sTx Stitch File Transfer

sTx Icon Image

Up until the middle of 2012 we used the sneakernet to transfer files from our computer to the embroidery machine. For those of you unfamiliar with the term sneakernet. It’s the process of transferring files from one location to another via floppy disk and your tennis shoes. While this works great if you have a good supply of tennis shoes, floppy disks and your machines are located in close proximity to your PC.  Lets hope you don’t  have hardware problems with the drive itself or old floppy disks giving you read errors. This can be very frustrating.

As the floppy disk technology ages and they become increasingly more costly and difficult to find. Our concern became how to replace this disappearing technology with some thing more current. We thought about using a Floppy Drive to USB Upgrade.  But the cost of the device  $30.00 on eBay  was concerning and, $270.00 on other sites was  prohibitive for our small shop. Then connecting  the USB thumb drive so many times through out the day (sneakernet) we thought  the connector on the machine would wear or worse become damaged.

Is there an alternative to replacing the floppy disk on our embroidery machines with a USB upgrade? yes.  sTx serial file transfer utility.

We looked at cable direct connection from our digitizing application. While not a more current technology it could be something more reliable and faster. Their cable was expensive and we would have to have a copy of the application and dongle installed on the computer in the shop. We found that for our SWF machines we could use Standard Null Modem rs232 cable. This was a much cheaper alternative if we could get this to work.

We loaded a copy of our digitizing software on the PC in the shop and plugged in the dongle. We only have one Dongle so it would have to be shared between the operator and the digitizer. That won’t work. But just for testing. well OK. We found that transferring the file works. Seems a bit slow, maybe workable. But the procedure to open the file and send it not so much. The application takes a while to open. So to save time we would have to leave it open all the time not a big deal except for Dongle sharing.Then to open the DST file with the application requires us to change settings before opening each file and if you forgot then it would leave all the jump stitches untrimmed when you stitched it out. This is becoming too much to just send a file. We need something simpler that would just select the file and send it. The operator does not need the digitizing software on the machine in the shop. For me I don’t want the operator to have it. Now we just needed a way to transfer the files from the computer in our shop to the embroidery machines.

After searching all over the internet for weeks we came up empty handed, nothing out there that would fit our needs.  So after several months of research and testing we finally came up with some thing that would fit the bill. Our own in house utility.

This utility was designed to be a stand alone file transfer utility. Transferring from a computer  to commercial embroidery machine Via RS232 Serial cable. No dongles, No other applications required. Just the .dst (Tajima) stitch  file. Transferring is fast and simple, there is no need to format anything. Just browse to the .dst file you want and send it to the machine.

Automatic com port detection and configuration

The first thing it does is check for a com port. If one does not exist  the application stops and displays a message informing the operator it did not detect a com port. If it does detect a com port it then tests to see if its available. If it is, it configures  for SWF file transfer. It does not matter if it is USB serial adapter. The software detects when the USB is connected. This is all done behind the scenes as the software loads. If all goes well the application opens  and the operator can now browse and select the file to send.

ReDraw DST file

We added a redraw routine so the operator could view the file if needed before sending. It reads the file , extracts the header information and the redraws the file on screen stitch by stitch. This shows the sequence it will stitch out in and also the color changes and Jump stitches if desired. Giving the operator a better sense of what to expect when it stitches out. DST stitch files contain no color information. Therefor the color selection on screen display is randomized. Once the dst file is redrawn on screen it can be saved. This allows the utility to display the redrawn image of the file the next time it is selected. Saving time for the operator. Larger files take time to redraw. For those files it is recommended to Re-Draw and save the image while the file is being stitched out. Also the Re-Draw can paused and restarted by clicking on the display.

50 ft Serial cable and USB to Serial Adapter

On our in house version we also added the capability to batch send files. So the operator can configure multiple jobs for that machine and then send them over one after the other. They don’t have to go back to the computer until after all the jobs have been run. We don’t use the floppy disk drive anymore. This was simply the fastest and cheapest way to replace the floppy drive in all three of our SWF embroidery machines and for us it’s a viable alternative to the Floppy to USB upgrades.

We’ve tested it on XP, Vista, and Windows 7 with a USB to serial adapter. It only requires 1.5MB of memory.

Trial Version Download

This version is specifically configured for SWF machines. Download the trial version and tell us what you think. To install it just copy the file to where ever you want it  and run it.

