All my adult life (and sometimes in
childhood) I scratch built and modified all kinds of mechanical and
electrical things. I found I could
fix and improve no end of things as a kid. And much of this early interest
and abilities were learned or came from designing and building model aeroplanes,
model steam engines,
lawnmower engine powered wooden "race" carts and a thousand and one other things.
My parents despaired but
got used to finding wheels attached to the tuned lawnmower and a seat. I made
grass cutting easier as it was one of my "chores" that I was happy to do...
A few original scratch built things
that later came out of my head Include the following (but is not limited to)
Small Gas Turbine jet engines for my model aircraft, Pulse-Jet engines,
Automotive Nitrous Injection Systems, Water Cooled Computers, Automotive Chassis Dynamometer systems
including the Software and data capture equipment. (The Dynamometer Systems and
the Nitrous Systems as a business long ago before my accident.) To name fraction
of my previous engineering endeavours.
Modified Stuff includes
almost everything in my life. All my bikes or cars got turbocharged, Nitrous
injected or a big V8 engine where a small 4 cylinder one came out for example. And
trust me that's 1 percent of the stuff I could list here.
And I never do anything by halves. As the wheelchair builds on these pages will
show you. Bodge work? Not here. All logic and perfection, To me beauty is in engineering
design and that is its elegance. If its built right it looks right too.
I took everything apart as a kid.
Everything. I still do. It has more value and you have more control if you have
the knowledge and understanding of how it and all the other things around you work.
And often you can improve on it. I am a control freak and knowing what makes
everything tick gives me that control. I don't feel comfortable or in
control for example if I don't know every nut and bolt of how my powerchair or
electric bed works! It means I can remedy the situation when required without
any panic or problems. I do not have to rely on any so called "experts" that
seldom turn out to have much of a clue.
As such engineering and physics just come
completely naturally to me. I don't have to think about it. As does a
grasp of the "bigger picture" and how things work as a system together. When you
understand physics and have hands on engineering experience you understand everything electrical and mechanical. The rest
is experience of engines, tools, metals, motors, batteries, electronics etc.
As a result of all this for when I see a "modular" overweight over engineered
designed by committee powerchair, made of iron with huge dimensions and too small
batteries and controller with skinny tubed tyres it makes my blood boil! They
think a pretty colour disguises 30 year old badly designed stagnated technology.
Its so frustrating. If I had the resources of someone like Pride
(powerchairs) for example I could do so much better than they do now in a matter of
days! A quick glance at almost any powerchair on the market reveals obvious
compromises and obvious shortcomings. They (all the manufacturers) however don't seem to get it. Its that
"normal's" thing again. Most of the population are just average sheep.
I spend most of my life fighting the "normal's" in society. Those
that have never done much, don't understand much and have positions of some kind
of small power. Usually behind a desk and no "broad" experience. Often they have
lots of qualifications but no real intelligence and no "drive" to do it BETTER!
And insufficient "grasp" of the rest of engineering to do so anyway.
They hide behind paperwork, rules, and "safety issues" etc. They
are all really quick at making excuses and telling you why they cant improve
this or that. These are the sort of people that work as part of a team.
That means we get designed by committee powerchairs. Everyone from the clueless
OT to the average wheelchair user that also is no engineer... Instead of a
powerchair designed by an engineer / wheelchair user with some sense of
direction and with a passion.
Generally they are "trained" to do some job and have
qualifications to prove it but don't have a natural ability or aptitude.
They really don't get it and they all think they are doing great. People like me
disturb and scare them. Because I just get out the welding gear/saw/etc
and DO IT.
For this reason I dread flying! For every 100 pilots that are
"trained" like bus drivers there's one natural that has the interest, intelligence and
engineering background and the logic to be actually be a safe good pilot. The rest are
just glorified bus
drivers with qualifications that crash due to daft problems that any decent
intelligent engineer would have sussed out
I really feel sorry for a great many normal able bodied hard
working people since they all seem so regimented and frankly stupid and so
restricted in their thinking. That's why we still have heavy iron oversize badly
finished limited performance and range powerchairs. The technology to improve
them drastically has existed for a very long time. Even the "finish" is a joke!
Anyway everything you read on this website are my own views,
opinions and ideas. Don't get all bent out of shape if you don't agree with it
or don't like it because its my right to say what I think! You would be
surprised how many safety Nazis and corporate types write to advise me that I
cant say or do this cant do that etc! Unfortunately for them I can and I will
and I do.
Anyway ignore everything you read on
this site and consider it dangerous since I don't want to be
responsible for any damage caused to any equipment or people whatsoever. Its not
that what I say is incorrect (although it may possibly be) but that people "don't see the bigger
picture" or don't fully understand what I say and try to copy me like a painting by
numbers book. So its all really for entertainment
only. I have to say this of course but either way you are on your own! On
your own head be it!
I write all this stuff to help people and to open their eyes and
do so in good faith. The vast majority is to me obvious and simple. If it isn't
obvious to you then don't do it!
I cant help it if I might be wrong (I 'm usually very right!) or if someone reading
doesn't fully understand what I am saying really mean or understand the full consequences of
something. So on your head be it. I am not advising anyone to do as I do or to
accept anything I say.
Many have ignored this and built everything from automotive
dynamometers, car and bike Nitrous Injection systems, and much more as well as a
few improved power wheelchairs! All very successfully.
On the other hand I get scary emails from people who are about to
blow up an engine for example because they have not understood what I said about Nitrous/fuel
Jetting for their car, (www.nitrous.info)
or a guy recently who was trying to find a lead to go between a 30 amp charger
and the control pod charging socket on his powerchair...
The latter one would
have ended with melted control systems and wiring most likely. He was an example
of someone that didn't really understand what he was reading. What scares me
more are the emails I don't receive.