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Thread: ZX-1 Power Add-on owners thread

  1. #471
    Quote Originally Posted by pfcs49 View Post
    Did some "driving"
    The chair is nice in the garage, patio, deck, barn-house. It's nice, the feeling of being propelled and not having to work at it.
    The thing is problematic going in/out of the house, especially out! We have a Anderson sliding door; there's about a 1" drop from the flooring to the sill the screen tracks are on, then 1/2" onto the bricks of the patio. The friggin thing gets stuck! I try raising the chair/NG; I lo0wer the chair so the wheelchair tires get some traction: it goes out with me pushing the arms down and pulling the joystick together.
    I go on the road and into the yard. Not too much work getting stuck! My wife assists-even with her pushing, I'm spinning the slicks. I unlatch and she drives the ZX back while I wheel.

    The machine doesn't stay centered at all; any difficult uneven surface driving and the machine tire is agains one of the chairs!

    Not impressed!
    Here are some tips to get the ZX1 to do what you want it to do:
    1. Remove the anti-tilt mechanisms. You don't need them and they hinder the ZX1s ability to go over obstacles.
    2. Remove or just unplug the proximity sensor. The sensor reduces power by 40% when the rear manual wheels are lifted a certain height. Just use caution when turning too quickly while the manual wheels are more than 1/8" off the ground.
    3. Adjust the armrest in so that they touch the uprights of your backrest. This will keep the ZX1 centered.
    4. Adjust the armrest back so you can raise your front casters atleast 3" off the ground when you lean back. The armrests will keep you from tipping all the way backwards.
    5. When on grass keep your weight back. This will keep the weight off the front casters and allow them to raise up over bumps. The limitimg factor off road for the ZX1 is the small front casters of your manual chair. It doesn't matter how much power or traction the drive wheels have if your 3 or 4" casters dig in to the ground, you aren't going anywhere. If you plan on going off the pavement alot and want to go fast, get a Freewheel attachment. It works amazingly well with the ZX1.
    6. When approaching a curb like your slider, Raise the back wheels a bit, this keeps your manual wheels from hittng the curb before the drive wheels and causing traction problems. Lean back and bump your front casters over while slowly pushing the joystick forward then power the drive wheels over. If you go in and out the slider alot just add a 3/4" threshold ramp from a local hardware store on each side.


    The ZX1 was never intended to be an off-road solution, there are many powerchairs whith 8 or 10" pnuematic front caster wheels out there that would easily out perform it if that is your main purpose. It's primary purpose is for people that prefer a manual chair at home but are unable to push up ramps or steep terrain when going out.


    If you follow all these tips I'm pretty sure you'll be a little more impressed.

  2. #472
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    Thanks for the coaching, Pat!
    Sorry for the relatively negative review-I'm sure I can get this working better for me, especially with your great suggestions. This testing was done with my old Kurshall 3000GT? chair that I got used 20 years ago-it's too small and only used as a spare. My "house" chair is a POS Ti deal that I bought 15 years ago with the stupid adjustable camber cantilevered stub axles that won't work with the ZX. My other chair is a Ti I love with a normal axle but a PITA to get out of the car unless I get in first. I'm in the process of getting a new chair which will replace the existing POS house chair and be used with the ZX1. I'll be able to roll over and mate with the ZX anytime I want to go exploring, and when the olUntil then, this stuff is sort of back burner stuff, so nothing is compelling except I'd like to see it work out so I can justify finishing the hoist and get off-road tires, certainly do a battery conversion because 5mi isn't far enough!

    1/I'll remove the anti-tips and weigh it-looks like a fair amount of solid stainless stock!
    2/Consider it done
    3/This sounds like a great move! I should have not shot my mouth off so quickly about the shortcomings and waited until the engineer part had time to analyze and think stuff through. One thing that was bothersome was that the arm-tubes would rub the chair tires sometimes. This was probably because the ZX was moving so much laterally. Without taking time to have a good look, my first thought was a couple split shaft collars with horns welded on mounted on the axle, to guide the ZX home to center when mating. I will try only adjusting the arms and see if that is adequate.
    4/Not clear about this one. I don't see how this will change my ability to wheelie the chair; changing the armrests so there is an up-angle, maybe, but there's no provision I see for that. Please explain.
    5/In our rugged yard, my 5" casters were unweighed and not digging in; the indoor tires were spinning. I'd expect dirt tires to work MUCH better. The FreeWheel sounds like a cool plan!
    6/This drop when exiting the slide, I alway wheelie down. If I slowly go over it (like when I'm trying to carry something), there's a huge attitude change going over it and I need to lean back even though the total drop is likely an inch and a half. I've thought of ramping it, but the major drop (~1") is from the glass door to the threshold which includes the tracks for the screen and they are at the outer edge of this 4" deal. Now I'm seeing how I could lag a flat piece to carry the threshold height out to just before the screen tracks, then put a loose tapered wedge/ramp piece outside, leaving just a small gap to traverse. And this will make manual chair accessible better also! (Just another thing to put on my list of things I never seem to get to)

