Friday, May 11, 2012

Me and My Pfaff 7570....a Journey in perseverance

Time for something sewing related instead of polish (so for all my polish gals, I'll have something for you next post). I'm putting this out on the internet as a resource for others that want to use this machine. I know when I was first getting stated, I had quite a few questions that nobody seemed to know the answer to.

Recently I inherited my Grandmother's Pfaff 7570 embroidery machine complete with the embroidery unit and standard hoops (I think that they might have been sold separately once upon a time), software, cable to connect the sewing machine to the computer, a few design cards, and a blank design card. While I have all of this now, I didn't get it all at once. Many of the components were hiding in my Grandma's house. My Mom and I found the machine, embroidery unit, hoops and cards first; enough to get started and play.
The machine didn't look this pretty to start with. The old girl had sat the 10 years Grandma's been gone, a critter had stored food there, and a score of spiders had built webs (ok I may be exaggerating, but there was quite a bit to be cleaned up). Once cleaned and oiled though, the old girl sews and embroiders very well (and the tension is great still!).

The first question: When the original software and cable was found, could I use just that to write to my blank card? Or did I NEED to buy a compatible reader/writer box?
Answer: With the original software (PC Designer) and cable, a reader/writer box is unnecessary. However, if you are missing either the software or the cable, you are better off buying a compatible reader/writer box instead of trying to hunt down one (or both) of those. Occasionally they come up for sale on Ebay, but not often anymore.
The original software comes on floppies, so you need to either need a floppy drive (internal or external) or use a friends floppy drive to burn the files onto a CD.
The original cable comes with a 25 pin serial plug on one end and a unique connection on the other (which goes to the machine). On mine I have an adapter to make the 25 pin into a 9 pin serial (a more common connection).
Second question I had: Since my computer didn't have any serial ports, how am I going to connect this to my computer?
Answer: A serial port on a pc-card.

My laptop came with one of these slots that takes a credit card sized card that can have all sorts of things on there (like ports that may not have been built into your laptop, wifi cards, etc). When slid into my computer and the drivers installed, it acts just like a serial port that was built into the computer. Not exactly sleek, but it works great!

There ARE serial to USB adapters out there, and that would have been a simpler solution. However the one I tried didn't come with any drivers. This meant the computer saw the machine as a USB "thingy", and the software is old enough (1997) that it doesn't recognize USB "thingies"....only COM ports. If you find a USB adapter that comes with a driver CD, give it a shot.

So a short recap of what I learned in this process....If you have the following:
-The original software
-Cable to connect the sewing machine to the computer
-Floppy drive (or access to one)
-9 pin serial port (either built in, or a way to adapt to what you do have)
You can skip getting a reader/writer box. The original software with read only the Pfaff .pcs files, so if you have a lot of designs in other formats you will need a newer program to convert your designs in the right format.

I'm glad that I'm able to use this machine finally. It's been a long journey to get everything working together. I hope that this knowledge helps someone else that wants to use this machine to it's full potential..
Until next time!
-Lynnette

2 comments:

  1. You can make a connecting cable,if you are so inclined - instructions are here:
    http://www.achatina.de/sewing/main/TECHNICL.HTM

    The Pfaff 7550 AND 7570 can be programmed for decorative running stitches, not just the hoop embroidery designs. This means that you can either use designs found on the web in .pcd (9mm) or .pcq (maxi stitch) format, or create your own - slowly, point by point, on the Creative Designer, if you have that unit (instructions here: http://skytoucher.com/glyndab/?page_id=23), or using the PCD software - which means you'll need a cable to transfer to the machine. I assume you can use a card to transfer the designs in those two formats just as you transfer the hoop embroidery patterns, but I'm not sure as I only have a 7550 at the moment.

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    1. Thanks for commenting!

      I knew that i could do my own decorative running stitches, but have no desire to. The 7550 has plenty of stitches to keep my busy! Making that cable is quite the endeavor; to much for me, but i'm so glad you posted it!

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