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Thread: Power Chairs vs manual chairs for Paras : opinions, experience?

  1. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by NW-Will View Post
    Definitely feel you there Patrick.

    Seeing as the Quickie F55 is only available in Europe and is now no longer available new, it'll be interesting to see which chair frame becomes the next favorite to be a donor to be modified.

    As far as reliability goes, what tends to be the weak link with power chairs.

    I realize I'm over simplifying things, but I see the main components being :-

    Bearings
    Batteries
    2 motors
    2 transmissions
    Controller

    While sitting in the waiting area for PT and watching the powerchairs they all seem to have a pretty similar motor transmission setup.

    Does the transmission have the capability to change gears or are they just fixed in one gear? Does any chair just use a direct drive electric motor without transmission.
    All the big manufacturers mostly use common components, including the ones you quoted above. There are few controller, motor, and battery manufacturers. Some get rebranded, but every manufacturer draws from these standard old tech 24v lead battery based stystems. but basically they are all much the same.

    The manufacturers use either 22nf or group 24 batteries (usually gel which are useless for big currents) depending on powerchair width or speed, weight carrying capacity. They basically just make a bracket or three that holds all these bits together. Its all a mass of marketing and fancy names. And little development.

    The F55 is still available. But I use hardly any of it. Even the frame (one of the few bits I use) has a great chunk cut out of it! If that wasnt available theres plenty of scope for making something similar, or using another frame. Whats important is the motors, control system, batteries, wheels and tyres, and the relative positions of all these things, and c of g. etc. NON of which is F55 anyway and most of which isnt even powerchair sourced! The frame isnt essential but just makes an easy starting point.
    Last edited by buegerman; 04-02-2011 at 05:47 PM.

  2. #72
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buegerman View Post
    All the big manufacturers mostly use common components, including the ones you quoted above. There are a few controller, motor, and battery manufacturers. Some get rebranded, but basically they are all much the same.

    The manufacturers use either 22nf or group 24 batteries (usually gel which are useless for big currents) depending on powerchair width or speed, weight carrying capacity. They basically just make a bracket or three that holds all these bits together. Its all a mass of marketing and fancy names. And little development.

    The F55 is still available. But I use hardly any of it. Even the frame (one of the few bits I use) has a great chunk cut out of it! If that wasnt available theres plenty of scope for making something similar, or using another frame. Whats important is the motors, control system, batteries, wheels and tyres, and the relative positions of all these things, and c of g. etc. NON of which is F55 anyway and most of which isnt even powerchair sourced! The frame isnt essential.
    Cheers for the info.

    I'm guessing the F55 frame is steel, have you thought of moving to an aluminium frame ? What kind of weight is the standard F55, and what kind of weight do you end up with with your model? When using similar batteries.

    Has anyone you know tried using brushless hubmotors to provide propulsion for their powerchair?

  3. #73
    This is all off topic.

    I still see a powerchair (at least a GOOD powerchair) as having zero downsides compared to my manual chair as a paraplegic guy. It does everything any manual chair does and allows a mass or extra things to be possible that simply are not possible (or are difficult) in a manual chair.

    I dont count exersize in this as we were not meant to wear out arms and shoulders trying to get about! More appropriate exersize can be undertaken if you want that.

    But since we as paraplegics have to lift and transfer ourselves every day anyway your arms and shoulders already get a daily workout. I have not exersized by pushing my manual chair in 12 years. Cant detect any difference in arm tone/strength. If anything I am stronger now. But I spend half my time building powerchairs...

  4. #74
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    buegerman,
    Can the motor be sealed /waterproof? The reason I ask, I like to fish in saltwater. Sometimes I will go fishing at the beach. I would like to drive a chair in a foot of water.

  5. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by NW-Will View Post
    Cheers for the info.

    I'm guessing the F55 frame is steel, have you thought of moving to an aluminium frame ? What kind of weight is the standard F55, and what kind of weight do you end up with with your model? When using similar batteries.

    Has anyone you know tried using brushless hubmotors to provide propulsion for their powerchair?
    Its steel. But its very light. Thinwall exhaust type tube. Most of the weight is in countless steel brackets, covers, front lights in glass and steel, curb climbers, also steel, suspension and rear swinging arms, also steel. All of that as well as the front swing away footrests, and stock heavy wheels are junked. All heavy steel spacers, front wheel axles, etc are replaced with smaller thinner lighter alloy ones. Arm side plates also junked.

    Batteries are 50lb lighter too. If used.

    Almost no components are actually used as stock. All are either replaced or modified. Other than the seat upholstery fabric! And the seat metal cover plate, and rear light cluster but not the nasty steel mountings...

    It may LOOK like an F55 but its not really even skin deep! Wheels, tyres, motors, control system, batteries, charging, wiring, all the main centre section, battery compartment, arm sides, wheel mountings, etc as well as footplate and mountings and seat mountings are all totally non wheelchair sourced, or from different chairs (motors). All the rest is modded... And everything relocated.

    Some chairs use gearless hub motors. But non are powerful enough to fit inside a 6 inch wheel diameter needed for the high floatation all terrain tyres and these are where the cool ride comfort and sand/snow/mud capability come from. So cannot be used while keeping width down to 25 inches.
    Last edited by buegerman; 04-02-2011 at 06:15 PM.

  6. #76
    >>>Can the motor be sealed /waterproof? The reason I ask, I like to fish in saltwater. Sometimes I will go fishing at the beach. I would like to drive a chair in a foot of water

    The gearboxes mostly are. But could be easily made completely waterproof. And stainless steel bearings fitted so the outside edges dont corrode too, just in case. The motors would need stripping, and rebuilding with some RTV silicone, but then yes probably... They wouldnt actually stop working if you dropped them in a bucket of water. But they would corrode and the bearings will die later... Yes I could seal them. Pretty easily I think.

    Your feet will get wet.

  7. #77
    I'm just posting the most-likely candidates that are commercially available in the States. One of my personal favorites is the P222SE....





    I've had several veteran's receive this chair when their shoulders began to wear out and they absolutely love it.


  8. #78
    Senior Member forestranger52's Avatar
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    I have had only a couple problems with my Omegatrac which is 6 years old, used everyday and oftentimes in very difficult terrain in bad weather. But is large and heavy. The compressor box which inflates my air suspension used to short out because of fluid left over from compressing the air. New one has drain, no more problems.

    Sealed bearing in right axle began to leak in hot weather. Changed oil in transaxle and added a little stoplleak and no more problem. Starting to get a little rusty because of all the wet weather here around the great lakes but runs fantastic.

    I would love to have one of Burgermans but impossible for me to build with no hand function and limited electrical skills. Maybe some manufacturer will get with the program but I seriously doubt it.
    Last edited by forestranger52; 04-02-2011 at 07:43 PM.
    C 5/6 Comp.
    No Tri's or hand function.

    Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

    Teddy Roosevelt

  9. #79
    Thanks a lot SCI, Looked at the video and looks interesting. SOmething I might be interested in and use, compact, something I can transfer from into the drivers seat.

    Keep 'em coming, really!

    Post: Just looked at the reviews from the tech guide site; not too complimentary. What problems are you seeing ?

  10. #80
    Burgerman, sounds like it's time to quit making the chairs on your bed and manufacturing. Really glad you're putting your input in here.

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