Amazing Box II

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From the research I've done so far, it would appear that the Amazing  
Box II will not "write" designs for the Singer Quantum XL5000 (one  
site says quite specifically that there is a "compatibility problem").  
The specifications on another site says:  ...[it] can read the  
following design cards: "...Singer XL-100, Singer XL-1000..." but  
there is no mention of the Singer Quantum XL5000.  Can anyone verify  
this, or if incorrect, please tell me your experience, I can't afford  
to buy one if it won't do what I need.

I have several designs I purchased and/or downloaded, and now I need  
to find out how to get them into my machine.  I have the "Conversion"  
software which came with the machine, but I am unable to get my new  
notebook, which has USB only (no serial port), to communicate with the  
XL5000, so I really need software/hardware which will ~write~ to the  
Singer SmartMedia cards.  Is PSW2.0 the only way?

Thanks so much for any help/advice you can offer.

--  
Beverly
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Re: Amazing Box II


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   Hi Beverly,

   I may be going out on a limb a bit here but there should be USB based
Smartmedia reader/writers readily available - I am guilty of assuming that
such a device will let you write anything onto the Smartmedia card - there
is NOTHING that I can find in my XL5000 manual that says it has to be
a specific format - and the XL5000 should be able to read & use it. If that
turns out to not be the case, I'm in for a big disappointment also.

   In fact, I suppose I could rant a bit about the manual, but I think it
would
be ineffective... I kept searching & searching to try & discover what format
the XL5000 uses - and I never did find it. I have come to think from what
I've read that it will use almost any format, though the results of some may
be more accurate & repeatable than others.

HTH
NGA



Re: Amazing Box II


Hi NGA,

<you wrote>
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I'm with you, guilty as sin, out on that limb, and VERY
disappointed...  :-(
I assumed that I could buy a SmartMedia card and reader-writer box,
and just "save" a file to it, using the "Conversion" software.  So I
bought a nice little USB 7-in-one floppy/card reader-writer for my new
notebook, and opened one of my downloaded designs in the software,
used "save as" to save the design in .xxx format AND .psw format to
the SmartMedia card (I originally bought a 128MB card, Singer tech
told me I would have to use a 16 or 32MB card, so I exchanged for a
32MB, smalllest one I could find).  I can see that the files are ~on~
the media card, using Explorer.  However, the XL5000 machine just
gives me the red-X error when I put the card in the slot and touch the
icon to import from a media card.

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Gad, for an expensive piece of equipment, that has to be one of the
~poorest~ manuals I have EVER seen.  It appears to have been written
originally in Chinese, translated to Hungarian, and then finally to
English.  Bleagh!

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Nor have I, and I'm beginning to think they have some proprietary
format which will only be created ~by~ the PSW software.

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Not my experience, but if you make it work, share please?  I am
actually wondering if I have a defective embroidery machine, since
neither the serial port (and why did they use THAT outdated bit of
hardware???) or the SmartMedia port ~seem~ to be working.

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Thanks for trying, maybe we'll find a solution.  For the rare time I
would be likely to use it, the PSW software is ~very~ expensive, so
I'm hoping to find an alternative..

--
Beverly
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Re: Amazing Box II


On Thu, 9 Jun 2005 20:43:01 -0700, "BEI Design"

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A small piece of hardware will do the trick.
You can get an adaptor that will go from the laptop USB to a serial port cable
to the machine.  
Here's a couple of links so you can see what you need.
http://www.usbgear.com/USBG-232MINI.html
http://sewelldirect.com/usbtoserial.asp

5 foot 2


Re: Amazing Box II




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Hi 5 foot 2,

Oh dear, I should have added that I have tried ~several~ USB-to-serial
converters (form computer stores), some with cables, some like the
device at the first link you provided, which I used with a null modem
cable.  None of them worked to establish communication between the
"Conversion" software installed on my notebook computer and the
XL5000.  No combination of baud-rate, com-port setting worked.  I have
had some assistance from the Singer tech support people, but no joy.

I am about to order the Singer USB-to-serial cable (item #270
10U1-06101), but at $40. + S&H it feels like a rip-off.  And I still
don't know if it will work, because I don't know what the problem is.
Next, I will probably take my machine in to the dealer where I bought
it (who has been very disappointing in terms of assistance) and ask
them to verify that the serial port on the XL5000 is ~working~.

Thanks for trying to help,

--
Beverly
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Re: Amazing Box II


While I'm not at all familiar with Singer machines, I do know that with
Janome's you need to insert the CF card into the machine so it can load
the folders to the CF card.  Then the card goes into your computer so
you can load the designs into the folders that the machine just created.
  Do you think it's worth a try doing this with your Singer?   Might be
clutching at straws but it's all I could think of right now.  Hope it
helps?

