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smiller21

Variax Standard Charger LED Decoder

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Hello All,

 

     Battery charging question.  The other night I pressed the button on the guitar to see how the battery was doing and only 1 LED on the guitar came on indicating the battery was on the low side, so I removed the battery and placed it in the charger.  The LED on the charger was a solid RED at the beginning of the charging.  At the end of the day I went to get the battery and the charger LED was blinking RED.  In the past I think if the charging was complete the LED would be green (not sure as I use the Variax with my Helix which powers the guitar so I don't think about the battery much).  Placing the battery back in the guitar it shows 4 LED's which indicates a full charge.

 

    Is there something wrong with my battery or charger?  What does the blinking RED LED on the charger mean?   I have not had the guitar for a year yet so hopefully there is still some warranty.

 

   Secondary question: Is there any problem with leaving the battery in the guitar when I mostly power the guitar with my Helix?

 

   Thanks!!

 

   Steve

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20 minutes ago, smiller21 said:

 

 

   Secondary question: Is there any problem with leaving the battery in the guitar when I mostly power the guitar with my Helix?

 

   Steve

 

No...won't matter one way or the other. Though you should probably charge it periodically, otherwise it'll eventually just be a paperweight. 

 

Can't help you with the charger question. I loathe relying on batteries for anything, and never really used it. Frankly, at this point I don't even know where the damn thing is... and wherever it currently resides, it's probably stone-dead, lol. Always powered my JTV with the POD, and now Helix.

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Thanks for the reply cruisinon2!

 

Any others that can chime in on the charger LED decode and potential battery issue?

 

Thanks!

 

Steve

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18 hours ago, smiller21 said:

Thanks for the reply cruisinon2!

 

Any others that can chime in on the charger LED decode and potential battery issue?

 

Thanks!

 

Steve

Steve-O,

There is NOTHING wrong with either your battery or charger. The blinking red LED's indicate a full charge and that the charger has now entered a state to maintain the battery. It will sit there and blink until the cows come home while keeping it fully charged............Hope this helps.....

 

Shawn

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Actually the charger starts blinking when the battery is charged, but not completely. Like 98% vs 100%.

When the battery is completely charged the led will stop blinking.

 

Charging to 100% a Li ion battery is not always a good idea, to keep them alive the best thing is to use them and charge them whenever you want. Discharging them completely and keeping them charged and not in use is the best way to kill them.

 

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Guitarkyller/davidegirardi,

 

Thanks so much!  I couldn't find anything on the LED operation in my searches of the site.

 

This makes perfect sense to me now.  I wish the LED would be better described in the Variax manual though - Line 6 - Are you listening??

 

Anyway, I think I am good now.

 

Thanks again!!!

 

Steve

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I really don't like the battery system on my Variax. The batteries are expensive and you have to maintain them properly. Ideally, you should store Li ion batteries at around 60 degrees and at a 40% charge level when they aren't being used regularly. But who's gonna do that?

 

I ended up biting the bullet and buying a Variax A/B cabled power kit and life is better now. Yeah, it's $99. Yeah, it uses a wall wart. Yeah, you have to use a stereo guitar cable. But its a lot better than worrying about your battery charge and whether you have juice when you need it. And you can use XLR for a cleaner signal in noisy environments. And it makes using Workbench a lot easier, too.

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18 hours ago, davidegirardi said:

Actually the charger starts blinking when the battery is charged, but not completely. Like 98% vs 100%.

When the battery is completely charged the led will stop blinking.

 

Charging to 100% a Li ion battery is not always a good idea, to keep them alive the best thing is to use them and charge them whenever you want. Discharging them completely and keeping them charged and not in use is the best way to kill them.

 

David is correct.  Except the LED doesn't stop blinking after reaching a full charge. Mine doesn't and the manual doesn't say anything about it changing either. Mines on the charger as we speak and it has been fully charged and blinking for 3-4 hours, so I think it's pretty safe to say it just keeps on blinking while in the maintenance mode.

 

Here is the info STRAIGHT 'outa the "Battery Charger Instruction Manual". I have a REAL paper one in hand !

I'm gonna skip 1-6 'cause I think you know how to plug the thing in and put a battery in it ?

When you plug it in, it blinks red once, (1 second), to let you know it's ready to put a battery in it.

7. The charge begins and the charger LED turns red.

8. When the battery reaches 90%-95% of it's capacity, charging is complete, the charger LED starts flashing red and the battery can be removed for use.

However, it is recommended to leave the battery with the red LED flashing for 60 minutes to ensure a full charge for peak performance. After that the charger automatically switches to a small maintenance charge, to keep the battery in peak condition.

 Here is where I would also tell you that there are two DIFFERENT types of flashing red LED's.

One that indicates a full charge,.. On (1/4 second), Off (2 seconds), On (1/4 second), Off 2 seconds).

AND one that indicates a FAULTY battery...Off ( 1/4 second), On ( 1/4 second), Off 1/4 second), On 1/4 second).

Like I said, this is copied straight from the manual so I hope it answers your questions. 

