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Using the Top Tension Pro on my Gammill Optimum

top tension pro
Q. I just received my Gammill Optimum longarm two days ago and am trying to get the TTP to work on my machine. I have followed the instructions and even watched the video! (Yay for the video!) I believe I have everything right but for some reason, I can't get a reading from the unit when it's installed on my intermittent tensioner. When I press the sensor disc between my finders, it registers a number, but not while it's on my machine. I am using Perma Core thread. What am I missing?
A. Please try out the following steps and let's see if we're able to get a proper reading.   
  1. Make sure the wire leading to the sensor is underneath the arm of your longarm with the black side of the sensor facing the machine.
  2. With the tension discs on, slide the white washer with the lip facing away from the machine.
  3. Place the sensor with the black side touching the white washer.
  4. Place the silver retaining washer with the outward beveled edge touching the white side of the sensor.
  5. Place the spring, knurled washer, and knob. (Your machine will have two springs, one on the rotary tensioner and one on the intermittent tensioner. Please use the heavier/thicker spring on the intermittent tensioner.)
Here are a few number/measurements for threads when I'm quilting on our Gammill Vision. Please note that they won't be the same for you if we have different springs, thread brands,whether we're using a handy net or not, etc., but should be in ballpark range. (All threads are Superior Threads) I use So Fine! #50 in the bobbin exclusively.
Metallic - 000 I keep the tension very loose and even bypass some places. (View our article on Quilting With Metallic Thread
Magnifico - 011
OMNI - 22-25
Perma Core is a strong thread and you should be able to run it with a nice, tight tension and not have problems. I skip 1 of the 3 holes (on the 3 hole guide) on ALL threads that I use. I find that if I need to add or decrease tension, it's easier to control it with the intermittent tensioner than have it threaded through all 3 holes.

By: Bob Purcell