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MQR Retrofit for the PC Quilter - What you can expect

This is not intended in any way to be a product comparison. As the MQR PC Quilter Retrofit is ONLY for owners of the PC Quilter there is no "competition". We are simply making a good product better. The information we list is basicially part of Frequently Asked Questions and address the overriding concerns OR the common comments our users make after testing/using the MQR.

NOISE FACTOR - The MQR generates less that 1/4 the volume of sound as a Studio Model PC Quilter using the same motors. Users describe it as a gentle purr. The reason behind this is simple. The PC Quilter runs with stepper motors which in turn can be run in a number of modes depending on what kind of controller it uses. In it's native form, the PCQ runs full or half stepping which means the motor "jumps" between the magnets. The MQR adds the ability to micro step. A good comparison would be the same diameter wheel that you are driving on - one with 80 - 160 sides (full and half stepping), and the other with 640 sides. Which one will give you a smoother ride with less vibration and noise?

SMOOTHNESS AND ACCURACY- There are three issues here. One is described above under noise factor and that is he simple fact is that the MQR has a finer resolution. The original thought is that being accurate to the thickness of a thread should be just fine, but in some cases that's not enough. If you alternate which side of the "thickness of a thread" you sew a gentle curve in a pattern, the resulting line will appear slightly wavely. Finer motor control is definitely the answer in this case. Unfortunately, the other issues aren't that simple.

The PC Quilter software currently interprets the patterns and trims and smooths them. This is because the PCQ still allows digitizing from bitmaps and bitmaps are inherently "wiggley" after they are digitized AND because the PC Quilter no longer tolerates extra points and trims them from the pattern.. Unfortunately, this can cause a pattern to lose definition - or in some cases cause lines to completely disappear. The MQR comes with Pro-Q Designer. You need to process the pattern there first. If the pattern looks rough, you need to smooth it, BUT you can smooth only that spot you want to. There is no need to trim points from a pattern although it won't hurt. The MQR can handle them all. In short, if the pattern is smooth, the MQR will sew it that way, EXACTLY as it is with no interpretation.

Carriage Flex is something that is seldom addressed. Some folks also report "wheel slop", but that is part of the same issue. Move the PC Quilter at a decent speed and do a quick turn and you will see the carriage flex. You will even see it in the stitching as a little hiccup after a turn. If you are choosing an appropriate speed for the pattern you need to take this into consideration. Vibration is one of the main artifacts of carriage flex. You get more vibration from a full/half stepping motor than one which micro steps. This all ties back to less noise too! While the MQR can't do anything about the carriage flex, the way the motors work significantly reduces the carriage vibration which results in smoother sewing.

SPEED - It's hard to compare this because the PC Quilter speeds of 1 - 7 are artificial and depend on the step delay settings in the quilt.ini file, and the PC Quilter is certainly capable of moving at the same speed. However, our users tell us the MQR sews the same design faster. In general, the MQR is no faster than the PC Quilter, BUT since we are talking EFFECTIVE sewing speed, you might be pleasantly surprised. We took into consideration Carriage Flex and the huge variation in sewing heads and came up with some a selection of speeds that seem to work for everyone:

    • ULTRA - .55" per second: for highly detailed patterns with intricate detail
    • DETAIL - .77" per second: for patterns with some tight turns (most pantos)
    • SIMPLE - 1.11" per second: for open patterns with NO tight turns (think big meander)
    • BASTING - variable but tops out at 1.55" per second: somewhat inaccurate sewing, but who cares! This speed is agressively profiled so that stitch length greatly varies. It is designed to sew diamond or grid basting patterns as quickly as possible.

Sewing at DETAIL speed when your pattern should be sewn at ULTRA will cause the same lost steps as usual as sewing too fast on the PC Quilter. Most MQR users report that they sew at detail speed and that they are sewing about 10-15% faster than the PCQ reported them sewing and that the results are much smoother.


IN CLOSING - Some of the information above is based on user reports which can be very subjective. We invite you to bring a sample of a sew out done on the PC Quilter with a note as to what the reported speed was along with the pattern. While we likely won't have your exact setup would be more than happy to let you compare the sewing accuracy and smoothness.