A day

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A day

Postby Burgerman » 10 Jun 2021, 14:58

Using a lead brick chair - the salsa with all its seating toys etc today. Batteries healthy used only 35 times from new.

I usually only use lead chairs around home. Chair is 185kg heavy. Me also heavy. 80Ah lead battery. Went into town a couple of miles - wandered around a bit, bought a coffee table, came back. No problem, only 1 light went out. All good. Plumber is now here changing kitchen taps asked me to go to a builders merchant for a plumbing part for another job that he will fit free while he is here. No problem thinks me.

Half way there, another couple of miles only, I am looking at 2 orange lights and dropping. Then wondering if I dare risk it. Considered turning back. And NOW I remember why I changed to proper lithium batteries in my other chairs!

This is a perfect example of range anxiety. I did risk it in the end, and had 1 orange light left when I got back home. JUST about made it. Was in panic mode for the last 30 mins looking very close to the red. Lead batteries are just JUNK! After sitting around not moving for an hour, I now have almost every light back. But I know if I do a mile or so they will all likely go out again.

Only sensible use is around the home. Tomorrow they might be fine on the same trips. But they are seemingly unpredictable. Now, if I do NOT fast charge them for an hour at 40A (I am doing that now), dare go out later on to the pub? Most users will not (and possibly cant). And remember that its summer so I can sit out in sunshine and in comfort tilted back etc in this chair. This is the range anxiety issue in a nutshell. If you dont have any fast charge capability you will miss out on life.
I never have any of this crap with lithium. Ever! It just goes when I choose. When and wherever I choose.
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Re: A day

Postby fishinjunky » 10 Jun 2021, 15:17

I can't wait to build my lithium pack. There are trails a little ways from my house I'm afraid to go becouse of range anxiety. Yea I couldn't probably make it but I don't want probably I want for sure.
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Re: A day

Postby Burgerman » 10 Jun 2021, 15:28

I had forgotten how frustrating it is. It doesent matter if a chair claims 25 miles range. It might do 6 or 10 it varies. It seldom does 15.

So you cant ever know if you will get back.

So you take the lower guess at say 15 real miles. But cant be sure. So you go say 6 miles. Or 3 miles and a bit one way, then shuffling about in a shopping centre or something and then come home. And thats about all you can RELIABLY do. So the fact that it can probably do 15 from a claimed 25 is not helpful! You MUST have some in reserve or you *might* be wrong and the result is beyond difficult if you cant walk. So you must have 3 or 4 times the battery capability that you think you need to remove all that fear/aprehension. And so that you do not mentally restrict yourself and miss out on life. Many do this and have conditioned themselves to limit what they try.

I have a freind that frequently tells me that he isnt coming to the pub with a bunch of us to eat/drink. Because he is "knackered". He really means he is scared he wont get home afterwards as he has lost a few lights during the day. How do I know this? When he does come to the pub he brings his charger with him!
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Re: A day

Postby expresso » 10 Jun 2021, 18:34

when i used lead - i dont any more for years - but when i did

the rule was the first green light goes out - turn around and head back - if you dont you risk it -
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Re: A day

Postby Arima » 10 Jun 2021, 18:43

If I turn around every time the 1st green goes out all I would do is drive around in circles:)
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Re: A day

Postby expresso » 10 Jun 2021, 19:04

you need lithium
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Re: A day

Postby Burgerman » 10 Jun 2021, 19:17

I think expresso means with lithium. It got a higher and pretty stable voltage which reads full and every green lit up to the half way point. So lose 1 light, and you might be 30 miles from home, and you might only just get back. You only run lithium too low once! After that you buy a new one.
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Re: A day

Postby expresso » 10 Jun 2021, 19:20

no i mean with Lead - when i was using just lead -


i go out for a ride - when the very first green light goes out - i could be 8 miles away - i know not to go further and go back - with lead


this is why i stopped using lead years ago -


with lithium you never loose a green light eve after 40 miles - cant judge by the lights


if you are loosing a green light with lead after a few miles - you need new batteries
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Re: A day

Postby Burgerman » 10 Jun 2021, 19:27

Then your meter was telling porkies. I often used to go till I lost 2 or 3 lights. They are calibrated a bit different. Not least becuase every different battery type/make and AGM/Gel are at different voltages at similar state of charge. And depending HOW you discharged it, the same battery can be at all lights still lit, or most gone out at the real 50% discharged point.
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Re: A day

Postby fishinjunky » 10 Jun 2021, 20:04

I think the biggest issue I'm going to have building my lithium pack is getting my hands on a PL8
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Re: A day

Postby expresso » 10 Jun 2021, 20:09

you can buy the PL8 now i believe - go to there website and place an order -
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Re: A day

Postby Gnomatic » 11 Jun 2021, 03:26

Yeah like expresso, when I was still using lead and venturing about, if my joystick dropped a charge light, its getting time to head back. If I dropped two, I became concerned if I actually could make it back.

~5yrs ago or so, I made the jump to lithium. I had no idea what I was doing. The PL8 was like a foreign language to me. I didn't know what an Anderson connector was.(at the time there was a hardware chain in my area called The Andersons, so I was confused :oops:) Along the way I ruined a few lithium cells, had exciting spark shows from shorts, and created some magic blue smoke.

