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Relay G10 USB input poor design

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I have a home made 9v battery box feeding all of my pedals. One of the outputs goes through a 9v to 5v converter, and into the G10 via a USB C /micro USB converter cable.  So it's pretty simple to temporarily put in an inline USB voltage/current meter between the battery box and the USB C end of the converter.  They go under names like "USB Tester Voltmeter" or similar and start around £8/$10, and increase in cost depending on what extra functionality you want. (bigger/colour screens etc)

 

I looked at the VoodooLabs website again, and the table that shows the PowerPlus 2 specifications.  Yes, the Voltage is regulated on the SAG ports. Their table shows the 4-9V setting listed at a Max of 100mA, so I said regulated, which was a bit confusing I guess. Sorry about that. Like you, I don't know if that 100mA really is the max across the range, or if they just forget to print a range in the table.

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The main concern about these approaches is you are still using the mini USB connector on the G10. This socket is not robust enough for serious use. It is not anchored to the case in any way, held in place only by its solder joints, and its plane of connection is parallel to the insertion force of the plug. The inevitable result of this is to lift the socket off the board with regular usage. Installing a standard Boss 9V co-axial socket, and internal voltage conversion solves all these problems at once. S www.redtapemusic.biz

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I agree that the micro USB socket is weak, and I wouldn't have used this method without some safeguards. If you look at my post and picture on the previous page from 27th June last year, you'll see that I heavily reinforced the area where the micro USB plug goes in to the socket. It has almost a cm (deep) of hot melt glue surrounding the entire plug, spreading out more than a cm all around. It's not going anywhere, in/out, or up/down, it's extremely solid. I could have installed the 9V to 5V converter inside and fitted a standard dc socket as other people have done, but as it was a brand new replacement unit, I didn't want to go drilling into the case, until I'd tried this method. It's obviously not as neat as fitting a converter internally, but it was quick, pretty straightforward, and did mean I could easily return it back to it's original state if I had to send it back for other warranty work. There are two additional minor benefits (I've found and used since) to having the converter external. One, I can unplug the converter, and optionally power the receiver/charge the transmitter using pretty much any USB source, and two, as I'm running my pedal board from a large battery pack, the output from the converter is always a useful emergency back up for things like charging phones.

 

If people feel technically competent, their G10 is out of warranty, and they either aren't intending selling it on, or think/assume the mod won't negatively affect the sale (which it probably wouldn't) then the internal mod is probably the best option or them.  

 

My option is middle ground, as it's still using a 9V to 5V converter, albeit externally, but doesn't require opening up, or modifying the case/receiver.

 

The simplest ways of "fixing' this (for those with lower technical confidence), and continue using the original USB power supply it came with, are to either use the magnetic USB connectors, as some people have, or use a short usb extender lead and plenty of hot melt glue. Personally, I don't trust the strength of that USB socket over time with even the light pressure required to disconnect the magnetic connectors, but it's certainly going to greatly reduce any connect/disconnect strain, and pretty much eliminate any chance the socket will get torn from the board by the cable itself being stepped on. 

 

Basically, the idea is to take as much strain off that micro USB socket as possible, and there are various ways to do that. There are many suggestions in this thread, from simple to more complex.  As long as people know the pros and cons of each method then that's all good imo.

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Ultimately, I bought one of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L3VRMZC/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I plug it into the backside of my Voodoo Lab power supply and it powers both my MS-3 and G10. I never disconnect the G10 USB cable from the receiver, so I don't stress about stress.

It's odd, but it seems near impossible to find a pass-through U.S. AC plug/outlet with an onboard USB connector. But there are tons of AC plug converters that do it. So I'm using that, without actually doing any AC converting, using the U.S. male prong and the U.S. female receptacle options simultaneously while using a USB port for the G10.

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18 hours ago, dlabrecque said:


I plug it into the backside of my Voodoo Lab power supply and it powers both my MS-3 and G10. I never disconnect the G10 USB cable from the receiver, so I don't stress about stress.
 

