Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

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Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby SydRae » 25 Apr 2016, 02:45

I really appreciate this forum and my last chair is on the fritz and I wanted to see if I could get some input from you all on an affordable powerchair. I will be using it indoors at work and on errands and outdoor traveling up to 5 miles on crappy city streets and sidewalks to get to work, so it must be reliable. I would also like one that can also handle some rain if it came down to it. I don't need many add-ons for rehab purposes but I have a slight delay in my motor reaction so I'd like something that has a quick response. I am used to a chair that can handle curb cuts and rough terrain with ease but I also want something thats narrow enough to grocery shop with and to fit in public restrooms. I am looking at the Otto Bock 500, the Foldawheel PW1000XL, the Meyra Optimus 2, as well as some others. I don't know a lot about the different kinds of batteries and I am unable to work on my own chair. Thank you for your time and assistance.

Syd
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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby SydRae » 25 Apr 2016, 05:56

This was my last ride. I am sad to see it go as I have been using a version of the segway for the past 13 years. I am now considering the quickie S636 and I was wondering if you all have any recommendations for the specs (from manufacturer or after market) if I want it to be a burly street machine. Thanks again.
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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby Burgerman » 25 Apr 2016, 12:03

Those are vastly different types of chairs.

I might suggest you start by reading this thread.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5624
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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby Sully » 25 Apr 2016, 14:58

Have you looked at Tom Kilmore"s custom chair? I believe you are a Brit, He is as well. He custom makes his chair from off the shelf electrics, motors, etc that is modeled after the BM2 chair built by The Burgerman. I doubt he will disappear soon, or at least I hope not. Give him a jingle and see what he has to offer. Take a look at his work and product, before you commit yourself to anything. He has a couple of threads on this site, and I believe he also has contact information there as well. He does custom make these things so he may not have any spares to allow you to try one out.
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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby Sully » 25 Apr 2016, 15:52

The proper name of Tom Is Kilmore, NOT Kilgore sorry Tom.
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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby Burgerman » 25 Apr 2016, 16:13

I fixed it earlier!
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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby SydRae » 26 Apr 2016, 03:46

Thanks @Burgerman and @Sully for your input, I'm working up a compare and contrast for real wheel drive chairs I can get worked on in California that may also be Medicare/caid eligible in the $4-6K range including the Quickie S636-46, the Invacare Storm Ranger X, and the Quickie Salsa R2 with this list from @Burgerman for my guide although not sure everything on the list will be in my price range and medically justifiable.

- min of 100A or 120A control system.
- min grp 24 battery.
- rear drive preferred for outdoors, with a few notable acceptions that are not rear drive!
- rehab seating options
- high speed options. 6mph bare minimum.
- 4 pole motors or brushless if possible!
- Must use a control system that we can easily get hold of a programmer for. A major independent supplier rather than wheelchair own brands.

Also speaking with another friendly gentleman about techniques to get around the indoor use requirement that Medicare uses to keep folks like myself from acquiring an indoor/OUTDOOR independence machine with medical necessity being the key parameter. Thanks again, and I hope you'll take a look at my compare contrast when I post it in a few days and let me know what you think.
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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby Sully » 26 Apr 2016, 16:58

Well I'm batting 0% You are a Calif. gal Not a Brit, oh well!
You have a tough road ahead to get Medicare to approve some independent manufacturer/inventor, who hasn't spent the equal of the National Debt, trying to achieve approval to sell what is called "Durable Medical Equipment" process. Unfortunately, there have been fly by night guys who have already abused this industry, the same as any nefarious jerks that can find a way to make a short, and quick buck, screwing the public and thus the government intervention. Since the govt's have a stake in medical equipment "they" support with money's in their "Trust". So...I do get it.

Now since I still seem to have a poor guessing average, my guess they will keep the same process in place, for a long time to come. And we who are not "quite" pleased with the standard production models available will have to foot our own bills for, the close to exact, chairs we think we want, or do it ourselves.

So my advice to anyone who is planning to get into such a venture just try to read the whole of the pages of this Site; WheelChairDriver, you will get an idea of what John Williamson has put into the things he does, and how this site can be so valuable to Wheeler's from all over this world. If y'all bother it may well give you a different perspective on many items that gets spoken about in the forum.

If y'all do that, then sit beck and ask yourself if John had never had that horrific accident, would he ever have given a thought to any of this? MY answer would be a definite "NO". Even though many of the things would have been randomly created but very likely never gathered together in such a way as it is here. And also with some outstanding contributors.

The sad part is the ideas found here have been slow to be included into the commercialized models made by "Approved" manufacturers products. Now this is not saying that John's BM-1 or BM-2 were perfect for "every wheel chair user" He is now creating his BM-3 model and likely continue to reinvent another and another until he gives it up. A perfectionist is never truly content with what he does.

So, SydRae, you can see your options, for today and into the future. Perhaps you can become and advocate for some kind of change in the "Durable Medical Equipment" business or maybe just Powered wheel chairs, I hope your youth bring with it the energy to make change. Good Luck
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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby SydRae » 02 May 2016, 19:12

@Sully, thanks for your honesty. I really do love this site and I tend to get lost on it for hours on end. I am actually beginning a position at a prestigious disability rights org this summer and I hope to work with them to progress Medicare's archaic rules, although I realize it's no easy feat. I found a couple chairs on ebay and I wanted to see if you guys have any thoughts on them/recommendations as to which might be the most reliable street journey chair. I don't need the tilt/recline but it seems many of the group three chairs come with these features. Also, who would work on these chairs if there was a problem? Thanks guys, I really appreciate your help and time.

