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  • mikezcnc
    I am fascinated with this group! I have jsut acquired a KH940 and learned that there is a PDD and FB100 as well was cartriges. I also found out that there are
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 28, 2004
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      I am fascinated with this group! I have jsut acquired a KH940 and
      learned that there is a PDD and FB100 as well was cartriges.

      I also found out that there are cables to connect to windows to input
      from a program DesignaKnit directly to machine. Here I noticed that
      there are two types of cables avaialble, roughly at $100 each: one
      that allows input of data from the program and the other that desont,
      but both allow downloading of patterns. I have no idea why would
      anyone want a cable without a real time input capability???

      Designakit costs $400, and FBBis approx $200, FB100 is about $200. I
      figured, if Designaknit does its joib as advertised then it probably
      is a better solution then using FB100 and PDD, technologies from 15
      years ago if not more (reminds me of Coleco Adam and TU 99/4A.

      Then I saw an article about someone having developed a PDA program
      but I believe it is pretty much a note pad.

      I searched for a protocol to PDD and found NOTHING. I search for
      service manuals and also nothing. I found a file posted by someone in
      the file section: I am thrilled. Taht is a very generous gift form
      the person who passed it along.

      Brother doesn't do knitting machines anymore and now is the time for
      people to start updating the interfaces. Regretfully Designaknit is a
      very expesive progra.

      I wonder, is there another program that connects to windows?

      I apologize for blasting all the questions at once but I feel like I
      found a brother soal on the subject. Glad to be here and I will be
      checking this forum often. Mike
    • jhogerhuis
      ... that ... desont, ... Their cables are very expensive. Although these cables do have electronics in them, I don t think there is any reason for them to cost
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 29, 2004
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        --- In kminternals@yahoogroups.com, "mikezcnc" <eemikez@c...> wrote:
        > from a program DesignaKnit directly to machine. Here I noticed
        that
        > there are two types of cables avaialble, roughly at $100 each: one
        > that allows input of data from the program and the other that
        desont,
        > but both allow downloading of patterns. I have no idea why would
        > anyone want a cable without a real time input capability???
        >


        Their cables are very expensive. Although these cables do have
        electronics in them, I don't think there is any reason for them to
        cost more than $20 if efficiently manufactured by hand.

        I don't know much about them beyond that. To connect to the
        computer, I use the cable that Tandy provided for the TRS-80 Model
        100 computer to connect to these drives.

        > Then I saw an article about someone having developed a PDA program
        > but I believe it is pretty much a note pad.
        >

        One of my goals is to create a simple pattern storage/retrieval +
        pattern editing program that will run on any PalmOS PDA with a
        serial port.

        > I searched for a protocol to PDD and found NOTHING. I search for
        > service manuals and also nothing. I found a file posted by someone
        in
        > the file section: I am thrilled. Taht is a very generous gift form
        > the person who passed it along.
        >

        You're welcome.

        I'm hoping that this information being out there will jump start
        finding details beyond the protocol, in particular the data format
        of what the machine actually saves to the disk. I can basically
        mimic a km and read/write sectors given this protocol information,
        but I don't know how to write any sensible pattern data yet.

        That's where I'm hoping we can all help each other out.

        Also in the process of doing this I'm sure some test code/programs
        will be developed that will allow doing neat tricks with a PC
        connected to an FDD or a KM. Hopefully everyone will share what they
        learn openly.

        IMO, that's the only way this group can work efficiently, is by
        sharing information openly. In fact the creators of DAK and others
        have obviously already determined this information we're going to
        derive. But because everyone keeps it secret it means people spent
        the same effort over and over finding the same things. We're going
        to open it up once and for all.

        > I apologize for blasting all the questions at once but I feel like
        I
        > found a brother soal on the subject. Glad to be here and I will be
        > checking this forum often. Mike

        Good to have you on the team, Mike.

