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Thread: Permobil C350 question, need more speed

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  1. #1

    Permobil C350 question, need more speed

    Recently acquired C350 that I will be converting for street use (cane holders, lights, flag, etc.). 5 MPH speed not fast enough for me. Want 8 or more MPH.
    Question: Will reprogramming speed it up or will I need different motors and controller then programed?
    Before I talk to a tech, I need as much info as possible because I usually have to "hold their hand".

    My C500 will do 10 MPH so I can handle the speed, although it can cause a "pucker" moment at times. I just want the stability of a rear drive C350 at speed.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gearhead View Post
    Recently acquired C350 that I will be converting for street use (cane holders, lights, flag, etc.). 5 MPH speed not fast enough for me. Want 8 or more MPH.
    Question: Will reprogramming speed it up or will I need different motors and controller then programed?
    Before I talk to a tech, I need as much info as possible because I usually have to "hold their hand".

    My C500 will do 10 MPH so I can handle the speed, although it can cause a "pucker" moment at times. I just want the stability of a rear drive C350 at speed.
    Top speed on the C350 is ~6.5MPH with the "high speed upgrade" option. Me thinks you're SoL.

  3. #3
    Had a good reply but forum kicks me often.
    In short, I too think I'm SoL based on my research.
    Guess I was looking for a magic bullet

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gearhead View Post
    Had a good reply but forum kicks me often.
    Many forums have timeouts to automatically log users off after periods of inactivity. Typing a message is "inactivity" in the software's eyes (your browser sees your activity but the forum software doesn't). I think the "Remember Me?" checkbox on the login page puts a cookie on your machine to work-around this timeout (at least, that's how it is at other forums in which I participate).

    If you are "kicked out" when you click the button to "post" what you've just typed, you can often IMMEDIATELY click on "Back" (in your browser) to return to the web page in which you were typing your reply. SELECT all of the text and copy to your computer's clipboard. Then, when you are "kicked out", you can log back in, find the thread in question and just PASTE your reply into the page and click on "Submit Reply" -- before the timeout has a chance to dump you.

    Alternatively, you can "Preview" your post frequently as each "Preview" is seen by the forum software as "activity" (thus prolonging the timeout)

    In short, I too think I'm SoL based on my research.
    Guess I was looking for a magic bullet
    You can probably hack something together as a DIY solution. The problem, there, is that you have no guarantees that the "final product" will be reliable -- because you don't know the design limits of the "stuff" you're working with. E.g., to go faster, you need to push more POWER into the motor/drivetrain. But, there are INefficiencies involved -- how much additional heat will be dissipated in the motor? How much in the gearbox?? Are there stability issues with the mechanics of the chair, itself? (if you can push it to 8MPH, what about 15MPH? 30MPH?? where's the limit -- and, WHAT is the limiting ISSUE/component?)

    [E.g., you can run nitrous oxide and avgas in your car -- but I'm not sure how long the engine will last with that higher rate of "combustion"]

  5. #5
    LiFeP04 battery conversion would give a voltage increase so potentially more speed if you could get the control system to give it to the motors but Permobil won't supply OEM software to let you set the chair as you want it. Depending upon how chair was set up you might not be getting 100% power/speed in the programming but you need software to check, more money to Permobil dealer to get from you. Personally I wouldn't buy a Permobil because of this, look after the programming of my R Net chair and Dynamic Controls chair myself. Both with LiFeP04 batteries and increased voltage to motors.

  6. #6
    Your right. Can't type fast due to hand function so timmer is what's kicking I think.

    Yea, Permobil keeps their programming and tools closely guarded.
    I have a dongle that I used on my M300 to get 8 MPH. Problem is it must have other chairs downloaded in it via it's USB port. This requires tech's username and password which I'm sure is tracked by Permobil. A lot of study and programing other chairs has given me confidence in changing the settings. Motors can be rewound or adapt a better motor but exceeding amp rating of controller can be a problem. 8-10 MPH would make me happy. My C500S goes 10-12 which can be tricky for a front drive. Permobil says they never made a chair that fast. Ha ha. Programming it is via push button sequences on ESP module in the base. Old chair with user accessible programming.
    Rear drive at speed is more stable verses front drive I've read. Would like to test that myself. Going a few miles to my local, small downtown is fun + good for me.

    Going next week for face to face doctor evail for new chair. I want the F3 for the forward tilt. Hope I can get 8 MPH version if they offer it. It will be primarily a house chair.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gearhead View Post
    Yea, Permobil keeps their programming and tools closely guarded.
    You can understand their argument(s) for doing so. OTOH, it just makes the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) higher. Gotta wonder what a "direct to user" seller could do if they really wanted to "disrupt" the market. Granted, there will always be a need for "providers" to address specific needs of users where there is a fair amount of "sales support" involved (education, fitting kit to needs, etc.). But, I suspect there is also a fair bit of "overhead" that is incurred when it need not be.

    Even the mechanical design of the chairs seems like it doesn't make much of an effort to keep maintenance/repair costs as low as they might be.

    I have a dongle that I used on my M300 to get 8 MPH. Problem is it must have other chairs downloaded in it via it's USB port. This requires tech's username and password which I'm sure is tracked by Permobil.
    Web based service? (how else would they know of your use -- unless they can query the chair, directly?)

    I'd considered approaching chair manufacturers/dealers for access to programming equipment for the chairs that I refurbish. But, figured that would be a wasted effort. And, given the high number of chairs that come in, its relatively easy to just pick which ones are "most driveable" and discard the rest -- no dicking around with programming, required!

    Motors can be rewound or adapt a better motor but exceeding amp rating of controller can be a problem.
    A well designed motor driver should protect itself from all sorts of potential failures -- motors can stall, short out, etc. in normal use. But, you're still dealing with a bag of unknowns...

    8-10 MPH would make me happy. My C500S goes 10-12 which can be tricky for a front drive.
    I'd think it also would require some changes to the "controls" to ensure a twitch doesn't leave you in the middle of a crowded roadway!

    Going a few miles to my local, small downtown is fun + good for me.
    I've noticed a couple of wheelchair-bound young kids at a (school) bus stop down the road. I'm hoping to find some powerchairs with smaller seating units that I can offer to them so THEY can drive down to the local park, etc. (instead of relying on adults to push them there).

    Going next week for face to face doctor evail for new chair. I want the F3 for the forward tilt. Hope I can get 8 MPH version if they offer it. It will be primarily a house chair.
    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Fast FWD chair will lack stability and you might need to reprogram the FWD settings and gyro settings if it has them. Gyro isn't easy to configure especially if you use dynamic. You could replace all the Permobil control system with a 120A R Net system but would probably need new motors. Try asking on wheelchair driver forum, there is a large knowledge base there.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    Possible to increase tire diameter?
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfcs49 View Post
    Possible to increase tire diameter?
    Oooooo! Clever man! Speed indicated on the display would, of course, be wrong -- but you could make mental adjustments for that. Ditto for distance traveled (note to self: how does chair know how fast wheels are actually moving??)

    Practical problem would be finding wheels that had the same bolt-hole positions...

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