PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

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Re: The 'Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration' List!

Postby Mechniki » 15 Jan 2019, 11:07

Wheel-less wrote:I only have the very limited Sirocco. This is a size issue as I live in a basement flat, down 10 steps. The wheelchair lift that I have is the smallest and the platform comes down to the small area in front of my door so I can only have a wheelchair that is close to a manual wheelchair size. Anything much larger and I would not be able to open my door.

The range on the Sirocco is rubbish. I know the stated range on electric chairs is shockingly inaccurate. But some makes may be "less inaccurate" than others...In the case of my Sirocco, the range for new batteries tends to be around a FIFTH to a TENTH of the stated range of 25 miles; So the best range I've ever gotten was around 5 miles for NEW batteries, which decreases down to around a sixteenth of a mile (and losing one of my two green lights) when the batteries get old.

This is a problem because I live in London, and NOTHING is that close. Living in the King's Cross area, I can't even get to the West of London except by paying for a cab.

I'm wondering, therefore, if anyone can suggest a small chair with better (actual) range that might take, say, 75ah batteries? I will have to get one second hand as my pension would have to be saved until a few decades after my death in order to afford a new one! My old Sirocco is making noises that suggest it is not long for this world, and I haven't a clue about what sort might be more reliable and increase my range.

I am a luddite and technophobe, so do not waste your technical expertise on me. It truly would be like trying to make a silk purse from a sow's ear.

Oh, and Burgerman, I love/hate looking at your chairs and reading about their range and speed! Oh, Jealousy! But thank you for this forum!!!!!


I looked at the Sirocco myself. https://www.betterlifehealthcare.com/el ... chair/1373
it would take their 55ah battery, but it adds a lot of weight. I have the Marbella P200 which is a little wide at the drive end, after warranty I can switch the 14 inch rear wheels (they're not actually 14 inch wheels, the diameter of the tyres is) to invacare wheels and hubs using the primo rubber (black) pneumatics as pneumatics aid suspension where there is none. The springs on the Marbella merely serve as a damper for the motors when the wheel hits a bump. I estimate the range on new batteries on the Sirocco with standard 35Ah batteries at about 7 miles about 10 miles with the 55Ah batteries. But you would have to make daily trips to discharge the batteries sufficiently to get them maintained properly. There are some 4wd wheelchairs with a relatively small footprint, that would fit on a small lift. I assume you mean stair lift. But these 4wd chairs are not as good as BMs powerchairs and will have limited range to, except they can climb stairs, and turn within their own space. But they can also cost south of £10,000

The Energi Enigma, has a larger footprint. It wont go through my bedroom door frame. The Energi Enigma Plus, has a smaller footprint and will get into my bedroom. I only really mention these two, as I noticed that with a little cutting of the motor support brackets, the motors could be mounted vertical on the frame and the wheels (very similar to the invacare) could have their built in hub shortened. There by making the chairs shorter and narrower. But making a chair too narrow, would not make it an ideal outdoor wheelchair.

Similar dimensions of the Sirocco https://www.betterlifehealthcare.com/el ... chair/9837 but that wont take the larger 55Ah battery unless you change the battery cases. Though shorter (specs) it is 4cm wider.

Unfortunately UK law doesn't allow towing of baskets and battery packs behind wheelchairs or scooters. So you are stuck with stock wheelchairs, unless you want to invalidate your wheelchairs' warranty. If you are not bothered by the warranty just switch to one of the approved Lithium batteries recommended on this site. Fit them in your battery boxes so only you are the wiser.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Burgerman » 15 Jan 2019, 11:15

The real problem is that all the chairs you are looking at use small batteries and are intended for primarily indoors and are the sort of thing you see in old peoples homes. If you want a battery that isnt overworked outdoors you need to be looking at chairs with 70Ah or 80Ah grp24 battery sizes. And preferably some suspension.

But you would have to make daily trips to discharge the batteries sufficiently to get them maintained properly.


What idiot told you that?
Thats what RUINS lead batteries. They last forever if never discharged and kept full and topped up regularly.
They have 1000s of shallow cycles, so a bigger battery makes them last massively longer, esp if you keep charging often!!! And dont go very far.
A small battery or any battery discharged deeply and regularly lasts a few months at best.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby foghornleghorn » 15 Jan 2019, 12:07

Burgerman wrote:What idiot told you that?

It's leftover knowledge from the original mobile phones with NiCad batteries and seems to be regularly given out as charging advice for anything.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Burgerman » 15 Jan 2019, 12:28

Well its not actually true for Ni-Cad cells either. The only case that that was true was in the early days when they didnt use sintered plate materials, and where it was under extremely hard to repeat conditions. It was NASA in a satellite where there was a specific discharge, and recharge current and drain. And even they had trouble reproducing it. And it wasnt memory in the sense that each cell remembered its discharge level, it was that over time the cells became unbalanced as a pack. So there was some cells that were say 60% full, and so the pack ran out after 60% of its charge had gone...

