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Thread: Alternative powerchair controls e.g. mini joystick experiences and mousing

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  1. #1

    Question Alternative powerchair controls e.g. mini joystick experiences and mousing

    Any experiences with mini joysticks or other 'light' joysticks? I have a condition which causes hypotonia and I'm having a lot of difficulty driving my (Permobil F5) any distance. I've tried different ways of mounting it and that's improved my stamina a bit, but not a lot. I think I'm going to order some kind of alternative control, but I'm not sure which one. Other than price, are there any downsides to them? For example, are they less precise than a regular joystick? Or anything else I should be aware of? It seems there is basically no way to 'try before you buy' so any experiences of either R-net's own offering's or the offerings from mo-vis, both the 'mini' and the 'light' (the latter is lighter than a regular joystick, but not as light as the mini) would be much appreciated... like all these things I don't want to make an expensive mistake. I've searched the forums and there isn't a lot here about these controls so I'd most welcome any experiences or pointers towards other spaces where there are people with experiences of these controls.

    Any experiences with the R-net bluetooth mouse module with either option?

  2. #2
    If you want to replace the joystick handle on the R-net control modules Body Point has a range of joysticks from which to choose.
    https://www.bodypoint.com/ECommerce/...ystick-handles

    Many durable medical equipment suppliers have a demo board from Body Point with all of the joystick handles that are offered.

    Not sure I'm on point with your question. A picture of your current set up might be helpful for us to understand what you are trying to replace.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    If you want to replace the joystick handle on the R-net control modules Body Point has a range of joysticks from which to choose.
    https://www.bodypoint.com/ECommerce/...ystick-handles

    Many durable medical equipment suppliers have a demo board from Body Point with all of the joystick handles that are offered.

    Not sure I'm on point with your question. A picture of your current set up might be helpful for us to understand what you are trying to replace.
    I will try to get a picture up later in the week but my current set up is that I've got the standard permobil joystick http://www.permobil.com/Global/Unite...OGUE_UK_lr.pdf - on pg11 here, but with a bodypoint Rubber Dome (https://www.bodypoint.com/ecommerce/...ystick-handles) joystick handle. It's mounted on a Bodypoint Tri Lock Midline Arm (https://www.bodypoint.com/ecommerce/...3/midline-arms) in a position which isn't 100% central, but more over my leg. Both the change of joystick knob and the more central mounting are helpful, but neither have meant that I can drive for what I consider a reasonable length of time.

    rlnguy - thanks for the thoughts about control and my hand bouncing around. That makes me think that, if I can manage it, the stiffer one would be better than the mini. I have got the swivel armrest but I like my armrest set low at the front, so the swivel just hits my leg, so that's not a winner!

    mrb - Your post also encouraged me to get back to the rep. Initially he was trying to sell me either sight unseen without trying, but your post encouraged me to push for an actual trial, so thanks. He's coming out in a couple of weeks with them for me to try.

    I'll let you know how I get on and meanwhile, if anyone else has experience with the light joystick(s) do please let me know.

    Anyone got experience of using these as a mouse, via bluetooth?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by EmilyL View Post

    mrb - Your post also encouraged me to get back to the rep. Initially he was trying to sell me either sight unseen without trying, but your post encouraged me to push for an actual trial, so thanks. He's coming out in a couple of weeks with them for me to try.

    I'll let you know how I get on and meanwhile, if anyone else has experience with the light joystick(s) do please let me know.

    Anyone got experience of using these as a mouse, via bluetooth?
    Make sure that the rep has the relevant connection lead/dongle and software for your wheelchair control system so they can adjust parameters otherwise you might reject a joystick as being too sensitive when all that is needed is a tweak of the control system. If they don't have this find another dealer.

    If you want to see how technical it can be you could download the Wizard software from Dynamic Controls here https://dynamiccontrols.com/en/downl...rd-6-downloads you won't be able to access the more advanced settings without an OEM dongle but it gives an idea of why you need a good dealer. I've never tried to use one with bluetooth sorry.

  5. #5
    You should try different options.
    The mini joystick only moves about 1/8", from center to full speed, with something like 5 grams of force-not very much, so might be difficult to control, if your hand is bouncing at all from vibrations, or anything.
    Lite touch joysticks look like a regular one, but require a lot less force.
    You might also try having the chair programming changed, so you don't require full JS travel, to get full speed.
    (That would be a very inexpensive thing to try.)
    Position can make a huge difference, sometimes, more midline is easier.
    Not sure about your chair, but Permobil does offer an armrest, that can swivel inwards, some, that might help.
    Your provider should be able to get some options for you to try, from the local Permobil rep, if they don't have them, on hand.

  6. #6
    Hey Ringuy,
    Are you in some way associated with Permobil? I see from your profile that you are in Tennessee, possibly Nashville, where Permobil is headquartered? But, there is no indication in your profile that you have a spinal cord injury.

    You seem quite knowledgeable about the various joystick options and operations.

    If you have information to share, all of us who use Permobil products look forward to more input from you.

    Thanks for posting!

  7. #7
    Hey gjnl if you look at his previous posts he does talk about having a T6 S I just FYI. No need to jump on people's ass for not having their profiles filled out to your liking lol

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jscrog View Post
    Hey gjnl if you look at his previous posts he does talk about having a T6 S I just FYI. No need to jump on people's ass for not having their profiles filled out to your liking lol
    gjnl is right. We have asked that all members, including jscrog, add some information in their profile about whether or not they have a SCI/D, and what the level of injury is. We also ask that they include their age, where they live, and their gender. This helps put both questions and comments into perspective for other users. It is not reasonable to expect members to search through members' old posts to find this information.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  9. #9
    Sorry, but the way I read gjnl's post, he wasn't "jumping on his ass."

  10. #10
    I've got a Switch It micro guide on my day chair, chin control. Dynamic Controls DX joystick on my off road chair and replaced with a mo vis short throw for a short while. Both the short throw joystick are a lot more sensitive and require more care when driving, you might need to reprogram I tried this on my off road wheelchair and still couldn't get comfortable so reverted to DX. You also need to watch the changes they can make, DX had a restrictor plate which stopped me pulling away at high speed with steering lock applied, mo vis didn't have it so I could pull away quickly with lock on. It is all trial and error and I would look for a good dealer to try the options, don't buy without trying!

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