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PFAFF PFILES: Transferring Designs to a Creative 7500 or 2100 Series Machine

One of the most common PFAFF-related questions I see is "how can I transfer designs from a computer to my 7500 /2100 series machine?" I have created a list of ways for how this can be acheived. If any readers have other recommendations, please leave a comment below or email me.

Creative 7560/7562/7570

Method 1: Third Party Card Readers

I will begin with the easiest and likely to be the most successful method -- the Vikant Ultimate Box II and the Vikant Ultimate Card III. The Ultimate Box II will work with Windows 10, and Vikant advertises it will also work with Macs (with the addition of extra software). You can read all about the Ultimate Box II here -- be sure to read the FAQ.  I have never personally used this, but I often see people praising it.

There is also the Amazing Box by Amazing Designs, which I believe it more or less the same thing, although it seems to be discontinued, and I am not sure how well it works with Windows 10.


Method 2: Serial Transfer Cable

The PFAFF serial transfer cable (#820004-096) plugs into the Creative Designer input on the machine, and the other end plugs into a serial RS232 connection on the computer. This bypasses the need for a memory card. I am not sure if USB adaptors work for this. If so, cheap $15 adapters will likely not work as they do not produce enough voltage for large amounts of data to transfer, which results in no connection. This cable works for the PC Designer software (there were several versions of this software for both Mac and Windows), but I am not sure if it will work with any other software. These are rare and expensive, and will likely only work with a computer from the 1990s unless you can get compatible software to work with a modern operating system.

Method 3: Creative Card Station

The PFAFF Creative Card Station (not to be confused with the 2100 series Creative Card Station II/Smart Card Station), also requires a serial RS232 port on your computer -- I am also not sure if a USB adaptor will work. I think the Creative Card Station might also work with PC Designer software, and I know it works with 3D File Assistant (but not 4D or 5D). Creative Card Stations occasionally pop up on eBay and in the Facebook Marketplace, and are less expensive than the transfer cable.

Creative 2140/2144/2170

Method 1: Third Party Card Readers

I'll start with this as many people have both the a 7570/7562/7560 and a 2140/2144/2170, and this works with both -- the Vikant Ultimate Box II. See "Method 1" above for information.

Method 2: PC Card Transfer Cable

PC Card transfer cable (serial version).

There are two versions of this transfer cable:

  • Serial RS232 (#9233031591000)
  • USB (#820498-096)

The card plugs into the machine, while the other end plugs into the computer. This will work with 3D/4D/5D File Assistant to transfer designs -- 5D works the best with Windows 10. Regarding the RS232 version, a serial-to-USB adapter WILL work, but again, it must be a quality adapter or else a connection will not be made between the machine and the computer.

Method 3: 3D Creative Card Station II/4D Smart Card Station

PFAFF 4D Smart Card Station (#820802-096), originally called 3D Creative Card Station II (#820488-096), plugs into any Windows machine via USB. It has two ports -- a smart card slot (for the 2124 & 2134), and a PC card slot for 7500 and 2100 series PC cards. It will accept both the purple Creative Fantasy memory  cards, and the red & white memory cards for the 2100 series. It works well with 5D File Assistant for transferring designs. The box says it only reads 7500 series cards, but it will indeed write to the purple Creative Fantasy cards (which formats them for the 2140/2144/2170, and will not work in 7500 series machines).

The smart card slot in the Creative Card Station II/Smart Card Station works with the Creative 2124 and 2134 machines.

Creative 2124/2134 Smart Card

Memory Card Types

7570/7562/7560 Creative Card (#92-030 012-00/000)

7500 series Creative Card.

There are two versions of this card, which look identical except the first version has two switches/actuators rather than one. The extra one is for the battery. Older PC cards used batteries, so if you have one of these that no longer work, chances are the battery needs to be replaced. 

Insert from a Creative Fantasy memory card (Version 1), 
explaining how to change the battery.

2140/2144/2170 Creative Card

2140/2144/2170 Creative Card.

This is a 4MB card for the 2140/2144/2170 machines. I am not sure if these can be formatted to use in 7500 series machines.

Memory Card Compatibility

It should be noted that the 2140/2144/2170 machines are backwards compatible. In other words, they can read 7500 series cards, and can even write to them, but they have their own formatting system that the 7500 series cannot read. For example, a blank 7500 series Creative Card can be used in both 7500 and 2100 machines. However, if you save data to one using a 2100 series machine, a 7500 series machine can no longer read it, and the card will have to be formatted for it to again work with a 7500 series machine.

Third-Party Memory Cards

Aside from third-party companies such as Vikant and Amazing Designs, it is also possible to use generic blank PC cards, although I cannot confirm which specific brands and specifications work.

A generic PC card.

Final Note

If you come across one of the cards in the photo below, please know it is not a blank memory card, but rather a firmware upgrade card for the 2140/2144/2170 machines. It cannot be formatted to use as a memory card.

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