 

I liked it enough that I almost considered getting another, but given that the design flaws make it unlikely to survive more than a couple trips out of the house (and require a seperate AC jack), I'm gonna have to wait for a better V2 for anything other than a practice accessory. Shame.. 

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I would like a battery driven receiver for dependability and flexibility on the gig (I often play jobs where there is no a/c) and a separate charger so I don't have to unpack gear between gigs.  I agree with all complaints about the wimpy power supply connections.  I don' use pedals much, but they all seem to have the same weakness.

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Agreed that a base with a high capacity rechargeable internal lithium battery would have been a great design. A rechargable USB battery pack works great to power the G10 base.

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I also have been enjoying the great audio quality of the G10, but I this past Saturday I was very surprised to see that it wouldn't power up at the gig. It turns out that the micro USB power plug had flexed enough to break the internal connection to the PC board inside the G10. Hence, no power. I have the unit permanently installed in a PedalTrain Pro board that is protected by a case when traveling. Nonetheless, it broke after only two shows. This design is definitely not road worthy. It's great if you've got it sitting on your desk hooked up to a computer, but if you are actively gigging, the durability is just not there in this design. It's elegant, yes, but just not robust enough. Give me a Boss-style standard power plug any day over this mini USB design. The fundamental electronic concept is brilliant, but if the power supply design is weak, the rest doesn't matter very much.

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I've now started to unplug mine at the switch instead of pulling the mini usb cable out each time after reading this thread.

 

I'm only a bedroom player so it doesn't get moved around much,but I used to unplug it at the cable everytime I'd finished practicing.

 

Shame you have to treat it so delicately.

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For an otherwise exceptionally designed, compact and easy to use, terrific sounding unit, the USB charging jack absent any ruggedized nor reinforced strain relief is certainly a weak point! Unplugging the source end of the USB charging cable can allieviate repeated flexing, leverage and activity at the charger base's USB jack only in situations where the base isn't moved or USB cable is not exposed to flexing, etc. However, leaving the USB cable plugged into the base is a bad idea if the back of the base is exposed! It would be better to use a power strip or other point of contact to control the power.

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I'm going to play a bit of devil's advocate here and remind people that this unit isn't really intended to be roadworthy. We are talking about a $180 wireless unit with a maximum 50-foot range and no ability to manually select channels. It is very much designed for the occasional user or light gigging at best. The receiver is plastic even. So saying it isn't roadworthy is kind of missing the point.

 

Further, I actually think it's great they went with USB for power. Yes, little 9v plugs are standard these days, but a) they weren't always (and there are still many pedals with non-standard plugs) and b) considering guitar pedals are the only thing using that plug, it's probably not going to stick around forever. With a USB plug, I can be truly wireless, powering the receiver off a standard USB battery pack. Technically this could be done with a Volto if it used a standard 9v plug, but that requires a more expensive specialty battery (that is frankly less road worthy) instead of the cheaper, higher capacity battery pack I already have (I actually have both, but that's not the point).

 

If the port is breaking after a couple times of use, as you describe, then that is poor design. As others have mentioned, phones have been using these plugs for years with no problems despite near constant use and abuse. If they just have the plug in there sort of floating on its pins, that's not very durable. At the bare minimum I'd want it secured to the housing of the receiver so the jack doesn't move when plugging and unplugging. Hot glue is one option, though a screw would be better. I'd rather it also be flush to the PCB so there is less risk of solder points coming loose. These are all fairly simple fixes that could be easily be changed on their part (or my part, really, but I'd like to not have to). Would also be good, speaking of roadworthiness, to have recessed the jack somewhat so that there is less risk of damaging the jack by bumping the cable.

 

In conclusion, not disagreeing with your sentiments about it being designed poorly, but I think there are some important caveats. And now that I know about them, I'm tempted to open mine up and reinforce it...

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I might have got round the fragile micro-usb socket design by permanently attaching a tiny micro-usb to usb cable to the receiver and just using a normal usb extension cable to the wall wart. That way you'll never be plugging and unplugging from the micro-usb socket and therefore stressing the socket. I carry my G10 bits and pieces around in a small padded hard case so it's always protected.

 

BTW, I think Line 6 should keep the micro-usb socket for updating purposes - very handy but also introduce a 9v pedal board socket as well. Looks like there's room on the back for one.

