Hello from New Zealand

You dont have to, but its interesting!

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Hello from New Zealand

Postby TDXNZ » 11 Aug 2015, 02:30

Good morning/afternoon, or evening.

My name is Malcolm and I reside in the lower part of the South Island of New Zealand in a town called Dunedin. I’ve used power wheelchairs the majority of my life (starting at the age of 6 in 1971). I have cerebral palsy quadriplegia. I find John’s website to be incredibly informative and very interesting, not being affiliated with any wheelchair brand means that John is free to express his opinions and more importantly technical expertise.

In my opinion the wheelchair industry has made great gains in many areas (improvements especially in rehab seating and some driver control input methods), I believe that knowledge is power and more informed we are as a group the better.

It’s amazing the changes are seen in my own personal use of wheelchairs over 40 years:

1. They no longer routinely heat up with the controllers catching on fire (you have to try extremely hard for that to happen).

2. I’m no longer forced to sit on a piece of canvas that stretches over time to touch the battery terminals, because of rehab setting I can now be comfortable.

3. Better mileage,it may not be perfect yet but in the early to mid 1970s it could be atrocious


I look forward to reading more opinions on this board and appreciate what John does

Kind regards,

Malcolm.
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Re: Hello from New Zealand

Postby Burgerman » 11 Aug 2015, 09:08

It’s amazing the changes are seen in my own personal use of wheelchairs over 40 years:

1. They no longer routinely heat up with the controllers catching on fire (you have to try extremely hard for that to happen).
2. I’m no longer forced to sit on a piece of canvas that stretches over time to touch the battery terminals, because of rehab setting I can now be comfortable.
3. Better mileage,it may not be perfect yet but in the early to mid 1970s it could be atrocious


1 was because modern electronics became available. The microchip, mosfets/transistor took over. Nothing has improved here though for 17 years now. Other than bigger pods that get in the way, and more seating/programming options. And if you use them hard they still overheat. Too cheap on mosfets and cooling.

2 Bolting a 70s office chair onto it would have been better than what they did. We already had comfortable seats in vehicles, houses etc. That was pure laziness rather than technology. A reuse of manual wheelchairs with some batteries and motors tacked on.

3. Because they used acid filled batteries that were way too small rattling around in the bottom. Once they figured out that was wrong they fitted the new fangled deep cycle batteries, around 3 decades ago, and still have not moved to lithium. Which everything else has a decade ago. That allows THREE TIMES more range than you get today.

This development shouldn't amaze you it should frustrate and depress you due to how far behind the real world they still are!
EG read this: http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/BM-MK3- ... rchair.htm
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Re: Hello from New Zealand

Postby TDXNZ » 12 Aug 2015, 06:02

Hi John,

You are right! I think the improvements in my case had come down to seating, slightly better ride. The work that I had to go through to get this hospital funded wheelchair in the first place was more effort then I needed to purchase a home.

It was far more intense, involved the writing of a 72 page report by the therapist's as far as it goes they were willing to help essentially wanting to get the seating right.
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Re: Hello from New Zealand

Postby Burgerman » 12 Aug 2015, 06:25

Seating has improved over the years. To a much greater degree than the antiquated slow charging and short range/short lifespan heavy lead brick battery technology, brushed motor, solid or tubed tyre base has. They have a few fancy colours and look prettier but essentially are pretty much the same and about a decade or so out of date.

That's important to some. (fancy seating) Although many of us that are not quads, don't really care about that. As a paraplegic, power, range, speed, ability to turn, stop, go in rapid accurate controlled succession like a computer game is of way more importance. We expect more from a chair.

And no stock powerchair does that or even gets close to what's needed. As such powerchairs are generally pretty much ignored by the thousands of wheelie loving manual chair using paraplegics as overweight under performing tanks for the "disabled"... That used to be my attitude too. And they still are quite frankly. Hence the hacksaw and this site!
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