        -- John.
      • mikezcnc
        John, That is also my goal to control a Brother machine by a modern computer and possibly under windows. You are right that the market for such a device in
        Message 3 of 7 , Nov 29, 2004
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          John,

          That is also my goal to control a Brother machine by a modern
          computer and possibly under windows. You are right that the market
          for such a device in monopolized. I think it is a shame that there
          are tons of wonderful Brother machines that could be used and enjoyed
          more. I have a lot of time invested in CNC design so it cannot be
          much different.

          I don't have the machine yet -it is being shipped to me as we speak
          but I imagine there is a stepepr motor (I don't think they would use
          servo but who knows, maybe they needed so much precision that Brother
          put a servo in it- that would complicate the matters a bit). The
          stepper motor has a driver that takes some step and dir comamnds. Of
          course Brother may have their own proprietary way of doing it, but
          stepper (or more) is like a plotter which has basically two steppers.
          One would determine the wiring, drive the steppers and... and....jus
          dreaming today. Hopefully it won't be neccessary to go that route.
          Someone has got to have a schematic. Now that I freed up my time from
          a plotter project (lucky me) I am ready to hack the brother knitting
          and I am thrilled I found this board and met you here.

          In the past it was always difficult for me to control an orignal CNC
          machine from an original controller because they used proprietary
          interface which they never reveale- what you determined is a HUGE
          step forward. The simplest way was to replace the electronics
          (drivers) with modern ones and control everything from a parallel
          port using a step/dir program, which are plentiful. I don't know the
          currents in steppers but two drivers cost about $100, plus power
          supply and box, call it $150. Cable would be standard, $5. Compare it
          to $450 for a designaknit + $100 cable and the savings are obvious.
          Of course a small detail would have to be figured out what to send to
          that parallel port but a Basic program in DOS would be the first
          quick and dirty way. I am not yet familiar with the workings of a
          knitting machine but can imagine it is not different thatn a printing
          circuit board being drilled under a string of commands?!
          Something like: turn the first motor 2 steps in direction A, then
          turn the seciond motor in direction B by 5 steps etc.
          When the first electronic machines appeared (16 years ago?), it was a
          dark science but now many things have been figured out by hobbysts.

          For that, one could go several ways, first in DOS, one could use
          Basic to send a control file to the knitter. Or use a modified
          TurboCNC which has a source code for Pascal. Any other cnc program
          manufacturer would be thrilled to expand their market and eat into
          designaknit's chunk of action. I would like to help to resolve this
          unhealthy situation. And yes, you are write, designaknit has figured
          it out and they were not born with that knowledge.

          Have you determined if Brother or what's left of that division is
          willing to share teh interface information? I would say they should
          be very open to that because it would increase the interest with
          their other products. I did a quick search but found nothing yet.

          I had a similar story recently, slightly off knitting subject. I
          acquired an old calcomp plotter which didn't have the drivers and
          usual search revealed I would have to go to w95 or possibly DOS.
          Finally I located a program www.winline.com in Australia ($200). A
          USA dealer contacted me and convinced me that without the winline
          program I won't be able to control my plotter. After one week of
          trying I found out that AutCAD 2000 does have calcomp driver and it
          plotted beautifully. Then the problem was how to plot schematics? For
          that I figured out that schematic capture has a dxf export utility
          and AutoCAD can open dxf. The whole process takes few seconds and I
          can plot from a calcomp any schematic I want to any size which was
          the idea to have a cheap large size plotter. During the discovery
          process I learned that lots of company rely on ignorance of
          customers.

          I would say if Designaknit dropped the price to $200 it would make
          their product more popular and make the knitting hobby bigger. The
          cable shouldn't cost more than $50 on a good day.

          I looked thru a pdf document that you posted and noticed there was no
          pinout. Have you figured out a pinout?

          About the cables: do you suspect they have some electronics built
          into the connector(s)? Mike

          PS

          John, I am looking for a drive as you suggested and so far haven't
          been able to locate one, maybe you have one spare or know about one?
          I thought I would ask.
          If you want to you may send the info to eemikez@...



