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Old 07-26-2012, 11:57 PM
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Servo Motor MOD: DIY Easier Speed Control

I am new to sewing and recently purchased a Seiko STH 8BLD-3 and I have spent many hours reading here on HotRodders.com, on Leatherworker.net, and on DIYTactical.com, and thank everyone for sharing their experiences.

I hope, with this post to pay back a little and make a few people really happy like me. This MOD for me ranks up there with best Xmas present ever... in July, no less.

In my research to learn more about my new sewing machine I ran into a lot of posts of people unhappy with their servo motor's speed control, this included me.

I was lucky one day and found a post on Leatherworker.net where a member named DDahl - Dave had used a paper and pencil gradient MOD to give a wider more controllable range to the speed controller of his servo motor.

Here is the link to DDahl's post that motivated me to make this how-to. (Thank You! Dave)
Question About Servo Motors - Leatherworker.net - Page 2

Amazing to me, Dave's post didn't stir much conversation or motivation, I attributed that to peoples fear of modifying things.

I made this video and how-to to show how easy this MOD really is and hopefully make a lot of people happier with their machines.

In addition to the video I have photos that can be use as a guide while preforming the modification. I will also post updates and tweak the how-to as needed and if people participate, post a list of servo motor models that work well with the modification.

Enjoy!


SWFLholsters ŧ Sewing Servo Motor: DIY Smoother Speed Control MOD




P.S. I am not a writer and struggle with things like this, if anyone sees errors or has suggestions on how I can improve my writing to be more clear please let me know. :-)

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Old 07-27-2012, 06:41 AM
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Hmm...That's pretty interesting. I can say that the transition from slow to fast on my SewQuiet 5000 leaves a little to be desired (though it is TONS better than the old clutch motor).

I might give this a try once my warranty period expires. The nice thing about this mod is that you stay out of the 'meat' of the assembly and you can put everything back exactly to original if you don't like it.

Interesting indeed...
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Old 07-27-2012, 07:47 AM
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Yes, this is very interesting, but I'm still at a loss to understand why there are so many problems going through the speed range just using the foot pedal. My servo motors can all do exactly what is being described just with the foot pedal, but I don't think mine are optical. I guess it has something to do with what you learn on. I learned on machines equipped with clutch motors, so maybe that has something to do with it.
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Old 07-27-2012, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeAirOne View Post
Hmm...That's pretty interesting. I can say that the transition from slow to fast on my SewQuiet 5000 leaves a little to be desired (though it is TONS better than the old clutch motor).

I might give this a try once my warranty period expires. The nice thing about this mod is that you stay out of the 'meat' of the assembly and you can put everything back exactly to original if you don't like it.

Interesting indeed...
Wow. SafeAir. That isn't just interesting, that is absolutely fascinating. Thanks to DDAHL for figuring this out and to SWFLholsters for all his trouble to make such a well done and informative training aid. This has got to be one of the most interesting ideas I have seen. Even though I am really happy with my SewQuiet 5000 it would be great to have the more gentle ramp up and broader speed range. I don't see there is anything there to effect warranty either. It appears to have all the upside potential without any down side.....Can't wait to play.

John L
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWFLholsters View Post
I am new to sewing and recently purchased a Seiko STH 8BLD-3 and I have spent many hours reading here on HotRodders.com, on Leatherworker.net, and on DIYTactical.com, and thank everyone for sharing their experiences.

I hope, with this post to pay back a little and make a few people really happy like me.
Welcome to the Forum SWFLHolsters. I don't remember when anyone's first post has been as interesting as this. Thank you for the trouble and effort you have put into this and for sharing it with us here.

John L
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes View Post
Yes, this is very interesting, but I'm still at a loss to understand why there are so many problems going through the speed range just using the foot pedal. My servo motors can all do exactly what is being described just with the foot pedal, but I don't think mine are optical. I guess it has something to do with what you learn on. I learned on machines equipped with clutch motors, so maybe that has something to do with it.
Dan, I believe our SewQuiet 5000's are. I looks to me like they have the same controller as the one in Holster's video. I you haven't watched it at least take the time to.

The reason I wanted to answer your post was to explain the interest in a modification like this for amateur trimmers. I have for years been challenged to do all of my own work when building a car. I have had an English Wheel since 1989 because I wanted to learn to do my own sheet metal work. The car I have now has been pretty much built by me. I do my own metal work, paint work and interior work. I am never going to be the worlds best metal former, painter or trimmer. Jack of all trades and master of none applies to me for sure. Most of us who only do our own work are never going to have the cockpit time to become experts with a sewing machine. Anything that we can do that provides us with better control of the machine is a giant plus. Those of you who are experts in your trade have gotten there by spending years honing your skills to get to level you are at. We amateurs will never achieve that level but can still do some pretty good work. Control of the machine adds to that immensely.