Invacare Storm Series Torque 3 - $1,200
http://www.ebay.com/itm/222023394858?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

Invacare Storm Series Ranger X 2GT Power Wheelchair - $1,600
http://www.ebay.com/itm/181279022342?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

Quickie S646 Motorized Wheelchair - $2,400
http://www.ebay.com/itm/231711472751?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT
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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby SydRae » 03 May 2016, 01:19

And there's this badboy - Permobil Street Power Wheelchair on auction- http://www.ebay.com/itm/222102415605?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT
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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby Sully » 03 May 2016, 19:45

OK my take for what it is worth; #1 is the only one that with 4 pole motors, I know nothing about the Permobile I do like the Invacare Torque models. But it is my humble opinion that the additional equipment such as tilt and "stuff" will be the most troublesome. These have sensors that can be troublesome at times. The kiss principal is always the best way to attack power chairs. (Keep it simple stupid)

Another thing, Usually shipping a chair long distances with the batteries in it is a waste of money, new ones are more dependable, not cheap though, and the old ones are heavy and undependable.

Who will service/fix your troubles; well you should look for a reputable repair company there are some national companies and if you are in a population center perhaps they are more easily found. Or if you are mechanical, yes, women can be mechanically adept, you can ask for help from the guys here. I don't think any of them will talk down to a woman seeking such advice. Aside from this try to find someone you trust and have faith in to learn about the operation and maintenance of these gadgets.

You mention getting a position in a prestigious disability organization, don't fall for the old supposedly tried and not always true idea's. Think and learn on your own. Listen and speak little (I talk too much), but on Saturday I will be 77 so that gives me some privilege. :lol: Have you read all the [url]Wheelchairdriver.com[/url] pages? Lots of good stuff there.

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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 04 May 2016, 22:12

I've got the Foldawheel 1000XL and, although I love it, it's not really a full time chair. It's extremely useful for travel and occasional use (and even comfortable to sit in for protracted periods, in spite of its fairly basic cushioning), but would probably get a bit tiring for daily use, particularly if you're doing extended journeys over bad city pavement.

I've demoed a Quickie 646 and it feels very solid and well build. It handled well and could corner quickly without instability. If I were doing a lot of street driving, I'd probably plump for the SE model, which is a couple of mph faster. It really depends on the terrain you cover, though. If it's very hilly, the non-SE model might be better for you, because it will have a bit more torque.

For my main chair, I'm using a Magic Mobility Frontier V6. It's an all terrain model but I swap the big low pressure outdoor tires for narrower indoor ones unless I'm going to the woods or the beach. It's a great chair but, like all lead battery power chairs, it's a heavy beast. If it's been a while since you've been in a non-Segway chair, it'll take a little time to get used to the feeling you've moved from a sportscar to a bus.
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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby SydRae » 14 May 2016, 01:20

@Sully, thanks for your input, I really appreciate it. Do you know if there is a list of American chairs that are real wheel drive with 4 poles? It seems if you aren't mechanically inclined it's a bit difficult to ascertain the truth of the matter and I find that some of the sellers on ebay are not quite sure. Also, do you know if the tilt and recline features are easily removable from a used chair? I will probably have a chair shipped without batteries to a Berkeley/Oakland repair company when I get settled. I wish I could work on one myself, but my hands are not the most predictable. Happy belated Birthday btw, I just had one too. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

@MenCallMeGrumpy, thanks to you too. You have helped me understand that maybe the Quickie s646 SE is a good option because it seems to be a rear wheel drive with 4 poles. And seeing that Berkeley is mostly flat, I should be able to scoot for some miles on neglected urban terrain. The frontier V6 is a beautiful thing:) Thanks again for your advice.

Syd :)
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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby Sully » 22 May 2016, 21:32

Syd the sensors are connected to the computerized controller, to remove "stuff" you will have to lie to the controller. All I really know is the sensors can be troublesome. Some folks cannot live without these features, and some can. Since my direct knowledge is sketchy of electronics I would prefer not to have some of this unnecessary (for me) stuff installed on the chair to begin with with. If it ain't there to start it can't break.

As for ANY so called repair company ask around that locality to see if they have a very good reputation or better. Folks who have used them for a while, not just once or twice. There are some very clever folks out that way.

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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby Heygnow » 04 Jun 2016, 21:51

Hi Syd,

I see you mentioned medicare/caid. Have to explored Voc Rehab as they may fund speed and options way beyond most medical needs to help you keep employed.

That may open up the list of chairs you can pick from.
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Re: Looking for a tough power chair in the $2500 - $3800

Postby ex-Gooserider » 06 Jun 2016, 03:47

I have an old Ranger X in my 'rebuild que' - it does have 4-pole motors, and is spec'd at 6mph. Your mileage may differ but it seems from my reading that all the Invacare storm series chairs are 4-pole, except the Arrow sub-series which are using the GB motors.

On the Ranger-X I have, which does have the 2GTR seating system (one notch fancier, as it does both tilt and recline) the seating system control box is separate from the drive control, and also has a separate control to operate it. It appears to me that there would be no problem just removing the entire seating system and control box and replacing it with a non-powered seating system... also on my chair at least, it appears the sensors are discrete components that can be worked around. (This may require use of a programmer)

Despite the efforts of the DME dealers to make it a great mystery., chairs aren't all that complicated, and anyone with decent mechanical skills can learn what is needed to fix them...

ART
T-5, ASIA-B
Jazzy 1100
Jazzy Select 6
Quickie Q-7
Invacare Mariner
Want to make / get a better chair, ideally one that stands.
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