 

It's not just plugging/unplugging though. If the cable is stepped on/tugged on at the wrong angle, it can break the socket from the board. Just giving you a heads-up on that. If you are going to leave it unmodified, at least consider one of the magnetic connectors a few people have mentioned.

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That looks rather a bulky solution to get a USB 5v from 120 / 240 volts. The receiver's current requirements are not very high, a small iPhone / iPad type power supply would do the job perfectly well, or alternatively one of the 9V to 5V regulated converters I used for the hardware modification sitting in line between the Voodoo Lab and the mini USB connector? S www.redtapemusic.biz

 

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I have a Line 6 *10 on my repair bench. For the doubters, it’s bent inside.I was going to see about replacing the mini-usb. As I attempt to pull it apart, it seems like it is going to break. Has anyone had this unit apart? Or has anyone successfully replaced the mini-usb?

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16 hours ago, mikeskory said:

I have a Line 6 *10 on my repair bench. For the doubters, it’s bent inside.I was going to see about replacing the mini-usb. As I attempt to pull it apart, it seems like it is going to break. Has anyone had this unit apart? Or has anyone successfully replaced the mini-usb?

See my post on the previous page. 

 

https://line6.com/support/topic/22109-relay-g10-usb-input-poor-design/?page=5&tab=comments#comment-256136

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If you are opening the G10 you need to first remove the silver nut on the top jack socket, then take out the screw under the bottom label then run a plectrum around the joint in the case to release the clips. I would not recommend trying to replace the mini USB, it’s a flawed design and the tracks on the board may not survive the resoldering. I would recommend replacing it with the standard Boss type 9v coax socket, and a 9volt to 5 v converter board as described above. More robust and far more reliable, and the usb data transfer function remains intact.

Best Wishes
Steve
www.redtapemusic.biz

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Hey SNIPEDOGUK! I had all nuts & screws out and the plastic bottom tabs lifted but I felt like it was taking too much pressure. If it was mine, I would of gone for it. LOL! Anyway considering what used ones go for and that a new model had a better power supply system I advised him to get a new one. I know what you mean on USB replacement. Sometime they go smooth but sometimes I end up botching something and then have to run tiny jumpers. Thanks again!

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Hi all!

 

Thanks for the excellent info here - mod pictures, milliamp measurements et.c..!

 

Thought I might just add my mod picture too. I found a really tiny (like 10.000 times smaller that jmod757's beast! :D ) switch regulator board, that still does 1.5 A. Only have a Swedish link for it:
https://www.electrokit.com/produkt/switchregulator-step-down-0-8v-17v/

 

The board was small and light enough to "float in the air", being connected by some old resistor pins directly to the DC jack. (I was worried that tape/glue might come loose inside the box after some time..)

 

I can't say the mod was very difficult - but if you have never soldered in your life, I would probably stay away from it.

 

Regards,

 

Lars Lengberg

 

20190914_190114.jpg

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On 9/20/2019 at 7:03 AM, larslengberg said:

 

Thought I might just add my mod picture too. I found a really tiny (like 10.000 times smaller that jmod757's beast! :D ) switch regulator board, that still does 1.5 A. 

 

 

Nice job -- thanks for your contribution!

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I am amazed to find that this unit is still being shipped with this stand-out design weakness.

 

I bought my unit in Dec 2018. It's been stationary for most of the time, but I have taken it to different locations a few times. The USB jack always felt loose and it never seemed to properly go in the socket. I suspected it was a fragile connexion. I was right, as mine now intermittently cuts out.

 

I have been careful with the unit, but it seems that no amount of care can prevent these connexions from failing after being unplugging and plugging them in a few times.

 

I am really disappointed. Everything else about the device is fantastic, but if the thing won't charge, or unexpectedly cuts out, then it's not fit for purpose.

