So far Penelope and I have not become the close and loving friends that I had hoped we'd become.
Though I haven't had a ton of time these past months to get used to her, the few times that I have, she has not played nice. Not nice at all. I have read and reread the manual so many times my eyes feel like they are crossed. I've made all the adjustments recommended by the manual and a friend and every recommendation that I have read on the Hinterberg Yahoo Group multiple times with no success. For the most part, this is the only thing I have to show for my attempts.
Yuck! Lots of huge long stitches, nothing controllable and certainly nothing pretty. And if you think the top looks bad, this is what the back looks like!
Even worse! At this point, I'm seriously thinking that I have an electronics problem and if that is the case, no matter what I do to get her stitch nicely, it isn't going to work. I can't help but wonder if it was dropped or otherwise damaged when the older couple that I bought if from moved it from their basement where they had it set up to their garage where she was when I picked her up. I know that when I moved her, I was extremely careful so I'm sure that nothing that I have done since setting my hands on her has caused any problems but either way, she is sick and needs professional attention.
I just spent some time on the phone talking to Steve from Dekkt Out Quilting, who happens to be an expert on the Voyager and he explained all about how the electronics are built on this machine. Of course, he'll come and do a service call on the machine and get her up and running if that is what I want but now knowing that the electronics that she has aren't great at all and likely to continue to be problematic in the future, I'm now considering having Steve do the upgrade to her while he is here. Part of me hates the thought of spending the money, but I did get her for a steal of a deal so in essence if I buy the upgrade, I'd still have spent less than I would have for any other used longarm machine and frame. All the other members of the Hinterberg Yahoo group that have done the upgrade absolutely love it and have said that it has eliminated all of the electronics problems so I know that it would be a great thing to have. It is just hard to make the jump to spend the money. It will be so worth it but it is still hard.
Update: After talking to a couple of people this afternoon and doing more research, the likelihood that the problems are in the electronics is pretty high. I know a few of you have mentioned tension but trust me, I can't even get it running to even worry about what the tension looks like. I contacted a local shop that sells a different brand of long arm machines; one of the owners has been repairing many brands of machines for a lot of years and he'll be coming next week to see if he can find the problem(s) and get Penelope fixed. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I really want to get busy developing my technique and actually quilting my projects.