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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – January 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

January 01, 2022


Happy New Year everyone!

2021 was a great year for Dreaming Robots and the Electric Eel Wheel line of fiber tools.  The EEW 6.0 started shipping and is currently my favorite eSpinner.  I also had record sales even though I messed up inventory and was out of all my eSpinners during November and December (sorry to those of you this affected).  The engineer in me loves to see the products I make getting used by a lot of people.  A lot of my time when into taking a very early proof of concept prototype of the EEW Yarn Counter to having the final version manufactured.  These yarn meters still haven’t shipped yet, but they will soon.

The EEW community had huge growth this year and there are now many people posting online about these products daily.  I love how much my tools have helped the fiber community and look forward to making 2022 even more exciting!

EEW Pro

I mentioned back in November that this is going to be a high end eSpinner and I had a poll, which a huge number of you folks filled out to help me figure out what features are most important.  I’ve been working on figuring out several of the highly rated features in that poll.  I don’t want to talk about it much yet since I don’t want to get hopes too high before I’m sure this project will work, but I will say I’m happy with how early testing has been going.  This product is the biggest new project I’ve undertaken and is probably 2+ years from being complete.  If you are on the fence between waiting for this or getting the EEW 6.0, I’d really suggest getting an EEW 6.0 when they get back in stock.  The EEW 6.0 is a great eSpinner and this is a long ways away plus it will be a lot more expensive.

This is my current engineering drawings of the EEW Pro prototype I’ve been creating.

I probably won’t talk about this much more until I have more substantial information to share, but I wanted to mention it here in case there is someone out there who wants to help with the visual appearance.  Ideally someone who has experience with product design, but anyone with a good eye and the ability to sketch out their ideas can apply.  I’m constructing a very functional prototype, but it isn’t the a visually appealing design.  Making it more beautiful will have very minimal impact on the cost since the base is mostly injection molded plastic parts.  It would be nice if someone could help me modify the functional design into something prettier.  I don’t want to just completely open up this design right now because there are many requirements in the design both from what is manufacturable and from what I want to include functionally.  Explaining all this will take a lot of my time so I’m hoping to select just one or two people to work with on this beautification task.  If you’re selected and give me substantial ideas on how to improve the design at a minimum I’ll give you a free one of the products when it is released, but I’d also consider paying for services if you have experience in this field.  If you want to apply just send an email with your experience, payment requirements, and whatever else you think might convince me to choose you.

Product Stock Update

Due to global shortages and increased demand several of my products are out of stock. I moved arrival of the EEW 6.0 and EEW Yarn Counter in by a month from last month since I have a pretty high confidence I’ll be able to start shipping these in February. This confidence is because the shipping container with these products has left it’s port and is on it’s way to Boston.  When I do get them in stock it will be a big batch and there should be enough for everyone who wants one.

  • EEW 6.0 – February 2022
  • EEW Yarn Counter – February 2022
  • EEW Nano 2 – April 2022

Building Update

I was really hoping to have the building in a state that I could move into it in December, but that didn’t happen.  I’m really happy with the quality of it, but progress has been slower than expected due to certain items taking longer to deliver than expected and a new permitting schedule mistake.  The building looks pretty similar to what it did last month except it now has a metal roof and is mostly wired on the inside.  I’ll just take this a month at a time now and see where we’re at next month. When it gets done I’ll put together a video showing it’s construction and the final product.

Smile today and give your fiber a hug!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – December 2021

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

December 04, 2021


EEW Nano 2 Reveal

In this video I cover all the major improvements of the EEW Nano 2 over the EEW Nano 1.1.  Since recording that video I’ve asked the community on Ravelry and Facebook a few questions.  Based on their feedback I decided to go with the plastic hooks instead of the wire ones (both types were in the video).  Also based on community feedback I’ve decided to go with a black base and a blue base.  For the bobbin the most common colors were blue, gray, and green.  I know these were not everyone’s favorite colors, but it was these did get the most votes while meeting my requirements of at least one neutral color and one brighter color for the base.

One other decision I’ve made based on feedback is I will run another Kickstarter for the EEW Nano 2.  This will let me give you a chance to get this one at a discount (I’m trying to keep the Kickstarter for this under $100), and it will force me to tell the story of the EEW Nano 2.  I will let you know when the Kickstarter for this is ready, but I expect to have a much faster turn around for this than my past Kickstarters since I’m getting into production before I start the Kickstarter this time.

