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Thread: Firefly Adjustments

  1. #1
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    Firefly Adjustments

    I thought it would be good to have an owners thread for the Firefly about making adjustments. I'll start the first post about it with this:

    Adjusting the initial throttle speed

    We are trying to adjust the the initial throttle speed on the Firefly. Because my husband can only use one arm to both steer and throttle for speed, we think that it goes a bit too fast when he initially throttles up. He says it is too "abrupt". We think it would be better if we could limit the initial speed so that he does not zoom off too much.

    I would like to experiment with changing the settings for this if it is possible, but am not exactly sure which settings to change. I'm hoping that others might have some idea's.

    I know that different versions of the Firefly have had different computers. This is the computer on my husband's Firefly, purchased in 2013:



    In the documentation for the computer it shows that the following can be set:

    5 POWER ASSIST LEVEL


    • Press UP or DOWN to adjust Assist Level to change the motor speed and power output. 1 is the lowest power, 2 is the highest power. On next power up, last level set is retained.


    11 WALKING SPEED


    • Press and hold down arrow (10) to drive the Firefly 6km/hr.
    • Walking speed icon flashes
    • When down arrow (10) is released walking speed is off.

    NOTE: Newer version will stay in walk speed until down arrow is pressed again.
    It also shows that the following normal settings can be set:


    CHANGING NORMAL SETTING


    • Within 5 sec after turning on power, hold down UP and DOWN for 3 sec to enter LCD setting. When entering the setting, the backlight will turn on automatically. When exiting the setting, the backlight will turn off automatically.
    • Highest speed setting (when the speed of the Firefly is over the value, the motor will not exceed that speed).
      • Euro spec 25km/hr. by default. US spec 10 mph (15kph) by default.
      • Press UP or DOWN to adjust the value (factory preset)

    Last edited by elarson; 06-22-2014 at 08:35 PM.
    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).

  2. #2
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    We've got the same set-up. What highest speed setting is it currently set to (ie Euro or US)? If Euro, then I will dig out Rio's email that explains how to change from one to the other.
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  3. #3
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    I was probably being a bit lazy not to first check what the settings were at. Before you go digging for e-mails, this is what I have found out:

    5 POWER ASSIST LEVEL

    • Press UP or DOWN to adjust Assist Level to change the motor speed and power output. 1 is the lowest power, 2 is the highest power. On next power up, last level set is retained.
    Setting: This is set at 1. I am curious, what happens when it is set to 0?

    11 WALKING SPEED


    • Press and hold down arrow (10) to drive the Firefly 6km/hr.
    • Walking speed icon flashes
    • When down arrow (10) is released walking speed is off.


    NOTE: Newer version will stay in walk speed until down arrow is pressed again.
    Setting: I could not get it to stay in walk speed, so I can only assume that we have an older version. Any input?

    CHANGING NORMAL SETTING

    • Within 5 sec after turning on power, hold down UP and DOWN for 3 sec to enter LCD setting. When entering the setting, the backlight will turn on automatically. When exiting the setting, the backlight will turn off automatically.
    • Highest speed setting (when the speed of the Firefly is over the value, the motor will not exceed that speed).
      • Euro spec 25km/hr. by default. US spec 10 mph (15kph) by default.
      • Press UP or DOWN to adjust the value (factory preset)

    Setting: This is set at 18 Km/H, which appears to be the lowest setting, which is not the same as either mentioned. Any input?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy1 View Post
    We've got the same set-up. What highest speed setting is it currently set to (ie Euro or US)? If Euro, then I will dig out Rio's email that explains how to change from one to the other.
    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).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by elarson View Post
    I was probably being a bit lazy not to first check what the settings were at. Before you go digging for e-mails, this is what I have found out:


    Setting: This is set at 1. I am curious, what happens when it is set to 0?

    Setting: I could not get it to stay in walk speed, so I can only assume that we have an older version. Any input?


    Setting: This is set at 18 Km/H, which appears to be the lowest setting, which is not the same as either mentioned. Any input?
    You're the last person I would call lazy!

    Setting 0 means it won't move at all.
    If it only stays at walk speed when the button is being pushed then yes, you have the older version (like us), which is fairly useless.
    How did you get it to 18km/h? If you lifted the firefly off the floor, then gunned it, and it got as high as 18km/h, then I would guess that yours is set to the lower speed. (And, from memory, you had Rio ship internally in the US, so they would have set it to the US limit). I think you would find that if the firefly was pulling a chair and person, that 18km/h would reduce to 15km/h max.

