Author Topic: Line6 Tonecore module repair  (Read 2811 times)

au_loki

Line6 Tonecore module repair
« on: May 05, 2011, 08:29:15 AM »
Just wondering if anyone has successfully resurrected one of these little beasts (enough of them die without warning)
My EchoPark module has died and I might just have the schematics (shhhhh!!)
All that happens is a red light on and no signal through the pedal and no amount of foot switching does anything.

Looking forward to your success stories.
Later au_loki

roseblood11

Re: Line6 Tonecore module repair
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2017, 02:29:55 PM »
Same problem here.
My Echo Park makes strange howling noises, no delay signal at the output. The LED is flickering green. I combined various tonecore docks with various modules, so I'm sure that the problem is in the module, not the dock.  I'd like to repair it, but I have no idea, where to start...

roseblood11

Re: Line6 Tonecore module repair
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2017, 03:58:08 AM »
Update: my Echo Park isn't dead completely, it makes some weird noises, sometimes even delay repeats.
If I use tap tempo, the led shows the corrects speed. But if I touch the time or modulation pots, or the 11-way selector (which is a pot as well), the led starts flickering very quickly, almost invisible.
I know that the module only contains a MCU that reads the pots, which  are all wired as voltage.dividers between +3.3v and gnd, the wipers go to the control inputs of the mcu.

Is it possible that all the strange behavior could be caused by a dirty or defective pot? These 9mm Alphas collect a lot of dirt and you can't clean them...


Digital Larry

Re: Line6 Tonecore module repair
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2017, 08:33:40 AM »
It does kinda sound like pots are worn out.  I have two Tonecore developer modules which I never used and are loaded with the default, very exciting, used by your favorite really famous guitar player (cough) 2- band EQ (cough).  Probably doesn't do you much good though.  I'd vote for trying to replace the pots, if you can do that without destroying it.
Digital Larry
Holy City Audio - home of SpinCAD Designer
http://www.holycityaudio.com

ElectricDruid

Re: Line6 Tonecore module repair
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2017, 05:51:32 PM »
Could it be bad connections? The Dock part has to read *all* the DSP code off the Module at start-up. If that process screws up, you'll get total nonsense, if you get anything at all. So a decent comms link (SPI, in this case) between the two is going to be vital.

HTH,
Tom

roseblood11

Re: Line6 Tonecore module repair
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2017, 06:35:36 PM »
That was my first thought. But I treated all the contacts with de-oxyde and sand paper, nothing changed.
But it's true that the problem starts at power up, before I touch any pot.

I measured all the pots today, the seem to be ok. And because there is some kind of delay effect and modulation, I think that the DSP is working. And as there are changes when I move a pot, I think that the MCU is working as well.
I don't know what to try next.
I read many reports about broken tonecore pedals and it seems that the Echo Park has more problems than the others. Why could that be? It has an additional memory chip and maybe the pots get used more often than in a reverb pedal...?

aron

Re: Line6 Tonecore module repair
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2017, 01:14:41 PM »
Are you guys running with dedicated power supply like a one spot?

roseblood11

Re: Line6 Tonecore module repair
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2017, 02:28:27 PM »
No, but it should be a power supply with isolated outputs.

roseblood11

Re: Line6 Tonecore module repair
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 06:31:49 PM »
any news?

I gave up at some point and bought another delay pedal, but it would be great to bring the Echo Park back to life.

audioartillery

Re: Line6 Tonecore module repair
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2018, 08:38:56 AM »
I only have the developer kit modules but Iíve found them and the docks to be flaky over time. Iíve had issues with the footswitch as well as the pots. Iíve pretty much given up on that platform even though it was an awesome concept.

ElectricDruid

Re: Line6 Tonecore module repair
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2018, 10:29:28 AM »
Yeah, it was a nice concept. I was thinking they could have even done Tonecore pedalboards with 5 or 6 blank docks in. Just plug in your favourite modules. The board could handle routing, and (if their software allowed it) programmability. Another pipe dream.

It's worth noting that it seems to have been the mechanical part that let it down. I haven't heard loads of complaining about the sounds or the electronics, but the mechanical reliability of something that you can plug in and out is a big hurdle to clear.

audioartillery

Re: Line6 Tonecore module repair
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2018, 11:24:29 AM »
I think the architecture had a major cost disadvantage. There wasnít any practical reason for the modular design ó judging from the amount of standalone tonecore modules floating around for sale (not many) Iím guessing customers only ever bought full units. Production cost was probably double what it would have been for a normally integrated unit.

ElectricDruid

Re: Line6 Tonecore module repair
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2018, 02:42:12 PM »
There's definitely some cost penalty to be paid, for sure. But the build cost is the smaller part of the price of a pedal anyway, so that might not be a critical issue.

Probably the idea only appealed to DSP developers and coders who fancied having a nice hardware platform with a powerful chip inside it (like me!) , and didn't really make sense to guitarists. As you say, you'd want a dock to go with every module. Otherwise, you've got some module you can't use, or can only use when you're not using something else. Doesn't make much sense.

Mark Hammer

Re: Line6 Tonecore module repair
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2018, 02:33:52 PM »
1) The biggest impediment to the success of the series was really the weight and size of the docks.  When you consider the plethora of lightweight 1590A-sized pedals out there (and I saw this morning that Menatone has pretty well ported their entire line over to the "mini" form-factor, and MXR has released a Bluebox derivative in mini form), who is going to stick a 5lb pedal on their board?  That Achilles heel aside, the idea was VERY clever for its time.  In particular, the idea that two standardized docks (mono and stereo) could be built and serve for the entire line of effects, provided tremendous convenience from a manufacturer's perspective.  Why they chose to go with such a heavy and costly chassis is anybody's guess.

2) I swear by Stabilant 22 as a way of keeping contacts alive.  I have resurrected the contacts on well-used TV remotes, Nintendo cartridges, and SIM-card connectors with the stuff.  As I am fond of repeating, in the land of electrons, one micron may as well be the Grand Canyon.  Stabilant forms a viscous electroconductive "web" between edge connectors and sockets, and what plugs into them.

3) The footswitches were an elegant idea, packing two functions into one treadle.  The mechanism used height-staggered microswitches, that allowed light presses to do one thing (generally tap-tempo or other secondary functions), and hard-click presses to do bypass/engagement.  The "click" came from a flexible concave disk that would give when pressed hard enough, and then snap back into place when the treadle was released.  I will note one exception that I encountered.  One of the docks that Jeorge Tripps sent me was very reluctant to work.   Knowing that I had other docks I could use in case I buggered this one up, I took it apart completely, and discovered that during construction two discs had stuck to each other, by virtue of the thin oil coating, such that it would not bend.  I separated them, re-installed one of them, and the pedal came back to life, with full switching restored.