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Brother FB-100

The FB-100 is a disk drive for use with Brother electronic knitting machines.
This device is identical to the Tandy Portable Disk Drive (TPDD) that was used with Tandy's Model 100 portable computer - a historic gadget from 1983. While the disk drive is not produced anymore, and has become a collector's item, all Brother electronic knitting machines are equipped with an FB-100 port, that can be used to exchange pattern data, with all kinds of pattern devices, PCs and PDAs.


Serial Connection

The RS-232 based serial connection, used to transfer patterns beween the knitting machine and the FB-100 disk drive can be used to connect the knitting machine to an external pattern device or directly to a personal computer.

In the latter case the PC effectively emulates the FB-100, so that knitting machines that were produced when personal computers were still expensive and rarely available, can now be used like any other output device.

Different ports and voltage levels on either end, as well as the feedback needed for interactive knitting have led to the development of various Brother cable links.


pro-Fashion 2000

pro-Fashion 2000 - a program developed for the Atari ST and MS DOS was probably the first software to emulate the FB-100.


Designaknit can emulate various devices, including the FB-100.


DLPilot by John Hogerhuis emulates the disk drive on Palm PDAs. With this commercial software, you can use your palm as a FB-100 replacement.

FB-100 Emulator

The FB-100 Emulator by Jos Timmermans is the first stand-alone FB-100 emulator for Windows, and it doesn't conceal the fact, that the PC just acts as FB-100 on steroids. The program even emulates the look and feel of the disk drive, so that the user can follow the original FB-100 instruction manuals.


J-FB-100 is a free and open source FB-100 emulator running on Java, which is currently under development by the BLF


This is a Python skript written by Steve Conklin. It relies on pySerial for accessing the serial port, and has been released under the GPL. It has been tested under Ubuntu Linux 9.04 (Jaunty).

Python Tools

Based on PDDemulate Adafruit has developed a collection of python tools.


Open Source Pattern manager and uploader written by STG. It is written in C and STL2 and is under active development on Github.

Pattern Uploader

Open Source pattern uploader written by Mar Canet using knittington and OpenFrameworks.


FB-100 Utility

The FB-100 Utility by Jos Timmermans is a program for Windows to explore brother disk image files. These image files are used by the emulators to store a virtual brother disk on the hard drive of the PC. The program can also read and write knitting patterns in the Designaknit .PAT file format.

Crafty Gimp

The Crafty Gimp is a plugin for The gimp, under development by the BLF. The plugin is free and open source software, which can read and write different pattern formats, including brother disk images.


Web Links




wiki/brother_fb-100.txt · Last modified: 2012/07/04 10:55 by stg
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