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EEW Newsletter – April 2024

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots

April 01, 2024

Submit a Photo – Chance to Win the EEW 6.1

I’m hoping the EEW 6.1 will start shipping early next month, and I want to give one away to someone in the community.  You can submit photos featuring my products (eSpinners, Yarn Counter, Cone Winder, Lazy Kate, …) or something made using one of my products.  I will randomly pick someone to win an EEW 6.1, and will ship it out to them before I ship an EEW 6.1 to anyone else.

I need more photos for my Instagram page, and I love sharing photos from people in this community!  If you want to participate with a chance to win an EEW 6.1 you can use this form to upload photos.

Maryland Fiber Festival

We will be at Maryland Fiber Festival May 4-5.  Our booth will be in Main A06.  This is going to be the first festival being run by Jessica.  She was a helper in many of my past booths, but this one she will be running.  She’s actually been attending festivals for way longer than I’ve been making eSpinners and knows all about my products.  I’m sure she will run the booth great.  Please show support by stopping by the booth.  I’m sad I can’t make this one, but it’s hard for me to justify the drive and I’m planning to put the time I save into making progress on some new products.

One of my favorite things at Maryland is the Spin In.  Last year it was on Saturday evening so definitely consider going to that if you attend.  We’ll be donating some door prizes and the mini competitions are awesome.  Perhaps my favorite from last year was the longest single you can spin in a minute while BLINDFOLDED!  I didn’t do it, but it was so much fun to watch.

New Products Verus Upgrade Kits

I know many of you want to see upgrade options when I release new versions of my products so you can get the improvements without having to buy a new whole product.  I like making the community happy, and kits are generally better for the planet since they reduce waste so I also want this.  However, my top priority is making the best products I can and sometimes that causes problems with doing upgrade kits.  In this section I will discuss the upgrade kits verus requiring new products to get the improved features.

I’ve done upgrade kits with the EEW Nano and EEW 5.x in the past.  However, I’m not offering an upgrade kit for the EEW 6.0 to EEW 6.1.  I want to explain why an upgrade kit doesn’t work well for the EEW 6.1.  The main problem is I made many small improvements to the EEW 6.1 and I’ve talked with many spinners about which changes are most important.  They just don’t agree.  There have been changes to the motor, other electronics, case, bobbins, and flyer.  That is basically all the major components.  So I would basically need to send out a full new eSpinner and there would not be any savings by ordering a kit.  I did consider offering lots of little upgrade kits, but that would be really confusing for users to know what to buy.  In the end my recommendation is that the EEW 6.1 is a nice upgrade, but if you’re happy with the EEW 6.0 and you don’t see any must have features on the EEW 6.1 then just keep your EEW 6.0 and be happy with that.  I personally don’t see any massive reasons to upgrade.  If you’ve been out of the loop and are wondering what the changes from the EEW 6.0 to the 6.1 are, then here is a video I made several months ago about that.

A project I haven’t announced yet is an upgrade for the EEW Nano 2 that I’m calling the EEW Nano 2.1.  I’ll share more details about that in the future, but it will include a new flyer, a better tension system, better bobbins, and a few other things.  For this one I will be offering a low cost upgrade kit because the electronics and case are being left largely unchanged.  So for that case an upgrade kit really well.

My point here is while I’d like to always offer upgrade kits, sometimes upgrade kits just aren’t practical.  Deciding to do these kinds of upgrades will be made on a case by case basis for me, but when I think a kit makes sense then I plan to make it available.  While I’m sure this isn’t ideal for everyone, I just want to be open and let you know my thought process on this complex topic.

Level Winding System Update

Another question I get is when will I have a level winding system and will it work with my current eSpinner?  This is basically a request for an upgrade kit.  I’ve talked about a level winding system for the EEW Pro back in this video.  I’ve made some progress on that, but this whole EEW Pro project is taking me a lot more time than I expected.  I will complete it eventually, but I still have no idea on when that will be (other than that it’s still years from shipping).  For that project a level winding system that works better than anything else out there is one of my two top priorities.  While doing work for this I’ve realized I probably can’t integrate a level winding system that I’m happy with onto any of my existing eSpinners without big changes.  Right now I’m focusing on getting a really good level winding system into this future EEW Pro.  Once I have that I’ll look to see if it can reasonably be fit into an existing eSpinner like the EEW 6.x.  Based on what I know now I’d probably say I can’t make a version I’ll be happy with that works with the EEW 6.x, but I do play to try once I have a known working level winding system.

Website Work

I am planning to move hosting services soon for my website.  While doing this I’ll be cleaning up a lot of things on my website.  Most of this you probably won’t notice.  I’m just letting people here know in case things go wrong you can let others know.  While I’m hoping you don’t have to do this, for some people to get it working correctly after this you might need to clean the cookies out of your browser (you can search for how to do this online if it’s needed).  A smooth migration will be that I stop accepting orders for a few hours, the site goes down, and then appears again without any noticeable changes other than that it’s faster.  If things go terribly wrong I can always go back to the original server until I figure out the problems.

Product Updates

Below are estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW 6.1 – May 2024

I don’t accept pre-orders in my store, but when I get a batch of products there should be enough for everyone who wants them.

– Maurice Ribble
Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel
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