Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Power wheelchair board for REAL info!

POWERCHAIR MENU! www.wheelchairdriver.com/powerchair-stuff.htm

Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Moosh89 » 30 Oct 2020, 23:27

Hey everyone!

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=10057

My questions:

I'm a complete noob when it comes to "cool" features of today's power chairs. I've made do with basic features for 25+ years.

My needs have changed over the years due to my disabilities. I do require certain things and I will not deviate brand/models.

I need an "Invacare Action Arrow Storm" 4 wheeled, rear-wheel drive chair. I also need power tilt seating.

I'd love front fork suspension which most Arrows come with as standard now.

What else is out there for me to consider? Any cool electronics upgrades, motor upgrades (4x4?), better/cooler tires (I have tubeless tires). I'm a nerd for gadgets and technology. Bluetooth capabilities? Machine gun turrets? (kidding!) Additional powered seating? (Can power tilt and powered elevation work together?)

Educate me! Open my eyes to the weird and wonderful!

Thanks :dance
User avatar
Moosh89
 
Posts: 48
Joined: 30 Oct 2020, 22:51
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 02:46

When you say you have tubeless tyres, you are meaning solid flat free type tyres?

I ask because when we say tubeless tyres, here, we mean like your car or motorcycle. The reason tubes are so bad is that they are loke a thin balloon. Stick it with something, and it pops, shreds, or just stretches around the thorn, glas splinter, nail etc. And out goes the air. A tubeless tyre like your car actually has a tube, bonded to the inside of the tyre carcase. And seals onto the rim tightly. In that case, when its punctured with a nail etc then the nail stays in, and the tyre seals pretty well around the nail/screw/whatever and keeps the air mostly in. So plenty time to get home. Also if you pill out the item/nail then the tyre still generally goes down slowly or not at all as the hole shrinks back to a tiny thing. And if you add puncture seal flluid to a tubeless tyre before it gets punctured, it seals it perfectly 100% of the time.

So tubed tyres = bad news for you! If you get a puncture as the sealer seldom works.
Solid or foam filled tyres eat battery power, and give a harsh ride and deteriorate fast. And are expensive.
Real tubeless tyres, that I have on all of my chairs need a tubeless rim, and a tubeless tyre. These are usually also stronger construction. When used with a sealer, you cannot puncture and deflate them at all. And they give the best ride too!

THIS is one of my chairs. Its rear wheels are TUBELESS type. With a bunch of advantages. But you cannot but a set of tubeless rims and tubeless tyres ready to fit. You will need to make a adapter of some kind to fit these cheap chinese rims and expensive tubeless tyres. Some DIY work...

download/file.php?id=8866&mode=view

Also, I would be tempted to buy a chair that uses R-Net control system. As its easier right now to get an OEM level programmer for. Which is pretty mush essential esp if you like gadgets and technology...
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 02:57

Not sure about where you live. But I read your other post/intro

Like me, you prefer rear drive for a bunch of very sensible reasons. But in the US they have become very rare.Mostly for a bunch of rediculous reasons relating to tipping and that results in them being too nose heavy, and using those horid swing away traditional footrests.

In the UK theres lots of choice for rear drive. Many different chairs. As in Europe. Theres many on eBay. Or new.

Are you against importing one?
Ask yourself. How much would you have to spend?
Do you need seat lift? (makes a chair heavy and expensive and sits you higher so less capable outdoors)
Tilt? Recline? Centre footplate? POWER centre footplate?

I would advise being sure it takes group24 batts as its much easier to convert to lithium and get 5x the range...
I would also want 4 pole 6mph motors only. Not 8, and never 2 pole.
And unless its used using older generation electronics, that you can get OEM programming tools for, be sure to get R-Net...

And you can do ANY of that list to an old Invacare Action Arrow Storm ... If you have the willpower and eBay and diy skills too.

Of course you dont have to do any of this. These are what I would do/want. Just to give you some idea what you are looking for. Anything will work.

Maybe a careful read on this lot may help too.

UK website, the Q500R and Q700R chairs are available with centre footrest or swingaway as shown and have front suspension.
https://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/powere ... -sedeo-pro

And
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8035

And
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7455&start=600#p122818

And
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5624

And
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9873

Many different chairs are available. But I do not have a clue whats available in canada. New or used.
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Moosh89 » 31 Oct 2020, 03:04

Yes, I mean my tires are solid/foam filled. Apologies for the mixup. We were always told they were referred to as "tubeless/flat-free".