          --- In kminternals@yahoogroups.com, "jhogerhuis" <jhoger@p...> wrote:
          >
          > --- In kminternals@yahoogroups.com, "mikezcnc" <eemikez@c...>
          wrote:
          > > from a program DesignaKnit directly to machine. Here I noticed
          > that
          > > there are two types of cables avaialble, roughly at $100 each:
          one
          > > that allows input of data from the program and the other that
          > desont,
          > > but both allow downloading of patterns. I have no idea why would
          > > anyone want a cable without a real time input capability???
          > >
          >
          >
          > Their cables are very expensive. Although these cables do have
          > electronics in them, I don't think there is any reason for them to
          > cost more than $20 if efficiently manufactured by hand.
          >
          > I don't know much about them beyond that. To connect to the
          > computer, I use the cable that Tandy provided for the TRS-80 Model
          > 100 computer to connect to these drives.
          >
          > > Then I saw an article about someone having developed a PDA
          program
          > > but I believe it is pretty much a note pad.
          > >
          >
          > One of my goals is to create a simple pattern storage/retrieval +
          > pattern editing program that will run on any PalmOS PDA with a
          > serial port.
          >
          > > I searched for a protocol to PDD and found NOTHING. I search for
          > > service manuals and also nothing. I found a file posted by
          someone
          > in
          > > the file section: I am thrilled. Taht is a very generous gift
          form
          > > the person who passed it along.
          > >
          >
          > You're welcome.
          >
          > I'm hoping that this information being out there will jump start
          > finding details beyond the protocol, in particular the data format
          > of what the machine actually saves to the disk. I can basically
          > mimic a km and read/write sectors given this protocol information,
          > but I don't know how to write any sensible pattern data yet.
          >
          > That's where I'm hoping we can all help each other out.
          >
          > Also in the process of doing this I'm sure some test code/programs
          > will be developed that will allow doing neat tricks with a PC
          > connected to an FDD or a KM. Hopefully everyone will share what
          they
          > learn openly.
          >
          > IMO, that's the only way this group can work efficiently, is by
          > sharing information openly. In fact the creators of DAK and others
          > have obviously already determined this information we're going to
          > derive. But because everyone keeps it secret it means people spent
          > the same effort over and over finding the same things. We're going
          > to open it up once and for all.
          >
          > > I apologize for blasting all the questions at once but I feel
          like
          > I
          > > found a brother soal on the subject. Glad to be here and I will
          be
          > > checking this forum often. Mike
          >
          > Good to have you on the team, Mike.
          >
          > -- John.
        • Kidoodles3
          That is also my goal to control a Brother machine by a modern computer and possibly under windows. You are right that the market for such a device in
          Message 4 of 7 , Nov 29, 2004
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            That is also my goal  to control a Brother machine by a modern
            computer and possibly under windows. You are right that the market
            for such a device in monopolized.  
             
            Hello John,
             
            About the same time or maybe before DAK, Susan from http://www.cochenille.com/index.html had a setup to use the km with the computer but has since discontinued production of it.  At that time I was too new to computers and didn't purchase it.  Maybe this device will give you some more information if you could find one. 

            MSGTAG has notified Sandy that you have read this message.

          • mikezcnc
            I sent her a inquiry, I ll post the answer. That is another question: are there any other programs that allow control of a Brother electronic knitting machine
            Message 5 of 7 , Nov 29, 2004
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              I sent her a inquiry, I'll post the answer. That is another question:
              are there any other programs that allow control of a Brother
              electronic knitting machine via a computer?