I use both power sources for my 59 and leave my battery in it all the time. I have had the same battery since I bought it almost 6 years ago and have never had any trouble with it. I play quite often thru an analog pedalboard ,1/4 jack, battery power and just make sure I turn off the volume and unplug  it when not playing and I seem to have great battery life. The rest of the time I'm powering it thru my Hd500x., but leaving the battery in while doing so doesn't seem to have had any effect. I just keep an eye on the charge status, let it drain down to 1 LED or so, charge it up again until the LED's start flashing, (who knows how long they were blinking?) and put it back in the guitar. Keeping it in the guitar lets it cycle up and down even if you don't use it all the time and the 90%-95% charge seems to give me plenty of playing time and maintains the battery life.....PLUS...I always know where my battery is just in case I need it for a back-up. But that's a whole 'nuther story.................

 

Shawn

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22 hours ago, Guitarkyller said:

 Except the LED doesn't stop blinking after reaching a full charge.

Mmm maybe there are some different revisions of the charger, because I read that on the manual and mine definitely does that. I am replying just to help someone else who has the same charger I have, not to nitpick :)

 

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2 hours ago, davidegirardi said:

Mmm maybe there are some different revisions of the charger, because I read that on the manual and mine definitely does that. I am replying just to help someone else who has the same charger I have, not to nitpick :)

 

I highly doubt that L6 took the time to up-grade a battery charger. They haven't even up-graded the guitar platform or changed the battery since it came out, so what would the point be ?  

Also, if the LED turned back to solid red, how the heck would you know that it wasn't just still charging instead of being fully charged and now being on a maintenance mode. Just doesn't sound logical that it would function that way?  

Also, it sounds to me like the OP has the same charger as I do..."After charging all day the lights were blinking". He didn't say they turned back to red either....As far as L6 goes...there could be anything possible....dozens of different chargers...limited edition ones...an American Version that costs 10 times as much..ones in turquoise with a wooden case..and last but not least, a Beta Version !

Psark, A D Brown, Etc, can tell us if there are different ones or not. I'd bet not.

 

Shawn

 

  • Haha 1

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I see the misunderstanding now, with "stops blinking" I meant "completely shuts off". :)

 

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8 hours ago, davidegirardi said:

I see the misunderstanding now, with "stops blinking" I meant "completely shuts off". :)

 

Hey David, 

 

 

  What's the part number on the bottom of your charger?  The only one I know of is..Line 6 Li-lon Battery Charger #98-034-0001.

If that's the same as yours, then it shouldn't shut off after blinking/flashing for an hour. MAYBE ? yours isn't working correctly ????

They do have a circuit board in them that controls it going into the standby/maintenance mode, etc, and as we all know electrical stuff fails.

I got a brand new guitar interface that wasn't any good right out of the box, so a bad charger isn't out of the question either. I've left mine plugged in for days and it still flashes. If yours just shuts off, that don't sound right. Like I said, everything I've posted is straight from the actual physical manual that came with it. 

Best to "Ya,

Shawn

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Same model and it did it after day one. I has also been working flawlessy for months and the guitar runs on battery as per specs. So I'm not gonna stress on this.

 

There is a guy on the vguitarforum which opened a thread about the led stopping blinking as an "undocumented" feature.

Could it be that, when the battery is fully charged, the battery impedance is so high that the charger stops seeing it?

 

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My guess would be that your charger works fine up until the point where it is supposed to switch automatically into the declared "Maintenance Mode".

That way you would still get a full charge, if yours blinks for an hour first?, but then seemingly turns off. No harm no foul, but if left in the charger your battery wouldn't be "Maintained". Could be just a fault in the circuit board that operates that part of the chargers functions as it drops into a low amp charge at that point. 

No stress here either, Just trying to post the info from the manual here for Steve as he said he couldn't find one. Hopefully his works as stated, as mine does, and his questions are answered.

 

Shawn

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On 5/3/2018 at 11:26 AM, smiller21 said:

Thanks   Guitarkyller,

 

Indeed my questions are answered.  Thanks for the info from the manual!  Very helpful!

 

Steve

 

You are most welcome....Glad I could help

 

Shawn

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If  this helps anybody,

 

Charging Specifications:

 

Input voltage                     12 to 18 VDC

Charging Method             Constant current/Constant Voltage

Charging Current              1000 mA

Trickle Charge Current    100 mA

Standby Current                20 mA

 

Shawn

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On 4/20/2018 at 10:45 AM, soundog said:

I ended up biting the bullet and buying a Variax A/B cabled power kit and life is better now. Yeah, it's $99. Yeah, it uses a wall wart. Yeah, you have to use a stereo guitar cable. But its a lot better than worrying about your battery charge and whether you have juice when you need it. And you can use XLR for a cleaner signal in noisy environments. And it makes using Workbench a lot easier, too.

 

Yeah; I just bought one of those too. I am intending to use Variax standard with "regular" pedals and tube amps; but needed some way to split the acoustic stuff out to direct, and to power the guitar sans batteries.. Got a demo model from SW; saved me ten bucks :)

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