My first two chairs had pneumatic (air filled) back tires but on my second chair we had them put solid tires on because I was constantly getting flats at school or outside :lol:

One time my principal was trying to help out after I got a flat out on the playground so he came with a ball pump and started enthusiastically pumping and then "pop!" as my chair hissed and went lopsided hahaha. That was the last time :mrgreen:

I tend to stay inside as much as possible but it would be awesome to get around easier outside when I need to. Sand, loose gravel and snow are a real pain to get through and lumpy or rutted grass is a hairy experience given I have no balance on my own and I 'feel" every dip and sideways tilt of my chair with the strong sensation of tipping over (which I've done several times in the past). It would be so nice to not scream my face off when I'm not on pavement or asphalt lol
User avatar
Moosh89
 
Posts: 48
Joined: 30 Oct 2020, 22:51
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 03:13

Best to just go with the flow. I am 60. 20 stone. Drive like a lunatic, fall out all the time. Over the back, sideways, and every way possible over the years. I no longer care. Its just embarassing with the passing fire service stopping to rescue me from my own stupidity. Or being laid in the wet road for an hour as I forgot my phone the last time... I wheelied it as you do, and it turned on its side and crashed down. It actually doesent really hurn.
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Moosh89 » 31 Oct 2020, 03:59

Burgerman wrote:Not sure about where you live. But I read your other post/intro


I live in Saskatchewan, Canada. Our entire provincial population is just around 1 million so we are spread pretty thin. I live in the northwest of the province with the nearest city being Meadow Lake with a small population of 5,000. Any wheelchair maintenance is done in Saskatoon, which is the biggest city in Saskatchewan and about a 4 hour drive. We only go in the Spring/Summer as traveling in the winter can be quite dangerous with ice/snow.

Burgerman wrote:Like me, you prefer rear drive for a bunch of very sensible reasons. But in the US they have become very rare.Mostly for a bunch of rediculous reasons relating to tipping and that results in them being too nose heavy, and using those horid swing away traditional footrests.


I haven't done a bunch of reading up on chairs but I can see the issue of being too front-heavy. Sometimes on steep ramps I feel it so I try to go down steep ramps slowly, backward with somebody walking and pressing forward at my back to compensate for the shift of weight. Same with curbs or doorsteps, I go down backward and slowly/gently and someone behind, man-handling lol

I'm very set on sticking with Invacare Arrow chairs. Invacare is fairly popular in Canada but again, a lot of people I've seen or know in power chairs were offered mid-wheel drive chairs. Unless they went and bought their own.

Burgerman wrote:In the UK theres lots of choice for rear drive. Many different chairs. As in Europe. Theres many on eBay. Or new.


My last chair ('97 Arrow Storm) was appraised at just over $21,000 CAD which factored in my specialized seating (custom built by SaskAbilities Seating specialists to meet my needs) and power tilt. I don't even know what the cost of this chair was (2010 Arrow Storm w/ Power Tilt) but I assume it's the same neighbourhood. Other than the power tilt, it's just a very basic chair, it doesn't even have the front fork suspension new ones come with as standard.

We aren't wealthy, and I'm on assistance which most goes to my parents to care for me (I live at home, my Mom is my primary caregiver) so any purchase we make will have to be done via a fundraiser or different organizations such as Kinsmen or somesuch. It's certainly possible. There's a local young man who got a spiffy new powerchair a few years ago and then recently got a new Track-Chair earlier this year as well.

Burgerman wrote:Are you against importing one?
Ask yourself. How much would you have to spend?
Do you need seat lift? (makes a chair heavy and expensive and sits you higher so less capable outdoors)
Tilt? Recline? Centre footplate? POWER centre footplate?


Arrows are available here in Canada still, it's just SaskAbilities who've decided to go with a different supplier lately, likely due to cost.

I don't own my chair, despite it being customized to fit me since new. I'm also not allowed to further modify it with any fun/nice stuff and they absolutely hate when my Dad fixes it, but what else can we do, in the dead of winter when a bearing goes or the tilt stops working? lol.

