Category Archives: Music

Line6 M5 “Dedicated Scene Select Footswitch” Modification

I’ll post this information because I had a hell of a time finding information for this mod. JHV3 offers it as the Line6 M5 “Dedicated Scene Select Footswitch” Modification. This allows the M5 user to use only one switch to toggle the preset scroll screen, rather than having to aim for (and usually miss) hitting both footswitches. Much better for live use. I figured I’d try to do it myself. This mod will also presumably work for the Line6 M9.

With help from this tutorial on replacing the M13 stock switches (something that I’ll do to the M5s eventually) I managed to do this mod myself. And it was quite simple once I figured out where to position the new switch!

List of parts:

Switch (x1): Smallbear 110-PM-OFF Momentary, Normally Open
Silicon Diodes (x2) (doesn’t really matter what type)
Hookup wire
Heatshrink
Lead free solder
Zip tie
Hot glue

1) Take the bottom off the M5, which is a bit tricky. After removing the four screws on the bottom and the MIDI port screw, you need to push from the side opposite the MIDI ports, this will dislodge the bottom panel so that it can be easily pried up and removed.

2) Remove all the nuts from the jacks. This will allow you to remove the main PCB. Make sure to disconnect the ribbon connector that connects this board to the upper board. Mine had hot glue holding it together. This was easily dealt with by using a utility knife to slice the glue near the connector joint.

3) Remove the knobs from the topside of the unit using a slot head screwdriver to gently pry them up. Unscrew all the silver screws with lockwashers that connect the second PCB to the standoffs inside the unit. Disconnect the quickconnect that connects this board to the footswitch board.

4) The switch is best positioned along the center line created by existing the right hand (tuner) footswitch, midway between the Line6 logo and the M5 logo. This is one of the only spots with enough clearance inside for the switch. Drill a 1/2 inch hole using a step bit or gradually increasing in standard bit sizes (don’t just dive in with a big bit, it’s metal, and it won’t be pretty if you do). Like this:

m5_top

5) Connections: connect wires to the underside of the footswitch PCB. I cut the wires about 6 inches long. These connect to the tactile switches that are triggered by the existing footswitches. Like this:

wires1

wires2

There are four connections on each tactile switch. You just connect to two of them. Looking down on the open unit with the footswitches closest to you connect one wire (blue) to the upper left and another (orange) lower right of the right hand switch and the upper right (blue) and lower left (orange) of the left hand switch. Like this:

connections

You may have to clear away some hot glue so as not to dirty up your soldering iron. Once connected, I used a little more hot glue over the connections, just for redundancy.

6) Connect to the switch.

On the ends of each the blue wires solder the anode side of a silicon diode (the end without the black marking if using similar diodes to those pictured).

I used heat shrink to cover the connections (the blue wires should not connect together except at the cathode end of the diodes), in this photo I left the heatshrink off just for reference. Connect the cathode ends of the diodes together and then connect these to one side of the switch. Twist the ends of the orange wires together and connect these to the other side of the switch. Like this:

switch

In the finished job, I also put more heatshrink over the connections to the switch terminals. I placed a zip tie around all four wires about halfway between the new switch and the footswitch PCB.

7) Put it all back together! Install the switch with its body parallel to the logos (there are two standoffs there, I oriented mine with the switch terminals pointed toward the screen). Note: the switch comes with two nuts, make sure that you only use one nut on the top side of the unit and no nut on the inside, otherwise there wont’ be enough clearance between the switch body and the PCB. Install the various PCBs and make sure the quick connector and ribbon connector are secure. I applied more hot glue to the areas that I had sliced to disconnect the ribbon connector.

That’s it! Now you can switch to the preset scrolling screen by tapping the switch, select your preset, tap it again! So much easier than trying to aim for two footswitches.

MCA 1964 – 2012

I am gutted.

This band and this man have been such a big part of my life for what seems like forever. I remember when “Fight for Your Right” first came out – what a strange and wonderful sound! Coupled with Run DMC’s Raising Hell and LL Cool J’s Bigger and Deffer, The Beastie’s License to Ill was the introduction to hip hop for a lot of us white suburbanites in the mid-80s. I knew of his battle with cancer but still, I just can’t believe he’s gone.

Rest in Peace MCA.