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Thread: Permobil C300 Corpus 3G with Compact Vent Tray & Custom Mounted UniTrack O2 Holder

  1. #1

    Permobil C300 Corpus 3G with Compact Vent Tray & Custom Mounted UniTrack O2 Holder

    Once in a great while, I'll make a relatively simple modification and find it has a much greater effect on usability of a custom wheelchair than I ever imagined. Five years ago, I installed another manufacturer's wider forks on my personal chair so I could replace my 4x.75" light up casters with 4x1.5" aluminum hub soft rolls. That minor modification drastically transformed the usability of my chair. TiLite has since widened their standard fork so this is no longer necessary, but I'm not sure that would have happened had it not been for the numerous discussions that took place after I posted my experience in this forum .

    I haven't had a modification make such a big difference until I modified this Permobil C300. While the number of CC members who would benefit from it is much smaller, it solved a very difficult problem for people who prescribe and configure complex rehab powerchairs--provide a chair with power tilt, recline and an elevating seat that will also be able to carry a compact ventilator and supplemental oxygen on board. While there are relatively few people with SCI who have all of these requirements, there is a small, but growing number of people I'm seeing with ALS that do.

    Two years ago, no manufacturer produced anything that met all of those requirements. The best I could do was an Invacare FDX equipped with Motion Concepts' compact vent tray that used liquid O2. While the vent/liquid O2 combination initially seemed to be the ideal solution, getting liquid O2 to work with a ventilator on a power seating system turned out to be much more complicated than I thought. I wound up developing a 'one off" system for mounting the liquid O2 unit in order to get it to work. While that chair continues to be in use, I said in that post I would not do it again due to the technical challenges.

    When Permobil came out with their Corpus 3G seating system last year, they also developed a compact vent tray for it. While it isn't perfect, it provided a much better starting point from which to work. I'll explain what I did in the next post, but just look at this chair. It is by far the most-user friendly powerchair I've ever done that can carry an LTV vent and supplemental O2 (This is my fourth).





    The overall width, length, and height of the C300 were not significantly increased. Despite having to carry an LTV vent, 9 feet of vent circuit (tubing), and a larger E size O2 cylinder, the overall footprint of the C300 is not much different than a C300 that doesn't have all that life-sustaining respiratory equipment mounted on the back...





    As importantly, while Permobil limits the maximum recline to 150 degrees with the compact vent tray option (it is normally 175 degrees), the Corpus 3G's power seating functions are otherwise unaffected.



    Despite the weight of the O2 cylinder, LTV vent, and vent tray, the maneuverability and stability of the C300 were also not significantly affected.

    I'll get into the technical details in the next post.
    Last edited by SCI_OTR; 05-13-2012 at 04:13 PM.


  2. #2

    How it got that way...

    Permobil designed their compact vent tray and O2 holder to be able to be removed as a single unit and be compatible with as many compact ventilator/O2 combinations as possible. The small compartments on the front panel are designed to hold the vent's Li-ion battery packs or a Richardson PowerTech vent center.



    But I had a big problem. It quickly became apparent that the O2 holder had not been designed with a 25" tall E cylinder in mind. I also planned on permanently mounting the PowerTech Vent Center and hard-wiring it into the C300's batteries. With that set up, there would be no place to mount it. On a shelf in our storeroom, we happened to have one of the UniTrack style O2 holders that Permobil normally uses on Corpus 3G systems (Come to think of it, 5 years ago those wide forks I tried were on that very same shelf).

    Let the transformation begin...



    (1) I removed the compact vent tray's O2 holder and replaced it with the UniTrack holder using the original mounting hardware. Due to differences in the design, however, the UniTrack holder allowed the O2 cylinder to be positioned in front of the tray instead of directly beside it. More-importantly, it positioned the tank several inch lower and secured both ends. The center of mass is not only lower, it is more concentrated. This eliminates any top heaviness and reduces the effect of the additional weight on the C300's handling characteristics.

    (2) To connect the halves of the tray, provide additional protection for the vent, and provide a place to mount the PowerTech Vent Center, I bolted a UniTrack rail scavenged from a Corpus 3G arm pad to the front of the tray.

    (3) That's the PowerTech Vent Center. It was mounted using miscellaneous Permobil UniTrack hardware and will allow the LTV to run off of the C300's Group 34 batteries.

    (4) I have always thought the outlet port was a particularly vulnerable location for the circuit on an LTV when it is mounted on a powerchair. Those are adjustable brackets I fabricated to secure the antibacterial filter in the outlet port.

    (5) Flexible securement system for the vent circuit. It is fabricated out of Loc-Line modular hose and its function is to keep the loop of circuit where it exits the vent to a minimum. Its function is best visualized in the next pic.

    (6) Securement posts at the rear of the arm pad. I mounted these to be able to safely route the circuit around the side of the backrest to the front of the chair. This is important to ensure it will stay clear of the power seating and not hang over the side of the chair where it could get snagged on something.



