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Needle stops in down position, carriage keeps going

Beth Dunkelberger

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Hi, I'm a fairly new Millie owner and have encountered several rather frightening events with my baby. While working on the last 3 customer projects the needle randomly stopped in the downward position, while the carriage kept moving to follow the pattern. Hitting "stop" wasn't as quick as it could have been in this situation. Fortunately, the first few times it happened the machine was stitching just below the last row of the quilt top. But, two days ago it happened in the middle of the quilt. I'm so afraid of tearing through the quilt that I've stopped using my Millie till this issue is resolved.

Yesterday I talked with Angela who suggested the machine is reacting to an electrical static discharge (ESD) and telling Quilt Path to stop while the carriage is still in motion. I looked at older posts from 2011-2016 regarding ESD, but nothing that seemed to be identical to what I'm experiencing. Has anyone else had this happen to them?

I live/work in UT which has a very dry climate. My longarm sits in my retail shop (approx 1600 sq ft) on vinyl composite tile (VCT). Angela mentioned that APQS longarms need at least 35% humidity to operate properly and I should invest in a humidity gauge to track the numbers as well as a humidifier to bring up the humidity level. Also, wiping down the frame, etc with dryer sheets and spraying Staticide on the floor around the machine might help.

What other recommendations do you have to eliminate the problem? Would anti-static mats under the casters help? Is there a brand/model # of portable humidifier that has worked for you? I looked at some product reviews on other websites and am not totally sold on any particular brand. My building's HVAC is mounted on the roof so I'm not sure installing a humidifier up there is even a possibility. 

Thanks in advance,


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This may be an easier solution for you.  You need to ask APQS about grounding your Millie quilt frame to dissipate the static electricity.  This way it never builds up to cause the problem

The Millie head is grounded as it is plugged into the electrical outlet.  The single finger portion of the plug is the ground, or grounding wire. The same goes with the computer running the carriage.  If you use a extension cord an overload circuit breaker that to is grounded.  

I would suggest using an electrician, but as it is a holiday weekend you could try this to see if it fixes your problem.  Go to Lowes, HomeDepot or store that sells electrical items.  Buy a 125 volt grounding plug like this; https://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-15-Amp-125-Volt-Double-Pole-3-Wire-Grounding-Plug-Black-R50-3W101-00E/205165472?MERCH=REC-_-pip_alternatives-_-301864426-_-205165472-_-N&


You need to push out the two flat portions of the plug.  They are what carries the electricity to the wire.  You need to keep the single roundish male portion of the plug.  This is the ground.  Then buy a long enough piece of braided 14-guage or 12-guage green grounding wire to run or .  The green color indicates it is a ground wire, and is not carrying electricity.  

Connect the green ground wire inside the modified plug.  Make sure to secure the wire inside the plug, as it is designed to capture three wires and with only one you will need to see how it is not pulled out of the modified plug.  Then run the wire to the area the APQS suggests grounding the quilting frame.  Use this type of crimp end to run the bolt through.  



Connect to a bolt that is not painted.  The paint will not allow the connector to make a good contact to dissipate the static electricity/buildup.  

I would suggest using one of the bolts on the rear of the carriage support that is not painted.  See the silver/bear metal part of the carriage support with the bolt head visible?


I would also run a jumper wire from that bolt to the frame leg.  A jumper wire is just a short piece of wire from the ground point to another grounding point.  Simply put on the round hole or U-shaped crimp end on both pieces of wire.  I would run the jumper wire from the carriage frame to the adjustable leg support.  This is because the frame is painted.  The the bolt that allows you to adjust the height of the table is not painted.  It is probably overkill, but if it saves a quilt from being torn it is well worth the effort and little money the jumper wire costs.

An electrician or APQS may have a better method to ground you machine, but this is a safe DIY method to ground the table.

The 35% relative humidity is to help prevent static electricity from building up.  The grounding wire will prevent the static from building up, by continually dissipating it to the ground/the earth.  All electrical circuits are grounded to the earth outside the home or building with a large metal pole driven into the ground.  

I wish you the best of luck solving your dilemma.  


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What did APQS suggest you do to resolve your electrical static discharge (ESD) situation from developing in the first place, besides increasing the humidity level of your quilting room?

Did APQS support grounding the quilting frame, so static electricity would not build up in the first place?


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