No idea on how much could be raised. I'm guessing when it comes time to price one out, we'd want it to be future-proof for 15-20 years and then whatever cost that is, would be the goal to push for.

I absolutely need tilt. I use it a lot to alleviate pressure spots as well as easier transfers when Mom lifts me out/sets me in. I can't use recline with the nature of my disabilities/form.

Seat lift/elevation I do not need, but I'd definitely weigh all the pros and cons of having it because it's infuriating to be too short to see things or reach things sometimes. (my face is generally "ass-level" :( banghead )

I went many years without a footrest because when I made the switch from my youth chair to my first adult chair, the footrest was too far out of reach for my feet and it stuck out too far and hindered my mobility for getting close enough to surfaces like tables, desks, etc. It was only a few years ago that we lucked out and SaskAbilities had a donor set of youth footrests that fit and didn't stick out too far. It's "fixed" and doesn't move and I like that it can be removed if I absolutely need to fit somewhere tight. I do wish that it folded inward instead when I don't want to use it and want to squeeze into a tight spot. I'd like to see a power centre footplate! Mine is the regular two piece footplates/canes but I have a board velcroed down to them, making it one centre plate.

Burgerman wrote:I would advise being sure it takes group24 batts as its much easier to convert to lithium and get 5x the range...
I would also want 4 pole 6mph motors only. Not 8, and never 2 pole.
And unless its used using older generation electronics, that you can get OEM programming tools for, be sure to get R-Net...

And you can do ANY of that list to an old Invacare Action Arrow Storm ... If you have the willpower and eBay and diy skills too.


You're losing me here :lol: I've been so... i don't know, "sheltered"? with the technicians who work on my chairs. They don't tell you shit unless you need to know because they don't want you messing with it. Talk to me like I'm five years old LOL. I have a hell of a lot of learning to do. It's a bit intimidating. Also, while I love learning how things work, I will not be the one maintaining or wrenching on the chair. That would be my Dad or maybe a friend. Likely my Dad, but he's 65 and a biker :lol: He had a "time" reading the manual for his first "newer" motorcycle wiring recently hahaha. He's old-school. But yes, show me some videos or something so I can understand better, please.


Burgerman wrote:Of course you dont have to do any of this. These are what I would do/want. Just to give you some idea what you are looking for. Anything will work.

Maybe a careful read on this lot may help too.

UK website, the Q500R and Q700R chairs are available with centre footrest or swingaway as shown and have front suspension.
https://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/powere ... -sedeo-pro

And
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8035

And
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7455&start=600#p122818

And
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5624

And
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9873

Many different chairs are available. But I do not have a clue whats available in canada. New or used.


Thanks for the great start on my reading!

I will no doubt have many questions as right now, a lot of this stuff I've never heard of before :oops:
User avatar
Moosh89
 
Posts: 48
Joined: 30 Oct 2020, 22:51
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Moosh89 » 31 Oct 2020, 04:11

I'll try get some photos of my current chair setup this weekend and post them so you all can help me decide what to improve on the next chair
User avatar
Moosh89
 
Posts: 48
Joined: 30 Oct 2020, 22:51
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 08:16

When you say can you have lift, tilt etc at the same time. Yes! Many chairs come with tilt options. And that works best with recline, to get pressure relief and prevent sores etc. Even better with legs that lift. And a seat lift or elevator is a seperate option. And yes all at the same time is possible.

See these.
Attachments
810_2350.JPG
Lift alone. Chair goes slow. Feels much higher than it looks. Great at the bar!
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 08:19

Tilt alone.
Attachments
810_2343.JPG
Tilt only. 30% here. degrees common. 45 or more is possible at more cost.
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 08:20

About 25degrees tilt, and legs lifted slightly.
Attachments
810_2344.JPG
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 08:23

Lift, tilt, reclined back, legs lifted. Great for pressure relief which does not need to be lifted as well. But here it is.
Attachments
810_2346.JPG
810_2347.JPG
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 08:25

Same tilt, recline, legs lifted. No lift.
Attachments
810_2345.JPG
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 08:41

No seat lift, or anything else. All these seating options are available on rehab chairs. Any make. Any configuration. Front drive, mid drive, rear drive. But they literally double the cost of any chair. And they also literally double the weight. Those things matter.