Fiber Festival of New England

I attended the Fiber Festival of New England in Springfield, MA.  I had a great time selling out of my eSpinners, talking with customers, and having conversations with other vendors.  I made a video while I was there where I walked around the festival and talked about random topics.

Product Stock Update

Due to global shortages and increased demand several of my products are out of stock. I really wish I was able to get these in stock sooner.  When I do get them in stock it will be a big batch and there should be enough for everyone who wants one.  I’m trying to be conservative on my estimates so it might be a little sooner than the dates below, and I will keep you updated if there are any changes.

  • EEW 6.0 – March 2022
  • EEW Yarn Counter – March 2022
  • EEW Nano 2 – April 2022

I sent an email to my wholesale sellers asking if they had any EEWs left.  Most were out of stock, but Wol-lokaal in the Netherlands got back to me saying they do have some EEW Nanos in stock.  So if you are looking for one and are in Europe then check them out.

This is a picture of assembled EEW 6.0s.  I’m waiting for the EEW Yarn Counters to finish assembly since both these products are coming to me in the same shipping container.

EEW Building Update

This month had a lot of things get done with the new building for my business.  I was hoping everything would be finished in December.  It is looking like I can probably move in in December, but it’s a few non-essential things probably won’t get finished until next spring.  They say a photo is worth a thousand words so here’s a photo of the latest progress.

Have a wonderful finish to 2021!  I’ll be back in 2022 with more updates.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – November 2021

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

November 01, 2021


EEW Pro

I’ve been generating new feature ideas for a high end eSpinner for years.  Many of my feature ideas have never been in a consumer level eSpinner before.  The working name for this eSpinner is the EEW Pro and it is likely years before I’ll be ready to release it.  At this point I’d like to get a feeling for what features are most wanted by the community to help me focus on the right priories.  Please help out by filling out this survey about the possible EEW Pro features.

Fiber Festivals

I attended the New York Sheep and Wool Festival a few weeks ago and it was amazing.  I sold all the eSpinners I brought on the first day, talked with interesting vendors, and got useful feedback from customers.  If you weren’t able to attend, I did make a video of me walking around the festival and talking about random things here.  Below is a photo of my booth at this festival.

I’m going to the Fiber Festival of New England in Springfield, MA on November 6-7.  If you’re attending this festival I will be at booth 536-E.

Yarn Counter and Cone Winder Updates

I released a short video about the final version of the EEW Yarn Counter which is going to production and a longer video about the latest prototype of the EEW Cone Winder.  If you are interested in the progress of either of these products those videos are worth watching.

EEW Building Update

Here is a photo of the progress made on the new Dreaming Robots workshop where future EEW design work will be done.  In last month’s email I explained in detail why I’m building this, but this month I’ll just give a quick build update.  Progress has been a little slower than expected because some of the roof pieces got delayed, but we have just received them and work in underway again.  Windows are also delayed which means final completion has been pushed back into December.  Like my business, global shortages are also affecting them, but I’m really happy I went with this builder as even though there are delays they are keeping things going as best they can and when they do get the items they are waiting on they get right back to my building.

Product Stock Update

Due to global shortages and increased demand several of my products are out of stock. I really wish I was able to get these in stock sooner.  When I do get them in stock it will be a big batch and there should be enough for everyone who wants one.  I’m trying to be conservative on my estimates so it might be a little sooner than the dates below, and I will keep you updated if there are any changes.

  • EEW 6.0 – March 2022
  • EEW Yarn Counter – March 2022
  • EEW Nano 2 – April 2022 (More info about this product soon)

Happy spinning!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry GroupSave
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – October 2021

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

New York State Sheep & Wool Festival

I am attending the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival (also known as Rhinebeck Festival) on October 16-17.  If you are attending check us out in building 31 at booth 26.  In addition to selling my products I’m hoping to bring some prototypes for a few new products. You can get more information about this festival at their website.

I am also planning to go to the Fiber Festival of New England in Springfield, MA on November 6-7. I am still looking for a helper for this festival.  This person would demo and help anyone interested spin (levels range from young kids to expert spinners).  I pay $20 per hour.  While I’m not sure what this festival requires, I will ask anyone working at my booth to be vaccinated and to wear a mask due to the large number of people we’ll see each day. If you are interested in this, reply to this email with any experience you have and I’ll schedule a quick phone call to chat.

