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Relay G10 USB input poor design

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Thank you Claydots, was able to salvage my G10 due to your posts.  As some others have reported, my USB input never from the get-go provided a solid connection with the micro USB cable as the micro USB would only plug in about half way.  The inevitable happened with a total failure of the port.  I had been very careful with the fragile power supply connection but it certainly was no surprise to me when it eventually failed.  I can't do updates since the USB port is shot but at least the unit is functional and the connection is now so much more secure.  Though I really like the unit from the functionality/use-ability standpoint, there is just no way I could ever recommend this product unless Line 6 changes this connection. 

 

You're welcome. You may be able to update your transmitter using a friend's base. Not sure, but look around here, I think so. I have not and IMHO it's fine.

 

It's actually pretty good otherwise, I've seen engineering "nightmares" and this isn't one, just a bad design choice by some engineer with the micro USB double as power, should have left it for data and provided a more robust power port, a la what we did. 

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As long as your transmitter goes into sleep mode after about 4 minutes, then you are most likely on the latest firmware. 

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

 

I feel the same way, the USB plug tip should be shorter. I exchanged mine too, after 6 months it became loose. It just can not take any stress. Think many USB plugs are the same. Maybe a angled USB plug or add a Velcro strap on the back.

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Just a couple of thoughts: my G10 has not had the USB issue (yet), gut I can see how it might.

 

Besides the design flaw (the USB plug in connector should be more robust internally so it can take the pushing in of a connector even if does vigoursly, as well and the side to side pushing that may occur when in use or transport), I'd like to see Line 6 go with a reversible connector, even if they must supply the cable along with the device: USB-C or Lightning connectors come to mind, with USB on one end and the reversible connector on the other. 

 

But for the existing product, I think transporting the base with a connector plugged in already is just asking for problems as it is designed. A poster above designed a nice strain relief that protects the plugged in cable, but barring that, I think it's easier on the connector to carefully unplug and replug it calmly rather than leave the connector in place for transport.

 

A side note: I've been using an ANKER PowerCore 13000 under my pedal board to power the G10 receiver and to charge the G10 transmitter. It has plenty of juice for a long session or show, and then you can recharge it at your leisure. No wall wart during the show. 

 

I'm also using a Pedal Train Volto 2 to power my effects (only 9V effects...), so my pedal board needs only one guitar cable going to my amp. 

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I "fixed" the issue with one of These "MagSafe" connectors you get at Amazon for a few bucks...

OK, it slips off when you touch it, but at least you don't break the USB port. Until now it never came off by accident.

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Just got mine back from the repair shop for the second time. Both times the USB port pushed back into the unit. This time it broke the PCB so they had to replace the entire unit. 

 

I'm a basement player and extremely careful with my gear. The USB design is poor -- there's no other way to look at it. With almost zero strain relief, it's just asking for trouble.

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I "fixed" the issue with one of These "MagSafe" connectors you get at Amazon for a few bucks...

OK, it slips off when you touch it, but at least you don't break the USB port. Until now it never came off by accident.

 

That MagSafe cord is a nice solution... Would honestly be a good idea even if you aren't worried about the connected because it prevents you from pulling the base with the cord.

 

I should also add that I saw Frank Ritchotte, Line 6's Senior Director of Operations, mentioned on TGP that they have strengthened the G10's USB input a bit at the factory.

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Line 6's Senior Director of Operations, mentioned on TGP that they have strengthened the G10's USB input a bit at the factory.
 
that's like using your thumb to plug a hole in a water dam!  So now it will fail in 4 weeks instead of 2 weeks?  The break-away magnetic charging unit is ingenious!  I'm so glad I modded the units I own.  they now work great and have held up perfectly! 

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that's like using your thumb to plug a hole in a water dam!  So now it will fail in 4 weeks instead of 2 weeks?  The break-away magnetic charging unit is ingenious!  I'm so glad I modded the units I own.  they now work great and have held up perfectly! 

 

 

Well, mine has been fine for over a year now, so I guess I'm just special... I did order one of these breakaway cords the other day, though, just because it does seem like a good idea.

