In what seems to be a bit of poetic justice, my Line 6 FBV Shortboard stopped working. I’d plug it in, it’d light up, but a couple of the bank selection buttons (the ones labeled A-B) stopped working. And of course, warranty is up.
After a bit of searching, I found this has happened to a few other people and most likely it was because the little tactile switch was dead. I couldn’t find much more information beyond that, so I decided to write a walkthrough.
What you’ll need:
- Soldering iron & solder
- desoldering wick
- 7/64 allen wrench
- philips screwdriver
- 6mm 4 pin tactile switch(es)
Skill level: Moderate – you’ll need basic soldering skills (if you can replace pickups, you’re probably good)
Step 1 – making sure you’ve got the right problem
The chrome switch actuators are held in place by a small bolt with a nut on the back-side. By back-side, I mean, inside the unit. So if you take this step, you’re committing to taking the whole thing apart.
On the top-side, you can unscrew the actuator with a 7/64 allen wrench. You’ll need to pull up on the bolt as you go, to keep undoing the nut on the inside (otherwise it will feel like it’s just spinning forever).
When you’re done, you can remove the switch and you’ll see this.
You can see the tactile switch inside the cavity there. Feel free to plug in your FBV and press that switch. If it still doesn’t work, the switch is almost certainly your problem.
When you were removing the actuator, you likely lost the spring and plunger that activate the switch inside the unit. It’s possible those were not in place to begin with though – so if the switch works at this point, that is likely your problem.
Below is all the pieces to the actuator assembly, so you know what I’m talking about.
The spring goes inside the cavity under the button part of the actuator. The little black plunger thing (for lack of knowing the proper name) goes inside the spring. The clear housing installs from the under-side and clips into the PCB.
Step 2 – Take apart your FBV
You do not need to touch any of the other chrome actuators. They can stay in place.
There are screws on the bottom of the FBV. For the shortboard, you do not need to remove the two screws in the center of the unit – they just hold a support bracket in place. Only remove the screws that go around the border.
Once you get there, you’ll see those clear actuator housings clipped into the PCB. Remove them one at a time on the piece of PCB you need to work on. Do this carefully. Don’t just yank the PCB out, use your fingers to pull the clips aside and then pull up on the PCB.
In the photo below, the top section of PCB is where I’m working. The triangle pattern of holes is where the clear actuator housings were in place. The four pins in the center of that triangle are your switches.
Step 3 – Remove the switches
Use your desoldering wick and iron to remove the offending tactile switches. Watch out, the track on the PCB is rather wimpy – I damaged it on mine and had to do some extra repairs (I used this guide for fixing my mistake). You’ll probably want your tweezers here to grab the switch.
Step 4 – Install new switches
Here’s your switch.
It can be rotated 180 degrees and still work the same, and if you have it rotated wrong in 90 degree increments, it won’t fit in the holes. So getting it in place is easy. Solder it in place, test it out, and if you’re switching again you can move on.
Step 4 – Reassemble and have a(nother) beer
Use the notes above about how the actuator is assembled to put things back together. You’ll need to screw the chrome part in place before you clip the PCB back in.