New Building

This has been a long time in the works, and now is finally the time to share this exciting news with the community.

Let rewind back when I started making eSpinners in 2009.  Back then I was just assembling a few of them at a time in my basement.  As my my business grew I hired some locals to help with assembly while I continued shipping them out of my basement.  At this point I had converted nearly my whole basement space for my business.  This was great because it kept my costs very low.  In early 2019 I had to rent a warehouse space in Shirley, MA thanks to the massive success of the EEW Nano.  It has been a great space for me and I negotiated good terms for the three year lease.  About ten months ago I found out my lease would be going up by 60% and I started looking for other options.

After a lot of research I decided to build a workshop and office at my house.  This will be a much better space for new product development than I’ve ever had, and it will let me keep work separate from our house which is important to my work-life balance.  I also love that my daily commute will be a 30 second walk from my house.  Construction has started on this building and there is a picture of the foundation below.  It will be at least a few months before I can move in, and I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this new Dreaming Robots HQ.

Another change that comes with this, is shipping from my home with the current volumes just isn’t practical even with this new workshop.  So I’ve also found a fulfillment center 10 minutes from my house in Leominster, MA that has given me great terms.  The cost of this fulfillment space is less than one-third of what I’d pay if I stayed in my current dedicated warehouse space.  The way this new space works is they will give me a little space to setup a fulfillment station in a way that is efficient to ship my products.  Then they will store most of my pallets in their large warehouse area.  I will have access to the warehouse anytime I want, which is one reason I went with this fulfillment location.  I wanted to keep the shipping as flexible as possible going forward and this helped accomplish that.  I plan to continue shipping all the daily orders like I do today for a few weeks until I have a very efficient system setup.  Once I’m happy with the setup I will hand off daily shipping to an employee at this warehouse.

These two changes will let me focus more on improving existing products and developing new products.  I actually like the time I spend each day shipping out orders because it’s easy and relaxing, but I do admit it isn’t the best use of my time.  I think these changes will help me keep my prices affordable and will let me do more creative new products for the EEW line at Dreaming Robots.

EEW Yarn Counter Case

I am giving away some free 3D printable files for a custom case to hold the EEW Yarn Counter.  I know the this Yarn Counter hasn’t shipped yet, but maybe this will help pass the time.  This page gives you some options to get 3D printed parts if you don’t have access to a 3D printer. Manufacturing of the Yarn Counter is looking good and I should be providing more updates on that once I get final samples from the factory.

Happy spinning!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry GroupSave
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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EEW Newsletter – September 2021

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC


EEW Pro

I’m in the very early planning stages for one product I might be working on after the EEW Cone Winder ships.  I’m considering making a more expensive eSpinner than the EEW 6.  It would probably be about the same size as the EEW 6.0, but would include many more features than the EEW 6.0.  I’m investigating a level winding system for bobbins, a built in graphical screen to help display a menu system, and a few other major never seen on an eSpinner features.  If I do this, it would be the most work I’ve ever put into a fiber related project.  Just the software I’m envisioning for this one will probably be as much work as the entire EEW 6.0 design.  I won’t make any promises at this time because I need to test a lot of the ideas I’ve come up with over the past decade to see if they work as well as I’m hoping.  The main reason I’m mentioning this now is to let you community members send in your suggestions for features you’d like to see included in high end eSpinner.  I have a list with 14 major new features, but I’d like to grow that list bigger so I can pick the best ones that make sense for this project.  Please respond to this email if you have ideas of new things you’d like to see included in a eSpinner.

EEW Cone Winder

Here’s a new video about an updated Cone Winder prototype that I’ve made.  The biggest change is the new tension system, but there are a lot of other things I mention in the video.

EEW Yarn Counter

The EEW Yarn Counter will come fully assembled, but I thought people might be interested in how I assemble them.  This would also help if you want to take it apart either to see how it works or if you have plans to modify yours when it arrives.  Anyways if seeing me assemble an EEW Yarn Counter sounds interesting you can watch the video here.

