The first step in reanimating my broken Brother KH-950i knitting machine with the Knitic system is understanding the principles of how Brother electronic knitting machines work. Fortunately the KH-910 and KH-940 service manuals (both downloadable from Knitting Machines etc.) are really useful in this regard. Continue reading Understanding the Brother electronic knitting machine
The electronics on my original Brother KH-950i knitting machine are broken. Kaputt. Dead as a dodo.
Being an old machine (circa 1988) and no longer manufactured, replacement parts are tricky to get hold of. If only there was a way to bring it the electronics back to life, perhaps by substituting the original parts with a new, customisable, open system…
But wait, it has already been done! The Knitic project replaces the main control boards of the KH-930 or KH-940 knitting machines with an Arduino so that the patterning can be controlled by the Knitic software. Better still, the lovely people behind the project have made it open and the source files are available to view and download from GitHub.
Only question is, can I get it to work with the earlier KH-950i model? Here begins my 950i reanimation journey.
Part of the reason for the delay in discovering the issue with my 950i electronics was that it arrived without a power cable.
The 950i uses IEC-60320 “Appliance couplers for household and similar general purposes” standard connectors. Wikipedia and MindMachine.co.uk have good articles on the standard.
The knitting machine houses the C10 male connector, and the cable uses the corresponding C9 female connector.
It is surprisingly hard to get hold of new IEC C9 to UK plug cables!
On several occasions over many months I looked to the wisdom of the world wide web in an attempt to diagnose and fix my Brother KH-950i electronic knitting machine. I consulted manuals, google, web forums and mailing lists, service engineers, sellers and anyone else I could think of.
Eventually I reached the conclusion that the electronics, at least the main PC board, are beyond repair. Here’s how. Continue reading Ding dong, the 950i electronics are dead
It’s fair to say I have amassed a collection of knitting machines, paraphernalia and yarns in the 2½ years since I wrote about my first adventures with knitting machines.
The machine collection
The original plan was to hack the Toyota KS858 along the lines of the Gelsomina project by adding electronic controls to the stitch selector panel, however upon understanding the needle selection mechanism a bit better I came to the conclusion that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to overcome the 12-stitch repeat limitation. Continue reading More Knitting Machine Adventures
My aunt was given a Toyota KS858 knitting machine and 506 ribber that had been in a friend’s relative’s garage for umpteen years. It came with what seemed to be most of the accessories, but was missing a manual and punchcards. On a visit in the summer I found a copy of the KS858 manual online and we muddled through trying to set it up, neither of us knowing what we were doing. The end result looked like it should work, but we couldn’t get it to knit properly. Continue reading Knitting Machine Adventures