Troubleshooting a Pfaff Grand Quilter

So these past few weeks have been really interesting here at the Eden Creative Sewing Center.  Any way I wanted to fill you in on my latest mission here.  As some of you know, I love to do the quilting and use as well as teach how to use the Pfaff Grand Quilter 18.8 and Imperial Frame.  I have learned that quilting on a frame and using a bigger machine is quite different than doing it on a tiny domestic machine.  Well, this hurdle has to do with a Pfaff Grand Quilter Hobby 1200.

Ok, I get the phone call from the owner stating how she is having a problem with her Pfaff Grand Quilter Hobby 1200 quilting machine.  I had asked her what the problem was and she proceeded to tell me that the machine was not working with her stitch regulator.  The stitch regulator was an accessory for this machine.  She told me that this machine was working great and with no flaw when she used the foot control.  When she would unplug the foot control and plugged in the stitch regulator the machine would not respond to the encoders.  The encoders are little wheels that tell the machine how fast to run depending on how fast they move.  I thought that this was a great opportunity to call one of our customers who uses her machine and frame a lot.  She had the same set up with the Pfaff GQ and the Inspira Frame.  I asked if I could use her machine to test the so called faulty stitch regulator.  She welcomed me over and we gave it a shot.  We did discover that one of the encoders was bad and was not responding at all.  The encoder was replaced and then tested.  The machine however was responding to the power switch and movement of the second encoder!  I felt great about this!  I called to let the customer know and she was adamant on there being something wrong with the accessory.  Paul (our technician) and I drove out and tested her machine at her house.  Yes we normally do not make house calls but this had an exception.  Get this, the stitch regulator did not work in her machine!  I was like WHAT!  Then I started to realize that it was not the unit seeing how it was responding to the movement of the encoder but it had to be something in the machine itself.  I told Paul that it had to be something in the board.

Here is where things get interesting.  We called Pfaff and talked to technicians, education, the manufacturer of the Pfaff  Grand Quilter Hobby 1200, other dealers and another individual.  I even posted threads on Stitchtalk.com and the Pfaff chat groups for the Hobby 1200 GQ.  The computer did not have an answer either!  Needless to say everyone passed us on and nobody had the freaking answer.  It was passed from one person to the next and then to the next.  We were told that it could not be the machine because it was working with the foot control.   Now the frustration is at its highest point right now.  Paul makes a call to the head of the tech department who in turn tells us what the issue is.  He tells us that this is a freak repair and that this has only happened once in the past 18 months.  So we are told that it is something in the board with this machine.  For what ever reason nobody could tell us that.  You know that you have to go through the chain of command which is sometimes a real pain.  It took us about one week to get this information.  Well the Pfaff technician that Paul talked to said he had some machines in the “Bone Yard”.  These machines are old and no longer in use.  They are there just for parts reasons and thank goodness they are!  So we will see if it really is in the board like I have been saying!  I did test the machine with a different stitch regulator and it did not work at all.  Machine was still not responding to the activation of the switch.  So what do you think could be the issue?

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