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Timeout Rant!!

Discussion in 'MFC Discussion' started by minseito, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. minseito

    minseito
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    RANT ALERT:

    I am absolutely sick to death of random 'Ax FX Timeout' episodes occurring during gigs, making it necessary for me to switch the unit off and back on again in order to effect a reset. Yes, I know that this a long-standing issue, but, to be fair, no one would tolerate it in another product - what if your TV kept freezing while you were watching it, etc?? It has simply gone on too long. I'd like to see some progress on this front, to be honest. Given the cost of the unit, the MFC-101 and the ethernet cable, I really am starting to resent the fact that the stock advice is that it 'could be your cable or the connection between the Axe FX and the MFC-101...' etc .etc. Come on Fractal, sort this issue out once and for all...Having already spent a fortune to buy all this stuff, a repeat failure of the technology with no solution seemingly in sight, aside from further investment in other Fractal products, is to my mind not acceptable.
     
  2. lqdsnddist

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    I’ve used mine every single day for several years and never have had the issue happen once. Sucks that it has happened to you, and seemingly at the worse time possible, but I don’t think it’s a very common issue and very well could be the cable.

    Have you tried different cables to rule out the simplist solution ? Ethernet cables are quite cheap so why not start there ?
     
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  3. notalemming

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    I used to have this issue come & go & it seemed like certain firmware versions caused it. I sent my Axe in twice & my MFC once & they said they couldn't reproduce the problem or see anything wrong with either unit, let alone fix it. Even Cliff looked at it the 2nd time. I'd get it back & sure enough, it would happen over & over again after it had been on for a while. It would also happen using several different ethernet cables including the pricey Besttronics cable. To make it even stranger, I had a back up Axe (both XL's) & with the same firmwares, same cables, same MFC, & that one has never had a name timeout! I think Fractal doesn't know what's causing it so they can't fix it but it sure seems to be some kind of flaw somewhere in the ethernet hardware or protocol. My advice is give up the ethernet & just use a midi cable. That has always been bullet proof on my flakey XL. Believe me, I feel your pain as I was sick to death of it too!!!
     
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  4. chucma

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    There must be something with your environment (i.e. hardware/cables/practice room/venue) that is causing this, I have been using my MFC and AFX for 5 years now and it is very solid (I play live nearly every week). I did have a period where I also got the timeout error (maybe once a month for about 3 or 4 months) but I suspect this was down to an unstable power supply on the stage, because once they changed it then I never had another episode - nothing had changed on my side. I still play there live a lot today.

    Maybe send your unit in to Fractal for a service? Tell them the problem and ask them to troubleshoot it and see if they can recreate it. Also look at the places you play, could it be external to the Axe FX? I don't know if the power thing was the cause for me or just a coincidence but that was about 3 - 4 years ago and I've not had any errors since.
     
  5. #5 minseito, Aug 18, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
    minseito

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    It's not the venues or the rehearsal space I use as it is happening in multiple venues all over the place. Three times last night alone! I use scenes and it happens when I change scenes - the MFC just blanks out, showing nothing in all 384 slots. It's really wracking me off now, so much so that I am absolutely pining for my Marshall JVM 205 which never let me down. I don't see the point in sending it all the way to Germany - presumably that's what you have to do for a service - seeing as they themselves don't understand the problem. Like I said, it's just unacceptable and no one would tolerate it if it it happened with any other high end electrical product. I mean, living in England meant that the Axe FXII and the MC-101 cost a couple of hundred quid short of £3000! Fractal is a great company and all that when things are going swimmingly, but when this raises its head it's like 'Aww man, you must have got a bad one'. Just fucking great.
     
  6. Toopy14

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    How long is the Ethernet cable you use?
     
  7. minseito

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    It's the 6 metre one purchased from G66, the Fractal outlet for Europe and the UK
     
  8. Toopy14

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  9. minseito

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    Thanks very much for that.
     
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  10. minseito

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    No, the unit came with a 10 metre cable shipped!
     
  11. Toopy14

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    Speaking from a networking background, Ethernet cables can be real finicky for a few reasons;

    i) if they aren't terminated properly, ie., there has to be a twist a min. distance from the connector, not crimped properly, etc.

    ii) length, the longer they are, the more susceptible they are to data loss. The spec. for Ethernet is 100 m. max. distance, but that's under ideal conditions.

    iii) outside interference, they're un-shielded cables, so any electrical cables running over them, or next to them, can cause issues. They can also be affected by electrical panels, power supplies, fluorescent lighting, etc.
     
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  12. minseito

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    Thank you very much for your help and the info about the cables. Maybe I will look at another way of hooking up the Axe and the MFC. Alternately I am really tempted just to flog it all and go back to simpler but much more reliable set ups! As we all know, gear has to be reliable in live situations and this is getting beyond a joke now.
     
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  13. Eliju

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    Does your Axe FX have the FASlink? That seems to be the best way to connect. I've never had a single issue with that.
     
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  14. #14 minseito, Aug 18, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
    minseito

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I would have to buy an adapter for the Axe II, so that's another £40 into Fractal's coffers, it's just becoming a money pit to be honest - and with no guarantee anywhere in sight of a satisfactory resolution. It is beyond me why the brains that can design, understand and continually develop this gear are unable to fix this problem once and for all.
     
  15. edo

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    I haven’t fixed it. G66 was kind enough to send me a new ethercon cable but it only worked for a couple hours and then I got the timeout error again. I’ve been using a normal midi cable for almost 2 years now..
     
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  16. clarky

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    I've never suffered with this issue in any Axe or MFC fw version..
    but I massively sympathise with you.. I can certainly imagine how frustrating it is..

    I have no idea if this is useful to you..
    I use Axe-FX II mk1, MFC mk1
    on tour I use a 10m ethernet cable [which has been easily long enough for big open-air festivals in UK and Europe]
    in my studio at home I use a 3m cable

    purely for the sake of experimentation, have you tried a 3m cable for home use?
    just to see if it makes any sort of difference at all..
     
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  17. unix-guy

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    But it's not an Ethernet cable because it isn't using the Ethernet protocol.

    It is an EtherCon cable... It's not networking, it uses a proprietary protocol.

    Same with using FASLink over an XLR cable... Things that apply to an XLR for audio don't (necessarily) apply when used for FASLink because the use case is different.
     
  18. Doostain

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    I run a 50ft Ethernet cable, and a 2 ft XLR jumper from the XA1 box. Never had an issue. Only thing I experience is when I boot up it always reverts to patch #10 when I want it on #100.
     
  19. Patzag

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    I would try a short (3m) Ethercon/ethernet cable and see if the problem persists.
    If the problem goes away then your best bet is the FASlink adapters. Which version of the MFC do you have?
     
  20. painkiller

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    The cable would be exactly the same. What makes it an Ethercon cable is a metal housing around the Ethernet connector to protect it.
    You can buy a single Ethercon housing, put it on an Ethernet cable, and voila, you have an Ethercon cable :)
    ne8mx6.jpg
     

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