Hi all!   I just purchased a 16 shaft 40"  AVL FDL with mechanical dobby this weekend.   It also came with a possibly broken, possibly working Compu Dobby 1.   The prior owner said it had stopped working.   I opened it up, reseated some chips, checked some voltages, and now it's showing signs of life (it goes through the start up - it fires all 16 servos in sequence).   Now I need to test it with software.  Here's my question:

Does anyone out there have a software package on an old PC that you're no longer using which will drive a Compu Dobby 1?   Or if anyone can give advice as to any publicly available software that will run one?   I don't want to buy a software package if this thing isn't 100% alive or repairable.   And it doesn't have to do anything other than fire the servos - I'm not looking to do designing with it or anything...

Also, if anyone out there has a broken CD I lying around that is dead, I'd be interested in it so I could scavenge parts if I need them...

Thanks everyone!   Starting my first warp for it tonight!!!



I  use weaving software for so many things I  would have it even if I didn't use it to run a loom, and bought it well before I  got a dobby loom.  Like you, I  started with an old CD I that I  knew might not work, might work for a while, might work forever.  It worked long enough for me to become hopelessly addicted to electronic loom control.  I replaced it with a new CDIV.  CD I  is the  only one that the board is not considered reparable.  I looked into reparing the CDI, and it was going to cost a lot to find out if it was reparable.


The way the software works us that you have a file, a pattern, a WIF file for a drawdown.  You bring this file up, them start the loom from the file.  So you can't run the loom without a file, so you will be designing with it.


Thanks a lot Sandra!   I understand that the CD1 is probably a tougher than average repair - and the one I have might not be repairable - but I'm an electrical engineer, with a few free cycles, so I'd really like to at least take a stab at it.   :-)

Budget-wise, buying a new or (if you could ever find one!) a used CD isn't in the cards.   So I'm going to keep on this path a bit longer, and keep my fingers crossed!!!  :-)



If you haven't already explored the AVL website, you might want to spend some time on it. The manuals for a CD 1 are available in pdf format, along with the necessary drivers to allow a computer to communicate with the dobby head. I believe you will need a Keyspan USA-19HS USB-to-Serial connector cable (I have a CD 4.5 which uses a different connector cable).

The other online place is the AVL Looms Chatter and BST group on Facebook. The group is nothing but AVL owners, with everything from mechanical and CD 1 PDLs to CD 5 K-Series, and you can not only get quite a lot of first-hand information, but can also post parts queries.

Good luck with your PDL. They're very good looms.

Sara N

I have an old CD1 that is on it's last legs.  I recently purchased the latest CD5 which is now up and running.  It was quite a leap to be sure both in my financial outlay and in my adjusting to how it works.  It's now up and running.

Where are you located?  These boxes are heavy and shipping would be a pain for you, especially if it really isn't working any more.  It will fire up and do the systems check only some of the times and less frequently as time goes on.  My CD1 is in it's death throws, that's why I replaced it.  It was a workhorse though and served me well for years, even though I bought it second hand, years ago.

Sara N


Hello Sara - 

I think I've successfully "PM'd" you with my phone number.   I'd definitely be interested in talking with you about your CD1!  If my PM didn't get through to you, let me know!

- Paul


In my experience, the two parts that seem to be most prone to wearing out (I could be wrong, but this is my finding) are the solenoids and the power supply.  Replacement solenoids are available from AVL and are pretty easy to sw a p out.

I  used a Keyspan adapter with my CDI, I needed another cable from AVL, and it worked like a charm.


Thanks Sandra - I'll have some spares soon, so I should be in as good a shape as possible.   You know how professional mechanics fix things...  REPLACE PARTS UNTIL IT WORKS AGAIN...  :-)  :-)  :-)

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