    My son is an expert at getting the front wheel to spin prior to getting it to grip and then take off. So I suspect that these type of motors just run that way unfortunately (they are bike motors after all, only meant to run when you are pedalling, which means you wouldn't be starting from 0km/h with the motor alone). But have you/your husband just tried to twist the accelerator very very slowly, to see if that makes a difference? Or tried using the walk feature to start off? (If I was anywhere near my son's firefly at the moment, I would try those options out myself, but I'm a few thousand kms away for the next few days unfortunately).
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  5. #5
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    I have sent an e-mail to Rio Mobility to see if they have any idea's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy1 View Post
    If it only stays at walk speed when the button is being pushed then yes, you have the older version (like us), which is fairly useless.
    Bummer. This looks like it would really help. Walking speed is useless for him if it won't stay in walking speed, because he is not able to hold down the walking speed button at the same time with only using one hand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy1 View Post
    How did you get it to 18km/h? If you lifted the firefly off the floor, then gunned it, and it got as high as 18km/h, then I would guess that yours is set to the lower speed. (And, from memory, you had Rio ship internally in the US, so they would have set it to the US limit). I think you would find that if the firefly was pulling a chair and person, that 18km/h would reduce to 15km/h max.
    I have no idea why it is different. We are not really needing much speed, because it is really only used at walking speed at about 5km/h. Yes, you are correct about us having it shipped internally in the US (good memory!).
    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy1 View Post
    My son is an expert at getting the front wheel to spin prior to getting it to grip and then take off. So I suspect that these type of motors just run that way unfortunately (they are bike motors after all, only meant to run when you are pedalling, which means you wouldn't be starting from 0km/h with the motor alone). But have you/your husband just tried to twist the accelerator very very slowly, to see if that makes a difference? Or tried using the walk feature to start off? (If I was anywhere near my son's firefly at the moment, I would try those options out myself, but I'm a few thousand kms away for the next few days unfortunately).
    With only being able to use one arm/hand, I don't think he would be able to manage getting the front wheel to spin before take off.

    He is working on trying to twist the accelerator slowly, but I think it is hard when he also needs to be gripping to steer it properly.

    What you said makes sense about how the motors are made to be used when pedalling a bike and not starting from 0km/h with the motor alone.

    A friend had the idea to make some sort of mechanical stop on the throttle. I wanted to explore changes we could make to the settings first, but maybe we will need to explore this more if Rio Mobility does not have any suggestions.
    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. #6
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    I still have not heard back from Rio Mobility. If the computer we have can't be changed, does anyone know if there is a way to do this manually, like overriding a switch or something? At this point we would be fine with it being at walking speed at about 5km/h for a few months at least.
    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).

  7. #7
    Are you saying the Firefly only has one or a few fixed pre-programmed speeds? Another way of asking this question is: Are you saying the Firefly does not have an infinitely variable zero to wide open speed throttle?
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  8. #8
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    No, I am not saying that at all. It has infinite speeds to a maximum controlled by the throttle. Our problem is the initial throttle speed. You can set the maximum "Highest speed setting", but it appears that this does not go as low as we might want. Our's is set at 18 km/h and I can not get it to go lower. I don't know if this will help with the initial throttle speed or not, but I wanted to try it. There is also a "Walking Speed" setting to drive it 6km/h, but I do not think our version supports it. Again, I was hoping that might help with the initial throttle speed, but I am not sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by nonoise View Post
    Are you saying the Firefly only has one or a few fixed pre-programmed speeds? Another way of asking this question is: Are you saying the Firefly does not have an infinitely variable zero to wide open speed throttle?
    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).

  9. #9
    If the initial doesn't start at zero, it isn't what I am calling infinite. I have two hub motor devices (not Max Mobility's SmartDrive) run by controllers and variable speed throttles that *both* will turn the wheel extremely slow and crank up to full wide open throttle. One of these has a cruise control that works like those on a car. I can set any speed with the variable throttle, hit cruise and let go. Tapping cruise again turns it off. It's also possible to speed up or slow down using the cruise control.

    The Firefly should be designed to go as slow as you want, but maybe they did not set it up that way.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  10. #10
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    Ah, now I see what you mean @nonoise. It does start at zero, but with having to throttle and steer with one arm it rev's up way to quickly. I get the feeling that what @Gordy1 wrote is how the motors are made to be used when pedalling a bike and not starting from 0km/h with the motor alone.

    Probably for many people, including me when I researched it, we were only interested in maximum speed, range, etc. I did not think to check on the minimum speed (me bad). I keep meaning to call Rio Mobility about it, but with >10 hours time zone difference I'm just way too tired for an intelligent discussion about it, and hope they just reply to my e-mail.

    I am pretty much useless when it comes to power anything, but am okay with electronic boards, switches, etc. I've tried to figure out which controller it is, but they outsource everything from Asia and it's difficult to get the proper model number or diagrams. I'll take a look at the controller tomorrow and see if I can find more model information, but if anyone can steer me in a general direction to search for a possible solution, it would be much appreciated.
    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).

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