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Helix in daylight, what is everybody doing?


SaschaFranck
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16 minutes ago, Lone_Poor_Boy said:

 

Hmmmm... what about modifying an old, used Coleman stove?  Gut it, and put foam padding on the bottom to lift the Helix up some?

200.jpg

 

This is looking cool - but the Helix will be lifted up WAY too much for my likings, couldn't properly operate the EXP pedal.

Now, one might be able to modify this guy, but it might become a lot of work or as expensive as a custom case.

Fwiw, here's one of my custom cases (I'm using this since 25+ years already, will possibly survive a nuclear war), as you can see, I took great care to get the front edge as low as possible, the design is pretty much as an L-rack (in the L-portion of the lid there's some space for cables and such, pretty handy):

Pedalboardcase.jpg.256b9a8ba9a13fa6af85bb0c4cba3f46.jpg

Quite unfortunately, it's not wide enough to fit an additional EXP pedal and a little patchbay kinda thing that I defenitely want to have (to never plug directly in and out of the Helix anymore), so I will likely have to build a new one. And depending on whatever possible solutions for the daylight dilemma, I  may alter the design a bit...

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42 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

It's not about what I will do, it's about what the guy running the console will do.

 

If I tell the sound-man not to hook up 48 volts to my Helix and he does anyway he's not worth his own salt. There are rules to be followed when the equipment does not belong to you. He can hang a mic over the cab, and thats been done since the late 40's early 50's.

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1 hour ago, donkelley said:

...

 

But it is not a quality issue - it is an EXTRA FEATURE that line6 added to improve performance in literally all other situations besides having 48v mistakenly supplied to it.

 

...

 

Sorry if I missed your post elsewhere. This sounds like a welcome positive slant on the XLR Out phantom power issue that people might find explains the design decision quite nicely even if they don't agree with it. You sound like you have an engineering or electronics background. What is the "EXTRA FEATURE that line6 added to improve performance"? Does the omission of an anti-pop circuit improve performance? If that is the case is the performance increase sufficient enough to warrant the omission?

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16 minutes ago, spikey said:

 

If I tell the sound-man not to hook up 48 volts to my Helix and he does anyway he's not worth his own salt. There are rules to be followed when the equipment does not belong to you. He can hang a mic over the cab, and thats been done since the late 40's early 50's.

 

I explained the situation already. What's so tough to understand? In case you only have a small console with global phantom power and someone is using a mic requiring it, then it will be switched on, period. And the last thing you would want to deal with is to care about the guitarist just because his/her XLR out is acting up - because that's just nothing to usually happen.

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53 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

I explained the situation already. What's so tough to understand? In case you only have a small console with global phantom power and someone is using a mic requiring it, then it will be switched on, period. And the last thing you would want to deal with is to care about the guitarist just because his/her XLR out is acting up - because that's just nothing to usually happen.

 

And I explained the situation already, too. What's so tuff about following directions? Besides, "most" mixers have a switch next to the power button for phantom power, and you don't "have" to use it if you dont wish to. And If they (the musician) tells you NOT to do something then don't do it,  just follow their instructions. And FWIW If u have a small console with global phantom power that wont switch off and you are running sound with that you need to move up in the world mixer wise (get Phantom power per channel), or get a day job. And one other thing, if the sound guy is a jerk and doesn't care about the people/equipment he/she is mixing for then you need to FIRE them and get one who does. Why? Because if they could care less about your equipment then they don't care much about how good you sound either. Or heres a "novel" idea, just run a direct box. Then it doesn't matter if your sound guy is coherent or not.... ; )

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16 minutes ago, spikey said:

 

And I explained the situation already, too. Whats so tuff about following directions? If they tell you NOT to do something then don't do it. And, If u have a small console with global phantom power and you are running sound with that you need to move up in the world mixer wise (get Phantom power per channel), or get a day job.