Retail version

If you would like to purchase a licensed copy just click this link to start the order process. It’s just $59.99 thats cheaper than a new pair of sneakers and a box of floppies. Once you order is complete a “Download” button will be displayed on the Order Confirmation page. Your just have to click this button to begin downloading the item. Alternatively, you can come back to the Order Status page later and download the item. You can always get to your Order Status page using the URL from the Order Confirmation email. Once you have the download and install the app. You will need the KEY to  run it. The key will be sent to the e-mail address you used to place the order within 24hrs of order processing.

Demo Videos

Controller example:  LCD Serial Transfer video

The videos above shows how simple it is to use.

Customizations are available. Were always glad to help.

Tajima 9600 baud test

 

Send all inquiries to stx@stitch-by-design.com

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40 thoughts on “sTx Stitch File Transfer

    • Hey Ralph,
      Glad you you found it useful. When you are ready the full version is available.Makes it easier to find the files your looking for. You can browse and select the thumbnail image files created by the file redraw.

  1. Hello, I have Tajima embroidery machine model TMEG-J620. I need a software for transfer designs from PC to machine via serial interface. can sTx software help me?
    best regards

    • Dario,
      the current sTx transfer utility is specifically setup for SWF serial transfer. however we can certainly alter the configuration. What are the specifications for your serial transfer?

      • Hello,
        The machine are connected to PC using the serial port (DB9 connector). I think it uses rs 232 protocol. But I do not know more detail about the serial connection.
        Best regards

        • Dario,
          If as you say it connects with a db9 serial cable then it is most likely a form of rs232. Do you transfer files currently using other software?

        • Dario,
          From what we can tell the Tajima does not use a standard null modem cable. So you would need to have the tajima cable or equivalent. we do not know what that is at this time. We did find the serial parameters
          Baud Rate – 9600
          Data – 8
          Stop – 1
          Parity – None
          Handshaking – Hardware

          Cable at Hirsh International
          CABLE-DB9-TAJ-10 TAJIMA SERIAL CABLE
          Part Number : 100944
          Manufacturer Part Number : CABLE-DB9-TAJ-10
          CABLE-DB9-TAJ-10

          List Price : $50.00

          If you already have the cable we can set up sTx for the serial parameters and you can test it out.

          • Hello,
            I even have the cable which the machine was working. It used a software called “POWER”, but I want to update the PC and the operative system.
            Best regards

          • Dario,
            I have posted a link to the sTx Tajima test file on this page. The baud rate is set to 9600. Give that a try and let us know if it works for you.
            Just click the link and run it to install.

  2. I have been playing again and I got it to work. How’s that for a good day? I sent several designs and everyone of them went like they should. This is what I had to do. I used my 9 pin null modem cable on the Serial port. When my machine started I click INPUT then NETWORK and waited so I did not get network not found. Then when your file transfer utility said to go to machine I clicked INPUT and screen came up to SELECT the room and I click SELECT and then waited a little bit(while the file transferred) and then a screen came up with PREVIOUS and clicked Previous 2 times and my design was there and I could do what I wanted then. This was so simple its hard to believe it took me years to accomplish what I have wanted to do. I always figured it could be done if you could find the right person who knew what they were doing. Why couldn’t SWF Helped me when I ask them so many times. All I got from them is that is old technology and did not want to support it. I sure am glad to have your program. It is what I have wanted for several years to get my designs to my machine. Thank you for all your hard work.

    • We believe so although we have not tested it yet. when you set up a USB serial adapter on it. It will see the port and configure it automatically. give it a try and let us know.

  3. I have installed the trial and I’m using the Gold X USB adapter (not converter) but I have to use a Female to Female adapter because the Gold X has male on the other end.

    I get 1 green and 2 red lights on the Gold X. I set the serial ports to your specs and when I send I get this error when I try and select “input” and serial port on my 1501c. Error #640, Network System not Found.

    Any idea?

    • Hi Matt,
      Thanks for trying out sTx. Error 640 occurs when RTS signal is not asserted. Could be cable or port settings. If you watch the Demo video you will notice that the file transfer progress bar stops at about twenty percent. At this point in the process the RTS signal is asserted and now its waiting for the operator to set up the machine to complete the transfer. If you have the wrong cable it will not stop, it will continue through the transfer. Not giving you time to go to the machine and set up the transfer.