Since then everyone KNOWS that ni-cads have "memory". And theres all sorts of papers discussing xstal sizes, and dendrites etc but its mostly all bull. One proper charge, discharge cycle and they are back to normal. And in any case it doesn't apply to lead, lithium, or any other cell type regardless.

Lead HATES to be discharged.
Hates HEAT.
Hates being left in a discharged state.
Hates to be discharged deeply.
Loves to be FULL.
Loves to be kept on float at 13.4V room temp indefinitely.
Loves to be charged PROPERLY and that rules out mobility chargers mostly...
Loves top ups whenever you get chance during the day.

Lithium HATES to be discharged at high rates.
Lithium hates to be charged at high rates.
Lithium hates to be full.
Lithium REALLY hates to be over voltage even fractionally when charging.
Lithium hates to be discharged too far.
Lithium hates to be stored full, and esp if its warm!!!
Lithium loves to be between 30 and 70% charged. And stored. And cool.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Mechniki » 15 Jan 2019, 14:26

Wayne told me, the wheelchair services Engineer
even if what said is true, how can my NHS XTR2 HD never do more than about a mile and a half with 50Ah Invacare (MKUltras with invacare sticker plastered over the top). On constant charge with the Invacare Opticharge
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby steves1977uk » 15 Jan 2019, 15:24

99% of mobility chargers always ruins batteries faster because they charge at 28.8v or higher and stop charging at around 1A, and some have no float voltage at all! :fencing Ideally MK batteries are best charged at 28.2v at room temp and termination current of around 200mA, then go on float at 27.2v indefinitely until needed.

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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby LROBBINS » 15 Jan 2019, 16:40

To put some authoritative emphasis on what Burgerman has said about discharging lead batteries as little as possible, here's a graph taken from the Odyssey technical manual. It shows cycle life after repeatedly discharging to a given depth of discharge and recharging with proper charge profile for the Odyssey (a higher voltage than for gel. The more you discharge the battery before recharging, the sooner it will die - by a LOT.
cycle life.jpg
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Mechniki » 15 Jan 2019, 17:16

thanks guys

So in reality, mine I don't sit in the same place too long, I move about, do other things, go outside for a cancer stick. Is it a good idea to keep the AGM batteries on charge when not moving and pull the charger out before it has fully recharged. See generally I only charge my Roma at night, as it charges next to my bed. I use a manual wheelchair if I need the bathroom overnight, Voyager Hoist
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby LROBBINS » 15 Jan 2019, 17:36

Is it a good idea to keep the AGM batteries on charge when not moving and pull the charger out before it has fully recharged.
Yes
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Burgerman » 15 Jan 2019, 18:18

You MUST top up as often as possible, and charge FULLY overnight or longer daily as well.
You MUST use a good charger (here comes the next problem) to suit the battery type chemistry.
You must use QUALITY batteries, and 50Ah is also too small.

Wayne told me, the wheelchair services Engineer

:lol: :lol: :lol: What a retard.

even if what said is true, how can my NHS XTR2 HD never do more than about a mile and a half with 50Ah Invacare (MKUltras with invacare sticker plastered over the top). On constant charge with the Invacare Opticharge


Because the battery is incorrectly charged and a 50Ah battery is only any good if its QUALITY and correctly charged. And 50Ah is too small for outdoors. Meaning it soon dies and you have little range.

Is this an AGM MK? Those are crap! Drop into the nearest lake.
And the charger is junk. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Invacare ... 3234158211 this???
1. too low amps. 3A charger? That will take 20+ hours to properly charge a 50Ah battery. It will take 10 hours just to put back 30Ah! And another 8 hours at CV.

2. Also claims to charge both AGM and Gel with the same charger and no voltage settings. So thats also impossible. And it will give a green light long before the battery is actually charged. It will need to remain on charge 10 hours after the green ready light, or it will rapidly sulfate.