    And if you had any advice regarding lithium battery swaps on the cheap, I'd truly appreciate it!
    Last edited by pfcs49; 05-22-2017 at 08:52 PM.
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  3. #473
    Senior Member robotnik's Avatar
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    I've done some adjustments on my ZX too,
    - I've removed the anti-tips, it helps on small curbs, but you'll have to get used with the "dive" of the armrest. Especially with the joystick's side when you use the motor's brake, it can be surprising...
    - I've removed the high adjustment nut stop of the clamshell, near the proximity sensor. Now I can raise my chair to the maximum without going in crawl mode,
    - same problem of ZX sliding laterally on the camber bar. I've used 2 Serflex collars firmly bolted on the bar to fix that. Very simple and unexpensive.
    - same difficulties on small curbs (more than 1"). I climb them in reverse. To make it easier, I've swapped the Froglegs forks and wheels. On the back of my ZX you can find the 4" caster with the elastomer shock absorber, while the 3" caster with aluminium washer is at the front.
    C6-7 since mid 2002, no hand control nor triceps.
    my website & my job (in France): Accessibility advisor www.acceslibre.eu
    Also working on a French research about Peer counseling and Empowerment.

  4. #474
    The short wheelbase on your Kuschall will make it harder for the front wheels to bump up over obstacles. Center of gravity also plays a part. The clamping mechanism on the ZX1 is designed for a 1 1/4" camber tube. It should clamp firmly but still allow the camber tube to rotate inside the clamping. It's possible that your Kuschall has a smaller, possibly 1 1/8" cambertube causing it to shift laterally too easily. Spinergy may have a thicker carbon fiber bushing to help with that. I've never felt the need for shaft collars although they may help but if you aren't centered and the clamp clamps down on one you may damage something like the actuator. If your armrests are adjusted correctly, they will guide you in centered. I line mine up directly over my manual wheels.

    On number 4, the ZX1s armrest act as an anti-tip to keep your manual chair from tipping too far back when in a "wheelie". So if they are set too close(front to back) to your backrest, your front wheels won't be able to "lift up" over obstacles. Set them so they are about 2 3/4" behind the backrest when your chair is connected and rear wheels are just slightly above the ground.

    Knobby tires are a bit bumpy and noisy indoors. I use these http://www.monsterscooterparts.com/3...ead-kenda.html They are quiet and feel like a pnuematic and have good tread. They're are twice as much as a gray foam filled which will work as good but I prefer black. Dealing with air filled drive wheels are a PITA. If they are too low your clamp won't line up correctly with your cambertube and you won't get as much clearance when raising the rear manual wheels when going ove an obstacle. Not to mention the possibilty of getting stuck with a flat.

    I've never felt the need to switch to lithiums. I use only VMAX batteries. https://www.vmaxtanks.com/ . I have however added two 6ah batteries in addition to the two 15ah batteries giving me a total of 21ahs. I use it everyday, all day and never have a range problem. Charge them every night or once a week if you are not using it daily and they will last a year.

    Another thing to consider is the front airshock. Either make sure it has the proper psi for your weight or better yet set it to "lock out" like I do. It really doesn't absorb any shock.

    Also that front caster on the ZX1 was designed to minimize the armrest "dive" that Robotnik mentioned. It really isn't that effective and can be removed completely, as I have done, including the fork.
    Swap it with the back fork like Robotnik says.

    Another important thing that Robotnik has done is removing those "stop bolts" that limit the range that the "swing arm" can raise your chair. They are a bad idea for a few reasons and will cause the actuator to fail prematurely.