      You should not have to set the com port settings. sTx scans for a com port and then configures the port for you.
      just click on the Status button and it will show you the configuration.

      You mention a female to female adapter. Are you not using a null modem serial cable?

      If not then this would cause the problem. You must have the configuration shown in the diagram for proper handshaking (RTS/CTS) and file transfer.

      • I ordered in a Null Modem USB cable from Amazon: the StarTech USB to Null modem cable. and it works fine.

        Funny.. The Gold X was supposed to work for the SWF but since I’m using EMBIRD, it may be that the SWF doesn’t want to recognize software that doesn’t cost $1,000!

        Your software works, and does the paid version have the batch processing in it? Or will that be an update later?

        I will be buying it either way.. I’m tired of shuffling USB sticks!

        Matt Caswell
        dryheatembroidery.com

        • Matt,
          Not a lot of interest in that option. We have a couple different versions with batch that we use in house, but have not fully developed a version yet for retail. We can certainly discuss what you may need and put something together for you.

  4. Help Please,

    I have a Toyota Expert 850, 12 Needle Embroidery machine, I know the serial connection. I have been trying for months to send a design through my machine…
    I originally started with my Windows XP because everyone told me that the older computers worked better, after 9 pin serial cables and editing software (wrong Application) and many downloads, I decided to try my Windows 7.
    Well, my Port 1 & 2 are available so my Device manager tells me, but I still can not get the port USB Serial cable( Radio Shack – Gigaware USB to Serial Cable) to be recognized on the port; It is recognized on 8-13 ports, but not 1 or 2?
    I downloaded your STX Utility Transfer in my XP, but was trying to use Expert Stitch manager by Wilcom on my Windows 7…I will be happy to pay for STX Utility transfer if you can help me. Please :-)

    Lori

    • Hi Lori,
      Unfortunately Toyata uses a different configuration for the com port settings. sTx is configured specifically for SWF and will not transfer to Toyota

  5. will this work with SWF 1201c ? it is an older one2001 I think it is…. Am I right that this does away with the use of the dongle? Can I then use WIlcom Designer v7 with it on Vista? Or what other program is compatable with it? Thank you so much!

    • Hi, If your 1201c has external input through serial port it will work. The software is standalone and does not require a dongle and works with Windows XP,Vista & 7

  6. I just got my cable today so I downloaded the software. However I keep getting Line 864 Operator opDivide incompatible with String message I am sure its user error, but I don’t know from what! The window pops up for me to browse, when I pick one is when Line 864 Operator opDivide incompatible with String message pops on THANK YOU!

  7. I got the RS232 crossover cable hooked it up, after the file transfers to machine, when I go to input serial I get… error! Data not pending on Swf1201c any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong? Thank you!

  8. Sorry to bother you but I seem stuck…I hooked up RS232 Crossover cable, downloaded software, after I redraw design, send to machine, the machine says error! Data Not Pending. I amnot sure if I am doing things in right sequence. Can you PLEASE help me and walk me through steps? I have hardware checked in device manager for com port 3. I have cord hooked to com 1, should I try com 2?

  9. can you please tell me steps from after I redraw/send design. I go to the machine/in/out//input/serial/ I get ERROR! Data not pending message

  10. I am getting the same error message as Laurie on my 1201C, Error Data not pending. I haven’t seen any reply to fix this, is there one? The software is sending the design to the machine, but I can’t bring it up to use it.

  11. I am getting the same message. I have a new cable. It is 1 Port FTDI USB to RS232 Null Modem Adapter. I need steps also. When and where do I add my thread colors? My machine is SWF/B T1501C.

    • Ok, so I found the instructions and it works but all the designs sew upside down. I tried changing the design on the machine but it still sewed upside down. Is there anyway to change this?

  12. We have a SWF/B-T1201C and connected the COM-port via a serial to USB cable to the PC. On the SWF we also get the error message “Data not pending!”. Can this have any other cause other than a faulty cable because we use a brand new cable…

  13. I have a SWF 1501 embroidery machine it has a parrelle port not serial. I can not figure out how to get my designs to the machine from the comp. I have windows Xp.
    I sure need help as to what kind of cable to get and what to punch on my embroidery
    machine in order to down load. My floppy as just quit on me and I can’t afford $500
    for a floppy drive.
    Betty

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