Saturday, 1 December 2012

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


In the Main board, power board and motor removal tutorial, you get to see the main motor used in the Brother PE150. This motor drives the needle mechanism and the spinning outer hook in the base of the machine. There are, however, two more motors in this machine. These two motors control the X/Y movement of the frame holder. These pictures, which are of one of the machines in my spares pile, show the size and location of the X and Y motors, and the gearing they are attached to:

For the record, I've never had one of these motors fail. I expect that's because, all things considered, they don't actually do a great deal.

More soon, no doubt....


Monday, 29 October 2012

Shameless advert....

... for our business. Feel free to have a browse around and even if you don't want to buy something it might give you some inspiration for your own projects!

More soon, no doubt....

Monday, 22 October 2012

Any requests?

Even though at the moment there are hardly enough hours in the day, I've decided to invite some topic or project requests. After all, the nights are now drawing-in and my work on rebranding our estore is nearly complete. I therefore expect to have some spare time on my hands. So, if you are contemplating making some changes to your machine, investigating a fault or fixing a new part, and you'd like to see a tutorial about it on this site, feel free to drop me a line and I'll see what I can do. I've stripped these machines back to the bare case, and fully re-assembled, so no subject is beyond this site. Or you might just want me to complete the tutorial on how I deep clean my machines!

More soon, no doubt....


Monday, 1 October 2012

A bit more on timing....

If you are having regular problems with timing slips and you're not trying to embroider heavy fabric or experiencing some other issue such as with thread tension, then it is possible that the bevel gear on the main shaft is loose. Specifically, the grubs screws in the gear have slackened off and any resistance in hook area causes an easy slip. It will be easier to explain with a few pictures.

You need to remove the outer casing to access the gear which can be seen just under the handle in this picture:

Here is a close up of the bevel gear and one of the grub screws (which takes a 3mm allen key)

And from a different angle:

So, if you are having repeated problems with timing slips you should investigate the bevel gear. To do that you need to follow steps 1 to 9 of the Take it apart tutorial. Then, using your allen key, back off the two grub screws in the gear and then reposition the gear against the corresponding plastic gear underneath. Turning the handwheel slightly ensures that everything goes into place snuggly! Retighten the grub screws and then follow the Check and adjust the timing tutorial. All being well, you'll be able to time the machine! Once you are happy with the timing, refit all the plastic trim and embroider a test pattern to check correct operation.

More soon (including an update on my power board fix which I'm sure now works but I need to buy another motor for testing purposes!)


Thursday, 19 July 2012

New PE150 fix coming very soon (I promise)...

About a year ago I promised a new fix for broken power boards. You may remember my lament that boards had a habit of blowing whenever the main motor failed and that new boards were expensive. Well, after a load of research and a bit of self-learning about electronics, I've concluded that the power board has a design fault inasmuch as there is no overload protection on the circuit which powers the motor. Perhaps one day I'll be able to design some protection into the circuit but until then, I will be repairing broken boards. I can do this because I've obtained a small supply of the long-obsolete components which comprise the circuit which powers the motor. I'll provide more details once the parts have arrived and I've completed and then soak-tested the first repair.

More soon, no doubt!


Saturday, 9 June 2012

Sky Netgear DG834GT - a bit more on the side...

Well, it's been busy, busy, busy what with the new addition to the family. And in my spare time I've been fixing a few things. The other week it was a Samsung 19" LCD TV rescued from a skip (thrown there, presumably, because it was completely dead). I changed all the capacitors on the main power board and hey presto: a working LCD TV for my kitchen :). Tonight, I have been mostly fixing my mum's Netgear broadband router. The router was powering on but behaving very oddly with intermittent wireless/wired functionality and no ADSL connection whatsoever. I flicked the router open and immediately noted that four capacitors were bulging (three 6.3v 470uf and the 16v 220uf one). I didn't have any of these spare but I did have an old PC motherboard with a bunch of what I needed on. So, to cut a long story short I removed the faulty caps from the router's main board and replaced them with ones desoldered from the old PC motherboard. Result: router now working fine. A subsequent Google search suggests that blown caps in this router is not an uncommon problem.

This is part-way through the repair and the caps I've changed are highlighted. The replacement 470uf caps I've used are 16v rather than 6.3v (beggars can't be choosers) so its a bit of a tight squeeze. Interestingly, the caps that have blown are all one particular make. There are other caps on the board made by a different company and these are all in good order.

You can see how the still-to-be-changed 220uf cap in this picture (second one in from the left) has blown...

More soon, no doubt!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Some new blog stuff

Google have very kindly provided some extra blog features and I've included two of them in the left-hand column (over there <<<<<<<<<<< ).

The first is a 'poll' feature. As the stats for this site show that there have been nearly 1000 unique visitors, most of whom arrived at the tutorial on checking and adjusting the timing and my lament on the all too common error message "check if thread is entangled, check if needle is bent", I thought it would be interesting to see whether people were finding the information helpful. I'd therefore be grateful if you could answer the question and let me know!

The second is Google's "Translate" feature. I've included this because the stats for this site show that there are visitors from right around the world including such places as Afghanistan and Venezuela! I don't know how good the translate feature actually is, or whether the subtle irony in some of my posts comes across, but some may find it useful so there you go.

More soon, no doubt....

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Wanted: Dead or Alive

I want to buy your machine!

If you don't fancy repairing your broken machine and don't want to pay someone to do it for you, why not sell it to me (UK only)? I want your broken PE100, PE150, PE180, PE190. Any condition considered.
I also want your working machine. If you have a machine that's just sat in the cupboard gathering dust or if you have recently upgraded, why not sell me your old PE100, PE150, PE180, PE190? Any condition considered. Cash/PayPal.

Just drop me an email or reply to this post with some details!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Any spare motors about?

Called BSK today for yet another PE150 main motor and noooooo..... they are out of stock! Not only that - so are Brother! There's nothing available until May 2012. So, does anyone have a spare working motor I could buy? Or even an old machine that I could buy for spares?

On the plus side, if Brother have none but are getting some in, that presumably means that they are having them made (motor and PCB). Will be interesting to see precisely which motor is being used and whether there have been any other revisions.

More soon, no doubt....


As luck would have it, BSK gave me a call on 1st March to advise that they now have some motors in stock. Needless to say, I bought one! The part number on the chitty is XA0468001.