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Helix Rack Goes Dead During Band Rehearsal


jackwagner
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I've been working on a new preset for one of the bands I play with. FWIW, it's for bass guitar. I had been editing the preset as we played and also after each song. If I liked the result, I would save it. If not, I would discard the changes by selecting a different preset without saving the changes, then reselect the preset I'm working on.

We got about 5 or 6 songs into rehearsal and the Helix just quit in the middle of a song. When I turned to look at it, it looked as if it had been powered off - the screen was completely blank. Then suddenly it looked like it was restarting with the normal startup screen stuff. But it never did come back on. It just went back to a blank screen as if it had been powered off.

I turned the power switch off and checked the AC power source. AC power looked fine and all of the other gear in the rack was functioning properly. So I used my other amp for a song. Afterwards, I turned the Helix back on and it started normally and worked fine for the rest of the rehearsal.

Anyone else ever have this happen? Possible causes? I certainly wouldn't want to have this happen at a gig!

Thanks,

--jack

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Yikes!!!  I use a Helix rack and that has never happened.  We had a thunderstorm pop up during practice last week.  Power went out for a minute and my Helix died.  I unplugged my Helix after turning off the power conditioner.  It fired back up with no issues and stayed running with no issues - even through the two gigs this weekend.

 

Has that happened before?  Or since?

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I have the Helix Rack & controller combo as well. Been using it since May of 2016.

Other than a non-boot condition I've seen once or twice at power up, I've had no issues.

Powering down and back up cleared the condition. Happened once last year and once this year.

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Has that happened before?  Or since?

 

No. I've only had the Helix since early July though. I've been using it in my other band with no issues until last night.

 

Do you think it might have overheated?

 

I'm not familiar with the cpus used in the helix but it sure sounds

like some kind of overheat protection kicked in.

 

I don't think so. It was quite hot yesterday but the air conditioner was running at our rehearsal place and it was about 76 degrees in the room. If anything, I think the power amp in my rack would have overheated first.

FWIW, I had it plugged into a Furman SS-6B power strip like this:

http://www.furmanpower.com/product/6-outlet-2x3-pro-surge-suppressor-strip-SS-6B

--jack

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In past revisions, this was happening to some people.  It turned out to be some corruption in the presets that was being introduced (something to do with the onboard expression pedal I think), and said bugs were eventually found a squashed with the release of 2.21.

 

While you are on the latest rev that squashed the known bugs, it's possible that somehow the changes you were making triggered something that caused a corruption of the preset (i.e. a memory overwrite that Helix was not expecting) that caused it to crash.  Just a guess on my part.

 

I would say keep an eye on it, and try to remember what the last change you made was before the crash.  See if you can get repeat behavior.  If you can, please submit a ticket and describe what you do to repeat the bug and Line 6 can squash it (if that's what happened and you can make it happen again).

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I've been using my Rack since mid-June for many gigs now without issue. Hope this doesn't happen again to you....

 

When I had a powered Kemper years ago during my summer gigs, it shut down on three seperate occassions. Had to return it as they didn't offer any solution that worked and weren't willing to replace it.

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No. I've only had the Helix since early July though. I've been using it in my other band with no issues until last night.

 

 

I don't think so. It was quite hot yesterday but the air conditioner was running at our rehearsal place and it was about 76 degrees in the room. If anything, I think the power amp in my rack would have overheated first.

FWIW, I had it plugged into a Furman SS-6B power strip like this:

http://www.furmanpower.com/product/6-outlet-2x3-pro-surge-suppressor-strip-SS-6B

--jack

 

You indicated it had been working with your other band with no issues. Did anything change in your rig other than the location with your other band.  I would look for anything different with either the power or in my rig's setup.

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You indicated it had been working with your other band with no issues. Did anything change in your rig other than the location with your other band.  I would look for anything different with either the power or in my rig's setup.

 

The only thing that changed in my rig is the bass that I use. Same rehearsal space, same rack, same power strip. I suppose it's possible that there was a slight dip in the AC power when the air conditioner switched on. Or that there's a bug in the Helix while editing a preset.

I don't know. I will keep using it and see if it happens again. I have rehearsal tonight and a gig this Friday. We'll see how it goes  :o

--jack

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The only thing that changed in my rig is the bass that I use. Same rehearsal space, same rack, same power strip. I suppose it's possible that there was a slight dip in the AC power when the air conditioner switched on. Or that there's a bug in the Helix while editing a preset.

I don't know. I will keep using it and see if it happens again. I have rehearsal tonight and a gig this Friday. We'll see how it goes  :o

--jack

 

I have had air conditioners kicking in cause equipment problems before so that is certainly a possibility.  There have been some problem presets in various firmware versions that were able to cause substantial mayhem on the Helix. Everything from strange block behavior to lockups. The first thing I would do is see if I could recreate the problem with the same preset that caused it initially. In the past sometimes simply changing a parameter and then saving has been enough to fix some of the preset problems, if not, creating it again from scratch is always an option.

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I have a Helix floor unit and had freezes and a restart. Turned out that cause was it's connection through USB hub. Plugged directly to computer and problem solved. Are you using a hub, if so don't.

No, I never use a USB hub. Also, the Helix wasn't connected to my PC when this happened.

 

I have had air conditioners kicking in cause equipment problems before so that is certainly a possibility.  There have been some problem presets in various firmware versions that were able to cause substantial mayhem on the Helix. Everything from strange block behavior to lockups. The first thing I would do is see if I could recreate the problem with the same preset that caused it initially. In the past sometimes simply changing a parameter and then saving has been enough to fix some of the preset problems, if not, creating it again from scratch is always an option.

After the problem, I continued editing the preset without any other issues. I was able to dial it in to my liking but I suspect there will still be some small tweaks. I don't really have any interest in trying to recreate the issue but rather to learn if there was a known problem that I can avoid.

I had rehearsal with my other band last night and had no issues. Although, I did use a different preset. Also, since it was hot yesterday the air conditioner was on the entire rehearsal and did not cycle on and off.

I have a gig tomorrow and I'll be using the preset that caused the issue, so we'll see how it goes. 

--jack

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I have a UPS at home and at church to connect my Helix to. I like using them because they regulate voltage if necessary and filter out a lot of garbage. 

 

Depends on the UPS.  Some output a square wave which is effectively adding line noise.

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Depends on the UPS.  Some output a square wave which is effectively adding line noise.

True, most inexpensive UPS units are not "true sine wave". I don't know if it matters with the Helix power supply though. A lot of universal power supplies don't care since it is just making DC in various ways anyway. Maybe one of the Line 6 design nerds will see this post and comment on the power supply. Maybe we can start a new subject of contention (like the tuner) based on the power supply design of the Helix and its superiority/inferiority. 

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I use one of these in my rack:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/F1000UPS

 

I was really going for the voltage regulator but the UPS was less expensive ( although tons heavier )

 

Voltage Regulator

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/P1800AR

 

not sure if that's your issue or not but I sleep better knowing it's there

 

You don't have to spend that much. Those units are expensive!!

 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/M8Lx

 

I use this as well.

 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PRO200

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