Welcome to the Quilting Board!
I have a NewStyle 228 that was used about 5 times prior to it coming to me. I have never used it, but will attempt learning once I take it in for a check up. I got it over a year ago for my favorite price...free. It does run and was in a friend of mine's family. The mother used it 5 times and then the father died. Since he bought the machine for her, she couldn't face using it. The mother wanted someone to have it that would love it, and so I inherited a machine.
Being new to quilting and never long-armed, it can be intimidating. Luckily my LQS will come to my house and give me private tutoring for cheap.
Maybe time will tell what you need to do with your machine. I hope you decide to keep it and maybe get some lessons.
The Nustyle machines are out of Stover, MO.
Should you have any questions or issues, Tom and Lori are always available to help. They have great customer service!
My first longarm was a Nustyle 227, and that was a huge green monster. Taught me a lot & Tom helped me redo the wiring over the phone & by mail...sent hand drawings in with parts needed.
TinLizzieLongarm group on yahoogroups? There are ladies who have the Innova on this group, and there are other brands as well. We help each other with problems. I'm new to using longarm machines as well, and the ladies on this group have been wonderful! The ladies on this list that have other brands of machine, so don't worry about having an Innova.
I have a TL18DS and enjoy the quilting process. It is definitely a long long learning curve. Would like to have some classes but nothing close to where I live. Just keep at it!
Quilting in the Desert
I have the TL18LS w/qbot attached. I got mine in 2009. I was set to get an Innova (loved the couching foot idea)..but hubby insisted on a local dealer & I got my Lizzie from a local (well local as we get here..70+ mile round trip).
I had a problem with the machine "racing"...part was me moving too fast, but slowing way down didn't solve the entire issue. The reason I finally called my dealer was that my hubby heard a clunking noise inside the machine (that's where it sounded like it was coming from to us). My dealer's tech was out due to an accident...so I called the TL company & Isaac got back to me within a day or two. Since I was not at home (it was 9pm almost, on Friday nite...we were at bingo) we set a time for the next morning, when I'd be home and at the machine. I laid my cell phone on the quilt top...and as Isaac gave me things to try...first was to stitch evenly & not too slow or fast right to left...racing happened...so I slowed way down...only a short amount of racing, but there...and I also stitched forward and back at an even pace...still racing. Isaac also heard the clunking noise, and asked how my hopping foot had been adjusted. I didn't adjust it, the dealers tech did. So, Isaac had me move off the quilt, put the hopping foot down, then the needle down. I loosened the foot (mine has a screw on the side, older TL18's don't), slid a dime under the foot until it touched the needle. Then I tightened the foot, raised the needle, then the foot and took out the dime (I laughed when Isaac said to remove the dime...but after many years in customer service...I knew where he was coming from). I asked if there was an adjustment for the racing...he said there was, but that he wanted to know the color of my control board...so I took the cover off the control box...and told him the color...he said he felt I needed a new board. That took a week to get...put it in...Isaac again on the phone...racing was better, but still there. I told Isaac that I knew enough about computer control boards to know this should be an adjustment...I was correct...and was told what little white screw to turn and how much. Fixed! I am sure had Isaac known from the get go that I had some computer repair/assembly experience, he would have walked me through the adjustment. Oh, and the clunking...that was the hopping foot set incorrectly.
I have had my issues with tension, and believe it or not...that's not uncommon with any machine out there. I am not afraid to turn the tension assemblies, nor am I wary of adjusting the bobbin case tension. You have to be willing to get past the cost of your machine, wether it be a low end or high end machine. Every thread type/color, fabric, batting, etc. will affect your tensions at times (more often than not). As a result, I run my tensions fairly loose & can easily adjust to most any thread out there. I've only found a couple of Coats n Clark thread colors that didn't work...but they didn't work on my embroidery or home machines either...felt rough...they are in the trash. I had one Metroemb white thread that didn't work...seemed frail for some reason. I purchased their Sukerman (I think they call it Sigma) thread in white & cream...they are wonderful to use. I've tried 60wt bottomline (bobbin) thread in the upper, regular Coats sewing thread, metallics, serger threads, up to pearl cotton...and can run them all. Yes, I have to adjust the tensions each thread change...but I have to do that every quilt anyhows.
I had only one encoder problem (I broke one). Encoders rarely go bad..but the cables that they connect with are another story...they have a tiny wire to each prong of the tiny white plug..if one of those breaks inside the black coating...you can have encoder issues. Changing the cable fixes 99% of the issues with an encoder not working.
Learn what makes your machine tick...like the encoders. They have a tiny computer chip inside...that feeds info to the computer board on the machine...which decyphers and sends the needed instruction to the control on the handle...which tells the machine how fast/slow to move the needle....so we can outrun our encoders & that will cause racing.
Ruby, where in TX are you? I'm in Littlefield, which is 36 miles North of Lubbock on 84 highway (Clovis Highway). We are about 80 miles from Clovis, NM. If you are close to me...I'd love to work with you. I don't do classes...but always willing to share what I've learned. Your DLS is almost like my LS (you have a digital screen, and I have dials).