Abby Answers Device Questions



Hey folks, Abby here, to answer a few questions that have come up. If you don’t see your question here, please leave us a comment asking it, and we’ll answer it and add it to this document.

Can you fit a bobbin in the case without having to take off the ends? 

You sure can — but if you’re putting full bobbins in, you will probably have a hard time fitting both the battery charger and the power supply. I like to take two collapsible bobbins, 2 flyers, both charger and power supply, all packed in there tidily on the way out; but on the way back, sometimes I’ll end up tossing the battery charger or a full bobbin into another bag, largely because I tend to be less tidy and meticulous packing up at the end of an event than I am packing to head out to one. Initially, I was carrying around Majacraft bobbins, which are not collapsible, and I could get 2 full or 3 empty in there with the power supply.

What are the exterior dimensions?

The Device is built around a Pelican 1400 case, which Chad initially chose because he had a battered old one laying around, although we experimented with a few other case options. This one turned out to be the smallest one we could pack with all the hardware. It also fits handily under the seat in front of you on an airplane, as well as in the overhead compartment of even small commercial aircraft — and easily inside my small rollaboard suitcase. What’s more, this case has a comfortable handle for carrying, can be padlocked, and the lock locations can be used to attach a shoulder strap.

The Device is this same size — 13.37″ x 11.62″ x 6.00″ (34 x 29.5 x 15.2 cm) — except it has feet, so it’s 7″ tall or (17.78 cm).

Is the Device waterproof?

The Pelican 1400 case is impressively airtight and watertight, and floats with up to 20 pounds in it, so it does beg this question, doesn’t it? Since the case is drilled to mount the toolhead and scotch tension assembly, we can’t promise you it is watertight and floats in all the same conditions the Pelican 1400 normally does, and I admit I haven’t had the gumption to throw mine in the bathtub yet to see what happens. Yet.

What can you tell me about flying with this thing?

By itself, the Device fits under the seat in front of you with ease, and also in the overhead compartment even on the smallest commercial flights. I have personally carried mine on Embraer and Bombardier regional jets and turboprops, generally the tightest onboard storage conditions, with no problems.

I’ve flown with mine (several versions) on too many USA flights to count. I also took it to Germany, via Heathrow, which gave me the opportunity to have it inspected in several security scenarios including coming back to the USA. All in all, I got less hassle and strange scrutiny for traveling with my Device than for flying with a conventional treadle-powered spinning wheel. One of our testers did have a TSA agent rip out the foam and detach wiring while searching it aggressively — after which we modified the placement of a few things to reduce this risk, and completely reworked core systems so as not to require counterweighting for best performance.

I like to put my Device in the 18″ rollaboard suitcase I gate check on small planes, and carry on on larger ones — because I also always have to be sure I have what I need to get started working if my checked bag doesn’t make it, so I have to take that bag anyway and I might as well put the Device in there. If I leave it in that bag for the TSA line, they’ll usually ask to open my bag and ask me what the object is, and I tell them it’s an electric spinning wheel for making yarn by hand, they say “Huh, ok,” and that’s that. Well, okay, actually at my home airport, they’re used to me so they pretty much just chuckle. I’ve learned some fascinating things from TSA folks — like, did you know lots of people travel with their own toilet seat? I didn’t, until a TSA agent thought that’s what my folding spinning wheel was based on the x-ray. Anyway, I also always leave some fiber inside the Device in case they ask me to demonstrate how it works — which is easier than ever with the onboard batteries, but I’ve never been asked to demo it even once. Honestly, it’s probably too strange an object to seem suspicious, because it’s unlikely anyone would want to smuggle anything in an unidentifiable object that says “Questionable Origin” on it.

Is there a Jazzturtle disco lights option?

The 1.0 release does not feature disco lights, but it’s an option we’ll reserve for the future and for custom builds. For now, only a limited number of beta units have the disco light package and we’re still not sure what the option would cost. But we did think our tester and upcoming early dealer Esther Rodgers needed disco lights. Actually we thought she also needed a fog machine, but we couldn’t figure out how to fit that in there. Yet.

Will you do layaway?

Right now, we expect to leave that question to our dealers, and anticipate that some will offer layaway options on our Device as they do on other equipment.


11 comments on “Abby Answers Device QuestionsAdd yours →

  1. Hi Abby, I am LOVING my Device that I picked up at the Fiber Frolic 9 whole days ago. My question is, will the Majacraft Plying Kit or Wild Flyer fit on it?

