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roscoe5

JTV Variax control/power/update through Helix

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I tried to search the Line 6 forums, but didn't find a direct answer.

Can you update, power and control a JTV Variax connected to Helix with only a VDI cable?

I ask because the store I am picking up the JTV from can't find the battery charger or USB variax interface for it. It's a smokin deal though and have it in layaway at the moment....

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I tried to search the Line 6 forums, but didn't find a direct answer.

 

Can you update, power and control a JTV Variax connected to Helix with only a VDI cable?

 

I ask because the store I am picking up the JTV from can't find the battery charger or USB variax interface for it. It's a smokin deal though and have it in layaway at the moment.

 

roscoe5,

 

Yep, what Charlie_Watt said above is correct.

 

You will need the USB interface to connect to Workbench HD - that's what is required to do the FW updates etc.

Power and control Variax through VDI only - no problem. Note: you also need to have a 1/4" jack connected to the Variax along with the VDI when hooking up to Workbench - otherwise WB doesn't see the connection. Strange but true!

 

Let's all hope that Variax/Workbench integration is fixed in the next Helix FW Update.

 

LATE EDIT: Get them to lower the price a little more and buy a charger from Line 6 store @ $49:99, don't know about the USB gizmo!

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Using the Helix and a VDI cable, you can control and power the Variax, but not update it or use Variax Workbench (with current Helix firmware as of 2016-10-12).

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Note: you also need to have a 1/4" jack connected to the Variax along with the VDI when hooking up to Workbench - otherwise WB doesn't see the connection. Strange but true!

If I'm remembering correctly, this is because the Workbench USB interface does not supply power to the Variax. So you either need a charged battery in the Variax while using a regular 1/4" cable to get the guitar's electronics to turn on - or you'll need the special 1/4" TRS (aka stereo) cable supplying power to the JTV through either an XPS-mini or the special line 6 A/B box.

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Also... If you have access to any of these devices, they will work as a Variax interface:

 

Pod XT Live

Pod X3 Live

Pod HD500 or 500X (latest firmware)

 

There may be other devices too that I've forgotten.

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I ask because the store I am picking up the JTV from can't find the battery charger or USB variax interface for it. It's a smokin deal though and have it in layaway at the moment.

It's baffling to me how often this seems to happen...if it's a new guitar, I'd tell them to acquire another one if its been "lost".

 

Regardless, you'll be able to power and control it, but Workbench connectivity is still a no-go. You will need that USB dongle, which L6 will be happy to sell you for the absurd "don't drop the soap" price of $100!

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If I'm remembering correctly, this is because the Workbench USB interface does not supply power to the Variax. So you either need a charged battery in the Variax while using a regular 1/4" cable to get the guitar's electronics to turn on - or you'll need the special 1/4" TRS (aka stereo) cable supplying power to the JTV through either an XPS-mini or the special line 6 A/B box.

 

Correct - it does need the green lights on from a charged up battery. Darn, I forgot about that one! Doh!

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If I'm remembering correctly, this is because the Workbench USB interface does not supply power to the Variax. So you either need a charged battery in the Variax while using a regular 1/4" cable to get the guitar's electronics to turn on - or you'll need the special 1/4" TRS (aka stereo) cable supplying power to the JTV through either an XPS-mini or the special line 6 A/B box.

Still need the quarter inch cable inserted with the battery when connected through the USB to a computer.  Took me a bit to realize that and couldn't understand why my computer couldn't recognize the Variax was attached with a fully charged battery and Line 6 updater knew it was connected, but not the USB driver.  Plugged in a 1/4 cable and it was good to go.... (don't need to connect it to anything, acts like a stompbox does, needs a quarter inch cable to be able to turn on.)

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when i bought my Variax i had a problem in that the charger wouldn't work, when i took it back i was told that the batteries were coded to the chargers to stop 3rd party batteries being used, if thats the case then maybe only the missing charger will work.

 

maybe hat they told me was BS, but im sue ive read of issues along the same line on here somewhere.

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...when i took it back i was told that the batteries were coded to the chargers to stop 3rd party batteries being used....

Who told you that? I can't imagine that there's any intelligence in either the battery or the charger.

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Who told you that? I can't imagine that there's any intelligence in either the battery or the charger.

I remember it being discussed...don't think it had anything to do with the charger though. If i remember the conversation, the claim was that the guitar won't recognize a 3rd party battery somehow. I forget the specifics...don't even know of its true. But there was a thread about it, once upon a time.

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I remember it being discussed...don't think it had anything to do with the charger though. If i remember the conversation, the claim was that the guitar won't recognize a 3rd party battery somehow. I forget the specifics...don't even know of its true. But there was a thread about it, once upon a time.

I don't know about the Line 6 batteries, but the ones I use in my Canon EOS cameras are "chipped" to keep track of how many shots and number of charge cycles etc. Attempting to use third party batteries would generate an "error code" and simply refuse to work - supposed to be a safety feature thing (or is that Samsung. oops!). Needless to say our Chinese friends quickly found a way of bypassing the microchip issue and sell "decoded" versions extremely cheap.