The manufacturing of the EEW Yarn Counter has been going quite smoothly.  I’m planning to provide some updates on that process in the future.  After manufacturing is done I’ll need to ship them to my warehouse in Massachusetts and that is looking like it will be difficult since their is a worldwide shortage on ocean freight shipping.  I’m already starting to look into that so it doesn’t become a big speed bump.

Happy spinning!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry GroupSave
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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EEW Newsletter – August 2021

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

August 07, 2021


Yarn Counter

I’ve been working through all the details needed to get the EEW Yarn Counter ready for manufacturing.  One item I’ve done this month is the user manual for the Yarn Counter. I received a lot of feedback on an earlier version of this manual that I showed to Kickstarter backers, but this link is to a new version with all the suggestions I received.  I think it’s looking really good now and like how the line art in the manual looks.

Cone Winder

There is a lot of waiting on my Yarn Counter manufacturing partners, and I fill in those down times with EEW Cone Winder work.  I released the video below that explains the kinds of decisions I’m making when figuring out what cones can be supported on the Cone Winder.  After releasing that video I got a ton of great feedback and have been working on a new prototype to improve many aspects of the yarn counter.  I know a lot of you want to see the Kickstarter for this Cone Winder, but I need to get the design to a point where I’m very happy with it before I will run the Kickstarter.  I expect that will take a few more prototypes.  This newsletter will keep you updated on the progress and let you know when it’s available.

Have a great summer, unless you’re reading this from the southern hemisphere and then enjoy the sweater season!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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EEW Newsletter – July 2021

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

July 01, 2021


The EEW Yarn Counter kickstarter was a huge success.  It sold over 3,100 of the counters, which will let let me make a huge initial batch.  If you missed the kickstarter then I will be selling it on my store after I finish shipping all the kickstarter rewards.  I did release a video that goes into a lot of detail about the Yarn Counter.

EEW 6.0 Switch

A EEW community member showed me a new style of switch that can be used by your hand or switch that works with the EEW 6.0.  If you are interested you can purchase it on Amazon by searching for “tattoo foot pedal”, but since there was a ton of interest in it I’m going to investigate what the price would be for me to include a switch like this with the EEW 6.0 in the future.  Below is a video that goes into details about the differences between my current foot switch and this alternative.

3D Printed Parts

As I’m sure many of you know I like releasing 3D printable parts accessories for EEW products I think might be useful to the community.  I always release the files for free and let other people sell prints since I know most people don’t have 3D printers.  For things like bobbins 3D printing gives you many more color options, and others parts aren’t popular enough to justify me making an expensive mold so 3D printed versions are the only option for those.  If you have access to a 3d printer or would like to see what you can buy from others I suggest checking out my 3D printing page which gives more information.

Cone Winder Prototype Update

I made a video about the latest prototype cone winder I’ve been working.

EEW 6.0 Sliding Hooks

I made a video that announces I now have the EEW 6.0 sliding hooks in my store. The video also shows some new 3D printable sliding hook options for the EEW 6.0.

Happy spinning!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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EEW Newsletter – June 2021

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

June 01, 2021


I’ve spent most of my time this month on the Yarn Counter Kickstarter.  For those who don’t know Kickstarter is a platform where I allow pre-orders for new products.  If you haven’t already seen this project, I really suggest going to my Kickstarter page since by the time the next newsletter comes out this Kickstarter project will end.

Yarn Counter Kickstarter

I recently launched the EEW Yarn Counter on Kickstarter.  It really has some interesting uses and features beyond what a typical yarn meter would.  This project will close soon so time is running out to be part of this project.  Go check out the three minute video about the EEW Yarn Counter to see why over 2,000 people have already backed this project!

EEW Photo Contest 2021

The photo contest was a huge success this year.  There were hundreds of amazing photos submitted and I’ll be posting about one a day to my Instagram account.  Below are winning photos from Carrie, Janice, and Patricia.

Happy spinning!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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EEW Newsletter – May 2021

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

EEW Photo Contest

I’m starting an EEW photo contest today and it ends May 15th.  You can participate by emailing your photos to support@dreamingrobots with the subject “EEW Photo Contest 2021 “.  After submissions end the community in the Facebook and Ravelry groups will vote for three days picking one winner per day from a list of photos I select from the entrees.  Then there will also be 2 randomly selected winners.  Every person who emails me will get one entry into the random selection for submitting photos, and if you also include a link to any place online that you shared your photos you’ll also get a second entry into the random drawing.  You can submit multiple photos, but you don’t get extra entries into the random drawing for this.  Each of these 5 winners will get a $100 credit to my store for future purchases.  All the photos submitted to this contest can be used by me for marketing purposes.  One way I plan to use them is to post them to my Instagram page since people love seeing a new EEW related photo there every day.  If you want me to include any info in my Instragram post of your photos include it in the email and I will do my best to include it.