 

You seem to have very little of an idea of certain jobs. Most small consoles used for small gigs don't have individual phantom power per channel (I could happily point you to some of the ones I'm regularly having to deal with).

Besides, that's a totally moot point. An XLR out not being able to deal with phantom power is a bad thing.

 

 

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And fwiw, can we please stop the XLR out discussion? It's absolutely pointless! If you think it's ok that a 1.5k bucks unit comes with an XLR out not being able to deal with phantom power, be it so. Don't expect me to agree but please stop derailing the thread further. Yeah, I have made a tiny side remark about a certain lack of QA, but that doesn't justify you folks to be all over it endlessly. But heck, again, be it so. I hope you've had your fun. But I would now vastly prefer to return to your fine solutions regarding LED and what not visibility under bright lightning conditions.

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4 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

 

No. The sound itself is changed, too - beyond being attenuated. Sometimes it's just a bit of hiss, sometimes it's crackling a lot.


Dude, I’m agreeing with you... Why are you making this so difficult?

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5 minutes ago, phil_m said:


Dude, I’m agreeing with you... Why are you making this so difficult?

 

Ok, perhaps a language issue in this case. "Attenuated" IMO means a level drop but nothing else. But the sound is severely degraded beyond being lower in volume.

Whatever, perhaps just a mis-communication.

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1 hour ago, SaschaFranck said:

You seem to have very little of an idea of certain jobs.

Ive been playing out off and on since the late 60's, so don't go there. You seem to judge people you know "nothing" about. Sure, certain jobs don't need a huge mixer- DUH. So yes Mr. Obvious small mixers don't have individual channels with Phantom power. Use a direct box that blocks the 48 volts. Done!

 

Quote

An XLR out not being able to deal with phantom power is a bad thing.

I don't disagree with this, but that doesn't mean it's broken, it just means it was designed that way. Who knows why that is. Im sure they will address this in Helix 2.0. That said, You seem to declare there is something very wrong with Helix design wise as a show stopper issue, when there isn't. Could it have been designed better? Sure, like everything else that you and I both own AND don't own (that's me being Mr. Obvious now ; ) ). That doesn't mean Helix is broken. But, even if Helix was able to take the 48 volts without ANY issues at all, Id still run with a direct box just to be pro-active for protection purposes if nothing else. That goes for my Kemper, Axe FX and others as well. That cover all the bases? Good.

 

Oh yea, as far as running Helix in the summer Sun, Id try hard not to do that if at all possible just for the heat build up if nothing else.

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1 hour ago, SaschaFranck said:

And fwiw, can we please stop the XLR out discussion? It's absolutely pointless!

 

Agreed.....

 

1 hour ago, SaschaFranck said:

If you think it's ok that a 1.5k bucks unit comes with an XLR out not being able to deal with phantom power, be it so.

 

Oh.... it's opened up again - LOL! 

Couldn't you have just left it with your first line instead of invoking more discussion?

 

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8 minutes ago, codamedia said:

Couldn't you have just left it with your first line instead of invoking more discussion?

 

No, He is like me and has to be right all the time ; ). Next he will be telling us how the tuner in the editor is not working right..., err....

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28 minutes ago, spikey said:

I don't disagree with this, but that doesn't mean it's broken, it just means it was designed that way.

 

Ok, I promise to stop after this, but seriously: Do you *really* think they "designed" the XLR outs to cause hiss and crackle once there's phantom power running? Seriously? Ok, must be a weird design idea then...

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Ok, back to topic: I know there's those big foot buttons and such. I even own a set (but removed them because I like the plain switches better and the aluminium foil trick didn't work too well to trigger the capacitive switching). Whatever, is there any set of such buttons which might perhaps help to enhance the LEDs? I'm thinking along the lines of something sort of focusing/bundling the entire luminescence into one direction or so (kinda prism-alike).

 

Also: Would you folks think it'd be a tough operation for a decent technician to replace the LED rings in favour of something brighter, assuming there's some brighter LED rings of the same size? Obviously without altering the switches, that is. If that was possible, I would at least give that a serious thought.