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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?

There is absolutely something wrong with the USB input on the receiver. I, too, used this unit for two gigs and twice at home so, four times. The fifth time I went to use it the usb cable would not plug in all the way and it would not power on. upon inspection I noticed that the flimsy pins inside the micro usb port had been mashed down and bent on the left side. None of my other devices with a micro USB port had ever done this before after being plugged and unplugged dozens or hundreds of times (cell phones etc..) but this unit was completely toast after being plugged and unplugged FIVE TIMES. Unfortunately, for me, I was beyond the time limit for any sort of a return and now I am stuck with a $200 paperweight that I can't even figure out how to disassemble to try and replace the garbage port, myself. I think it's fair to say that Line 6 owes us all a replacement receiver, as we all know that it's garbage. You guys have my email.

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There is absolutely something wrong with the USB input on the receiver. I, too, used this unit for two gigs and twice at home so, four times. The fifth time I went to use it the usb cable would not plug in all the way and it would not power on. upon inspection I noticed that the flimsy pins inside the micro usb port had been mashed down and bent on the left side. None of my other devices with a micro USB port had ever done this before after being plugged and unplugged dozens or hundreds of times (cell phones etc..) but this unit was completely toast after being plugged and unplugged FIVE TIMES. Unfortunately, for me, I was beyond the time limit for any sort of a return and now I am stuck with a $200 paperweight that I can't even figure out how to disassemble to try and replace the garbage port, myself. I think it's fair to say that Line 6 owes us all a replacement receiver, as we all know that it's garbage. You guys have my email.

Well, the warranty is a year, so even if you're beyond the return period, you're still covered by the warranty. Open up a support ticket and Line 6 will repair or replace the unit (most likely they'll send you a replacement). Even you are past the warranty period, it's worth opening a ticket.

 

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

 

Contacting them by opening a support ticket or calling them is the only way you'll get help with this issue. They won't contact you simply because you posted here.

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Well, mine has been fine for over a year now, so I guess I'm just special... I did order one of these breakaway cords the other day, though, just because it does seem like a good idea.

Care to share the link of this mini usb break away cable?

And what is at the other end of the cable?

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This break away idea is premised on some disruption to the USB port, during use, as the cause of the separation from the printed circuit board. Very unlikely. Once it's plugged in, that connection is pretty stable ... your amp doesn't move, right?


 


The separation is caused at insertion time due to the connector's solder just letting go; either not enough, or cold, solder, or both. IF the connector design was done right, it could actually be OK, but it's not. 


 


I've been gigging with the 5V mod and loving it. It's what you would think it should be. Solid, repeatable, reliable. Luckily, I did mine while the USB is still good, so I have robust power and USB data too. 


 


Hate to have some think the break away is a potential "fix" for this problem. In some cases, I bet the break away force is higher than the failure force of the USB connector any way. 


 


If it was me, I would get a warranty replacement and still do the 5V mod, Unless there was visible evidence of them modding the board and the USB port for the better. 

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Hate to have some think the break away is a potential "fix" for this problem. In some cases, I bet the break away force is higher than the failure force of the USB connector any way. 

 

 

I really can't see that being the case. The amount of force it takes to cause the mag-lock to break away is very minimal. If you've seen the mag-lock power supplies on the MacBooks, these are similar, but if anything much more sensitive. My worry is actually kind of in the opposite. The mag-lock is so sensitive, that unless you can ensure the receiver will never get bumped, it could easily break away.

 

I think the idea with the mag-lock, though, is you can leave the little male end in the micro-USB socket at all times, so once it's in, you don't ever have to fiddle with it again, thus minimizing the times you're actually putting stress on the internal connection.

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I really can't see that being the case. The amount of force it takes to cause the mag-lock to break away is very minimal. If you've seen the mag-lock power supplies on the MacBooks, these are similar, but if anything much more sensitive. My worry is actually kind of in the opposite. The mag-lock is so sensitive, that unless you can ensure the receiver will never get bumped, it could easily break away.