The seat lift/elevator in particular is very expensive. It includes recline. It adds an extra inch or more to the seat height too. The added flex in the chassis/seat, and the raised height, as well as the extra 80kg of metalwork and actuators really really affects the outdoor off roar capability. The chair shown is great on roads and foorpaths. Not so hot on soft ground! Or anything where you may fall over as you describe.

Powerchairs are a big compromise. I use a totally different chair with no seating options, lithium battery etc (lighter and way more range but again DIY) for outdoor stuff, unless I know I am just going to the pub or into town to the shopping centre/bank etc. So its a matter of horses for courses. If you only want 1 chair you need to understand these compromises and decide whats the most important for you.

So technology and toys as you describe can be good or bad depending on how you use your chair. The one shown is mostly used indoors. So I can reach stuff, wash van, and to prevent pressure sores by tilting for pressure relief. Leg lift for balance, and to prevent legs swelling. And centre footrest to allow the seat to be moved backwards with heels between casters to shorten the chair, remove "corners" and to move CG back so it steers properly. These are easy changes, just a matter of nuts and bolts. And correct choices. And correct controller/programming/options etc.
Attachments
810_2331.JPG
810_2341.JPG
810_2359.JPG
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 08:44

Heres another. Not recommended as I returned mine. Brushless motors only any good on flat ground and light users or they cut out and stop all play! Again seat moved back, centre footplate rather than swing away ones to allow this.
Attachments
810_1772.JPG
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 08:46

And big indoors. Wheels and tyres are tubeless again... And bigger than stock.
Attachments
810_1786-smaller.JPG
810_1799.JPG
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 09:00

Compromises. More isnt better unless you understand what else it brings!

So most of the time I use a simple much lighter chair for outdoors, or to drive a van from, as its more nimble, faster to change direction, more rigid, smaller, and just easier to use. And because its light and simple with fatter DIY tyres its great on gravel, sand or soft ground like winter grass/mud.

NO seating options at all. Just 4 pole motors, a well programmed controller and thats it!
Theres many chairs like this. Must have centre footrest to be short.

This is the chair I am using today. To do some cleaning around the house. It has just tilt as it added just 10lb to the weight. Its a very old chair that was rebuilt, DIY centre footplate, seat moved back for good control, and DIY cheap steel wheels with strong tubeless tyres. You cant buy those ready to fit. So will be limited to solid foam rubber "run flat" or tubed. That sucks. But thats it unless you do some to help yourself.

Image
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 09:03

You should definitely read this thread too. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9873&start=60

Most of the options are available on arrows. I think. But thats an old design now thats no longer available in europe. Any new one may have the fancy new controller. If it has LiNX run away!

My last chair ('97 Arrow Storm) was appraised at just over $21,000 CAD which factored in my specialized seating (custom built by SaskAbilities Seating specialists to meet my needs) and power tilt. I don't even know what the cost of this chair was (2010 Arrow Storm w/ Power Tilt) but I assume it's the same neighbourhood. Other than the power tilt, it's just a very basic chair, it doesn't even have the front fork suspension new ones come with as standard.


The prices you are quoting are not the real prices. They are somehow inflated to suit the system. If buying privately the real prices are usually way less. But still not cheap. Its easily possible to buy a chair with fancy seating, for less than 4k as new, or demo only on eBay. Its also frequently possible to buy the same thing used, for 1k. And you should. Everyone needs a backup chair. But again it might mean shipping from europe. Dont know what you have on local ebay/other auction sites.
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Colin uk » 31 Oct 2020, 17:26

Moosh89 wrote:
I haven't done a bunch of reading up on chairs but I can see the issue of being too front-heavy. Sometimes on steep ramps I feel it so I try to go down steep ramps slowly, backward with somebody walking and pressing forward at my back to compensate for the shift of weight. Same with curbs or doorsteps, I go down backward and slowly/gently and someone behind, man-handling lol

I'm very set on sticking with Invacare Arrow chairs. Invacare is fairly popular in Canada but again, a lot of people I've seen or know in power chairs were offered mid-wheel drive chairs. Unless they went and bought their own.



