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Thread: Permobil F3/M3

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by crags View Post
    Got my F3 yesterday. As much as the elevator feature which I had on my C300 was convenient for certain things, such as banking and the library, I am glad I did not get it on this chair, as driving would have been completely unreasonable. My C300 was 17.5" STF in the front and the vendor was able to drop down the pan in the rear, so that the rear STF was about 17".

    The F3 without the elevator was supposed to be 17.5" but is closer to 18"and there is no possibility of changing the rear pan STF, so it's 18"as well. This is a full inch difference between my C300 and the F3. I was already having some difficulty seeing out of my Honda Odyssey, now it is definitely more obstructed, since I am sitting higher.

    I am not a fan of the controls, which lump together the mode and profile buttons. This necessitates cycling through the various options to get what you want. I did get the memory seat program which seems to be pretty decent. It allows you three preset settings of any combination of leg elevation, tilt, and recline. So the holding the joystick in one position it can take you all the way back to full tilt, leg rest elevation and full recline for pressure relief. There are three settings available. I will probably have the other two removed from the menu system, as it seems more of a pain in the ass than anything else, unless you have real defined positional settings.

    The ski slope upward curve on the control hits things and I have trouble fitting under some tables and sinks which I had elevated.

    I got the Invacare matrix elite deep back. It offers 6 inches of depth, lateral support, and scapular cutouts for shoulder mobility.

    My vendor was able to get me group 24 batteries and the gel armrests. I got 13 inch armrests, but they are a bit short. I should have gotten 16 and let the excess hang out the back.

    The motors are a bit jumpy inside.

    I tried to attach two pictures, but couldn't, if interested PM me and I can forward them to you.

    All this waiting and I was hoping for a substantial improvement over the C300. We'll just have to wait and see and get used to it. One thing for sure, I am glad I didn't use a power chair during my working years, as the constant maneuvering in an office would have been extremely difficult, though getting to and from the office from the parking lot would have been easier, as well as keeping up with my buddies during lunchtime walks.
    Its going to take time to get comfortable about 90 days..during this time is a great time to work with your DME to fine tune likes and dislikes.

    Have them bring a programmer to your house and set it to your liking.

    You can also slow down responsiveness with right paddle on the joystick.

    Check with your DME or your Permobil rep and see if you can trade out the armrest for 16" it makes a big difference.

    When you did your demo did you have it at home for a weekend?

    Cant stress how important it is to use a new demo at ones home, in your car if you drive, on a bus or shuttle or train or subway if you use public transportation.

    If you work or school take it there also.

    This help in the decision if the chair is the right match.

    Thinking your make judgments before your truly use to it.

    I had my F3 at my office and it was simple getting in and out of my office and home office, in and out of my smaller Honda Element, being able to board a plane, train, subway is a F3 is so much more easy and I came from a mid wheel.

    It will get better the more seat time you have...each day you learn to do something new or different.

  2. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    USA West Coast
    Quote Originally Posted by crags View Post
    I could try to gain an inch by going with the new 3 inch roho. I currently use a four-inch quadtro and my skin has been okay. It would be a shame to have to have a slightly lower level of skin protection in order to gain a bit more functionality.

    Now I can see why some people are seen in old power chairs. If it works for them and the parts is still available, then you might as well use it for as long as you can.
    People don't understand how even a quarter inch difference in Seat to Floor height is so important to someone who transfers independently. I'm still using my 2002 Permobil Chairman Entra because I never got used to the new C400 with higher STF. The C400 also has arms rests that are too heavy to lift (Corpus system). We don't need fancy ass heavy joysticks with big screens on them! We need something simple and light weight we can lift up in order to transfer!

    Parts are getting scarce for the old Chairman Entra, and I'll probably be forced into an F3 sooner or later. So I'll be interested in your report, after you've had a few month's use, to see how you adjust to the new chair. Here's wishing you a good transition.