 

I think the idea with the mag-lock, though, is you can leave the little male end in the micro-USB socket at all times, so once it's in, you don't ever have to fiddle with it again, thus minimizing the times you're actually putting stress on the internal connection.

 

A tempting thought process, but, at the end of the day, whatever is plugged into the connector, no matter how, or how far removed, it's still the soldering job that's holding it on. ALL stress handled by the magnet connection will be "felt" by the soldered connector (unless you epoxy the male part to the case or something). My buddy's was literally dangling. Playing a show, dependent upon either the connector holding OR the breakaway, still not good IMHO. 

 

Don't mean to be argumentative, but still sketchy at best. I understand the open it, soldering, drilling etc. is daunting for some and this cable seems an alternative. For a bedroom player, it may translate the connection cycles to the magnet instead of the connector so gingerly doing that could extend the life. But if you're playing out, that won't be acceptable, and the mod works a charm. It's a shame, 'cause love the product, works great otherwise.

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A tempting thought process, but, at the end of the day, whatever is plugged into the connector, no matter how, or how far removed, it's still the soldering job that's holding it on. ALL stress handled by the magnet connection will be "felt" by the soldered connector (unless you epoxy the male part to the case or something). My buddy's was literally dangling. Playing a show, dependent upon either the connector holding OR the breakaway, still not good IMHO. 

 

Don't mean to be argumentative, but still sketchy at best. I understand the open it, soldering, drilling etc. is daunting for some and this cable seems an alternative. For a bedroom player, it may translate the connection cycles to the magnet instead of the connector so gingerly doing that could extend the life. But if you're playing out, that won't be acceptable, and the mod works a charm. It's a shame, 'cause love the product, works great otherwise.

 

Well, sure... Yes, at a very basic level, that solder joint is undergoing some level of sheer stress at all times.It just seems to me that the maximum happens when people are plugging the micro-USB into it. So minimizing the number of times your putting max stress on it is probably a good idea. I understand the idea of it's going to break, it will break eventually. But it also seems to me that most of the people who've reported it breaking are having it happen when they insert the plug.

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Same issue - looks like the small pins inside the micro-usb jack are smashed.  I bought the store demo model (stupid idea).  It's a great unit but it needs a sturdier power connection.  Micro-usb is not a good idea.  It can be dark at a gig and a round plug makes more sense.  ug.

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Just a very, very small point;

 

The unit that everyone here appears to be using to convert 9V to 5V is a switch mode convertor.

 

Has anyone measured the noise output from these ?

 

I'll probably end up modding my G10 Rx, just because looking at the pics of the USB connector, it is going to fail (!) at sometime

 

But, I'll use a linear regulator, not switch mode - much lower output noise.

 

Switchmodes are usually used where there is a reasonable current draw from a high-ish voltage differential. 

 

9V to 5V @110 mA = 440mW dissipation in the linear regulator.  Pretty easy to deal with.

 

I'll post a schematic if anyone is interested;

I already have parts to do this in my store drawers, but the parts are cheap.

 

(before anyone asks - I've been involved in micro electronic design for circa 25 years :) ) 

I'm interested in the schematic please.

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I just read through this thread for the first time after the USB port on 1 of my G10s just broke clean off (I have 2). Fortunately, it's still under warranty and support has issued me an RMA, so I'll be swapping out the unit. But if it were out of warranty, I would totally be fixing it/modding it myself.

 

For those who are mod-inclined, here's a thought... What about powering the unit using phantom power over the XLR connection? You'd need to find a 48V to 5V DC converter, which might be hard to come by. Also, it would only be useful if you go XLR straight to a PA; I suspect most people use the 1/4in out into a pedal. But, hey, I thought I would share the idea in case someone feels like trying it out.

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Fortunately, it's still under warranty and support has issued me an RMA, so I'll be swapping out the unit. But if it were out of warranty, I would totally be fixing it/modding it myself.

 

Line6 issued me a UPS shipping label, so I'm happy that they're going to take care of things free of change (including the shipping). But it's going ground both ways. From Vermont to CA. That's a full week for shipping either way, plus a few days in-between. So we're looking at a nearly 3-week turn around.

