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FS'S not working consistently


theElevators
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Phew!  Hey gang:

So I started noticing the dreaded FS flakiness on my Helix.  I don't know if this is considered "normal", but if I press a foot switch very SLOWLY, the switch does not occur. 

 

This is happening on the Helix Floor.  I think I seem to remember that on my Helix LT, there were some times where the switch did not occur right away, but that problem seemingly went away.

 

I took liquid DeoxIT and applied it to all the foot switches, and rotated the buttons as if to clean the contacts.  I don't think it helped the problem. 

 

So any suggestions, besides opening a ticket with Line 6, etc?

 

PS: and of course as with all these problems, now all my foot switches are again working fine.  Maybe DeoxIT helped after pressing them multiple times...

 

FML

 

thanks,

d.

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The FS on the Helix (all of them) are NOT real FS, but just mechanical assembly that are pressing against micro tactile switches, so spraying stuff from the outside, is doing nothing other than creating a dust trap.

 

 Screenshot-2022-08-26-075657.png

 

If you want to properly clean (and check) those tactile switch, you need to open the unit and proceed as you see here (AT YOUR OWN RISK TO DAMAGE THE UNIT);

 

 

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thanks! 

 

Yeah, I've seen this video.  Just want to understand if the switches tend to all slowly fail one-by-one, or if they can somehow "break in" and become more dependable?  My older LT (that I bought used) has all the buttons working just fine.  I use it a lot more than the Floor, which I got specifically for the gigs, in order to not have it abused unnecessarily.  Other than the cracked plastic ring that I glued, absolutely no issues with the LT.  It also feels more smooth when I press the buttons, whereas on the Floor there's more scratchy/squeaky sounds when you press the buttons. 

 

As of right now, If I wear my Vans sneakers, and press buttons normally, everything is fine on the Floor.  If I wear flip-flops that I wear at home, sometimes the switch does not occur.  Like it clicks, but the engagement does not happen.  I'm aware that the clicking does not mean the actuator was actually triggered. 

 

So, now what?... I can't send it to Line 6, because it all works 99% of the time NOW...  Unless I use my hand and slowly press it, then there are times when the button fails to engage completely.  They will look at it and say there is no issue, or better yet say they fixed it without doing anything to it. 

 

This is such a weird thing, as I spent a significant sum of money on 2 Helixes, hoping to have them be.. dependable, and not have a fear of equipment failure in the middle of the show.  Why can't we have things just work for god's sake.... arrrrr

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On 8/26/2022 at 3:31 PM, theElevators said:

Yeah, I've seen this video.  Just want to understand if the switches tend to all slowly fail one-by-one, or if they can somehow "break in" and become more dependable? 

 

Well, it's mechanical stuff, so soon or later they are all gonna die. Every switch in the world has a lifespan measured in cycles (clicks).


The average lifespan of those tactile switch is declared to be 100,000 Cycles, which means it will start glitching as you get closer to this number. Of course it also depends how the unit it's being used (and abused) and exposed to contamination (dust, heat, humidity, water etc etc). If you are an heavy stomper and a touring musician, I'd say let's cut this number in half. :)

 

Usually, when happens to me (not only with Helix but with everything using those tactile switches), I start cleaning them, then if problem come back means it's time to swap them with new parts. (If you're not sure how to do the job, better to have L6 doing that, or any other expert that does know what he's doing).

 

The way you describe it, looks like it could just be a temporary glitch...maybe some extra dust particles, or a bit of oxidation.

 

Just wait and see what happens. If it will come back soon, means it's time to clean them all (and see what happens next).

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

So, I played a gig overseas in Israel, and it went pretty good, except exactly 2 times when my snapshot #4 button did not work... only one song...  I doubt anybody noticed... Weirdly, it worked without a hitch for the remainder of the show.  It's my "lead" snapshot button, as it is for most people I suspect as well. 

 

Anyway, dropped it off at a repair shop the day after I returned home.  Let's see if they fix it.  Good thing I have a backup Helix.  And again, unacceptable to have a Helix that I deliberately bought to only use for gigs, and not subject to home rehearsing... the Helix that stays in its case most of the time to have this happen to. 

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  • 1 month later...

So on my other Helix LT, one foot switch started misbehaving, although nowhere near as bad as on the Helix Floor.  I opened up the Helix and cleaned all tactile switches myself using liquid DeoxIT.  Saved some money and time...

 

The entire process was very easy, except the plastic tips from the plunger mechanism of several foot switches came off.  I had to use tweezers to put them back in place on top of the spring when re-assembling.  They are tiny and if you are not careful, you can accidentally not assemble the foot switch correctly, or god forbid lose something. 

 

Overall, the whole procedure took me about 25 minutes, and now the foot switches are butter-smooth.  I think people who are not afraid of opening things up can easily perform this maintenance procedure. 

 

Just a word of advice: put all the screws in small containers so you know what goes where... also when in doubt, take a picture of the inside of the Helix before you dissemble/reassemble things. 

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