Hi Moosh,

Do you have a link to the particular action arrow you are wanting? I did a quick search which just reminded me how awful invacare.ca website is. It looks like they just do Storm 3g's now? Do they still make the 'action arrow storm'?

I'm kinda curious why you want one - it sounds like a death trap for you! Which is no surprise. Sure Burgerman doesn't worry to much about the odd tumble, but it sounds like with your condition your likely more susceptible to injury which ontop of your injury the rehab could cause your condition to suffer rapid deterioration.

Without modification most RWD chairs have too much forward weight. Which makes the drive wheels light, making traction low to zero particularly when handling un-even cambered slopes, you'll have one drive wheel in the air making it impossible to steer the chair. They do this because they are terrified of chairs tipping backwards. (to be honest I'd rather tip backwards than any other direction - if you have a good back rest and head rest it's a pretty painless injury free tip!) Depending on how bad the weight distribution is you'll likely tip forward on very steep ramps, and certainly going off a curb forward - and if a ramp is steep but flat, you'll likely be a bit slidey going down it. BUT it sounds like your chair is a death trap forwards and backwards. Eeek. You said you don't feel confident going forward so you go down backwards - normal. But you also have someone pushing the chair forward to stop it tipping back. IF your dropping down a curb it's a good plan because the jolt of the drop can be enough to tip you, but you must be going down some extreme ramps for a factory chair to feel dangerous backwards too.

I'm guessing your significantly lighter than Burgerman and his chairs are wheelie machines, so quite different than a typical RWD configuration.... but I can't help but think unless you are planning to do burgerman levels of modifications this chair seems quite unsafe for you - If you're going to buy a new chair as a long term purchase you could do with something your going to feel more confident in getting around in.

Burgerman wrote:Heres another. Not recommended as I returned mine. Brushless motors only any good on flat ground and light users or they cut out and stop all play! Again seat moved back, centre footplate rather than swing away ones to allow this.

Gee. That sounds bad. How long ago was this? Are there still no decent brushless motored chairs? I'm guessing you prefer the 6mph chairs than the 8's because they loose torque? Pretty significant is it?
Colin uk
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 31 Oct 2020, 00:53

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 18:21

I'm guessing your significantly lighter than Burgerman

butred

All the brushless motor chairs are invacare and very similar design. They are direct drive, and so lack torque. I mean really lack torque. So to get any sensible torque at all to do say a turn in place on a rear drive chair (heavy caster loads) it take an astounding amount of Amps from the battery. I measured an EMPTY chair, battery cable with a clamp meter. Turn right, 192A. Do the same on a typical 4pole, brushed motor and its 15 to 20A empty chair. If that.

If that chair has me in it, it will turn 3 to 4 times. Then it drops power to a few 10s of amps max. To protect the motors and controller and battery. So will no longer turn or even move sometimes. So getting around my bedroom became impossible within 3 minutes of use. Sit and wait for 5 mins and it works again for about 1 minute... So totally useless by design.
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Moosh89 » 31 Oct 2020, 20:45

Colin uk wrote:
Hi Moosh,

Do you have a link to the particular action arrow you are wanting? I did a quick search which just reminded me how awful invacare.ca website is. It looks like they just do Storm 3g's now? Do they still make the 'action arrow storm'?


Hey Colin!

I don't have a link as I haven't picked one yet. I was looking at invacare.ca yesterday and saw they seem to only carry the Storm 3G Torque now. I would probably go for that one unless educated further in the differences between Storm models and which would best suit my needs as an everyday chair.

Colin uk wrote:I'm kinda curious why you want one - it sounds like a death trap for you! Which is no surprise. Sure Burgerman doesn't worry to much about the odd tumble, but it sounds like with your condition your likely more susceptible to injury which ontop of your injury the rehab could cause your condition to suffer rapid deterioration.


Haha, I haven't had any tips or flips in this chair. I tend to live on the "safe side" of life. In my second chair (Action Tiger youth chair) I flipped backward when trying to get up onto the platform elevator we had on our deck. We had an awkward setup on our deck of a ramp, with a platform lift up the rest of the way to the deck so that it wasn't so steep. Someone had played with the lift and left it not completely down and the folding safety ramp down, looking all "inviting" for me to try use. It was the one day my school sent me home without one of my brothers to escort me. It was raining and cold and I needed to get inside so I tried to go up as carefully as I could and I flipped onto my back and slid down the bit of ramp we had. Luckily my bus driver who had started to drive away saw it and came and flipped me upright, lowered the platform lift fully and buggered off before my parents came to the door so he didn't catch shit lol.