 

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On 2/21/2017 at 12:19 AM, a2dconverterguy said:

Further to my post...

 

If you search for the following on fleabay you should get a hit on the DC converter....

 

"Step Down Power Module DC-DC 3A 9V/12V/24V to 5V USB 2A Precise Vehicle Charger"

 

converter.jpg

 

I un-soldered the USB connector on the DC converter so that I could hardwire the 5VDC to the G10 receiver.

 

The DC Converter's 5VDC output is wired in parallel with the 100uF capacitor on the G10 Receiver... (Since this is a SMD cap, there is not much of a pad to solder to, so, you need to be careful and check to ensure there are no shorts before you power up.)

 

For the 2.1mm jack I drilled a 5/16" hole below the existing USB port. The Negative Wire from the converter goes to the center pin of the DC jack.

 

The DC converter is attached to the inside of the receiver with 3M double-sided tape.

 

This is not a sanctioned mod and will void your G10 warranty... I can't be responsible for any damage  :( 

 

seeya

 

Joe

 

On 2/20/2017 at 7:25 AM, a2dconverterguy said:

Somebody had to do it!

 

I installed a 9V to 5V DC converter inside the G10 receiver housing with a 2.1mm DC jack on the outside for powering via a pedal power supply....

 

g10_1.jpg

 

g10_2.jpg

 

g10_3.jpg

 

The receiver draws 110mA @ 9VDC

 

Please let me know if you have any questions

 

seeya

 

Joe


Thank you for posting this solution Joe, you handy work here super helpful to see.
It looks like I might have to perform this mod as my USB input is also cutting out.

Did you completely disconnect / disable the USB micro port so is it just the 2.1mm DC 9v input that can now be used ?

Was it easy enough to open the case on the receiver ? Any tips / tricks to share in this regard ?

 ** Line 6 ** - could you please fix the micro USB input issue for future production?  I could recomend this otherwise great product to friends...
Please  Please  Please !!!
 

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If you follow Joe’s mod directions there is no need to disconnect the mini USB connector, it will function as normal if required for software updates etc.

the unit is opened by removing the single screw in the base under the information sticker then the clipping the catches down the sides of the case. A plectrum is a good tool for this.

i offer a modding service if you are reluctant to do it yourself.

Steve

www.redtapemusic.biz

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Thanks Steve and also all who have contributed to this fix.
In the above images, I cannot see exactly where the positive / negative are attached to the board, but going by a post from fenilsen, it appears to be either side of the  capacitor.
Also presuming this is Lead free solder. I don't think I am located near you (Australia).

The USB DC Converter drops 9v (or 12v or 24V) down to 5v. How would the converter handle a 5v / 1A input that came from the original USB adapter?  (ie. 5v to 5v) I ask this because sometimes it is convenient to power the G10 receiver from a phone power bank when AC mains is not available. Also, I don't use a pedal board.
 

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Hello rarb, if you look carefully on the PCB around the  power supply capacitor it’s polarity should be marked. The USB board I fitted doesn’t interfere with the mini usb socket supply at all, so if the socket was working before the mod it should still work afterwards. I have not tried it for data transfer (updates etc) but the data pins are not touched so that should be ok too.

i am still using leaded solder as I prefer it’s flow. I would guess the G10 is constructed with lead free, but the mix has not caused any problems with the numerous mods I’ve done so far.

im in the North East of the UK, so practical help probably isn’t realistic, but happy to help with suggestions? 
cheers

s

www.redtapemusic.biz

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The connections to the capacitor are best made on the same side of the board as the capacitor,. The pads are very small so need “wetting” or tinning before making the joint. I found a needle type soldering iron bit was the best for this part. The capacitor won’t survive heating for very long, but the pads are small and will heat up quickly.

good luck

S

www.redtapemusic.biz

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Arrrrgh, my usb connector finally broke off today, after having been most unstable for months.

