All Mad Batt'r series carders manufactured after Jan 1, 2016, are built on the tall, 6-inch, frame and can also be upgraded. Any Mad Batt'r carders, produced in prior years, but, ordered with the tall frame option, are upgradeable.
Because of the complexity of the upgrade, these machines need to be returned to us.
Upgrading existing Strauch chain drive carders is $1375.00 for the singlewide machine and $1425.00 for the doublewides.
If you do decide on an upgrade, remember to remove the existing handle so it won't get broken. In fact, whenever you box up the carder for shipment, or if you're putting in your car to go to a show, remove the handle!
Naturally the motorized carder will not have a crank but we can use the handle elsewhere. (Waste not......want not!).
The motor drives the chain which in turn drives the drums. It's all connected together so the drums won't slip. The motorized version cannot be made to hand crank.
Putting an overriding clutch mechanism on the carder would make the machine VERY expensive. Secondly, we use an extremely high quality gear motor. Turning the drums by using a crank would be quite difficult because the motor's internal gearing.
Neither the 200 Series single nor doublewide series can be economically upgraded to a motorized machine. Because of the four inch frame height, there is not enough room for the motor and the electronic circuit board. Only the Finest series, and the Mad Batt'r with the 6-inch frame, can be upgraded.
Modern Strauch machines use many newly redesigned components. It is simply not economical to rebuild an old Fricke.
A suggestion, however: most of those old machines have the very coarse carding cloth on both drums. These carders are actually desired by felters. The coarse cloth allows for a lot of fiber to be packed onto it. They are not looking to obtain a high quality batt desired by hand spinners. Owners of these machines may consider selling them (for instance, on eBay) and buying a world class universal drum carder made by Strauch.