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Intermittent Rock Band Guitar Problem Print E-mail
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Written by Christophor "SuperGuido" Rick   
Saturday, 19 January 2008

[News] [PS3]

We'll file this under PS3 because that is the system that were playing Rock Band on when the problems happened. These problems have popped up during marathon sessions of playing, I mean several hours straight, so if you're a casual rocker this might not affect you.

This is nothing serious, so let's not blow it out of proportion and we haven't been able to fully reproduce the problems, so they're minor annoyances at best right now, sort of like this Serpentis Scout who keeps shooting me in EVE Online while I'm mining but isn't even penetrating my shields.

The Problem:

After several hours the guitar, for lack of another term, locked up. Essentially what happened was that any button depressed on the guitar remained so. The song could be stopped and restarted and the same thing would occur. 


First we backed out to the main menu and went back in but that made no difference, as soon as the song started the guitar buttons would 'lock' in the 'on' position. So we thought it might be low batteries, but when we replaced those and reconnected the guitar the problem returned almost immediately. There was no indication of a connection problem between the dongle and the guitar. We even turned the guitar on and off and reconnected it to the dongle several times. Pressing the buttons on both the guitar and dongle.

So we had eliminated the dongle, the batteries and the guitar itself for the most part. We didn't have a second guitar handy to try out so we weren't sure. But it had no other problems so we didn't think it was the guitar.


The solution was to simply turn the PS3 off and on again. That fixed the problem and we were free to continue rockin. What caused the problem is still something of a mystery but last night we had another incident.

Problem #2:

The guitar stopped responding altogether. 


Of course we started with pressing the button on the dongle and on the guitar to reconnect. The red light was solid so the dongle apparently believed the controller to still be connected.

The Solution:

Still something of a mystery really. We turned the guitar off and then back on and it reconnected but was unresponsive. We tried pushing the reconnect (PS) button the guitar but that didn't help. We then pushed the reconnect button on the dongle and again on the guitar and after a short time of flashing red the dongle went back to solid and the guitar was responsive.


It seems to me that at times the PS3 dongle or the PS3 itself loses connection with the guitar but is not aware of it. This could be caused by any number of communication problems. As we were using no other wireless devices or mobile phones in either location the problem remains elusive. Both problems emerged after hours of play though so maybe it was a built in 'take a break.' (that was a joke)

But if you are in the middle of a band tour and you are forced to reset the system you generally lose fans. Granted the fan limits in the game are stupid anyway and you can quickly regain the lost fans, but it is a minor annoyance. We can't rule out some other interference from a network device or mobile phone but it would seem odd that it would, after four hours, manifest itself if that were indeed the cause of the problem. 

I searched some on internet to see if anyone else reported these but didn't find anything. So if this happens to you, don't panic, your guitar is not broken and does not require replacement. You simply need to take a break from the game and reset the PS3 or the controller and dongle and that should solve the problem.

  One possible problem is, as I mentioned, interference from other devices which may or may not be in the immediate area. If you look at the FCC filing on the guitar its operating range is 2408MHz~2474MHz (2.4Ghz to 2.474Ghz) which is a busy part of the spectrum. Everything from cordless phones (who has a landline anymore?!) to Wi-Fi networks, X10 devices to RFID devices are using this area of the spectrum. So it would come as no surprise to me if something were interfering. However, the problems happened at two different locations which is perplexing and they happened after hours of continuous usage. If they were nearby interference I would imagine they would have occurred more frequently.

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 19 January 2008 )

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