I did however manage to solder it back on and performing updates for the first time.

 

if or when it breaks off again, I'll do the 9volt upgrade as well.

The original mini usb terminal is much too fragile for music gear.

 

Regards

Peter

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Mod to provide a 9 volt input on standard “Boss type” co-axial socket, also available in black! The mini USB socket remains unaltered so can still be used for power / software updates as long as it was working ok before the modification.  www.redtapemusic.biz

image.jpg

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Yes, something similar at least. Check my response, including photo from 27th June 2018.  Instead of hot melting the micro USB cable directly in, I used a short extension/fly lead.  There are three reasons I did this.  

 

1. It provides a break point for if the cable is stepped on very heavily, in that it should separate the charging cable from the fly lead, rather than break the heavily reinforced area around the charging port.

 

2. I don't have long charging cable permanently attached to the receiver that could get in the way/get trapped when I close up my pedal board/box.

 

3. As I mentioned in the earlier post, I wanted a heavier duty USB-A connector to plug into for gigging, rather than using the micro USB, hence why I bought a micro USB to full sized USB-A adaptor lead.  This last one is just a personal preference, and a short micro USB to micro USB extension lead would allow you to use the lead that came with the G10.

 

I'll also re-iterate that if you ever need to remove the cable you've just glued on to the G10 with hot melt (I'm assuming that it's hot melt glue), then a couple of drops of methylated spirits (denatured alcohol), will normally separate the two parts that are fixed together fairly easily.

 

 

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After the USB connector on my Relay G10R failed, I cut a USB cable in half and soldered the power wires to the filter capacitor.  I drilled a small hole in the case and used an overhand knot in the cable as a poor man's strain relief.  About 1/2 hour and essentially no cost to me.  Dead simple

20200321_103114a.jpg

20200321_103325a.jpg

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No reason why that shouldn’t work, though adding the 9v board means you can use a standard pedal power supply and ditch USB connections altogether? S www.redtapemusic.biz

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I just had an email from Line6 (and a warning when I signed in on this forum) about a firmware upgrade required due to a possible issue with overheating, so not sure I'd want to ditch the USB option altogether.

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12 minutes ago, Mark12345L6 said:

I just had an email from Line6 (and a warning when I signed in on this forum) about a firmware upgrade required due to a possible issue with overheating, so not sure I'd want to ditch the USB option altogether.

This isn't the USB issue that's at the heart of the Line 6 warning. 

 

That refers to the G10T, which is the transmitter half of the G10 system. The transmitter can be purchased separately and used as a standalone with some Spider amplifiers. It can also be used with  an optional USB charging cable, which is referred to in the warning. It's the transmitter that contains the battery which has been found to be susceptible to overheating.

 

The issue addressed in this thread refers to what many consider to be a reliability design flaw in the power connector to the G10 receiver.

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Installing the 9volt conversion has no impact on the functionality of the USB socket, indeed it should increase the chances of it remaining functional if it’s only used for firmware updates, and is protected from the wear and tear of use as a power supply. 
The warning on the Line 6 page refers to a charging issue, which is addressed by a firmware update that requires a working USB socket to install.  S. www.redtapemusic.biz

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I know, but I assumed you needed a working  USB port to upgrade the firmware, so anyone thinking of removing a working one and going straight to a 9V option only, to circumvent a possible future failure, would no longer be able to upgrade.  Obviously, if they already have a broken USB port, and don't have the knowledge/skill/tolls to fix it, then my point is moot.

 

EDIT: This has got a bit cross posted, so to clarify, the above reply was to cbrillow's reply.

 

 

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Mark12345L6 the 9 volt conversion does not alter the functioning of the original USB port. It is left in place above the coaxial 9V socket, and its function is unchanged. If it was working before the 9 Volt mod it will still be working afterwards. I have three modded G10S receivers and all installed the charging updated successfully. ! s www.redtapemusic.biz

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