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Shame on you guys at Line 6 - seriously.  I guess I'm one of the lucky ones cause I got about a dozen gigs out of my G10 before the micro usb connector broke on me.  I understand that space is a premium when you're designing something like this - but I would think "Effect Pedals 101" would tell you to use a standard 9v pedal adapter that virtually everyone uses for a device like this.  And of course as fate would have it - my 45 day return/exchange to the seller expired two weeks ago.  VERY DISAPPOINTED and out $190.  Any thoughts here Line 6???

 

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Shame on you guys at Line 6 - seriously.  I guess I'm one of the lucky ones cause I got about a dozen gigs out of my G10 before the micro usb connector broke on me.  I understand that space is a premium when you're designing something like this - but I would think "Effect Pedals 101" would tell you to use a standard 9v pedal adapter that virtually everyone uses for a device like this.  And of course as fate would have it - my 45 day return/exchange to the seller expired two weeks ago.  VERY DISAPPOINTED and out $190.  Any thoughts here Line 6???

 

Open up a support ticket... It's still under warranty regardless of the fact that you're out of the seller's return window.

 

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

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That's all well and good (that it's under warranty) - but unless you guys have come up with a different design, I'm sure you'll be seeing it multiple times for repairs and for my $190, it will see very little time on stage with me.   How about you ship me a replacement first and then I'll send this one back to you?  At least then I've got half a chance of getting some use out of it.  btw - again - failing in less than 2 months is pretty sad.

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That's all well and good (that it's under warranty) - but unless you guys have come up with a different design, I'm sure you'll be seeing it multiple times for repairs and for my $190, it will see very little time on stage with me.   How about you ship me a replacement first and then I'll send this one back to you?  At least then I've got half a chance of getting some use out of it.  btw - again - failing in less than 2 months is pretty sad.

 

I'm not a Line 6 employee, and these aren't support/customer service forums. I'm just one of the expert users/moderators here. I have no say on Line 6's return/replacement/repair policies. The support ticket link or calling the service number (818-575-3600) are the best ways (really, only ways) to get in contact with them.

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Aorry 'bout that phil_m.   Feeling frustrated.  Hopefully someone at Line 6 is reading these comments that everyone is posting and will consider a recall.

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Got my Relay G10 on 10/5 - last night at practice (11/22) I went to plug the USB cable into the receiver, and the jack broke completely off and fell inside of the unit.  The cable was always loose-fitting, but I didn't know if that was just the design or if maybe the unit had been damaged during shipping.  Either way, I now have no way to power up the unit.

 

Amazon says I am outside of my return window, so I'm now trying to get warranty coverage from Line 6.  I am extremely gentle with my gear - it really is a poor design.

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I really am not sure why it is breaking for everyone else. I use it every weekend at practice (probably around 5 hours on average) and have taken it to several gigs and had no problems. Granted it lives in a padded SKB case when it is not in use, but that also means it does not stay plugged in, so I am putting more wear and tear on the jack.

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I had mine break within a few gigs too (So did my guitarist), its clearly the micro USB issue and the amount all the cables stick out thus bending/breaking the contacts, so here is what I have done to my replacement (God knows how many of these Line 6 must be replacing)

 

1) Purchased a right angled micro USB adapter lead (So it doesnt stick out the back anymore and can bent around the back of the base unti left or right)

2) Moulded in a single pack of black Sugru around the right angled USB adapter

3) Secured further with elastic bands (Maybe not necessary, but anything to help further)

4) Purchased not so intrusive micro USB power charger with more flexible cables.

 

So I'm hoping this wont break again now, but if it does, thats it for me as theres nothing else you could possibly do to prevent this from happening again

 

 

 

 

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I totally concur on this subject. Poor choice in design to use micro USB for anything but desktop products. Clearly, the engineers coming up with this solution was nowhere near musicians. Tools for musicians should be designed by/or in close collaboration with musicians! In my case, the port in the unit sits tight, but the contact on the cable fits very poorly, only halfway in, and loose and wiggling. Even the slightest movement make it powerless. This is total crap and I am very disappointed with Line6 on this product. It is now being returned to the retailer for a refund.

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My not so intrusive micro USB power charger has now arrived and it works fine with it.

Image attached. As you will see the cable will be able to be moved a lot easier without everything moving around so much now.

