Friday, March 3, 2017

Compu-Dobby IV, 4.5 and Little Weaver Firmware Update

The Problem
The symptom is that the Compu-Dobby will on, rare occasion, not advance to the next pick. The failure to advance occurs randomly, but typically once every several hundred picks. On older Compu-Dobby IV & 4.5s this may appear as the next lift will lift nothing (positive dobby) or all harnesses (negative dobby). With newer Compu-Dobbys the error will manifest itself as the next lift will repeat the last lift for both positive and negative dobbys. The electronic noise originates outside the Compu-Dobby on the USB line or interference induced on the sensor lines. 

The Solution
AVL has released new firmware that reduces the chance of noise affecting Compu-Dobby operation. The new firmware uses more advanced error avoidance techniques and theoretically reduces the chances for errors by at least an order of magnitude. In practice, the new firmware appears to altogether eliminate the errors as we have not encountered the error after many thousands of picks.

How to Upgrade
If your Compu-Dobby IV has never exhibited this issue, we do not recommend updating firmware at this time. For those that have observed the issue, you will need to send us either the processor or the Compu-Dobby for updating.  AVL will perform the firmware update for free, but the customer must pay for any shipping related costs. Please contact AVL technical support here to receive return authorization prior to send anything to AVL.

Compu-Dobby 4.5 and Little Weaver customers may update their firmware using AVLUpdate and by downloading the latest version of the firmware from the AVL website in our library, with a direct link to the download here. Please note that all Compu-Dobby 4.5 sold after August 2016 have the newest firmware already installed.  

Compatibility
There are two compatibility considerations for this update. WeavePoint requires version 7.2.1.0 or newer and Fiberworks requires version Silver 4.2.4.2 (PC) or Silver 1.2.3 (Mac). Please contact AVL technical support to update WeavePoint, and Fiberworks directly to update Fiberworks. All versions of AVLDrive will work with the new firmware.

Monday, February 27, 2017

40th Anniversary Towels and the *New* Revolution Counters

40th Anniversary Towels--Sampling and Warping 110 Yards

Have you ever woven a 110 yard warp?  Neither have we.  For our 40th Anniversary we decided to challenge ourselves and our products a little.  Join us as we experience the highs and lows that come with taking on a project of this magnitude!

10/2 Mercerised Cotton from Shuttles and Needles

Early last month we received our boxes of yarn from Shuttles and Needles in India.  The 10/2 mercerized cotton was soft and shined in the sun.  The colors were bright and vivid.  Right away we shipped some to Jannie Taylor so she could whip up some samples on her loom, as we wanted to see how the structure and sett would work out in real life.  

Samples woven by Jannie Taylor, Yarn from Shuttles and Needles

Once sampling was complete, it was time to get to work on the actual warp! We had the pleasure of hosting Jannie Taylor and Melody Ruth earlier this month, when they came to measure and beam our 110 yard towel warp.  The 10/2 mercerised cotton we had to work with came in 200g cones.  To facilitate speedy warping via cone racks, most of the 200g cones were split in half so there'd be enough for the pattern's requirements. Empty cones and pirns were used to hold the yarn, and our Electronic Bobbin Winder with Auto-Tensioner and Yardage Counter were used to measure and wind.

Winding cones using Jannie's homemade attachment on our
Electronic Bobbin Winder, Auto-Tensioner and Yardage Counter
Once the cones and pirns were ready, a track and mount system, cone racks and a tension box were used.  Due to the high sett, one and a half cone racks were used to accommodate all of the yarn needed for the 2" sections.

Yarn ready to be wound-on
It's coming together now!  
Sleying the reed on the tension box

Jannie adjusting the settings on the tension box

Winding the warp on went surprisingly quickly, thanks in part to the revolution counter Jannie and Melody used (more info below). Most sections took about 15 minutes to wind-on!