My third chair was the '97 Arrow Storm. Again at school, we used to have to walk over to the community recreation centre to use the gymnasium for phys. ed. The rear door had a very old and narrow, badly cracked sidewalk up to the door. It was snowing heavily that day and the sidewalk was icy. My chair slid off the uneven surface and my left wheels went off the edge of the sidewalk and I promptly tipped over sideways but landed in thick, soft and slushy snow. I was quick enough to bring my left arm up and inside to my torso as I went over so I didn't crush it.

I've always used rear wheel drive chairs, I'm 31 years old and got my first chair when I was 4. I've seen/heard terrible things about mid-wheel drive chairs, especially in our local environment. When things are "accessible" (sidewalk slopes, threshold ramps, sidewalk surfaces, paved roads, etc.) it's usually extremely questionable. In town (Meadow Lake), the city is built on "muskeg" land, so things inevitably shift and crack. Couple that with extreme weather and furious winters and it makes things... interesting!

Front-wheel drive chairs I assume would essentially handle the same as a rear-wheel drive, just backwards, especially when turning. I think it would be disorienting and very confusing for me.

My condition is that I have Central Core Myopathy. It affects 50% of my skeletal muscles, causing them to not mature and grow. As a result, I have severe scoliosis as well as atrophy in my arms and legs from sitting. Thankfully I've not broken any bones yet, but I have had plenty close calls between once when I was little, falling out of my chair and being in a few car accidents over the years.

Colin uk wrote:Without modification most RWD chairs have too much forward weight. Which makes the drive wheels light, making traction low to zero particularly when handling un-even cambered slopes, you'll have one drive wheel in the air making it impossible to steer the chair. They do this because they are terrified of chairs tipping backwards. (to be honest I'd rather tip backwards than any other direction - if you have a good back rest and head rest it's a pretty painless injury free tip!) Depending on how bad the weight distribution is you'll likely tip forward on very steep ramps, and certainly going off a curb forward - and if a ramp is steep but flat, you'll likely be a bit slidey going down it. BUT it sounds like your chair is a death trap forwards and backwards. Eeek. You said you don't feel confident going forward so you go down backwards - normal. But you also have someone pushing the chair forward to stop it tipping back. IF your dropping down a curb it's a good plan because the jolt of the drop can be enough to tip you, but you must be going down some extreme ramps for a factory chair to feel dangerous backwards too.


Yeah haha, you pretty much nailed it with the "extreme" ramps comment. Our deck now is totally different, as is our house. In April 2008 we had a house fire and we rebuilt on the same spot. Our deck now isn't as "ornate" as it was on the old house, but it's "mostly" built to code as far as the ramps go. "Mostly" is thrown in there because insurance/the builders cut so many corners when building that launched a 7 year legal battle which we eventually settled.

I've also used a lot of "shady" items as ramps too (a cracked sheet of hockey arena plexiglass, anyone? czy ).

We used to have a really nice camper trailer. It was a "toy hauler" where there was a large ramp that folded down for ATV quads or dirtbikes. I used it to get in and out. It was definitely too steep, but manageable with going slowly and someone behind me. I never, ever went down it forwards. Dad made a checkerboard threshold ramp to place at the end so it didn't jolt me when I rolled off it. Attached is a screenshot of the video I made of us using it. You can see the threshold ramp leaning against the camper before he places it down.
camper ramp summer 2015.jpg


Colin uk wrote:I'm guessing your significantly lighter than Burgerman and his chairs are wheelie machines, so quite different than a typical RWD configuration.... but I can't help but think unless you are planning to do burgerman levels of modifications this chair seems quite unsafe for you - If you're going to buy a new chair as a long term purchase you could do with something your going to feel more confident in getting around in.


Yeah, my last weigh-in I was 90 lbs. (which is great for me, I was 38 lbs. at 13 years old before I got my gastronomy tube)

I normally feel safe in this chair. I'm confident in my ability of handling and "feeling" when things get a bit "hairy". It's only when I'm forced to do something extreme outdoors that I cave under pressure and lose my "cool" hahaha. We do what we must, in those situations.