What kind of photos should you submit?  It can be photos of your EEW eSpinner, yarn you spun with it, the garments you made with that yarn, or anything you think is related to your EEW.  Have fun with these photos and I hope to see a lot photos!

EEW Yarn Counter Kickstarter Coming Soon

I have a the molds made for the EEW Yarn Counter.  The current prototype I’m using is very near final and I’m starting to work on making the Kickstarter campaign for it.  I’m hoping to launch it on Kickstarter for it within the next month or two.  When it does launch I will announce it online and to this email list.  I’ll have all the details about what makes this Yarn Counter so special when I launch the Kickstarter.

EEW 6.0 Shipping and Support

The EEW 6.0 has been shipping out for all the Kickstarter backers and all my online store orders. When shipping out well over 2000 eSpinners there is going to be a lot of support required.  Most of the support revolves around people who have never spun before asking about issues they are having with various parts of the spinning process. These questions were much easier to answer for the EEW 6.0 thanks to the awesome 6 part eSpinners for Beginners video series and the Fiber’s and Spinning Techiques video series Vampy made before the EEW 6.0 launched.  The next most common issues were handling parts that got damaged in shipping or were missing.  I shipped out replacement parts for all these issues and while there is room for improvement in the future, the amount of mistakes I made was manageable.  Lastly I had a few actual design issues that was causing the EEW 6.0 to stop for a small number of people using the EEW 6.0.  It took me about a week to figure out the root cause and propose two fix options.  This page explains this stopping issue in detail and gives the fixes.

If you’re looking for tips and tricks for your EEW 6.0 check out the video below.

Happy spinning!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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EEW 6.0 Stop Fix

The turning off issue that affects some EEW 6.0s is related to static building up and being stored in the metal spindle. When that gets discharged it can sometimes pull the reset pin on the circuit board low which effectively turns off the EEW 6.0 briefly then it turns if back on. When you turn on the EEW 6.0 it always starts in a stopped state so this reset event stops the EEW 6.0. In my research of this issue I’ve found other spinning wheels have had this issue, but it seems more people are seeing this with the EEW. I believe there are two reasons for this. The first is the nylon case is a better insulator, and the second is the bottom cover’s rubber feet are even better insulators. This is why some people saw the issue improve when they removed the bottom cover. These insulation layers let the static to build up faster than it tends to on other spinning wheels which mostly use wood which is also an insulator, but not as good of one.

There are two things that can help fix this. The first is to ground the spindle. You hide this by drilling a few small holes in your case and running a black wire down the back support arm and under the case (I show this in the video at the end of this post). However, I went for the very easy method here. The method here uses materials most people will have in your house. All you need is tinfoil, tape, and some scissors. What I did was to cut a thin strip of tinfoil and then folded it over twice to give it a little more strength. Then I ran that from the back bearing to the motor and held it in place with tape. I put some photos showing how this was done below. In my testing this completely fixed the problem.

Another solution is to use a female to female breadboard jumper wire (or these on Amazon) to connect pins 1 and 4 on the programming header. This solution pulls the reset line high on the EEW 6.0 and prevents a reset, but the spindle can still build up a static charge similar to how you can shock yourself when touching a metal object after walking on a wool carpet. The image below shows what pins to connect for this fix.

In theory the most robust fix is to do both, but in my testing either one solved the issue. If the physical shocks are bothering you then I would recommend the first grounding one, but I will point out these shocks are no more dangerous than any other static shock you get in dry climates.

Here is a video that goes over those this problem and the fixes. It also includes a way to hide a wire to make the first grounding fix more invisible.

Any black wire would work, but here is some black 26 gauge tin coated copper stranded wire if you aren’t sure what to look for.

UPDATE – Several people have also confirmed this fixes an issue where the EEW will get in a state where it doesn’t stop.

UPDATE #2 – Here is a new video with updated fixes and a kit I can send if you don’t already have this fixed.