  3. #23
    If you check the order form for the F3 only the elevator seat adds height. As to maintaining the backup chair I use a timer and charge 10 min. a day.

  4. #24
    Three things:

    1. When I got my C300, some six and half years ago, my DME or Permobil, I'm not sure who, was able to recess the seat pan down within the side rails such that I had a half-inch "dump", even before using tilt. My front seat to floor height 17.5 and the rear was 17. Now the seat pan cannot be recessed as before, which I was told, and the seat to floor height is closer to 18, then it is to 17.5. It's the rear seat the floor height that determines the height of your head.

    This puts my new reality at 1 inch higher than before, which is substantial. I'm only 5'10" but notice the change in getting into my Honda Odyssey as well as the worse vision out of the front windshield. And that is with zero tilt, which is most uncomfortable to be in if you are a quad. With the effects of momentum, having some tilt is important in terms of driving comfort and stability.

    2. I was reading the instruction manual and I saw they had pictures and drawings for several r-net control systems, one of them exactly like my old one. Why do they have several in the manual? Are they all available? Or are the new chairs all with the new curved screen and toggles on either side of the control arm? To be honest, I'm not a real fan of the control system. I don't like the lumping together of profiles and mode. It requires too much cycling through the screens.

    3. I got the Invacare matrix elite deep back. I noticed when reclining it was not doing so smoothly. When I was observing this out of the chair, with the back unweighted there was a catch midway through the range, and then a lurch with the back suddenly dropping down in the slide rails.

    Later, I was going to the manual, out of the chair and was checking out the recline function again and I experienced the same catch and thought it was going to resolve itself like before. This time it went "BAM" and the entire aftermarket back separated from the frame of the chair. I don't know if any pins or bolts broke or were not secured properly, but the thought of this happening me in the chair when reclined and by myself gave me a bit of angst. I wonder if I would've been able to come back up with a back detached from the frame that was providing the power for recline.

    Chair is due to be picked up on Monday. I pray this is not a harbinger of things to come with this new chair.

    I currently use an easy lok in my Odyssey and have not had any problems with the bolt hanging up anywhere in my typical day's activities. However, some people do with the new F3 have had to switch to another lockdown called the Qstraint system. Anybody have any experience with this?

  5. #25
    I have used permobil since rehab and have been impressed with the quality of the parts. The front wheel drive is easy to see where you are maneuvering in tight places.

  6. #26
    I've been SCI for close to 30 years but only went to power chair about 6 1/2 years ago. Before that I used the extender power assist system, which I felt was very good and I still use in the evenings around the house, as a backup, and when I have to go to certain places where I may have to be lifted out the chair, such as doctors offices or hospital.

    Thus far, I've only had one power chair and was the Permobil C300. I'm not terribly hard on a chair and I do take care of my equipment very well and in that time have had essentially no downtime. Battery issues, but no major malfunction left me high and dry for weeks.

    Permobil does seem to be the brand of choice for many rehab center recommendations.

    This seat the floor height issue, which is so critical for functionality in the home, office, driving, restaurants, etc., is one that all power chair suffer from. And this time around I didn't choose the elevator, which would put me at 18.5, full inch and a half above my present C300.

    When they tell you that the seat to floor height is the same as your existing manual they don't tell you that the rear seat to floor height is the same as the front, and if you want to create the same dump angle, that is done through tilt, which just raises up your knees and makes it hard to fit under things. In a manual chair dump is created by dropping down the rear seat through axle plate adjustment while keeping your front knees the same height.

    Also, I was surprised that Permobil then offer an 18 inch wide seat. 18 inches seems like a pretty common size, but they only offer 17 then 19. So I had to go for 19.

  7. #27
    The seat elevator does not change the STF height. When I've gotten chairs in where the front STF height is >17.5", its usually been due to the factory limiting the minimum seat angle due to the spec for legrest length (16 of less should prevent this). This can be remedied by a rep by resetting the system.

    The Profile/Mode cycle can be made a little less cumbersome by removing seating from all but one driving profile.

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