SWF Control Panel Interconnection Problems

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SWF Connection Pins
SWF Connection Pins
SWF Connections
SWF Connections
SWF Memory Chip
SWF Memory Chip
SWF Power Plug
SWF Power Plug

This article called SWF Control Panel Interconnection Problems is related to SWF control panel issues that sometimes occur after shipping the control panel.

Symptoms

When using or shipping a SWF control panel that is 10-15 yrs old, some internal connections do not hold well.

In particular, either the main memory module gets loosened, the front LCD plug falls out, or the circuit board is flexed such that one of the long gold pins underneath do not make a good contact.

The symptoms are almost exactly the same as the serious errors: the control panel has no lights or no activity when powered up, or beeps continuously with nothing on the screen.

However just treat the SWF electronics similar as you would an ordinary computer PC electronics, and simple solutions can remove these errors.

Solutions

  1. The main memory stick is just the same as in your PC, and does not like vibration. One or many of its 200 pins will loosen or weaken over time, or the gold contacts will scratch or oxidize, and shipping vibrations or even ordinary machine vibrations will jar one of them to become a poor contact. As per the picture, place your fingers on top of the memory module and press down firmly while wiggling it back and forth. Do this with the machine off!
  2. One of the front LCD plugs also get loose over time. Make sure its all the way down, or reseat it.
  3. The circuit board is really just the top layer. There are lower layers and very long gold pins are plugging the top board to the bottom. When you plug in all the ribbon cables to the top, generally by pushing down hard, this stresses and bends the top circuit board because there is no support in this area. Some underneath pins get jarred a bit and their contact becomes weak when this happens. Sometimes by pulling the board back UP can clear up a freeze-on-boot problem. Grab the edge as in the picture, and pull back up and a few times and release. Do this after the big ribbon cables are plugged in, not before.
  4. Sometimes flexing a different area of the circuit board can clear up issues. If the above solutions do not fix the issue, then grab other edges of the circuit board all around its edge and pull UP a few times each. If that does nothing, then look for the few screws visible on the board. The screws are holding down the majority of the underneath pins. Unscrew them a little bit, so there is some clearance, then lift the board up a few times and push back down, then rescrew. Do not pull the board so much that it comes out, it may not be that easy to place back when you can’t see where the pins are.

Remember, treat the circuit board as you would your computer’s circuit board. Touch the machine chassis first, any metal on the machine; and use reasonable force, not excessive force. Be gentle!

These solutions are only for problems caused by a misconnection among the hundreds of pins that are inside of a SWF control panel, which get weakened after age, vibration, oxidation, and shipping. There will generally be no lights or no text, or crazy garbled characters and behavior at startup. A control panel that turns on and appears working but locks up is a different problem. But it never hurts to turn the machine off and at least re-seat and wiggle the main memory module, and try again.

Also, some erratic behavior or failing to power up is due to the SWF having a dirty power plug and being starved of power. See below picture.

Note in the picture that the internal pins on an old four pin power plug (LEFT) no longer grip with the force as a factory-fresh plug (RIGHT). This is an issue because the SWF control panel draws quite a bit of current, and a poor connection will randomly cause an undervoltage situation for the onboard CPU.

If you suspect a problem here, clean and treat all power plug contacts with electrical contact cleaner.

See Also

Other

This article was put together by PLRElectronics of Fort Worth, Texas. PLRElectronics specializes in the repair of embroidery machine electronics including the SWF Control Panel