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Also... If you have access to any of these devices, they will work as a Variax interface:

 

Pod XT Live

Pod X3 Live

Pod HD500 or 500X (latest firmware)

 

There may be other devices too that I've forgotten.

 

Awesome! I have an X3 Pod.

 

Thanks so much for the quick replies from everyone.

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Awesome! I have an X3 Pod.

 

Thanks so much for the quick replies from everyone.

 

roscoe5,

 

One more thing, you have been using Helix and the updater software recently - if you are going to hook up the Variax to your POD X3, you will need to go back to using the Line 6 Monkey for it to "see" the Variax. Latest version of Monkey v1.73 available to download. Remember to stick a 1/4" jack in the guitar along with the VDI, then run the needed updates.

 

Good luck!

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Also... If you have access to any of these devices, they will work as a Variax interface:

 

Pod XT Live

Pod X3 Live

Pod HD500 or 500X (latest firmware)

 

There may be other devices too that I've forgotten.

 

Ugh, I have a pod x3 bean with no variax VDI connection. Fingers crossed that they find the bits.

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This old thing again!!! Line6 really really need to sort it out in the next update!

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The batteries do contain a chip that makes them work in the Variax battery holder.  They don't need that to work in the charger.

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The batteries do contain a chip that makes them work in the Variax battery holder.  They don't need that to work in the charger.

 

This is now drifting quite a bit off topic but...

 

Damn, that's just like the Canon camera thing - only the Canon tech crew had it rigged so that their battery chargers would not work with a "clone" battery either - sneaky, uh? Those Hong Kong dudes got round that by supplying their own cheapo charger, although you still had a big chance of frying your camera!

 

Some guy on a Variax (Standard, or James Tyler?) forum thread on here suggested using a Sony video camera battery but IIRC some one (Charlie_Watt?) warned him of the consequences of doing that! YMMV.

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The JTV and original Variax can also be powered using a TRS connector.

 

My XPS-Mini box accepts 9V AC, 1200mA, but on opening it up I see it has a big ol' capacitor, along with a bunch of small resistors, a transistor, and a couple other components on a PCB - so I'm pretty sure that the Variax does not expect 9V AC; it probably needs DC. I'm not sure of the polarity and voltage it expects, though.

 

EDIT: I just remembered I have a multimeter somewhere. If I get a chance (hopefull this week, but no promises) I will check what voltage the XPS-Mini puts out. Or maybe someone else here already knows.

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I look forward to the day we can just simply use Workbench with the Helix to do our Variax editing, instead of 1) looking for the USB dongle, 2) updating the Monkey, 3) looking for the battery charger, 4) charging the Variax battery, adn 5) juggling the dongle, USB cable, VDI cable, and 1/4" guitar cable — trying to get both dongle LEDs to light green without strangling yourself!

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I look forward to the day we can just simply use Workbench with the Helix to do our Variax editing, instead of 1) looking for the USB dongle, 2) updating the Monkey, 3) looking for the battery charger, 4) charging the Variax battery, adn 5) juggling the dongle, USB cable, VDI cable, and 1/4" guitar cable — trying to get both dongle LEDs to light green without strangling yourself!

 

Amen to that, bro. It gets my vote! You can keep all those crazy boutique amp and pedal requests, just make it communicate with the Variax - Dream Rig Style!

 

Can't be that difficult - or, maybe it is?

 

Although, DI says - it's in the pipeline - maybe a big "Thanksgiving" could be due?

 

Beware - rumours spread like wildfire on the Internet according to Digital Igloo!

 

Just an idea!

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If you have been here a while you'd know Its a common thing for workbench software functionality to not be included in a new L6 hardware releases. It happened with my Pod XT Pro rack too. They eventually added it in, and Im betting that Helix will also have it before Christmas 2016.

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Thanks again fellas. This Variax is a new floor model with some dings and such. Guitar Center is going to contact Line 6 for the missing accessories, no additional cost.

 

I'll pick it up this weekend.

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Kudos to Line 6 support and the Guitar Center staff in Albany, NY!!!! Line 6 overnighted all of the Variax accessories and everything is working great. Awesome customer service!!!!

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Part II of the 'dreamrig revisited questions':

Maybe DI could tell us something new - will Workbench HD functionality be integrated soon?

I know you wouldn't tell us any specific time or date ;) ...

But will there still be hope  :huh:?!

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Part II of the 'dreamrig revisited questions':

Maybe DI could tell us something new - will Workbench HD functionality be integrated soon?

I know you wouldn't tell us any specific time or date ;) ...

But will there still be hope  :huh:?!

 

 

Yeah definitely.  It would be nice if that hit along with DT integration.  It is really inconvenient to have to change over to 1/4" input to Helix to VDI to USB dongle and Workbench Variax tweaking.

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