 

And finally, I think I really need to promote the idea of the scribble strips to offer an "invert" mode on Ideascale. That would already help a lot when standing straight in front of the unit (not so much as soon as you move sideways, still better than nothing).

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4 hours ago, SaschaFranck said:

Ok, I promise to stop after this, but seriously: Do you *really* think they "designed" the XLR outs to cause hiss and crackle once there's phantom power running? Seriously? Ok, must be a weird design idea then...

 

I honestly dont know. I do know that most Electronic Design Engineers are smarter at that design work than I am.

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Fwiw, played two outdoor gigs during the last 3 days. No direct sunlight at all, very cloudy (even dark clouds and some rain which required covering the entire stage...). In other words: That's something that should sort of be doable. But it's not. Apart from the brighter scribble strip text (and even that was problematic), I could see barely anything, LED rings are completely invisible (regardless of selected color), on the screen the only thing I could vaguely guess where the active blocks. Adjusting parameters required holding my hand over the screen so it would be a little darker.

 

This is quite dissapointing and while I could imagine to come up with a solution (or two) for direct sunlight, I wouldn't happen to know what to do under such diffuse light conditions. In case things go well (end of the C19 desaster), next year will come with plenty of outdoor gigs and the conditions will likely be quite similar to those during the last 3 days. In a nutshell, I'm seriously considering something else for my live needs. I rely on quick on the fly adjustments too often (a lot of my gigs are "cold starters" without any intense rehearsals, if at all), but under diffuse, yet rather bright lightning conditions, these almost become guesswork.

Not sure whether Line 6 could update, say, the color coding of the main screen sufficiently (given they would have any interest at all), they could possibly offer an option for the scribble strips to become inverted when active, but that would still not solve the screen issues.

 

This is really sad because I was quite happy with my sound and even got compliments from bandmates, FOH guys and some friends in the audience. But steering blind unfortunately is a serious issue for me.

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23 hours ago, SaschaFranck said:

Fwiw, played two outdoor gigs during the last 3 days. No direct sunlight at all, very cloudy (even dark clouds and some rain which required covering the entire stage...). In other words: That's something that should sort of be doable. But it's not. Apart from the brighter scribble strip text (and even that was problematic), I could see barely anything, LED rings are completely invisible (regardless of selected color), on the screen the only thing I could vaguely guess where the active blocks. Adjusting parameters required holding my hand over the screen so it would be a little darker.

 

This is quite dissapointing and while I could imagine to come up with a solution (or two) for direct sunlight, I wouldn't happen to know what to do under such diffuse light conditions. In case things go well (end of the C19 desaster), next year will come with plenty of outdoor gigs and the conditions will likely be quite similar to those during the last 3 days. In a nutshell, I'm seriously considering something else for my live needs. I rely on quick on the fly adjustments too often (a lot of my gigs are "cold starters" without any intense rehearsals, if at all), but under diffuse, yet rather bright lightning conditions, these almost become guesswork.

Not sure whether Line 6 could update, say, the color coding of the main screen sufficiently (given they would have any interest at all), they could possibly offer an option for the scribble strips to become inverted when active, but that would still not solve the screen issues.

 

This is really sad because I was quite happy with my sound and even got compliments from bandmates, FOH guys and some friends in the audience. But steering blind unfortunately is a serious issue for me.

 

Have you tried wearing sunglasses with polarized lenses?

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18 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

 

No. And from all I know, they only make matters worse. Besides, it wasn't any kind of weather to wear sunglasses.

 

It would make it worse if Helix LCD were already sporting a polarized screen, which I don't think it is, since this should black out the vision through a polarized lens, and it doesn't (at least not on my Helix)... If you do this with an iPhone, which does indeed use a polarized LCD screen, then yeah, it would make it basically black.

 

Anyway, was just an idea. In theory, you could achieve same thing using a polarized film for LCD screens, this should absorb a big part of glare, making the screen much more readable under direct light. With sunglasses, you would also see scribble strips and footswitch rings.

