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Updated:  23-Sept-09


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Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 of Mk1 version

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A new project over here Off road version for when you have read this 6 page epic! Or Detailed PowerChair Only Menu

Getting to look like a (better) wheelchair again! Almost built.

More details and radio controlled powerchair info too!



electric wheelchair

radio controlled electric wheelchair

radio controlled electric wheelchair medium |  radio controlled electric wheelchair  large

The thing on the seat again. People keep asking about this. I have three powerchairs. I help others and modify and fix reprogram theirs too on occasion to help. And no I don't charge people. I like to help if I can.  And since I have to be sat in a powerchair to do anything I need to be able to drive other powerchairs about. So I built an interesting black box that just plugs in to the powerchair.  Drive your powerchair by Radio Control here...


I use this clever box of tricks on many wheelchairs. It works well. Its fail safe too so radio interference doesn't send the powerchair racing off out of control -- it simply stops dead if any interference or poor signal is detected. It needs to see the transmitters encoded signal before the control system will allow movement.  So its safe to use to drive a wheelchair into my van, to a workshop etc

I sometimes walk the dog up and down the street a few times with a spare uninhabited powerchair if its raining. I just drive from my front room in the warmth. Some people look at an empty powerchair walking a dog a little strangely. The thing on the right is of course my radio control transmitter that I use to drive the powerchairs about.. I fly model planes and helicopters.

Radio controlled wheelchair short movies: radio controlled powerchair mpg & here mpeg (right click and choose "save as" and save to your desktop) Also the same system used in my homebuilt 4 x 4 powerchair base here robot.mpg & here mpg and a non related wheelie mpeg and here mpg.  (In all cases use right click, then save to your desktop.)

A SHORT wheelchair (powerchair). Shown reversed to a wall here

short powerchair medium |  short powerchair large

Above: Assembled other than the rear lights (undecided as to if I should bother fitting them) and the armrest bars, and the wheel disk centres. This image shows you how short this powerchair really is. My HEAD is the thing that touches first if I reverse to a wall. That makes it SHORTER than almost any other powerchair since its no longer than I am sitting down. Its this that gives it the capability to manoeuvre it tight places, public bars, loos, vans etc.  And its essential. I tried a stock F55 powerchair the other day!  What a big bulky slow cumbersome hard to control thing that was! Felt like an oil tanker. A few inches here and there make an enormous difference. I couldn't live like that.

power wheelchair wheel centres

powerchair wheel centre discs medium |  powerchair wheel centre discs large

starretTest fitted wheel disc centres! These are made simply with a Starret "hole saw" of the correct size and some 3 or 4mm sheet aluminium and polished on the same buffing wheel that I used for the bolts. At least discs two were.

I have 6. There are 2 made on a lathe at the local college and two more made by a machine shop!  All look exactly the same in the end. Polished finishes look ok for a few weeks but once they see salt on our roads they oxidise and go dull and become etched...  They fit, so off to the powder coaters they go!



Suspension lock up bar with rose joint

Above: The OTHER chair (I am building 2 at once here) has no suspension, its locked up solid with this adjustable bar. These are M8 Rose joints, Rod ends, or whatever you like to call them. This is because I like a solid "feel" when driving my van from this chair. The other one has springs here.  suspension lock up medium |  suspension lock up large

rod end bar

Above:  This one chair has these adjustable lock up struts and so no rear suspension as its better to drive my van from. And the same tiny skate board wheels as anti tip wheels because they are just better and smaller and longer lasting as well as allowing the wheelchair to tip back further! And they have proper bearings unlike the easily killed soft rubber stock "big" ones! rod end/rose joint medium  |  rod end/rose joint large

wheel mounting plate

home made wheel mounting plate medium |  home made wheel mounting plate large

This is how I fit those new wheels... The thing on the left is an old V Belt Pulley. It uses a thing called a taperlock in its centre (which is tapered.) The thing at the top is the taperlock. It has a 20mm bore (or any standard size you specify) and it clamps onto the shaft very solidly with two Allen headed grub screws. They are easy to fit and remove and don't suffer from the wear and fretting that the standard wheel does on the shaft. It also uses a square "key" just in case but its not actually needed.  The Middle one is a similar pulley and the same way up as the first one after having its diameter reduced and its thickness reduced to make it about half the weight. Its also had 4 holes drilled and tapped to M10 to allow me to then attach the wheel. The third image is the same thing but the other way up and assembled ready to fit, after its been cleaned, degreased and sprayed in black paint.

wheel mounting plate

This is the other side of the pulley.  Both the original one and the middle one are turned over. They are all covered in soot/muck... After shot blasting and spraying black they look a lot better! I have 10 of these machined pulleys now. 6 fitted to three wheelchairs and another four fitted to my four wheel drive robot/powerchair base that I built here

old myford

Ye Olde 14th century Myford Lathe... Is enough to do this. But sharp tools help! Mine are not. This is how old pulleys finish up as wheel mounting hubs! If you haven't got one, or your local college hasn't got one then your local machine shop will be pleased to do it for you for a small sum. Takes about half an hour.  Bit heavy but its the best I can do in a bedroom. The manufacturers do worse and they do have the gear! Below is the same thing painted and being fitted with the wrong bolts...  Myford lathe medium  |  Myford lathe large

wheel adapter

Ready to paint and with some spacers and bolts.  Don't use ugly bolts like these - they are temporary.
medium  |  machined large

wheel fitted to adapter

fit wheel to adapter medium |  fit wheel to plate large

Above Fitting the TUBELESS tyre and wheel assembly to the commercial V belt pulley that I machined down and drilled M10 to accept the wheel -- 4 alloy spacers are also used, and you can just about see the one without a bolt.  The centre of these modified pulleys is what I was really interested in - It has a special taper that fits a thing called a TaperLock...

fitting wheel to adapter plate

fitting wheel to adapter plate medium |  fitting wheel to adapter plate large

The taperlock can be seen inserted into the centre here. Its a kind of wedge that locks onto the motor shaft with a couple of small grub screws very solidly!

cap head bolt wheel

cap head bolt fitting medium |  cap headed bolt fitting large

The wheel is bolted to a modified pulley! It was (6 actually on 3 powerchairs) machined down to allow it to be used as a wheel mounting adapter with M12 holes drilled to accept the trailer wheels. The wheel sits on 4 spacers too position it correctly. The other side of the picture 2 or 3 above!

wheelchair wheel

wheel chair wheel medium |  wheel chair wheel large

The centre of this new wheel adapter has the much needed taper that allows a standard industrial "Taperlock" fitting to be used to fit it to the 20mm diameter motor output shaft. This taper fitting is the very reason I used a standard cheap V belt pulley in the first place. Obviously I machined the part with the V grove off, and drilled and tapped the side for the wheel. This type of fitting clamps onto the shaft and does not rely on the very dodgy manufacturers method of drive, a KEY! I fitted a key anyway as the design allows for one but there can be no slippage or fretting as happens with the standard wheel.

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