 

Seriously, Line6. A 3-week turn-around for warranty replacement? This is pretty disappointing.

 

By comparison... I've had to send a few i-devices to Apple for repair/replacement. They've always over-nighted the shipping in both directions, with a 1-day turn-around in-between. So if i send the bad unit in on Monday, I had a new one in my hands that Wednesday.

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"Seriously, Line6. A 3-week turn-around for warranty replacement? This is pretty disappointing."

 

*That's* what's disappointing?

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I'm glad I found this forum. Having read through this thread, I'm also glad I didn't buy a G10, and now I don't plan to. I didn't realize they were so flimsy. I was suspicious, having done some research on the sales sites and seeing how the thing was powered, and now my suspicions are confirmed.

 

It's too bad, as the concept is excellent. One of my brothers has one of these units and can't say enough good things about it. But then, he's a bedroom player and the unit lives in relative luxury. He didn't even know it was powered via USB cable until I asked him about it. He plugged it in a year or so ago when they first came out, and hasn't moved it since.

 

I suspect that's the use case Line 6 planned for when designing this thing. No engineer on the planet would power up any kind of gear that lives on the floor among devices designed to be constantly transported and operated by footstomping using such a flimsy connector, no matter how many are in use on other devices. They figured it was going to live in a bedroom and never move, and so were able to use a power solution they probably don't even pay $.50 for including the wall wart. I believe I even read somewhere this unit is designed for "desktop" use, so maybe the users here are a little bit at fault for mis-applying the thing. It's clearly a flimsy unit, yet you put it on a pedalboard, then lollipop when it won't take a beating?

 

That said, I still say shame on Line 6 for this one. It would have changed the price little, if at all, to make it robust enough to be used in the manner many are going to use it. Instead, an otherwise excellent idea is turning into a black eye. Plus, warranty replacements alone are probable going to exceed the cost of what it would have been to do it right in the first place.

 

Myself, I was concerned about the transmitter getting broken off at the connector from using it in a guitar with a side-mounted output jack and setting it down wrong. Not a problem on Strats and such with top mounted jacks, but Les Pauls and such are pretty popular guitars, too. Oddly enough, I don't find any complaints about that happening anywhere.

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I've been using mine for almost a year, zero issues. I do handle it appropriately though, keeping in mind the weak mini-usb port. 

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Same here, bought both my G10's when they were first released here in the UK, one lives permanently connected in a Boss pedal board, but my other G10 that I use for bass has been plugged and unplugged hundreds of times without any problems whatsoever.

 

Apart from the two units frequencies getting crossed a few weeks back (my fault) and then being completely unusable on Saturday night, these are the only times I have had times to complain. Last Saturday nights constant drop outs which led me to switching off the G10 and going back to a cable was possibly caused by having my router positioned to close to the G10.

 

:) 

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I too now have a base unit with a broken micro usb input jack.  I bought it used and it worked great for about 2 months before the week input jack broke, and killed it.  What an awful design.  Now its an expensive paper weight.  Has anyone been able to get these fixed outside of warranty?    Where and How much did it cost?

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I haven’t had an issue with the USB but did the 9v socket mod so it can be powered by my pedalboard’s power supply.

 

For any Pedaltrain users it is possible, with access to a sheet metal bender, to have the G10 transmitter under your board and thus saving some precious space on top.

 

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I just tested the mA draw on the transmitter, this is with me feeding 9v to a 5v regulator circuit, 640mA whilst charging, 160-170mA whilst transmitting.

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I guess by now is about time Line 6 releases an updated receiver base with a beefier USB connector.

Mine hasn't failed, but I'm extremely careful and the base stays always in it's place. Glad I have a few soldering stations though.

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I guess by now is about time Line 6 releases an updated receiver base with a beefier USB connector.

 

Mine hasn't failed, but I'm extremely careful and the base stays always in it's place. Glad I have a few soldering stations though.

 

I'm starting to worry about mine as well. Though I bought mine from Sweetwater, so I have 2 year coverage. 