No counting was needed, since one of our
Revolution Counters was used to monitor progress.
Overall, the beaming process went relatively smoothly aside from one hiccup (the final section got a little wily and jumped the hoop a few times, so it had to be re-wound).  

Jannie observes while Melody winds-on the final section

We are incredibly grateful to Shuttles and Needles for supplying the superb yarn and to Jannie Taylor and Melody Ruth for their time and expertise.  In our next project update, we'll look at how the warp was threaded and how testing goes on the IDL, as we get closer to 110 yards of 40th Anniversary Towels.  Until then, happy weaving!


*New* Revolution Counters

Our reworked Revolution Counters are better than ever!  Featuring a redesigned look and updated with a digital counter, these now fit on any AVL Loom with a track and mount system.  Simply bolt the revolution counter to the track and mount arm, apply the magnet to the beam's drum, turn it on and you're ready to go! Here's a link to a brief video showing one in action.






Monday, February 20, 2017

Floor Model and Pre-Owned Items (Plus, Pre-Owned Loom SALE!)

Did you know that we carry a variety of floor model and pre-owned looms and weaving accessories? Some items come to us as trade-ins, others as a part of a buyback.  Stock is always changing and ranges from warping equipment, to small accessories and, of course, looms. Currently we even have a couple of ready-to-ship Walt Turpening benches at 20% off retail!


Our rotating stock of floor model and pre-owned accessories can be found in our Clearance section here. Looking for a used loom?  You're in luck--we have a ton in stock and they are available to peruse online here.  Our Pre-Owned Looms are on sale for 15% off from now until Friday, March 24, 2017 with code SPRINGCLEAN.


Friday, January 27, 2017

New Product Alert--Heddle Hooks


After a hiatus lasting several years, we are pleased to once again offer heddle hooks.  Offered in four different sizes, 5in (designed specifically for fine thread), 6in, 7.5in, and 10in, these hooks are perfect for threading heddles.  Featuring a 3in wooden handle and sturdy metal shafts, these are durable yet lightweight tools. These can be found under Warping Accessories and are available now!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

AVL Looms' 40th Anniversary




It's hard to believe, but this year is our 40th Anniversary!  Join us over the course of the year, as we celebrate 40 years of innovation.  We'll look back on where we've come from and forward to where we're headed (including some new, revolutionary product releases later this year).  

To commemorate this anniversary, we'll be weaving limited edition AVL towels on one of our Industrial Dobby Looms. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and here on the blog as we document this process step by step. 
  
40th Anniversary Towel Design

We'd like to thank Jannie Taylor for this lovely design.  Constructed in WeavePoint 8, it's based on some of the design concepts found in Marian Stubenitsky's amazing book Weaving with Echo and Iris.  If you'd like to learn more about these concepts, Jannie Taylor has a course coming up in April and there is still space available (more info here).  We also have Weaving with Echo and Iris in stock here if you're looking for a copy.

More to come soon...  Until then, happy weaving!

Friday, January 6, 2017

WeaveMaker 8 Obsolete

The publisher has announced the end of product life for WeaveMaker 8, and will no longer be supporting it. 

Still running WeaveMaker 8 on your Mac?  Upgrade today to ensure your product is supported!  Upgrades to WeaveMaker 9 are available at our online shop for $117 per license/seat.


While WeaveMaker 9 is not available for Windows users, we are pleased to be able to offer the opportunity to transition to the recently released WeavePoint 8 for the promotional price of $234 (a $142 savings) and $99 for each additional seat.  To take advantage of this promotional pricing, see our special listing here. This promotional price is available until February 17, 2017.  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Stocking Stuffer Special

In need of some last minute gifts?  Look no further!  We have books (including Bonnie Inouye's Exploring Multishaft Design and Marian Stubenitsky's Weaving with Echo and Iris), shuttles, yardage counters and more!
Order by 12/23/16 and use the code 10OFFDEC to get 10% off any products listed here. As an added bonus, all purchases over $25 receive a free Little Weaver tote bag!