John L
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:07 AM
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Wow--That video that SWFLholsters posted--from 5:45 to 8:00 says it all...Thanks! I've got the 'before' version. I'd LOVE to have the 'after' version. I'm not waiting till my warranty expires.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeAirOne View Post
Wow--That video that SWFLholsters posted--from 5:45 to 8:00 says it all...Thanks! I've got the 'before' version. I'd LOVE to have the 'after' version. I'm not waiting till my warranty expires.
Hey SafeAir, I am getting ready to go the Street Rod Nationals in Louisville and won't get to follow up on this for a while. If you do it first please post your results with the SewQuiet 5000.

John L
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:31 AM
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I did watch the video, John. I wouldn't have commented if I hadn't. Yes, the Sew Quiet 5000 is optical.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:28 AM
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I tried this trick on my SewQuiet 4000 today, and I can confirm that it works. The Enduro brand motor in SWFLholsterīs video seems to be a lot more sensitive than the SewQuiet 4000 though. I tried it the way shown in the video with just a paper and some gradient from a pencil...it didnīt work because the light from the sensor was too strong. Then I took the thin cardboard from a pack of cigarettes...that worked better but not as good as I was hoping for. I was surprised when I saw the light right through the cardboard...must be some kind of laser-light I guess??

I ended up taking this cardboard and then started to laminate it with the sticky end of Post-it notes, sort of staggering the Post-it notes so the whole thing became thicker and thicker to one side...that worked, and I was able to fine-tune it too with the pencilmarks. The way it seems to work is that when the sensor gets light no current is passed to the motor, and when you start to shade it of gradually, more and more current is passed through it.

It worked and now I have adjustable speed through the whole stroke of the lever. But just as SWFLholster says...you have to experiment with the paper thickness/gradient a little to get it where you want it.

Thanks to SWFLholster and DDAHL for sharing this trick.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:26 PM
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Cronko,

That is great news, and thank you so much for the detailed explanation of how you achieved success.

May I have your permission to add your detailed text to the how-to?

Thanks!
Larry
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John long View Post
Welcome to the Forum SWFLHolsters. I don't remember when anyone's first post has been as interesting as this. Thank you for the trouble and effort you have put into this and for sharing it with us here.

John L
John, thank you for the warm welcome I appreciate it.

After reading thread after thread about the sensitivity of the digital servos and then seeing first hand the results of DDahl's MOD, I was so thrilled I just had to share the how-to.

Now with Cronko's success I am so happy that the effort to put the guide together was totally worth while, because I am sure Cronko's success is the first of many.

Can't wait untill you get back from Street Rod Nationals because I know you are going to be on the list too.

Thanks again!
Larry
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:25 AM
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SWFLholsters,

If you think my little explanation can be of any assistance to someone, then feel free to use it in any way you like.
Iīm sorry I donīt have a camera so I couldnīt take any pictures of it, but once you open the Sewquiet then the rest of the work is rather self-explanatory after watching your excellent video

I did this with the motor still on the machine, but of course it will be safer and more comfortable to take the motor off and work with it on a table. Also remember that as soon as you start to experiment and put your pieces of paper in the sensor, the motor will start...so take the belt off the machine, and keep your fingers away from the pulley.
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:47 AM
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Good stuff Cronko. I have been very pleased with my SewQuiet 5000 on my Adler 267. I think this will be the icing on the cake. The only thing I have wondered about is should we be looking for a more permanent material? 5 years from now the paper or cardboard may need to be replaced. Not that it will be a big deal to do so. Isn't it amazing that the manufacturer would not have done this in production?

John L
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWFLholsters View Post
John, thank you for the warm welcome I appreciate it.

After reading thread after thread about the sensitivity of the digital servos and then seeing first hand the results of DDahl's MOD, I was so thrilled I just had to share the how-to.

Now with Cronko's success I am so happy that the effort to put the guide together was totally worth while, because I am sure Cronko's success is the first of many.

Can't wait untill you get back from Street Rod Nationals because I know you are going to be on the list too.

Thanks again!
Larry
You are welcome Larry. I think the reason this has been my favorite site is the "community atmosphere" as well as the knowledge available. Here on the Interior forum we have DanTwoLakes, who has written some excellent tutorials as well answering questions for members. On the Body Exterior forum MartinSR has done the same thing. There have been numerous times fellow members have disagreed with me on one thing or another but never have I been ridiculed or insulted by a fellow member here at the HR.C site because we shared different opinions.

It is amazing that so many people put forth so much effort to help others accomplish their goals. 20 years ago you had to learn through an apprenticeship or from personal contacts. Now the wealth of knowledge available for the taking is just unbelievable. I thank all the guys who contribute so much.

Ain't life just plum good?

John
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