But, I learned so much thanks to BM and others here, especially expresso.(I think I nuked his email inbox back then :lol: ) I was finally able to get my pack installed for the bulk of summer back then, and oh what a liberating experience that was! After using my lithium pack for a bit, I realized how much range anxiety I had with lead. It wasn't a conscious thought really, at least not the extent of it. But it was there. Now after testing for years on all types of terrain from flat paved bike paths to steep dirt and rock mountain trails, I know *I* will wear out long before my chair does.
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Re: A day

Postby Burgerman » 11 Jun 2021, 03:32

It takes a while. Eventually you lose the mental limitation. Took me around a year before I stopped thinking that way. And you are right most do not realise that they do. You just naturally start doing more, and in summer at least going further.
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Re: A day

Postby Toro » 11 Jun 2021, 16:53

I think the key difference I've noticed is here in Australia, we live so spread out that we tend to need to jump in a car to get somewhere, were as in the U.K or U.S you use your wheelchairs to drive where you must go.

Range is still a problem, but not in the same way. I'll still look into lithium change over because having the ability to go further and longer is always better to have then not.
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Re: A day

Postby Burgerman » 12 Jun 2021, 03:36

True. And with a huge advantage. You dont risk your licence coming home from the pub.
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Re: A day

Postby CPguy » 12 Jun 2021, 08:27

Every power chair user should read this post. Really! Range anxiety is terrible.
My rides:
1 BM2/BM3 with 120 A R-Net and Odessey (Lithium in 2016)
1 SKS Swiss VIVA (spare, as only NF22 size battery)
2 Progeo YOGA (for traveling)
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Re: A day

Postby Burgerman » 12 Jun 2021, 09:41

They use the same term, range anxiety, in the EV car world. But the difference between them and us is huge. If a car with hundreds of miles range starts to run out of battery power the user can just stop. Get a taxi. Or call a tow truck. Or the AA to charge them up and get them going. If we run out of our much more unpredictable and shorter range we are screwed! I have ileostomy and continence needs. I cannot just get out and walk or get a taxi. I and my chair are too heavy to move, push or otherwise deal with. And theres no instant call out repair/tow truck to deal with it.

So the consequenses of not making it home are way more serious and difficult to deal with. And as the user I am the only one around me that understands this. And so a few years watching the unpredictability of range/battery gauges/lead batteries mentally programs you to be *very* careful with what you attempt. The thing is that almost every user you talk to doesent think that they restrict themselves. They do not realise that they are doing so. That battery gauge and the fear of not getting home, does literally control your behavious in a subconscious way. Some genuinely wouldnt be affected as they dont leave the house. But many people are. In some cases quite severely depending on circumstances.

Remember though that the majority of chairs are used by the old and in residential homes who sit around drinking coffee. And so the average mileage is very very low. The manufacturers are using this data to design chairs. So they think that we have plenty of range. They do not see or care about the difference between an active younger disabled person with a job, social life, hobbies etc and the old and infirm. We are all the same to them.

Thats also the reason we get wobbly seating lift/tilt mechanisms, programming by default that only a retard could possibly use, chargers that are feeble, chairs that cant stand up to the outside world without being destroyed with rubbish suspension.

Hence

are trails a little ways from my house I'm afraid to go, I could probably make it but I don't want probably I want for sure.
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Re: A day

Postby hobie1dog » 12 Jun 2021, 14:43

CPguy wrote:Every power chair user should read this post. Really! Range anxiety is terrible.


Trouble is...There are some of us who would really love to have lithium batteries, BUT
simply do not have the money to buy everything necessary to convert or even add on to our chairs, you know the kind who is paying high dollar rent and living on a low fixed income with lots of medical bills? ... you know the kind where the bill collectors keep calling you wanting their money from things you had happen years ago?.... When you only get something new by having to sell something you currently own, and you've been selling things you worked for many years to buy, and are down to having all of your possessions fit into one bedroom, it's a whole different story. Thankfully it seems by all the posts that most everyone on here is not in this category.
I don't have range anxiety because I am limited by the sidewalk system in my area, and I cannot endure to sit my chair for more than 4 hours because of pain issues. My Quickie 636 is still on the original MK batteries from 4 years ago when I got it. The longest I've gone in one day was 9.4 miles and when I got back home only one green light was gone. I'm not going to go out and try and see how long I can go, as once again because of discomfort issues. I can go 3.5 miles down to the boat launch ramp, come back by the big shopping center and get lunch, then go down to the other shopping centers, by then I've been sitting TOO long. Life's a BITCH, then you DIE. :cussing :D
Earth: The Insane Asylum of the Universe-nowhere else could things be more screwed up.

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Re: A day

Postby Burgerman » 12 Jun 2021, 15:00

Everyone is different. Every situation is different. You can only do what you can do.

I saved for 6 years since my last laptop to buy another one. Probably using the money I didnt waste on 5 sets of MKs. Because I never got more than 9 monthsd to 12 months per set.

MK gel GRP24 at US prices (cheaper than UK) = $550 a set. So 2750 total over 5 years.
Less 1000 for lithium. £1750 saved. And another 2750 will be saved over the next 5 years, no batts to buy. So in 10 years it will have saved me 4750 dollars. If you do the same with everything in life starting from the begining, you end up in a far better situation.


So even ignoring that you get 5x the range and all the rest. I simply cannot afford to buy lead batteries. They make no sense. Its like buying a car or sofa on credit. Only much much worse. Its the way to the poor house and you end up likee you say, selling something to buy something else.

I dont know how you got into your situation or any of the details and you dont need the extra range. But everyone and every situation is different.
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Re: A day

Postby Jayde1976 » 17 Jun 2021, 16:49

Thats my biggest fear is range anxiety, main reason I am saving for lithium batteries.. But still learning about them, but thing is my FTD means it dont always stick in there so I save things on my pc.. but biggest thing is the cost but by xmas this year I should be on lithium... Even though I have run mine down to 10% quite a few times.
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Re: A day

Postby Burgerman » 17 Jun 2021, 22:45

How do you know?
Is that 10% just going by the guessometer on the joystick?

Because that cant tell you within 30% accuracy day on day.
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