Bronwyn ;-)

BEI Design wrote:
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Re: Amazing Box II



HC wrote:
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I have no idea, at the present time I am unable to "read" the card I
put in the XL5000 SmartMedia slot, let alone "load" anything to it
while it's in the machine.  As far as I know, the SmartMedia slot in
the XL5000 is "read-only".

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I suspect the two systems are too dissimilar.  If someone with an
XL5000 want to jump in here with experience on the issue perhaps we
can get clarification?

--
Beverly
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Re: Amazing Box II


Suppose you've done a google search for Singer groups?  ;-((

BEI Design wrote:
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Re: Amazing Box II



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Yes, and I've been reading the archives of the Yahoo XL5000/XL6000
group, but I have not seen this specific question addressed.  Since I
don't know if what I want to do is *impossible* or whether I have a
defective machine I'm kind stuck.  I'll post here if I ever get this
figured out.  :-\

--
Beverly
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Re: Amazing Box II




Hello,
I too had the same dilemma and to the best of my knowledge in order to
use a Blank Smart Media card is to buy their PSW 2.0 software and Card
Reader/Writer bundle kit. This combo works but it is very expensive.

I tried to copy designs from their XL Conversion software to the
machine. Well the fastest Baud Rate I could use was 4800bps. Now that
is really #%^# slow! Ok so I decided to format a smart media card from
one of my digital cams and copy just one design from my Windows XP
system. This was after formatting the card and such. Well, after the
file was copied and inserted into the machine I got a big Red X. I
tried various methods and even with my 25 plus years of computer
experience I was stumped. I went ahead and spent $849 for the PSW 2.0
software and Card Reader/Writer combo and everything works great.
But.... I am very dis-pleased of the PROPRIETARY nature of this issue.
What gets me even more is that even spending all this money, PSW does
not have a batch conversion utility! I have to use Embird 2004 for
that!

This is a case in point where Software and Hardware is way too
expensive for what you get. Many software vendors have Trial versions,
and many do not. MOST vendors will not take software back after it was
opened. Another Kluster for the poor consumer.

One other thing is their NULL modem cable I''ve seen people sell for
over $50. You can get the same cable for $5 if you shop around. A null
modem cable from XYZ company is a NULL modem cable period. DOn't get
ripped off!.

Anyway, I hope I've answered this question, and sorry that I have
vented my frustrations but it is justified. As far as the manual...
don't let me get started...LOL

Big B







On Thu, 9 Jun 2005 20:43:01 -0700, "BEI Design"

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Re: Amazing Box II


Hi, may I call you "B"?   ;-)

Big B wrote:
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<Sigh>  That is the conclusion I'm slowly and painfully coming to.

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You were able to get better results than I, and I would have been
delighted with a transfer at *any* speed.  I could have set it to
transfer and go do something else for awhile.  :-}  No matter ~what~
baud rate I used all I got was the red-X error.  (But I may have a
defective XL5000, I have not yet had it tested.)

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Yup, exactly my experience, too.  I did get the advice from Singer
tech that the machine memory cannot read a card larger than 32MB, so I
exchanged the 128MB card I had bought.  Still, no luck getting the
XL5000 to read the card, and I *know* the files were there.

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So I guess that's what I'm going to have to do, I am really
disappointed, the Singer salesperson told me that I *would* be able to
transfer designs to the machine using the "Conversion" software which
is supplied.

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I downloaded Embird, hoping I would be able to "save" files to the
SmartMedia card, but that didn't work either.  I will pay for a
working version of Embird for all its other features.

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I really wish I could get a trial version of PSW in order to test my
machine.  I will really be ticked off if I buy the software, and STILL
can't transfer designs.  Between the XL5000 and the notebook computer
I bought specifically to be a dedicated embroidery computer, I have
well over $5000 invested, requiring another $900 seems RUDE to me.
:-(

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I have a couple of null modem cables still lying around from dial-up
days.  ;-)  I tried using them with a USB converter, didn't work.
Singer wants $40+ for the USB-to-serial cable which is apparently the
only way I'm going to get communication going between my new notebook
(6 USB ports, no serial ports) computer and the XL5000.

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Oh, I hear 'ya!  What a flipping POC!

One thing I haven't tried yet is installing the Conversion software on
an older computer running WIN 98 second edition, and running a nul
modem cable from its serial port to the XL5000.  I know, it shouldn't
make any difference, but dang, I've wasted so much time now trying to
resolve this, what's another hour or two, especially if I discover
that I don't have to invest another $900 in software.

