Long time readers may recall that early in 2011 my Brother 950i died in a puff of smoke and burning plastic odour when I tried to turn it on. After an appeal on, I think, Yahoo, I was kindly sent some instructions for repairing the machine by the MK Guild help line.
Apparently this is a relatively common problem with ageing electronic machines, and can be traced to the capacitors in the power supply which have become too elderly and subsequently burn out / give up.
The fix is to remove the end of the knitting machine where the power supply plugs in, fish out the circuit board, and replace the two problem capacitors. As this involves soldering, I had been procrastinating for about a year and a half.
But today, making use of the free time I now have due to being unemployed, I brought the machine inside to the kitchen table and had at it. I was partly reassured by looking at all the pictures on this page where you will find friendly instructions on how to repair a KH930 knitting machine. That's a different machine, but the process is very similar.
Following the instructions I had been sent, plus reading the 930 page, I managed to unscrew the end cap of the machine. On my 950i, I had to unscrew three screws at the right hand end of the needle bed, and also pop out one plastic rivet on the back right hand edge, and two plastic rivets on the bottom of the machine. The end cap then came away in my hand, still tethered to the machine by cables.
I took a picture of the circuit board before doing anything to it, so I could remember which capacitor went where. This isn't that picture because the circuit board is upside down in this picture. The black bit is the power plug, and the switch hanging loose is the machine's power switch.
The only issue I ran into was that my .1uf capacitor had legs that weren't wide enough for either of the two possible sets of holes on its place on the board. By bending the legs outwards, I got it into the narrower set of holes at a slight angle. This meant that when I replaced the circuit board, I could only slide it into the plastic holding groove on one side but not both sides, due to the capacitor sticking up higher. The board was still wedged in fairly tightly so I don't think it will be an issue, hopefully.
Now I just have to relearn how to use the electronic machine after using the punchcard for so long.
Perhaps I can add 'knitting machine mechanic' to my CV?