When I got this chair in 2010, of course I tested its speed in the long, open hallways of SaskAbilities. I popped it into 3rd gear and dialed the speed knob to max and pinned it out. My hair was gently flowing behind me and I was going the fastest I had ever gone. It was quite a thrill, but I don't like how the chair handles in 3rd gear. It becomes very abrupt and choppy. I only go into that gear when trying to impress my young nephews and niece, or my older brothers :twisted:

I stick to 2nd gear ("Outdoor mode") with the dial maxed when inside or outside. I drive by "pressure" as I have fine motor skills. If I want to go faster, I push harder. If I want to slow down, I ease off. If I want to stop fast, I flick back. I use 4th ("Ramp") in some very extreme ramp situations as I can feel it seems to have better traction and power. It's slooow though, which is probably for the best.

I imagine after doing some thread-reading here that 3rd gear could be programmed better, so it handles smoother or has a steadier transition from going top speed to slowing down or turning. I'd love a speed to use that would be a nice "average person running" speed for situations when I need to "get the f*** out of dodge!" where I could keep up with whoever I'm with.

I'd love some more power to trudge through loose stones/gravel without sinking or hard packed snow/ice without hanging up. I know tire choice will aide in this as well. I can probably ignore trying for loose snow drifts or sandy beaches though as that's a losing battle for an "everyday" chair hahaha.

I found some photos we took of my chair prior to my last visit to SaskAbilities which I'll post in another reply. It's missing my front riggings and my seat base is a bit longer now so it comes up behind my knees better. I'll get current pictures taken ASAP.
User avatar
Moosh89
 
Posts: 48
Joined: 30 Oct 2020, 22:51
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 21:01

A clone of my BM2 chair built by an ex forum member Nandol in portugal. (well his blacksmith freind). The fat tyres on the rear dont sink. The lightly loaded caster wheels (seat well back) also dont sink... So sand no problem.

You could also use a magic mobility V4 or V6 powerchair (rear drive version) to do the same thing.

Image

Anything is possible but this isnt an over the counter chair. The Magic mobility chairs are. They can do this too. But not cheap.
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Moosh89 » 31 Oct 2020, 21:08

Again, these are from 4 years ago and the base of my seat is longer by an inch or so and I now have front riggings/footrest.

DSC_0796.jpg

DSC_0797.jpg

DSC_0798.jpg
User avatar
Moosh89
 
Posts: 48
Joined: 30 Oct 2020, 22:51
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Moosh89 » 31 Oct 2020, 21:09

Tilt

DSC_0806.jpg

DSC_0807.jpg

DSC_0808.jpg
User avatar
Moosh89
 
Posts: 48
Joined: 30 Oct 2020, 22:51
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Moosh89 » 31 Oct 2020, 21:10

Me in the chair
DSC_0817.jpg

DSC_0818.jpg

DSC_0819.jpg
User avatar
Moosh89
 
Posts: 48
Joined: 30 Oct 2020, 22:51
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 21:16

You seem to be sitting very high. Hard to tell from those pics. Which is why you feel that it will tip easily. Is there a reason for that?

And with solid tyres all around. And small casters. Outdoors that would be harsh, partly from the tyres but also because you sit high. So any movement of the chairs angle, in roll or pitch will jerk you around. And a long way forwards. So the small solid casters have your weight such that it is, over them. That causes the rear wheels to lose traction, and the chair to steer less well. But since you sit high maybe someone is worried about it tipping backwards on a ramp. As it it it looks like it will tip forwards instead...

You need to be sitting a few inches lower I think. And a little further back.
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Moosh89 » 31 Oct 2020, 21:18

More...
DSC_0820.jpg

DSC_0821.jpg

front riggings.jpg
After last modifications in 2018, front riggings/footrest
User avatar
Moosh89
 
Posts: 48
Joined: 30 Oct 2020, 22:51
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 21:30

In your country is there any place you can go to be assessed and fitted (up?) for a powerchair? That will not force you into a mid drive?
And is there any place or insurer etc that will pay for a chair?