 

I quickly did a short clip using a polarized lens for camera, just to show what I mean.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/p5ct2lm7xgr5xcy/IMG_2872.mov?dl=0

 

More reference; http://www.lcdparts.net/Film3D.aspx

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12 minutes ago, PierM said:

 

It would make it worse if Helix LCD were already sporting a polarized screen, which I don't think it is, since this should black out the vision through a polarized lens, and it doesn't (at least not on my Helix)... If you do this with an iPhone, which does indeed use a polarized LCD screen, then yeah, it would make it basically black.

 

Anyway, was just an idea. In theory, you could achieve same thing using a polarized film for LCD screens, this should absorb a big part of glare, making the screen much more readable under direct light. With sunglasses, you would also see scribble strips and footswitch rings.

 

I quickly did a short clip using a polarized lens for camera, just to show what I mean.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/p5ct2lm7xgr5xcy/IMG_2872.mov?dl=0

 

More reference; http://www.lcdparts.net/Film3D.aspx

 

Quite interesting, thanks. Not sure it'll help, though - I'm pretty sure I remember someone saying that polarized sunglasses would make matters worse. But then, a polarized screen film might be something different.

Also, in your video, the light isn't exactly diffuse - which, at least IMO, is a way bigger issue than direct sunlight. No idea whether a polarized screen would help in that case (fwiw, sunglasses are completely out of the equation - I won't be wearing sunlasses because my modeler isn't bright enough...).

However, my main issue would be the LED rings anyway, which simply aren't bright enough at all.

 

The entire thing is making me wonder whether they were actually testing the Helix under such conditions - not very likely. I mean, nobody would ever say "yeah, that's fine".

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This is a weird thread, but I'll chime anyway. I play on a lot of sunlit stages. I find direct sun is the worst, and if you are in a shadow you can see the LEDs good enough. So ... if you build a thin plywood (even cardboard or art board will work) three sided box fitted to surround the sides and back of the Helix (leaving a slot for cords in the back, you can then fit the top with shade cloth that will cover just enough so you can still access the pedals, etc. The box should be high enough to need cast shadows cast on the LEDs. If the sun is behind you, you can fashion a high shade block behind you and the Helix. You have to think in terms of a sun block between the sun and your pedals. High noon is the biggest challenge, but that's where shade cloth can help.

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5 minutes ago, soundog said:

This is a weird thread, but I'll chime anyway. I play on a lot of sunlit stages. I find direct sun is the worst, and if you are in a shadow you can see the LEDs good enough. So ... if you build a thin plywood (even cardboard or art board will work) three sided box fitted to surround the sides and back of the Helix (leaving a slot for cords in the back, you can then fit the top with shade cloth that will cover just enough so you can still access the pedals, etc. The box should be high enough to need cast shadows cast on the LEDs. If the sun is behind you, you can fashion a high shade block behind you and the Helix. You have to think in terms of a sun block between the sun and your pedals. High noon is the biggest challenge, but that's where shade cloth can help.

 

Seriously, I found direct sunlight (which I had to fight with as well) to be a lot less problematic than diffuse light. With the latter, there's pretty much no chances to build anything creating shadows properly.

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3 hours ago, soundog said:

Then you've got a seriously big problem.

 

Well, that'd depend on the definition of "serious big problem". In this case it's about a modeler not doing its job as nicely as I would've hoped for. There's way more serious problems in my book.

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What about switching to Helix Rack? This way you'd have the main LCD in a completely different angle, and you can put it where you want. Also much easier to protect from the light.

 

You also said you do a lot of "on the fly" editing, so this is another good reason to use a rack.

 

I do use a rack, never had a problem under any kind of light, direct, diffuse, whatever.

 

Another good thing of using a rack, in daylight conditions, it's that you can put fans on the back to the rack, to control overheating, which can be really bad under the sun, on a Helix floor. 