So crap battery, useless charger, stupid clueless engineer, and the battery is undersized for real outdoor use. The perfect storm. And you wonder why it goes 1 mile.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Swan T.W. » 15 Jan 2019, 18:50

Posted previously in wrong spot.What about this charger? https://www.ebikes.ca/documents/Grin_Sa ... .3_WEB.pdf
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Burgerman » 15 Jan 2019, 19:04

Broken link.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Mechniki » 15 Jan 2019, 19:27

The Spectra XTR2 HD is an NHS wheelchair with GEL Batteries Part of the problem is the controller has a built in self leveling function that stops the wheelchair skidding on cambers, and that drains the batteries - if I want range I have to use the road, which is flatter - but not safe.Don the senior WCS Engineer was going to come last year to re program the chair, after the NHS's approved repairers replaced the batteries. Except the approved repairers have a back log so my batteries are more than a year old. But it was on charge with the NHS's Invacare 8 amp charger, until about August when the NHS sent out a special charger that would continuously charge, without allowing a drop in Voltage. Then in September the approved repairers came out, (I was told by WCS that they were going to Barcode the new charger). However the guy turned up and said he was there to barcode my NHS Action 3 (that chair is 14+ years old). I sent an email to WCS. They said they were astonished that the wrong thing was done and would get back to me. Since then I have sent at least 4 emails to the manager of WCS none have been replied to. I am getting desperate now and feel I should replace the batteries myself. When I spoke to the NHS WCS originally about the problem, I had advocates to speak for me and help me.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Burgerman » 15 Jan 2019, 19:57

The Spectra XTR2 HD is an NHS wheelchair with GEL Batteries Part of the problem is the controller has a built in self leveling function that stops the wheelchair skidding on cambers, and that drains the batteries -

From that I got GEL batteries. Are you sure?
Because if so that charger you are using will toast them...
And the self leveler uses very little power. And it doesn't stop skidding.

if I want range I have to use the road, which is flatter - but not safe.

The chair uses MUCH power trying to stop the front caster wheels heading down any slope, as that chair is way too nose heavy. This is why it goes further on the flat road. Not the leveler... And that will always be the case. Unless you move the CG back. This accounts for why you get no range... And ruin the small batteries. But the batteries you said you had were AGM not gel... So still baffled here.

Don the senior WCS Engineer

:lol: :lol: :clap Comedy! I have met a few.

was going to come last year to re program the chair, after the NHS's approved repairers replaced the batteries.

1. They only have dealer level programmers and those cant make them steer properly for a bunch of reasons there isnt room to explain here, see the pinned thread at the top.
2. WHAT are these batteries?

Except the approved repairers have a back log so my batteries are more than a year old. But it was on charge with the NHS's Invacare 8 amp charger, until about August when the NHS sent out a special charger that would continuously charge, without allowing a drop in Voltage.

What that is, is the blind leading the blind. Non of them have a damned clue.
Then in September the approved repairers came out, (I was told by WCS that they were going to Barcode the new charger). However the guy turned up and said he was there to barcode my NHS Action 3 (that chair is 14+ years old). I sent an email to WCS. They said they were astonished that the wrong thing was done and would get back to me. Since then I have sent at least 4 emails to the manager of WCS none have been replied to. I am getting desperate now and feel I should replace the batteries myself. When I spoke to the NHS WCS originally about the problem, I had advocates to speak for me and help me.

Thats what socialist medicine does. It employs any clueless halfwitt. And then they sit about, waste months, having meetings with clip boards and coffee. And NOTHING ever gets done. Because they dont care, they are paid regardless. And they dont have a clue anyway. What the hell is a barcode for???
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby foghornleghorn » 15 Jan 2019, 20:25

Anything Invacare categorises as Indoor/Outdoor you can pretty much ignore the Outdoor part if your idea of Outdoor is anything other than a level car park.

They are really skimping on things to supply a wheelchair with 50Ah batteries while saying
The Invacare Spectra XTR 2 HD is the ideal mobility aid for larger individuals to use in everyday life.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Mechniki » 15 Jan 2019, 21:15

Yes BM. The Spectra has Gel Batteries. The Marbella has AGM's (they were replaced under warranty on the 17th December 2018) - I just don't want to run out of power again. So an add on sounds perfect, as it wouldn't matter which chair I took out. The add on could fit either chair.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Swan T.W. » 15 Jan 2019, 22:42

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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Burgerman » 15 Jan 2019, 23:26

What is it going to be used for?
Link still no work! But I know those chargers.

Its a slightly programmable limited voltage range, CC/CV charger. But its only 360? watts... That charger does not do 10% of what the PL8 can do, and its way less powerful than the 1340 watt PL8? Which is capable of all chemistries, and hundreds of charge parameters, time limits, cc, trickle, CV CC/CV, and from 1.5V to 30V or 60 with two linked, 90v with 3, etc. And it says its a lithium charger. But only if your battery uses a BMS. As it doesn't balance cells etc.

Are they cheap? It may be useful for a lead chair if you cant find anything that does as you want.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Mechniki » 16 Jan 2019, 00:01

Apologies BM my given information was wrong about the Spectra, I just finished putting the batteries back in, to check what type of battery and found something I didn't know AS THEIR ~'#@# Engineers (AJ M Healthcare) put the wrong Ah battery in
34Ah.jpg
34Ah.jpg (48.7 KiB) Viewed 12370 times

The Opticharge is the charger for it
opticharge.jpg
opticharge.jpg (20.92 KiB) Viewed 12370 times

it is supposed to maintain a constant charge
opti back.jpg
opti back.jpg (40.75 KiB) Viewed 12370 times
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Burgerman » 16 Jan 2019, 00:45

That charger claims to be able to charge both GEL which you have (had since they are now toast). And AGM. Which tells me that its junk.