 

I purchased it from here on Amazon for £4.29 delivered

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00OZH4OWE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Just to note that on the side its states

 

For Micro/8600

 

Which I am going to assume is either a Nokia or Samsung 8600 phone, so if you know where to look you can probably get one of these cheaper, but any micro usb charger should do as long as its 5V 1000ma.

 

Next I will be purchasing some black rubber bands to make it all look a bit nicer, or I might zip tie it all instead, but as I want to velcro it to my pedal board the zip ties might be slightly too thick to then have velcro under/over and effect how well it velcros down.

 

Anyways, this is the only prevention Ive seen so far and I'm happy with what Ive achieved. 

 

 

post-2423210-0-19160600-1481623960_thumb.jpg

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Small up date here.

Ive now received my (huge) bag of black elastic bands to replace my various coloured ones

Link here https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0166XM192/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Attached are pics of what I now consider the final project to look like.

Ive now secured it to my pedal board with velcro.

 

Hopefully this should stop anything like this happening again.

 

I hope this helps some folks out there.

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G10 is intended for home/practice use. I can see where the 5VDC micro-usb connection was chosen. 5VDC power supplies are very common. If you have a micro usb cable, you probably already have multiple power supplies that you can plug a USB cable into. In terms of the connector on the base unit itself, it seems to be designed to be sitting stationary and not being unplugged/plugged in all the time. That's why they market it as home/practice use. 

 

It's also the bottom of the line in price point guitar wireless system out there. If someone wants something "road worthy" then spend the $500-$2000 for something appropriate. 

 

I will modify my power input on the base to suit my needs. The system itself is perfect for my needs already. 

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Im a bit confused.

Please tell me, show me, link me to where Line 6 has a statement, disclaimer, product notification or Line 6 website clause about the Relay G10 only for home use and not road worthy only to be sitting stationary?

 

No matter the cost, The fukin thing should not have become damaged and disabled after a short period of light use.

Good thing I didn't do any "mods" on the two units I sent back to void the warranty.

Im not going with a 3rd unless Line 6 has a fix and a updated version, maybe on a BETA test.

Im pretty sure there will be no fix. Line 6 has maybe 2 boatloads from China of the weakened Relay G10s sitting in a warehouse somewhere, Those boats are enormous.

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It doesn't say EVERY ENVIRONMENT though. The power input is a weak point. I have found that it is susceptible to vibration. I wouldn't recommend placing it on top of an amp, especially bass amp because of the vibrations. 

 

 

Some people won't be happy with it. It's impossible to make something that 100% of everyone likes. There are lots of other systems to choose from out there. 

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I've done some tests. (Line 6 please note this)

 

The port itself I think is sturdy enough.

 

The problem seems to be the actual cable that comes with it, it doesn't give you the "click" when you plug it making you believe is not in place therefore you have the feeling you must push it harder, hence you end breaking the port. (yes is Line6's induced user's fault)

 

Also since there's no click the cable is not really secured in place. Doesn't seem to anyway. That coupled with the fact the cable itself is thicker and stiffer than a normal phone cable makes for a disaster recipe.

 

Then I tried with the cable that came with my Samsung phone and there is indeed a "click" and also the cable wobbles much less. After the click the cable goes in exactly the same amount as with the Line6 cable (which is that you can see the port metal about half millimeter out) 

 

Give it a try people.

 

Shame the unit is not as easy to open (and still under guarantee), otherwise I would stick some epoxy around the port inside to strengthen it.

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It doesn't say EVERY ENVIRONMENT though. The power input is a weak point. I have found that it is susceptible to vibration. I wouldn't recommend placing it on top of an amp, especially bass amp because of the vibrations. 

 

 

Some people won't be happy with it. It's impossible to make something that 100% of everyone likes. There are lots of other systems to choose from out there. 

 

Nothing in this world is suited to EVERY ENVIRONMENT, but this unit DOES say its for EVERY GUITARIST, so it should be usable by every guitarist in environments that guitarists would use it .Be that bedroom, rehearsal studio or live on stage. (Not underwater, in space or shoved into the belly of a Tauntaun mind you)

Currently it cant be due to its awful ease of breaking.

 

I am a guitarist (Well a bassist actually but thats STILL a guitar) and the G10 has NOT worked well for me (Even though my work around is still functioning perfectly)

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same problem here, it took only 2 gigs - I really took care, but that wasn't enough, it seems...

come on L6, solve that problem

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