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Thread: Project powerchair PC finished

  1. #1
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    Project powerchair PC finished

    Well, I finished getting a small form factor PC adapted to my powerchair and am happy to say it all went together pretty easily, the bigest problem was with a power supply for the computer, the first one I got turned out to be to smart for us and I really didn't need the bell and whistles anyways so I just used a regular DC to DC convertier, problem solved. This project all started because I was unable to to find a review mirror for the chair and hated driving by feel
    I figured if I was going to put a backup cam on it I might as well put a full computer on it
    After some looking around I decided that it would be a big hassle to use a laptop, I was really surprised that after many searches on the web I was unable to find anything at all about putting a computer on a powerchair, I guess most people think of old people as the ones that need a powerchair and not a 28 year old quadripligc.
    I had almost given up on this idea when I found this computer on e-bay and just knew it would work for me, so I got it and started to pickup the other extras (gotta love USB) and have just been waiting for my handiman to put it all together.

    So anyways the computer is a P4, 1 gig memory, 60 gig hard disk and is running vista surprising well.
    The screen is a 7-inch xenarc touchscreen and I am happy to say is about the right size and doesn't standout to much.
    I will be sharing the smartnav-4 between my laptop and the chair because it to spendy for another one.
    The power is hooked up to the chairs battery's with DC-DC converters and I think they will last a long time because I use less than 10% in a nomal days use.

    So what kinda things can I do with it? Well, to start out with I can play cd's and dvd's, games and the sound can come out the 4-inch speakers on the chair or thru my van's speakers with the fm transmitter,My voice is really soft so I also have a clip on mic that I can route my voice thru to the speakers if someone is having a hard time hearing me.

    There is also webcam that is mounted on the chair back so hopefully it should take some of the frustration out of backing up.

    The IR transmitter that is mounted under my left arm rest makes it so I can operate anything that uses a remote control, this means I can control my cd deck and changer in the van and the tv and a/c in the house.

    I also have a gps receiver and tv card that came with the computer and should be useful in town.
    That's about all I can think it will do so far but I still have some usb ports left
    I'm sure that this could help many with the environmental controls alone, anything that I can do my self is one less thing that I have to ask another to do for me and that makes me happy.

    Anyways I just wanted to show off my new toy, I was unable to do the physical stuff but I think my buddy did a great job on it and I think it would be even easyer if you where to use newer components.

    The top pictures are the chair before, the little black screen is the display for the chair it show my my gear, battery level and tilt.





    This is it after the computer was installed.






    If anybody has any questions I would be glad to help,
    I would say it's a fairly easy install, the hard part was size and straping it down We used lots of velcro and zip ties I think it only cost around $500 $600 Total with labor and theres lots of these small computers around cheep.


    The best part is no more being bored waiting at the doctors!!
    Last edited by Sh1wn; 02-16-2011 at 02:58 PM. Reason: fix links
    c3/c4, injured 2007

  2. #2
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    Fixed the pictures
    c3/c4, injured 2007

  3. #3
    Junior Member Ambisinister's Avatar
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    That is pretty sweet Sh1wn, looks like a lot of fun. I have definitely considered mounting a computer/laptop to my chair many times, it is nice to see someone who has done it.

    I do have a couple questions. Are you running it with a mouth mouse (quad joy, joust, Integra, etc.)? Are you using Dragon with it? Also does it increase your width at all?

    Again it is always great to see ways to increase our independence. Bravo on making it work. Oh yeah, one other question, do you have a cover for back there? Seems like it would be somewhat disastrous for us Pacific northwesterners to be out in the rain with all those exposed electronics.

  4. #4
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    I am going to use it with my naturalpoint and dwell clicking, I am not sure how well that will work bouncing around in the van but I hope it will be ok, I am going to share the one I already use on my laptop because they cost $500. It's not in the pictures but it will mount on the 7" screen where you see the velcro strip. As far as weather I stay out of it for the most part and will probably just put a blanket over it I need to.
    c3/c4, injured 2007

  5. #5
    Senior Member Wesley's Avatar
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    well done!
    You have certainly squeezed the maximum number of features out of the minimum number of dollars.

    My only concern would be the hard drive holding up to the chair's vibrations. But heck, even if it crashes periodically you're still better off than you were before you had it.

  6. #6
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    Hadn't thought about that, doesn't seem to be a problem yet but I haven't gotten to road test it yet.
    c3/c4, injured 2007

  7. #7
    You can try a solid-state disk if you have any problems. It's kind of pricey but it's cheaper than replacing a hard drive a whole bunch of times. They have them here. Then again, with air filled tires on your power chair, I doubt there would be enough shock to really cause a problem.
    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

  8. #8
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    Thats kinda what I was thinking but I didn't think they made them that big,thanks for the link.
    c3/c4, injured 2007

  9. #9
    How about some video of it in action?
    C4 incomplete since 1985

  10. #10
    Hi Sh1wn

    Nice setup very kool
    I hope you enjoy your rig and computer setup
    Keep smiling;
    Judy

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