    An additional benefit of these modifications is that the sides of the compact vent tray are now open. This allows the vent/circuit to be easily inserted or removed as one intact unit to make transfers easier.



    If you sense I am proud of this particular chair, you'd be absolutely right. Most people who see it barely notice what this chair does extremely well--interface a complex rehab powerchair with critical respiratory equipment in a way that provides high usability with very few compromises. Then again, the fact that all of that is barely noticeable is exactly the point.

    This pic is my favorite. It's good to go. Just add end user...



    Amazing technology? Maybe. With advancements like diaphragmatic pacing, the work I did here could become obsolete in the near future.

    I wouldn't mind.
    Last edited by SCI_OTR; 05-14-2012 at 01:06 PM.


  3. #3
    To get some appreciation of how both the design and technology have evolved, consider this C300 Corpus 2G which is less than 5 years old...


  4. #4

    Fitting Day

    Yesterday, I saw the person who will be using this C300 for fitting and adjustment. I was a pleasantly surprised to discover that his respiratory therapist had inserted a 90 degree elbow between the vent outlet and the antibacterial filter...



    The ability to orient the circuit veritcally as it exits the vent, when used with the system I fabricated, creates an ideal way to route/secure the circuit. The more fragile corrugated tubing is now higher and out of harm's way (either the filter or the securement brackets will make contact first). Because the elbow & filter are more rigid and there is only a minimal gap between the side of the vent and the filter, a much greater impact would need to take place before anything would be damaged or dislodged.



    The person who received the C300 was also pleased because he had an additional 8-12" of circuit in front of the back rest compared to his previous chair. This gave him more room to work with when transferring in or out of the chair.

    I find that many times, it is the little things, like a simple 90 degree elbow, that end up making a big difference on the usability of a custom wheelchair.
    Last edited by SCI_OTR; 05-18-2012 at 11:16 AM.


  5. #5
    Very nice! The trend is towards smaller vents, so I hope my next wheelchair will be able to have a smaller footprint.

    Did you also need to secure a large battery for the vent, or is it internal? I'll be trying out a Respironics Trilogy100 in the next few months, any idea if the Permobil compact vent tray can accommodate it?

  6. #6
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    I am the end user

    I am the end user of this chair. I sat in it two days ago and it was comfortable. Well balanced in seating and motion. The "over the arm rest" circuit configuration should minimize "kinking" and provide maximum length for transfer.
    I am looking forward to having the chair in a day or two. OTR did an outstanding job as usual.
    FDLeyda
    Last edited by Curt Leatherbee; 05-19-2012 at 09:16 PM.

  7. #7
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    Diaphragm Pacing System ?

    Diaphragm Pacing is hopefully a future aid for some ALS patients.
    However, due to the deterioration of the diaphragm muscle in MD patients, its use there may be limited.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Soliloquy View Post
    Did you also need to secure a large battery for the vent, or is it internal?
    The LTV is powered off of the C300's batteries using the Richardson PowerTech Vent Center. It is is a DC power converter which takes the 24v from the 2 batteries inside the powerbase and converts it into the 12 volts that is needed to power the ventilator . ..



    The output cable to the vent is specific to the vent that is going to be used. The following pic shows the cable provided for the LTV series (They do make a cable for the Trilogy vent.) ...





    The manufacturer claims that powerchair's batteries should be able to run both the vent and powerchair for the whole day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soliloquy View Post
    I'll be trying out a Respironics Trilogy100 in the next few months, any idea if the Permobil compact vent tray can accommodate it?
    According to the specs Permobil gives for the compact vent tray and the specs Respironics provides for the Trilogy 100, the Permobil tray seems just a little short. Richardson Products has developed a specifc vent tray for that model.



    http://www.richardsonproducts.com/TrilogyVC.pdf
    Last edited by SCI_OTR; 05-20-2012 at 10:58 AM.


  9. #9
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by FDLeyda View Post
    I am the end user of this chair. I sat in it two days ago and it was comfortable. Well balanced in seating and motion. The "over the arm rest" circuit configuration should minimize "kinking" and provide maximum length for transfer.
    I am looking forward to having the chair in a day or two. OTR did an outstanding job as usual.
    FDLeyda
    Hi Fred,
    Nice chair and nice set up for your vent. On my first chair I had an articulating vent tray. It had to stick out in the back of my chair to accommodate my PLV-100 Ventilator. I use to back into things with the vent tray on the back of my chair and also after the vent tray was put on my chair I could no longer lock into the Easy Lok lockdown device on the floor of my van. I still have the tray but no longer have the chair. I've asked the VA for an LTV vent but they won't give me one. Wish they would as the PLV-100 is so cumbersome and awkward to handle when I travel. I'm not suppose to lift heavy things.
    RAFS
    aka bob fellow Veteran

  10. #10
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    Wheelchair Batterers Capacity

    I have run a Permobil C300 with a LTV 1150 attached to it's batteries for more then 14 hours a day, day after day. I charge the batteries each night.
    FDLeyda

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