              That unhealty situation of a DAK monopolizing for megabucks the
              marked keeps motivating me to get to the bottom of this pile and it
              needs to be rectified.
              Thanks to your link to Susan's site, I ccame up with a use for a
              plotter: a machine plotting sewing patterns!!!!!! Do you know of any
              programs that will draw/generate sewing patterns? I could do it in a
              1:1 scale. I also came up with an idea of printing patterns for
              kayaks or canoes- what a day. Mike


              --- In kminternals@yahoogroups.com, "Kidoodles3" <Kidoodles3@c...>
              wrote:
              >
              > That is also my goal to control a Brother machine by a modern
              > computer and possibly under windows. You are right that the market
              > for such a device in monopolized.
              >
              > Hello John,
              >
              > About the same time or maybe before DAK, Susan from
              > http://www.cochenille.com/index.html had a setup to use the km with
              the
              > computer but has since discontinued production of it. At that time
              I was
              > too new to computers and didn't purchase it. Maybe this device
              will give
              > you some more information if you could find one.
            • Kidoodles3
              I use Susans Garment Designer for my patterns. The program is much better priced and much easier to use, but DAK is the only program I know of that can be
              Message 6 of 7 , Nov 29, 2004
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                I use Susans Garment Designer for my patterns.  The program is much better priced and much easier to use, but DAK is the only program I know of that can be used with the knitting machines.  I have DAK but as I design and do production for a few companies I just haven't had time to play with it yet.  Dak uses the serial port for it's cables.


                From: mikezcnc [mailto:eemikez@...]
                Sent: Monday, November 29, 2004 11:55 AM
                To: kminternals@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [kminternals] Re: KM-Computers


                I sent her a inquiry, I'll post the answer. That is another question:
                are there any other programs that allow control of a Brother
                electronic knitting machine via a computer?

                That unhealty situation of a DAK monopolizing for megabucks the
                marked keeps motivating me to get to the bottom of this pile and it
                needs to be rectified.
                Thanks to your link to Susan's site, I ccame up with a use for a
                plotter: a machine plotting sewing patterns!!!!!! Do you know of any
                programs that will draw/generate sewing patterns?  I could do it in a
                1:1 scale. I also came up with an idea of printing patterns for
                kayaks or canoes- what a day. Mike


                --- In kminternals@yahoogroups.com, "Kidoodles3" <Kidoodles3@c...>
                wrote:
                >
                > That is also my goal 
                to control a Brother machine by a modern
                > computer and possibly under
                windows. You are right that the market
                > for such a device in
                monopolized. 

                > Hello John,

                >
                About the same time or maybe before DAK, Susan from
                >
                href="http://www.cochenille.com/index.html">http://www.cochenille.com/index.html had a setup to use the km with
                the
                > computer but has since
                discontinued production of it.  At that time
                I was
                > too new to
                computers and didn't purchase it.  Maybe this device
                will give
                >
                you some more information if you could find one.




                MSGTAG has notified Sandy that you have read this message.

              • John R. Hogerhuis
                ... Actually I do have one of these Bitknitter boxes and the software to go with it. It just happened to come with my 930. IIRC, the software is for the
                Message 7 of 7 , Nov 29, 2004
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                  On Mon, 2004-11-29 at 07:19, Kidoodles3 wrote:
                  > That is also my goal to control a Brother machine by a modern
                  > computer and possibly under windows. You are right that the market
                  > for such a device in monopolized.
                  >
                  > Hello John,
                  >
                  > About the same time or maybe before DAK, Susan
                  > from http://www.cochenille.com/index.html had a setup to use the km
                  > with the computer but has since discontinued production of it. At
                  > that time I was too new to computers and didn't purchase it. Maybe
                  > this device will give you some more information if you could find
                  > one.
                  >


                  Actually I do have one of these "Bitknitter" boxes and the software to
                  go with it. It just happened to come with my 930. IIRC, the software is
                  for the Amiga, so I may need to use an emulator to try it out.

                  It has a connection (9-pin din) for the computer and two devices (8-pin
                  header), likely the knitting machine serial port and optical port.

                  I opened it up at some point and looked at it... it has two chips
                  covered in some kind of glue to prevent reverse engineering I suppose.

                  Anyone know how to remove that stuff?

                  -- John.
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