Not all mid drive chairs are useless outdoors.
This one is pretty wide and long though. Did I mention that everything is a compromise? Theres a rear drive version too.


youtu.be/-sI1lA0_QiY
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Moosh89 » 31 Oct 2020, 21:30

Burgerman wrote:A clone of my BM2 chair built by an ex forum member Nandol in portugal. (well his blacksmith freind). The fat tyres on the rear dont sink. The lightly loaded caster wheels (seat well back) also dont sink... So sand no problem.

You could also use a magic mobility V4 or V6 powerchair (rear drive version) to do the same thing.

Image

Anything is possible but this isnt an over the counter chair. The Magic mobility chairs are. They can do this too. But not cheap.


OHH MAN! Seeing this made me smile sooo big my face hurts! I can only dream of riding on a sandy beach like that! Not that we hit any beaches very often, but if I could ride like that, we probably would go! I'll have to find the pics of the time me and my ex-brother-in-law took my last chair (the '97 Arrow) down to the beach around 2006-2007 :lol: I was shooting sand up 6 feet in the air behind me and absolutely BURIED myself hahaha

Burgerman wrote:You seem to be sitting very high. Hard to tell from those pics. Which is why you feel that it will tip easily. Is there a reason for that?

And with solid tyres all around. And small casters. Outdoors that would be harsh, partly from the tyres but also because you sit high. So any movement of the chairs angle, in roll or pitch will jerk you around. And a long way forwards. So the small solid casters have your weight such that it is, over them. That causes the rear wheels to lose traction, and the chair to steer less well. But since you sit high maybe someone is worried about it tipping backwards on a ramp. As it it it looks like it will tip forwards instead...

You need to be sitting a few inches lower I think. And a little further back.


Well my seat bottom is a few specially curated foams. It needs to be firm enough that I don't sink into the seat and can easily slide my butt around when I tilt back and lift myself by tipping my head back and "hooking" it over the back of my seat. That adds a few inches for sure, but if the seat itself can sit lower, they haven't bothered trying. I didn't realize I sit high. I have wondered a few times if my seat can be moved back a bit.

I definitely feel tippy when I go on an angle of say, the side of a road towards the ditch or turn sideways on a wide ramp :shock:
User avatar
Moosh89
 
Posts: 48
Joined: 30 Oct 2020, 22:51
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 21:45

Look at the snow vid above. Thats the V6 magic mobiity chair. It works on beaches just as well as nandols chair.

The V6 and the rear drive version, (the V4 in this country at least) work on beaches for the same reason my own chairs here do:
http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/BM-MK3- ... rchair.htm (scroll down)

You cannot push that fat tyre into the sand.

These tyres also work:
http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/images- ... mp-car.jpg

But they wear out on concrete and tarmac way way too fast and feel "bobbly"... Notice that I use fas 3 inch wide and 10 inch diameter tyres on casters too. So they give a softer ride at lower pressures, and so they dont sink in the mud when I go on soft ground.

But again, this is all compromise. To fit the fat tyres would make the chair too wide. So you must move the motors inboard 3 inches each side. And thats where the batteries were... It all ends up as a major DIY engineering exersize. If I was sat high, non of that would work. It wouldnt be stable, and would get caster shake at speed and would tip me out more often than happens already! Because I made it smaller than the V6 and V4 magic mobility chairs. They are more stable outdoors, but physically longer and wider. Compromises...
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Power Wheelchair "Veteran", but "Noob" for features

Postby Burgerman » 31 Oct 2020, 21:54

Anyway, all of these mods and chairs are modified and mine. Other than the V6 V4 chairs. The idea isnt to make you want or do the same. They were all bought/built/modified to suit ME. Mostly they wouldnt siut you. The idea is to give you an idea of all the parameters, and changes, and possibilities. And more importanly why. So that you can priioritise your own set of best compromises. It will let you understand what to choose, and why. So now your head is spinning you need to make a list of prorities. And see whats available, what can be done. Whats on eBay... Whats available to you and who is going to pay for it...
User avatar
Burgerman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 54275
Joined: 27 May 2008, 21:24
Location: United Kingdom

Next

Return to Everything Powerchair

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: duke1, FishMan, Google [Bot], MarkFox, rover220, shirley_hkg, woodygb and 54 guests

 

  eXTReMe Tracker