 

Just food for thought... :)

 

3DD10525-44CA-42F8-91BE-C95C0A6663D1.thumb.jpeg.230ea0ec77846236d3dde5f5bf4f7d41.jpeg

 

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58 minutes ago, PierM said:

What about switching to Helix Rack? This way you'd have the main LCD in a completely different angle, and you can put it where you want. Also much easier to protect from the light.

 

You also said you do a lot of "on the fly" editing, so this is another good reason to use a rack.

 

I do use a rack, never had a problem under any kind of light, direct, diffuse, whatever.

 

I appreciate your thoughtful reply. Yet, it's nothing for me. I said byebye to racks for good reasons and enjoy to create my sounds from just a floorboard since a long while already (before taking the modeler route all I needed was a clean pedal platform amp). Fwiw, apart from the price, it's the main reasons why I don't think I will ever get an Axe FX (even if i checks a lot of my boxes).

Also, I absolutely like the capacitive switches of the Floor when it comes to quick onstage edits.

And finally, the Rack won't help with the lack of LED brightness, which is my main issue. Sure, in case you got the Rack you probably don't need the Line 6 Floorboard anymore and could just use any decent MIDI controller offering sufficient visibility - so that'd likely be what I'd do. But then, as said, I turned into a "everything in my pedalboard" (plus some utilities in a bag) guy long time ago already and enjoy it a lot (FTR, in my hometown, I don't use the car for gigs anymore but prefer a little bike trailer, plus I'm traveling to gigs by train quite sometimes).

 

Fwiw, nice setups you've got there. Do you use them separately or combined, too?

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3 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

 

I appreciate your thoughtful reply. Yet, it's nothing for me. I said byebye to racks for good reasons and enjoy to create my sounds from just a floorboard since a long while already (before taking the modeler route all I needed was a clean pedal platform amp). Fwiw, apart from the price, it's the main reasons why I don't think I will ever get an Axe FX (even if i checks a lot of my boxes).

Also, I absolutely like the capacitive switches of the Floor when it comes to quick onstage edits.

And finally, the Rack won't help with the lack of LED brightness, which is my main issue. Sure, in case you got the Rack you probably don't need the Line 6 Floorboard anymore and could just use any decent MIDI controller offering sufficient visibility - so that'd likely be what I'd do. But then, as said, I turned into a "everything in my pedalboard" (plus some utilities in a bag) guy long time ago already and enjoy it a lot (FTR, in my hometown, I don't use the car for gigs anymore but prefer a little bike trailer, plus I'm traveling to gigs by train quite sometimes).

 

Fwiw, nice setups you've got there. Do you use them separately or combined, too?

 

Fair enough. :)

 

As for my setup, yes and no. Pedalboard it's basically reproducing my typical setup on my average Helix patch, so it's redundant in terms of stuff I need. I'm now moving more on the pedalboard (quicker, more reliable, tone is better), and using Helix just for record and get a better routing for specific projects, but I'm fading out form using it outside the studio/home.

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16 minutes ago, PierM said:

 

As for my setup, yes and no. Pedalboard it's basically reproducing my typical setup on my average Helix patch, so it's redundant in terms of stuff I need. I'm now moving more on the pedalboard (quicker, more reliable, tone is better), and using Helix just for record and get a better routing for specific projects, but I'm fading out form using it outside the studio/home.

 

Fwiw, I'm quite tempted to (re-)create a pedalboard using individual devices as well. In fact, before going Helix, I had a modeling board similar to an analog board, based on an AMT Pangaea for clean sounds (it's even got amp modeling in there with an update, which I kinda enhanced with an EQ) and an Amplifirebox for driven sounds. In addition, I used a bunch of drive/compressor/EQ pedals and some varying delay/verb stuff. To control the entire shebang I used a loopswitcher. Worked a treat and I absolutely still miss the WYSIWYG layout (which is still the best when doing on the fly edits), but at one point in time I wanted some more sounds and that would've required a larger pedalboard and possibly some serious investment, too. I will however slap a smaller version together one day (maybe just the Amplifirebox, a decent drive and an MS-50 or so).