 

I wonder if the micro USB connector is surface soldered to the board. 

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Big thanks to 

a2dconverterguy

Thanks for the Cap tip.

I didn't need 9V, and wanted to use my existing power source. I cut an old USB cable and used just the black and red wires to wire up a new jack. Double checked the voltage with a meter.. then put it together. It works! Got a gig tomorrow night... stoked!

 

Thought I'd share in case anyone was on the fence about repairing their own unit.

 

 

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i also do own one of those G10´s and face the same problem..........just as the warranty time is over, exceeded by about 3 month or so, the usm port did fail on me.

it failed while giggin..........which is about the unnicest thing i can imagine.

just think about it, the unit failson you while being engaged in rhytm work on a rock song.......for a minute oer som, you leave the bassist, drummer, keyboardist and singer alone with them selves, leave the stage, dive into your ton of cables box, search for a 20 feat lengh, find it, plug it in and rejoin with your bandmates.

 

how would that make you feel?? It left me quite angry for a while.

 

now i stumbled across this thread here, studied the pictures of those mods and will do the mod!

 

i know there will be no updating the unit but who cares? mine works fine the way it came out of the box, so what.

 

thank you guys here for the illustration with pictures and the explanation of what to do........... :)

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Hey hey hey. Buenos dias. I know that I am EXTREMELY late to input on this but what I have is relevant info to the OP. Here is what I just did to fix this issue. Saw the original fix someone posted on the forum. The voltage converter I ended up with was larger than the one from the other fix pic so I had to use the enclosure/case from the old/broken unit to house the connections and make my ARTISTIC statement : ) I definitely did manage to have some fun with the project as well.

Check out my "FRANKENSTEINed GatorHEaD L6 G10 - 9VDC to 5VDC Voltage conversion" PLUS I repurposed an old GATOR that I was able to make look like Don King .

Keep in mind that as CRAZY as it may look, IT IS FULLY FUNCTIONAL. Cheers.....

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Not a complete solution, but I was able to make a pedalboard power adapter using one of those usb car chargers.  The chargers have a built in regulator to convert 12V into 5V, and it seems that a 9V input works fine, too.  Enclosure is a plastic project box I got when RadioShack was going out of business.  I'd love to say I came up with the car charger idea myself, but I came across it elsewhere.

 

This doesn't solve the inherent weakness of the mini-usb, but at least with a small right angle mini-usb adapter it reduces the opportunity for damage.

 

Hope it helps somebody.

 

First, here's the car charger.   Connect a wire to the central tab (positive) and a wire to one of the two ground tabs.

G10_01.jpg

 

Next, reassemble the car charger, and mount it in a box along with a standard 9V receptacle.  The charger is held in place by two screws.  

G10_02.jpg

 

End result: 9V to 5V pedalboard power supply adapter.  I still need to get a short right angle mini-usb cable to put this on my pedal board.  

G10_03.jpg

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Not a complete solution, but I was able to make a pedalboard power adapter using one of those usb car chargers.  The chargers have a built in regulator to convert 12V into 5V, and it seems that a 9V input works fine, too.  Enclosure is a plastic project box I got when RadioShack was going out of business.  I'd love to say I came up with the car charger idea myself, but I came across it elsewhere.

 

This doesn't solve the inherent weakness of the mini-usb, but at least with a small right angle mini-usb adapter it reduces the opportunity for damage.

 

Hope it helps somebody.

 

First, here's the car charger.   Connect a wire to the central tab (positive) and a wire to one of the two ground tabs.

 

 

Next, reassemble the car charger, and mount it in a box along with a standard 9V receptacle.  The charger is held in place by two screws.  

 

 

End result: 9V to 5V pedalboard power supply adapter.  I still need to get a short right angle mini-usb cable to put this on my pedal board.  

 

Nicely done!

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About to return G10 for replacement after USB port broke away from board.

 

Think I might try securing the port to the board somehow. Perhaps a small hole in the board each side of port and secure with thin cable tie or a saddle of some sort.

 

Very poor design fault on otherwise great unit.

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