It is trying to be all things.
It cannot know what battery is attached.
A gel battery wants between 13.8V and 14.1V maximum, as it charges.
An AGM battery wants between 14.4V and 14.8V as it charges.

Most of those types of chargers that claim to charge gel and AGM are fixed at 14.4 to 14.6V. What that charger does is TWO bad things.

1. It undercharges. You need to keep charging overnight, and longer. Esp so as its just 3A! You charge till current falls to a very low level (lower than that charger allows) and then it drops the volts to 13.6V per battery. And thats when the green comes on. 6 to 10 hours later its REALLY charged.

2. Its TOO HIGH VOLTS! Charging at just 0.7V too high removes 60% of your batteries service life.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Mechniki » 16 Jan 2019, 10:16

27v.jpg
27v.jpg (44.26 KiB) Viewed 12355 times
I do think the Spectra' batteries are toast. Been monitoring them without the charger being plugged in since 7am, and they lost nearly a volt . so discharge without load
26.4.jpg
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Burgerman » 16 Jan 2019, 11:01

They charge at 14.1 volt. or 14.4V. Likely the wrong one...

They then float on the charger at 13.6v. Indefinitely.

When removed, they will drop over time to 12.85 eventually IF FULLY CHARGED. But lower if not. Were they on charge for at least 24 hours? Its a THREE AMP charger, and the float after the green light continues the charge. So leave them on for a full day.

But if you have not been doing this, for say 12 to 16 hours, then they are likely ruined by now anyway.

Also your photos are too small... Cant see any details.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby foghornleghorn » 16 Jan 2019, 12:25

Mechniki wrote:Apologies BM my given information was wrong about the Spectra, I just finished putting the batteries back in, to check what type of battery and found something I didn't know AS THEIR ~'#@# Engineers (AJ M Healthcare) put the wrong Ah battery in

From my own experience of AJM that doesn't surprise me at all.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Burgerman » 16 Jan 2019, 12:29

All of these experts appear to be complete idiots. Theres about 1 percent with a clue, and they are on here!

Why on earth do you people think otherwise?
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Swan T.W. » 16 Jan 2019, 20:33

Burgerman wrote:What is it going to be used for?
Link still no work! But I know those chargers.

Its a slightly programmable limited voltage range, CC/CV charger. But its only 360? watts... That charger does not do 10% of what the PL8 can do, and its way less powerful than the 1340 watt PL8? Which is capable of all chemistries, and hundreds of charge parameters, time limits, cc, trickle, CV CC/CV, and from 1.5V to 30V or 60 with two linked, 90v with 3, etc. And it says its a lithium charger. But only if your battery uses a BMS. As it doesn't balance cells etc.

Are they cheap? It may be useful for a lead chair if you cant find anything that does as you want.

Self programable for AGM or GEL, 8 or 15 amp. with XLR and anderson connectors. Might be useful if true.Do not know price. Updated link https://www.ebikes.ca/product-info/cycle-satiator.html
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Burgerman » 16 Jan 2019, 20:40

If affordable, and can set a correct CC/CV and 8 hour time limit on CV, and a 1000thC termination, then they would be good for low power XLR charging up to 12A.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Swan T.W. » 16 Jan 2019, 21:07

Burgerman wrote:If affordable, and can set a correct CC/CV and 8 hour time limit on CV, and a 1000thC termination, then they would be good for low power XLR charging up to 12A.

https://www.ebikes.ca/documents/Satiato ... V1.0FW.pdf $360-400 Canadian pesos.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby Burgerman » 16 Jan 2019, 21:37

Well a PL8 is many times more capable, and 5 times as powerful at max power, and cheaper. So maybe not unless you desperately need one with built in power supply. Its biggest issue is that its limited to 360 watts. Right now I am charging my chair at 40A and 29.4V next to my bed. Thats 29.4 x 40 = 1170 watts, plus 10% for losses. So it can only do under 1/3rd of that. As an XLR slow bedside charger it would be great. Set to 12A. And programmable. At a quite high price.
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby shirley_hkg » 05 Sep 2019, 08:08

Can you point me where to get an Invacare TDX sp2 service manual please ? cheers
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Re: PINNED - Powerchairs Worthy of Consideration List!

Postby greybeard » 05 Sep 2019, 08:52

Shirley, just emailed a PDF to the email address you use for PayPal.
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