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Thread: Switching drive system on Permobil F3

  1. #1

    Switching drive system on Permobil F3

    I'm getting a used F3 that I need to make a few changes to. The biggest change is switching the Omni drive system that is currently on the chair out and returning to an R net joystick. I dont have the original joystick unfortunately. Has anyone ever done this? Possible to do on my own?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Leeds, AL USA
    I've not swapped them but my thinking is this: if omni plugs into the same port that a joystick plugs into, I'd try that first. Gotta have a joystick anyway, first place I'd throw a $ at. Many on Ebay, used.
    When I have time, I'll look for a link to a wiring diagram.
    You may have to do some reprogramming.

    Someone that's actually done needs to chime in.
    Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
    Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

  3. #3
    That's my thinking, too. I'm really hopeful that they both plug into the same port. I might have to get a new bracket to hold the joystick. And I'm almost certain I'll need to do reprogramming. Hopefully I can get a local dealer to bring their dongle to my house for that. The chair also has attendant control. Is that pretty simple to just disconnect and take off the chair?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Leeds, AL USA
    I have an old C500 w/Pilot+ joystick (= old). It's attendant joystick system is a box w/toggle sw that both joysticks plug into. Flipping toggle switch choses which joystick is active. I've used the attendant joystick as a wired remote control (it's not mounted to chair) to run it up steep ramps in my trailer for transport. Seemed like a good idea but didn't work as smooth as planned. Now the joystick box switch is used as an off switch for anti theft when I'm in public and away from chair (attendant stick not connected). Again, this is the old Pilot+ system and has little in common w/R-Net stuff.

    I'm thinking the omni programming may be slow steer and speed, possible anti tremor too.
    If the number on the main control module with omni is same as for module w/joystick would possible indicate you won't have to replace module.
    However there is some reprogramming that requires module to be sent to Permobil. Adding 50 degree anterior tilt is one example. Can't be done by techs. Been there.

    Some stuff on Ebay is stupidly priced as it is on mobility sites that sell used stuff. Gotta check around and be patient.

    Link to PDF for R-net, see pg 133.
    May or may not need encoder (shown) in the conversion. I'd try it with at first. To go around it (eliminate), you'll probably need an R-Net cable to extend joystick cable (another stupidly priced item).

    Some omni controls have bluetooth. If so, you might be able to use it.
    See pg 9 & 13

    Unknown territory for me, just making speculations with a little logic.
    Last edited by Gearhead; 01-31-2020 at 12:56 PM.
    Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
    Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

  5. #5
    Why do you want to swap joysticks? The R-net drive system is made up of modules. Joystick module, Power module, Seating module. My understanding is that Permobile has added to the basic R-net system to make their chairs drive system proprietary. The link above is one of many manuals Curtis Wright has regarding R-net. Here is a link...

    It is a lot to learn.
    "Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed." - Hunter Thompson
    T5/6 complete

  6. #6
    I haven't seen the chair in person yet but it has an Omni module rather than a joystick. So I guess it's my understanding that the Omni module is for some sort of alternative drive rather than the joystick, such as Sip and Puff. I don't know what the input is for the Omni but I'm just thinking that it wouldn't be very practical for me to use since I don't have the need for anything other than a simple joystick.

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