  5. #475
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this pattherat. There still seems to be a lot of grey area around the anti-tilt mechanism, and I'm going to remove it too. Also thanks to robotnik for his input. We have had my husband's ZX-1 in storage for a while due to moving. I have the upgrade for the lithium batteries, but need to get a programmer to do it. I have a feeling I will have lots of questions, and hope you all don't mind supporting me. I've been putting it off, but really need to do it soon.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

  6. #476
    Senior Member robotnik's Avatar
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    I had two times the same issue with my ZX-1 and need your input.
    Each time I think I had "overloaded" the device, asking maybe for more power it was able to give : First time in a short but big incline, 2nd on the beach with my FreeWheel in front, but with too deep sand.
    As a result, the ZX-1 stopped and on the joystick one light started to blink red.
    Each time I was in the middle of nowhere, and had to wait for help. But the issue is the device has to be resetted to re-start, and as far as I know, you need to ... plug it in to do that. And that's not so easy if you don't have a plug in your neighborhood !
    My question is : Is there another solution to quit this "fail mode" ? I tried to unplug the joystick, the batteries, with no result.
    C6-7 since mid 2002, no hand control nor triceps.
    my website & my job (in France): Accessibility advisor www.acceslibre.eu
    Also working on a French research about Peer counseling and Empowerment.

  7. #477
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattherat View Post
    The short wheelbase on your Kuschall will make it harder for the front wheels to bump up over obstacles. Center of gravity also plays a part. The clamping mechanism on the ZX1 is designed for a 1 1/4" camber tube. It should clamp firmly but still allow the camber tube to rotate inside the clamping. It's possible that your Kuschall has a smaller, possibly 1 1/8" cambertube causing it to shift laterally too easily. Spinergy may have a thicker carbon fiber bushing to help with that. I've never felt the need for shaft collars although they may help but if you aren't centered and the clamp clamps down on one you may damage something like the actuator. If your armrests are adjusted correctly, they will guide you in centered. I line mine up directly over my manual wheels.

    On number 4, the ZX1s armrest act as an anti-tip to keep your manual chair from tipping too far back when in a "wheelie". So if they are set too close(front to back) to your backrest, your front wheels won't be able to "lift up" over obstacles. Set them so they are about 2 3/4" behind the backrest when your chair is connected and rear wheels are just slightly above the ground.

    Knobby tires are a bit bumpy and noisy indoors. I use these http://www.monsterscooterparts.com/3...ead-kenda.html They are quiet and feel like a pnuematic and have good tread. They're are twice as much as a gray foam filled which will work as good but I prefer black. Dealing with air filled drive wheels are a PITA. If they are too low your clamp won't line up correctly with your cambertube and you won't get as much clearance when raising the rear manual wheels when going ove an obstacle. Not to mention the possibilty of getting stuck with a flat.

    I've never felt the need to switch to lithiums. I use only VMAX batteries. https://www.vmaxtanks.com/ . I have however added two 6ah batteries in addition to the two 15ah batteries giving me a total of 21ahs. I use it everyday, all day and never have a range problem. Charge them every night or once a week if you are not using it daily and they will last a year.

    Another thing to consider is the front airshock. Either make sure it has the proper psi for your weight or better yet set it to "lock out" like I do. It really doesn't absorb any shock.

    Also that front caster on the ZX1 was designed to minimize the armrest "dive" that Robotnik mentioned. It really isn't that effective and can be removed completely, as I have done, including the fork.
    Swap it with the back fork like Robotnik says.

    Another important thing that Robotnik has done is removing those "stop bolts" that limit the range that the "swing arm" can raise your chair. They are a bad idea for a few reasons and will cause the actuator to fail prematurely.
    I let this go, waiting for an axle and mounting kit for my TR/c so my house chair will mate the ZX1. (currently it has a stupid adjustable camber box-frames POS on it!)
    Just letting you know, I'm still here on the sidelines. The parts are ordered and should be here soon at which point I'll do the above stuff and go out on the country roads surrounding my home.
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  8. #478
    My ZX-1 sat unused for a long time (about a year). I replaced the batteries (using the VMAX batteries recommended by pattherat). All charged up spiffy, and it will roll around great the problem is when I switch it to move the mechanism that clamps the camber tube the black controller box just clicks and nothing else happens. I have reset all the wires. It worked fine before it sat for a while (but was in a place where people could have messed with it). Any ideas on what the issue is?

  9. #479
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    if you're qualified, (you'll have a VOM), check the voltage to the linear motor that operates the clamp while activating that function.
    No voltage: follow both legs of the circuit to ground and box to see if there's an open circuit. (I can't go out now but will see if a relay is visible on control-box later)
    Significant voltage: something seized or linear motor shot.
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  10. #480
    Quote Originally Posted by pfcs49 View Post
    if you're qualified, (you'll have a VOM), check the voltage to the linear motor that operates the clamp while activating that function.
    No voltage: follow both legs of the circuit to ground and box to see if there's an open circuit. (I can't go out now but will see if a relay is visible on control-box later)
    Significant voltage: something seized or linear motor shot.
    More of a software guy but work at an autonomous driving startup so can get one of the robotics guys to help me. Was hoping for some magic reset button...

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