Thanks for the input,

--
Beverly
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Re: Amazing Box II


I'm not familiar with your sewing machine, but is there a way to
format the smartmedia card on the sewing machine? Perhaps even save
a file from the machine to card.  If so, then take it back to your computer
using the card reader and see if you can see those files in embird or the
like.  If you can, I bet you would be able to add designs from the computer
 at this point (using the sewing machine formatted card).

Another very likely possibility would be to find someone with the
psw 2 software/reader and have them format and load a design on the card.
Then again, try reading that design on your computer, and if so, try to add
files from your computer to that card.

Good luck.


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Re: Amazing Box II


Lobod80 wrote:
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As far as I have been able to determine, no.  The XL5000 on-board
computer will read from a SmartMedia card in the slot, but I have
found NO information about writing TO the card either in the XL5000
media slot or in my computer's SM card reader/writer.  Designs, once
imported, can be saved in machine memory, but that's it.

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Good suggestion, I just don't think it will work.

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My guess is that even if I bought a Singer design card, I would not be
able to write designs to the card without having the PSW 2.0 software.
I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and buy the software.

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Thanks,

--
Beverly
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RE: Amazing Box ll


Take a look here, this adds real RS-232 ports to your machine, you could try one
of those if they have it in a local compoter store.

http://www.wcscnet.com/catalog/2_port_pcmcia_rs232_card_2696258.htm



Re: Amazing Box ll



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"Because they share electronic fundamentals with native bus
architectures such as PCI and ISA, they function exactly like standard
COM ports... "

Aha!  I had not even considered using a pcmcia card.  The whole
notebook think is new to me.  I'll take a look at Fry's next time I'm
there.  Thanks so much for taking the time to share!

--
Beverly
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Re: Amazing Box ll



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Just a quick follow-up:  I did find a PCMCIA serial port card 9gotta
love Fry's).  The results...zip, nada, still no communication between
my notebook using the Conversion software transfer feature and the
XL5000, no matter what combination of baud rate and com port I tried
(and I tried all of them).

At this point, I'm giving up.  I think the serial port on the XL5000
must not be functioning.  It's going to be in to the shop early next
week.

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions, I'll keep you posted on my
progress.

--
Beverly
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Re: Amazing Box ll


Go to one of those "computer hack" shops. You know the ones that sell used
computers and all kinds of used parts? There is usually some guy in there
that would love to solve your problem with a serial port analyser as a
challenge for a coffee or case of beer.

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Re: Amazing Box ll




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Oh, yeah, I love them!  The local one is named "STUFF"!  ;-)

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I like your way of thinking!  ;-}

But since this is an almost new XL5000, I don't want to risk voiding
the warrantee repair/replacement I should be able to get from Singer.

I took it to the dealer today, aaarrgghh, what a disappointment.

The service guy tried to tell me that the Conversion software WOULD
NOT/COULD NOT TRANSFER DESIGNS to the XL5000. (He insisted I would
have to have the full-blown PSW2.0 software).  I told him I had
e-mails from Singer tech support telling me that it WOULD, and
instructing me on the various baud-rate and com-port settings
necessary to make it work.

Next, he told me that the software wouldn't work under Windows XP.  I
showed him on the CD insert the statement that it was for
"95-98-ME-2000-XP".

Next he said it just wouldn't work with a newer notebook which has USB
ports only.  I explained that Singer offers a USB-to-serial cable to
overcome that problem.  And, I explained my several attempts to get
this to work:  I've been through *five* different USB-to-serial
converter cables, and one PCMCIA serial card, none of which was able
to make the transfer, no matter what combination of baud-rate and
com-port setting I made, and I tried them ALL.

And I told him that just to be very thourough, this morning I had
installed the Conversion software on an older Gateway desktop running
Windows 98 Second Edition, with a native serial port.  I have a 9 pin
null modem cable I tested and I know works.  After configuring the
setting on both the computer and the embroidery machine, I attempted
again to transfer a design.  Nothing!  Gad, the time I have wasted on
this.

I think the serial port on the XL5000 is
broken/non-functioning/take-your-pick.

So, he is going to send it off to Singer.  <sigh>  The wonderful
project I wanted to start for my family is on semi-permanent hold.

More of this sad tale later....

--
Beverly
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Re: Amazing Box ll


Beverly, I am so sorry you have had this problem and hope that it will soon
be resolved.
Emily



Re: Amazing Box ll



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Thanks, I really like the machine, and love the designs I was able to
sew out using the ones that came with the machine.  I just want to be
able to make some custom designs, and I'm not sure I bought the right
machine for the job.

--
Beverly
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