    1. Hey Amy, we’re so glad to hear you’re loving the Device! Both the Plying Kit and the Wild Flyer will fit it, as with the flyer that comes with the Overdrive head. The only accessory we couldn’t get to work is the skein winder. Depending on the vintage of the flyer you’re using, you may need to make a minor adjustment using the allen wrenches supplied. If you find your bobbins binding after you put on the other flyer, shoot us an email or a comment and we’ll show you how!

    1. Hi Heather! Right now, the only way to buy one is either from us in person at a show (the next one up is SAFF in North Carolina), or via our pilot dealer, Spunky Eclectic. We are still in limited production so we can be sure we also have our support systems and networks in place and working well. Before we can accept other dealers, we need to be sure we’re right about our lead times and a lot of other things, so stay tuned!

  2. First, I’m thrilled that this adventure has worked out for you both and that this spinner is now commercially available. Both times I’ve used it, I was so impressed with how easy and intuitive it is to use and infinately adjustable as well. Can’t wait to order mine! Also, thanks so much for all the available information about this product and the video demo.

    I did have a couple questions that I have not seen answered. First, how much yarn can the bobbin hold and does the added weight ofa full load of yarn on the bobbin force you to adjust tension as happens with treadle wheels?
    Lastly, The Device I tried this weekend in Asheville had a Delta orifice bobbin. Is this standard now?

    Thanks for answering these questions and please pardon me if you have answered these and I didn’t see it.

    Thanks for your time and for developing such a great product.

    Christine Dunlap

    1. Dear Christine,

      Thank you for the feedback and for the excellent questions! I’ll definitely be including these in future versions of the FAQ!

      1. How much yarn can the bobbin hold?

      Depending on the fiber and the yarn structure, the AkerWorks bobbins that come with a Device can typically hold between 4 and 6 ounces of spun yarn. How many yards is that? Well, as is the answer to so many spinning questions, it depends — in this case on how thick or thin you spin. If I’m spinning a fairly ordinary singles yarn that will ply up to something I’ll knit on size 8 / 5mm needles, I usually get in the 500-700 yard range.

      2. Does the added weight of a full load of yarn on the bobbin force you to adjust tension as happens with treadle wheels?

      The short answer is yes — this is a factor of how bobbin and flyer systems work in general. Whatever your tensioning system, on any spinning apparatus that uses bobbins and flyers, you will always need to make small, incremental adjustments to takeup as your bobbin fills. The reason is: for bobbins and flyers to do what they do, they have to be able to spin together at the same speed while primarily twisting and spinning, and at different speeds during the wind-on portion of things. How much force it takes to make that happen depends in part on how heavy the two elements (bobbin and flyer) are relative to each other, so as one gets heavier (because it’s filling up with yarn) adjustments will pretty much always be necessary.

      We’ve aimed to make the Device’s tensioning mechanism very sturdy so that it will always hold dependably and feel smooth, while also being sensitive enough to allow for very small adjustments you’d want for fine yarns, as well as big adjustments you’d want for thick or textured yarns.

      Let us know if you’d like to know more about that, and we’ll recommend some great sources for very in-depth information. But the summary is: yes, you’ll always need to make small adjustments to the takeup on any flyer system. How often? Depends on a lot of things, including bobbin capacity and what drive mechanism.

      3. The Device I tried this weekend in Asheville had a Delta orifice bobbin. Is this standard now?

      Nope. We still expect to have the tube orifice (fine fiber orifice) be what we’ll ship by default for the foreseeable future. We brought a range of flyers and bobbins to SAFF 2016, partly because we’ve had lots of questions about how different flyers perform, and because we’ve also had questions about making them available with different options for flyers. Further down the road, we think we’ll be able to offer various packages specifically kitted out for different kinds of spinning, but we aren’t sure when that will be (likely a year or two, so look for that by SAFF 2018). For now, offering the option to choose a specific flyer would also come with a significant increase in the wait time, so we’ve opted not to make it a focus at this time.

      Please don’t hesitate to ask us more questions! Everything about the Device is the way it is because of what people who’ve tried it have asked and commented, and this is a lot of what makes it a real delight for us to work on: knowing we’re building these for spinners who want these capabilities.


  3. I am having trouble getting the yarn to move onto the bobbin. The picture in the manual looks different from my device. Any suggestions?

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