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  1. As an owner of one of the cheaper option frames that you place your regular sewing machine on, I can attest you have no worry about competition from me or anyone using said devices. They can do a quilt, but chances are it will take us 10 times as long. Constant movement of the quilt on the frame, lack of computerization to facilitate a timely product are just a couple reasons.If I get more than two or three quilts done this year, I'll be real surprised. Now if you are approaching this as a business, and willing to invest in a quality top of the line long arm with automation features, plus have the space, and additional materials like batting, thread, backing etc. And most of all, patience to deal with people who are always expecting a deal, or a quick turn around etc., or want you to fix their shoddy work... well maybe it may pay for itself in time. But do it for the love of quilting, not to make money or provide income. You will certainly be disappointed. There are many more people getting out of the business than getting in. Many for the wrong reasons. The truly dedicated and enthusiastic ones will find a way to bring joy to their lives, and be a success, but not everyone measures success in $.
  2. Ah the wonders of electronics. It is all smoke and mirrors... You cannot EVER predict what is going to happen. (I got my start in the Air Force working on Nuclear Missiles, somewhere that spooky things like this are common, and scary given what we were working with) I like Dawn's response about capacitors. Just be careful as Capacitors can store a lot of power for a long time, and if you provide a path for discharge with your body, you can get reminded of the fact with a nasty jolt.
  3. Thanks. for the reply. I am aware of the shows etc, and the deals and demo machines. My concern has been regarding what people are experiencing with their particular brands they are using. I see problem after problem with the Gammill users. Mainly related to software glitches. And I see hardly anything on the APQS forums. Which kind of bothers me. The Statler stitcher has always been my goal. But I have a lot of interest in the APQS. The Gammill is a lot cheaper though. And this is one time I want to get it right. So my question is this. Is the APQS that reliable? Looking for that shining light bulb to go off...These things are expensive and I can't afford to make a mistake. Not to mention that a mechanical machine like the Gammill takes a whole lot of maintenance compared to the APQS
  4. Also have to say that I have a Viking Epic 980Q that I use with a small frame sold by Viking. For a manual machine it gets me by, but I do almost exclusive ruler work as I am not real stable with hand guiding.
  5. I too am in the market, although I am looking at the APQS versus a Gammil with Statler stitcherl I too want to jump right in with the computer. I am lurking on both forums, and I find that the Statler software appears glitchy, as that is the only thing they talk about. It also is a mechanical machine which being old school I understand the mechanicals. The electronic machines are a whole different animal, and my electronics background tells me it is all magic, smoke and mirrors. What I don't see is people complaining that this or that in their software is acting up. Which is a good thing, however cost wise, the APQS is considerably more expensive and they don't include a lot of the high end stuff in their basic unit. There is always a costly upgrade option. Still not sure what to do.
  6. There are a lot of variables in any money making enterprise. Going into business is not simply a matter of buying a machine and setting up shop. Much of it is attitude, and skill. If you have not run a longarm before, expect mistakes, and a realistic learning curve. Expect calls in the middle of the night, unrealistic deadlines, pieced quilts that are so wonky that other more experienced quilters turn away.... and don't be afraid to say no if your skills are not up to par. I had a friend who took in a quilt knowing it had issues... and the owner then nit-picked it to death. My friend handed to the woman and told her no charge... and please do not bring another quilt. It is not worth the hassle and worry to argue over. Anyway, if you feel you are up to it, do a few of your own quilt tops to make the mistakes on... then dive in with both feet.