[Not] a smooth transition to an AVL SDL


Southern Illinois University




Just registered and am hoping for advice. I’ve been weaving on an AVL 48” production loom with a compu-dobby I since the 80s.  Have navigated through various computers (Macintosh 512K to PowerMac G3) and software (Textile Designer to Design & Weave to Swiftweave).   Therefore, when I recently bought a used AVL Studio Dobby Loom (with compu-dobby IV & Fiberworks), I thought it would be a painless transition.  Well, I went through the AVL user’s manual, straightening harnesses, etc. that had gone a bit awry during shipment and switched to the Fiberworks version that would run on my iMac.  I studied the software manual and chose one of the included weaving samples as a test.  Did the loom setup and the Loom Status indicator showed three green steps indicating “the loom has responded and is awaiting further action from you to start an active weaving cycle.”  However, when I treadled the loom there was no subsequent response so that the indicator does not go to 4 green steps… no click or anything.  I’m hoping I’ve missed something embarrassingly obvious.  Any suggestions would be appreciated. An area of concern is that the compu-dobby IV box was shipped sitting on top of the loom where it gouged the wood a bit – suggesting it experienced some bumps in the road.  When turned on, though, it does cycle through the 16 harnesses properly, so my fingers are crossed that it is OK.   I feel like I’m auto-digesting. 



Posted on Thu, 11/26/2015 - 14:52

Your best source of help is probably to contact your software manufacurer.  I used a CD IV for several months before replacing it, and one reason I bought the move expensive software that AVL sells is to be able to work with one source of help.  (Weavepoint also does a lot of nice things that my other software doesn't).  I would contact AVL also, but since you aren't using their software, they may not be able to give you as much assistance.  

Posted on Thu, 11/26/2015 - 19:05

Make sure your USB cable is good. I had similar problems with the communication between the Dobby and Mac. where the cable connected to the Dobby was sort of lose and I wouldn't get a good connection. I stole my husband's more expensive printer cable and the problem was solved. His printer was ok with the other cable. I haven't had problems since


Hope this helps



Posted on Sat, 11/28/2015 - 00:53

I believe because your Compu Dobby is newer you could download the latest driver. I would do that first. Then you could download the demo of their Mac weaving software. That would allow you to at least test the connection between the Compu Dobby and the computer. There might be a mismatch between your Fiberworks version and the Compu Dobby driver. Make sure any cables you have are firmly plugged into the CD and computer. 

Posted on Tue, 12/01/2015 - 00:10

Lovely to check in and find your suggestions.  Tomorrow I will get ahold of another cable as per Leah's suggestion.  If that's doesn't do it, I will email Bob Keates at Fiberworks as my next step.  Another suggestion was to download a demo of AVL's WeaveMaker which supports the Compu-Dobby IV indirectly through WIF file export. I am hoping not to deal with more software right now. Is anyone using a compu-dobby IV with Fiberworks on an iMac?  I would love to verify that I have followed basic steps 1-2-3...correctly (e.g. that once the three green steps appear that is an indication that I should be able to treadle).  Thanks for your input.

Posted on Tue, 12/01/2015 - 22:46

Well, I switched out the compu-dobby cable with the one from my printer, as per Leah's suggestion, and the solenoids activated showing 4 green steps in the Fiberworks window.  Not activating solenoids and raising harnesses with every treadle, though.  I am wondering if it is the cable on the right treadle which was so long that the treadle rested on the floor.  I jerry-rigged it with a clothespin so it is the right distance from the floor but will email AVL and see if they help (even though I bought the SDL second-hand).  

Posted on Wed, 12/02/2015 - 06:30

AVL can be very helpful. If it were me I would check their business hours and give them a call. An email reply might take some time. There are quite a few AVL used looms out there and they make $$$ selling you add ons etc. + I believe they support their looms. It might take a few calls to get who you need to speak to but your Compu Dobby is fairly recent. Whenever you do an analysis of a computer versus mechanical problem you need to go through steps so you can eliminate what is not the problem

Posted on Sat, 01/02/2016 - 22:07

Thanks for your kind suggestions.  After (gulp!) drilling and much fine tuning, wove for the first time on this loom this morning (photo 1).  Fun!!  But - no danger of my ego cautiously emerging - in a (not) rare brain-disconnect, neglected to remove the shipping blanket under this 175-pound loom earlier. Sorry this post is so humongous - can't figure out how to scale down...


Posted on Mon, 01/04/2016 - 21:20

So glad I helped a little. I don't check in often but it is wonderful you got it up and weaving. I love my AVL

Posted on Mon, 01/16/2017 - 00:40

This loom is new to me. It has a pegged dobby head instead the computer interface. I am having trouble with the brake system. There is a treadle on the far left to release the brake. On the end of this treadle there is a nylon cord with a adjusting slide that connects to the cord that wraps around the back beam.

I should be able to depress the brake treadle and advance the warp. But nothing happens. Should I have that brake spring fully extended and under tension or not?

I believe I have the cable wrapped correctly around the beam. I have it so it wraps to end up right over the brake pedal.

The loom is dressed,and a project is ready to be woven. I just can't figure out what I did wrong with the brake...

Any help would be appreciated! I want to weave!