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Advice for: Axe freezing and needing restart

In the past, I've experienced this rarely. It happened this year for the first time. Recently, it's been happening more often. ...two times in the past month, plus last night once at sound check and once during the gig. After restart, it's alright, but it's getting too regular for my taste and I want to prevent it altogether.

My first thought was ventilation (my rack has OK ventilation - could be improved, but it's not air tight either). I searched the word "ventilation" in the User's Manual, but came up with no hits. There was an older thread on the forum from 2013 where someone said that the unit needs no external ventilation. Does anyone have definitive info on minimum ventilation requirements?

My second thought was about the firmware/software/hardware. I'd be surprised if it was the hardware. The unit has been very well taken care of. As for software/firmware: There was a suggestion of a "hard reboot". Is this advisable?
 

electronpirate

Moderator
Moderator
Most of these are a corrupt preset. You can reset the system, but it's more likely a preset (some element in it...)

Of course it needs ventilation. Keep the front and rear clear-ish. Check the manual for operating temperatures, but it doesn't sound like that's your issue. As long as it's not fully enclosed in a rack with a tube power amp, you're okay, and from what I remember the until will just shut off until it cools.
 

Jaz1956

Regular
Hi BWB - I've had this happen in the past and it was nothing to do with heat/ventilation or even Firmware updates.
It would happen randomly at different gigs or rehearsal studios and the problem was always dodgy mains supplies.
I now run the AxeFX (and a laptop for adjustments via Axe Edit) via an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and have never had problems since. The AxeFX doesn't generate much heat and my Mk11 has no ventilation slots in the case so I'm guessing heat isn't an issue.
 
Hey Jaz, thanks for the info. I hadn't considered fluctuating power. (I wonder what the tolerance is on the Axe). UPS units are mainly used on computers to protect against power outages. Power goes out and the on board battery kicks in long enough for you to save your data. They don't necessarily do the job of a power conditioner, though there are units that do both. But yeah, fluctuating power could be the culprit. In that case, I would go the power conditioner route.
 

TieDyedDevil

Inspired
The power supply is "universal", meaning it'll tolerate inputs from (IIRC) 100 to 240 volts. It's not unheard of to see the line drop below 100 volts, especially in situations where the stage is powered by undersized lines. (Obviously, this'd be in countries where the nominal line voltage is around 115-120 to start.)

A momentary power dropout, regardless of nominal line voltage, can cause supply rails to go out of tolerance. Often this'll cause a reset, but under just the right circumstances it could cause improper operation until you manually cycle the power.
 
A momentary power dropout
...another important thing to consider. Thanks for that, TDDevil. However, I'm in Europe, so the power would have to dip to less than 50% to get under 100v. There was no perceptible power dropout at the soundcheck or gig. Nothing noticeable in the analog gear, PA or lights.

The error is obviously difficult to reproduce. I'll have to wait until it happens again and examine the situation.

By the way, when it froze, the unit still worked, it's just that you couldn't change scenes or presets any more.
At the moment I'm working with lots of presets (almost one per song) so if it's a corrupt preset, I'm not sure which it is, but I hope he will rear his ugly head before the next gig.
 

Dimitri

New here
I had this exact issue last night during a gig. When it happens, the axe fx works fine, but I'm not able to switch presets with the MFC101. After a reset of the axe fx it works fine. Did you find a remedy for it?
 

Dimitri

New here
The cable was fitted properly ( I did check it last night ;-) ), so that's not it unfortunately. Also, I would expect it to turn off or something if the cable was loose.
 

biskitboy

Veteran
If you are using an MFC with FASLink, I had some similar problems that were all caused by a faulty XLR cable. When this happens, both units basically freeze. I was lucky that it happened once when I was initially setting up. It was then that I noticed it happened every time I plugged in the XLR. Swapped cables and never happened again. Later when I got home I metered the cable and noticed that in certain cable positions there was a short on one of the pins. I tossed the cable and upgraded them.

Hope you can figure it out!
 

AminorZmajor

Veteran
I have had to reset my AX8 at gigs a few times now as well as my co-guitarist and it always has to do with dodgy power. Our gig last Saturday was a classic example. We played off extension cords with runs of over 150 feet, Bar owner built a new stage that is completely outside under the stars and neglected to run power. WTF.......? Playing outside presents it’s own challenges from a PA perspective. Oh, and it was very cold for Phoenix and we had to contend with Bonfire smoke just to make the gig a little more interesting.....
 

Dimitri

New here
If you are using an MFC with FASLink, I had some similar problems that were all caused by a faulty XLR cable. When this happens, both units basically freeze. I was lucky that it happened once when I was initially setting up. It was then that I noticed it happened every time I plugged in the XLR. Swapped cables and never happened again. Later when I got home I metered the cable and noticed that in certain cable positions there was a short on one of the pins. I tossed the cable and upgraded them.

Hope you can figure it out!
I'm using a Axe FX II with a MFC101 with an Ethernet/Ethercon connection, so the FASLink couldn't be a problem on my end. Maybe, I'll order another Ethercon cable to check if that helps. The annoying thing is that it's hard to reproduce.
 
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