 

Anyhow, for now I still wish the Helix had at least some decent LEDs, that'd solve most of my issues already. I mean, I'm getting along fine with it as is otherwise (even if I may get a GT-1000 for some reasons), but the lack of visual control is really tough to deal with.

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1 hour ago, SaschaFranck said:

And finally, the Rack won't help with the lack of LED brightness, which is my main issue.

 

Although direct sunlight can make it difficult on me... diffused (clouded) light is never a problem. I've done many outdoor gigs over the past couple years.

 

I've seen reference to controlling LED Brightness if you hold FS2 while starting the Helix, but to me this just looks like an RGB value test.

Maybe someone can clarify the usage and/or purpose of that screen.... it certainly doesn't appear in any manuals. 

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4 hours ago, codamedia said:

I've seen reference to controlling LED Brightness if you hold FS2 while starting the Helix, but to me this just looks like an RGB value test.

Maybe someone can clarify the usage and/or purpose of that screen.... it certainly doesn't appear in any manuals. 

 

Interesting. I may check that out, even if it was just out of curiosity.

 

Fwiw, I will actually have a look whether there's some LED ring replacements. A decent technician should be able to replace them (no idea whether they could be parted from the capacitive switches).

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4 hours ago, codamedia said:

I've seen reference to controlling LED Brightness if you hold FS2 while starting the Helix, but to me this just looks like an RGB value test.

 

That FS2 thing is undocumented but, it has been referred to in the past by Eric K, as "LED light fun". I would imagine it is purely for novelty value, as it seems to serve no real purpose.

 

LED fun is interesting for about, oh... 3 seconds it's just one of those things that programmers do - because they can.

 

Someone even went to the trouble of making a video -

 

 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, datacommando said:

That FS2 thing is undocumented but, it has been referred to in the past by Eric K, as "LED light fun". I would imagine it is purely for novelty value, as it seems to serve no real purpose.

 

Yeah, that's about it! Some people suggested it was used to control the brightness of the LED's which is NOT the case. 

I could see it as a diagnostic on the three separate colors (RGB) if the ring started to look odd and not display colors probably... but certainly not a brightness control. 

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Silly question, but what does it look like inside where the LEDs are mounted?  ARE they some fancy ring things?  Or are they multicolor normal type LEDs that diffuse wiht a round plastic ring?  Cuz if they arent rare parts, maybe a upgrade is possible?  Just tossing a WAG out there.

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1 hour ago, Dogaral said:

Silly question, but what does it look like inside where the LEDs are mounted?  ARE they some fancy ring things?  Or are they multicolor normal type LEDs that diffuse wiht a round plastic ring?  Cuz if they arent rare parts, maybe a upgrade is possible?  Just tossing a WAG out there.


I’ve not seen the inside of the Helix, but my guess is that there are a couple of surface Mount RGB LEDs beneath each ring.  The ring itself would simply be a translucent molded part that has a diffuser additive in the plastic resin to evenly spread the light through the part. Changing LEDs to higher intensity components is not a simple task because they’ll require more current.

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1 hour ago, MojoAxe said:


I’ve not seen the inside of the Helix, but my guess is that there are a couple of surface Mount RGB LEDs beneath each ring.  The ring itself would simply be a translucent molded part that has a diffuser additive in the plastic resin to evenly spread the light through the part. Changing LEDs to higher intensity components is not a simple task because they’ll require more current.

oh, ok.  I was on the right track if not for the electronic gizmology details ;-)

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2 hours ago, PierM said:

What about barefoot translucent toppers (and setting no led at all for the off-status)? If you can't see those, then it's time for a eye-check. :D

 

I own a set of them and they don't improve the situation. I mean, it's still the same amount of light, so all the barefoot toppers do is to spread it some more.

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