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Forum > Sewing Machines > Bernina Artista 180 ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Bernina Artista 180
opinions and feedback wanted
erin2222
erin2222
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Oregon USA
Member since 4/3/09
Posts: 26
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Date: 6/11/12 1:56 PM

While looking into machines for my daughter at my local shops, I noticed a used Bernina Artista 180 for sale. It comes with the embroidery unit. It's in great condition, but it's old (it comes with a VHS user guide video, instead of a DVD)

I don't know anything about it and would love any and all comments, opinion, gripes, raves, etc.

My main concern is the embroidery tech stuff. I'm not knowledgeable about all the tech stuff--I'm kind of old school. I have heard that the system does not support many designs that one can buy online and one must buy upgrades in order to use the embroidery unit. Do you have to buy Bernina designs on cards?

I just don't want to spend the money for an embroidery machine and find out it need more money to make it compatible or work at all. kwim?

Thanks so much!

Raye Ann
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Raye Ann  Friend of PR
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California USA
Member since 3/25/09
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Date: 6/11/12 2:17 PM

Hi, I sew on the Artista 180 and do have the embroidery unit. First, know that the sewing portion of this machine is awesome, really all you need. It can do most everything.
The embroidery machine is limiting, but there are ways around it. The embroidery module has stock fonts and a very few designs built in, so they can be used without any software or computer at all. Basically, I embroider names or initials on a lot of things because it is easy! For other designs, you have to load them onto the memory card that is then inserted into the emb. module. There may be more ways to do this, but I use a "Magic Box" attached to an older computer that operated on a compatible operating system. This was a hand me down machine for me, and at the time I received it, there was no " patch" available to run it with anything newer than windows xp. I have heard that Bernina does have patches available now.
You can purchase any designs in the proper format ( EXP For this machine) and then load them onto the card via the magic box.
So, it can be done, but requires extra equipment and possibly software.
I find it cumbersome and rarely embroider. I would love to upgrade at some point for the embroidery. But, as far as the sewing machine, I use it nearly everyday and love, love it. So, it may depend on how important the embroidery is to your daughter vs. The sewing. It would need to be a great price to compensate for the embroidery issues if that is quite important to her!
HTH

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Raye Ann

ilesliemy
ilesliemy  Friend of PR
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Texas USA
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Date: 6/11/12 2:27 PM

I have a 185 and love it. I do use Bernina Software so I bought a USB to serial cable adapter. And I use the command from the software to "send to machine". You can find software on line. Make sure it includes the security dongle. I use Editor Plus version 5 and Windows 7. You could also use Editor 5 Lite. This is Bernina's previous software so it is cheaper. Look on Craig's List or EBay. Machines are totally wonderful without ever doing embroidery.
Leslie

------
Bernina Gal

erin2222
erin2222
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Oregon USA
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Date: 6/11/12 2:43 PM

Thank you, Ladies! This information is great. I look into whether a security dongle is included. Unfortunately the dealer does not know a lot about the machine, because he's not a Bernina dealer. It was a trade in kind of thing.
I'm feeling overwhelmed by the embroidery stuff. The cost is high because it includes it, so I want to make sure it will be something I will use. I appreciate all your help!

Raye Ann--I should mention that it would not be for my dd, but for me. I was intending to look at machines for my dd, while doing so, this one caught my attention. Obviously, I'm easily distracted by shiny things :)

annenet
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annenet  Friend of PR
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In reply to erin2222 <<


Date: 6/11/12 2:58 PM

If it doesn't have the software you can download Artlink on the web site. It's pretty basic but I believe it does convert other formats. I use a usb to serial converter on my 165E which is essentially a 170E with a few less things and it works fine from a Windows 7 64bit laptop!

------
So many projects, not enough time
At my house in VA:
Bernina 1010, Activa 220, Artista 630E, B580
Singer 201-2, 221, Bernina Serger 1300MDC, BL Enlighten, BL Sashiko, BL Cover Stitch, Consew 75T

At my Lake House in PA:
Bernina Artista 165E, Singer 503A. Bernina Serger 1100d

http://sewingtechie.blogspot.com/

Raye Ann
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Raye Ann  Friend of PR
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California USA
Member since 3/25/09
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In reply to erin2222 <<


Date: 6/12/12 0:07 AM

It's such a NICE shiny thing, too:).

It sounds like others have been able to do better than I have regarding software and cables. My mom had thrown away the original cable( serial ports) that wrote to the machine, and a replacement was almost $300! I tried 3 different generic ones but they never worked. I haven't invested in any software thinking that I would at some point upgrade. I am decent with computers and such, and haven't had an easy time with this. I think lessons would've made all the difference. Is there a Bernina dealership that you can go to for support? Paying for lessons would be totally worth it.

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Raye Ann

erin2222
erin2222
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Oregon USA
Member since 4/3/09
Posts: 26
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Date: 6/12/12 11:15 AM

These hidden costs are what I dislike about the sewing machine world. The special bobbins and specialty presser feet can cost a lot, in addition to the costs for upgrades and software makes me a bit cautious.

annenet
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annenet  Friend of PR
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USA
Member since 8/2/03
Posts: 2019
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In reply to erin2222 <<


Date: 6/12/12 12:35 PM

I think there are hidden costs in just about every hobby!

------
So many projects, not enough time
At my house in VA:
Bernina 1010, Activa 220, Artista 630E, B580
Singer 201-2, 221, Bernina Serger 1300MDC, BL Enlighten, BL Sashiko, BL Cover Stitch, Consew 75T

At my Lake House in PA:
Bernina Artista 165E, Singer 503A. Bernina Serger 1100d

http://sewingtechie.blogspot.com/

erin2222
erin2222
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Oregon USA
Member since 4/3/09
Posts: 26
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In reply to Raye Ann <<


Date: 6/12/12 3:05 PM

Quote: Raye Ann
It's such a NICE shiny thing, too:).


Yes it is!!


I think lessons would've made all the difference. Is there a Bernina dealership that you can go to for support? Paying for lessons would be totally worth it.

Not really very close. They charge a lot and always are trying to sell me things when I go in, so I don't like going there. I'd have to figure it out pretty much on my own, which I'm not sure I want to do at this point. I think my time may be better spent sewing with my daughter.

I went in to look at it a bit more and ask about USB cord, etc. and the service repair tech was cautioning me against it. He said they are more expensive to fix and without the warranty that could make a difference.

The other thing I noticed is the sell for a lot less on ebay. Although I'm not sure I am brave enough to buy an expensive machine on ebay.
erin2222
erin2222
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Oregon USA
Member since 4/3/09
Posts: 26
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In reply to annenet <<


Date: 6/12/12 3:05 PM

Quote: annenet
I think there are hidden costs in just about every hobby!

definitely!!
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