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Alber Adventure PowerchairAlber Adventure Powerchair (Frank Mobility)  
 

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR:

 


THE ALBER ADVENTURE
is a rear wheel drive "light" powerchair that is designed in "modular" form so that it can be disassembled for transport should you wish. Although I have not actually tested how difficult this is. Reports on my Forum say its not too easy and parts heavy. So if you intend to do this, to allow easy car transport, I suggest that you actually try it for yourself. You may be in for a shock...

Various site visitors tell me its pretty difficult to do quickly. I suspect its something you would only do if you really have no choice!  A more sensible motor vehicle is always a better full time solution and can be used with a powerchair that doesn't have to break apart for transport. Meaning bigger better batteries and a more capable chair.


The arms on the one I was looking at, were very weak and loose (rattle) as well.

They definitely wouldn't be able to stand up to the rigours of a heavy adult like myself using them to pressure lift every few hours, or to lean on heavily, while transferring! 

This is a fault with many powerchairs & scooters. The manufacturers don't seem to get that we often have no choice here! Result is rapid wear, bent parts or other damage.

One other concern is that while it claims to be both fast (8 mph is possible apparently) and have all day range, it uses pretty small batteries. That just does not add up.

 

 

   
 

 

John Williamson

EVEN ALLOWING for the fact that it uses more efficient brushless motors (which helps it go further on its small batteries) it still doesn't quite seem possible.  Good standard powerchair motors are 70 to 85 percent efficient complete with gearbox already.  Brushless motors used here are better but are still not 100 percent efficient.

Usually brushless motors are around 85% to 90% efficient. An approximate gain of say 10 to 15 percent in efficiency. Or range. But it has just 44Ah rather than the usual 75Ah to play with. According to my simple maths keeping the same range as a normal hi end powerchair isn't actually possible. I could be wrong. 

Since a normal 6mph powerchair NEEDS its 75Ah batteries for true all day capability, with a heavy adult,  then I would expect that this chair needs AT LEAST 55/60ah batteries to keep the same range/performance level even with its more efficient motors. 

alber adventureExpect both range and/or short battery service life issues with this chair if you use it heavily as I do my own chairs. I wonder why it is that they offer just 6 months warranty on batteries? (!)

This is especially relevant if you are heavy, or live where there are lots of hills or ramps, or intend to use it on grass or loose surfaces. Particularly worrying if you drive off road, which it claims to be good at... Any off road use murders batteries very fast.

 

 

 

GROUND CLEARANCE IS GOOD AT 17cm

Because obviously they have no space problem because of the small batteries!  I also design power wheelchairs. My latest one has FOUR or FIVE TIMES the amount of stored energy at the high discharge rate in its high tech lithium batteries.

5 times more stored power? Yes.  it needs that amount of energy to be properly useful off road!  BM3 here

 

Programming on all Powerchairs is dismal at very best and although I didn't drive this one the guy who owns it said it was as "soggy" much as I expected. 

All bought stock powerchairs are like this. It makes real, accurate linear control impossible.  The only way to fix this with ANY powerchair is to take charge and reprogram it to suit you, at a lower level than a typical end user / dealer programmer will allow. This almost always presents a problem. But there are "ways" to overcome this on many chairs. See my forum.

This needs an OEM level programmer normally. Which causes all kinds of problems as they are almost impossible to get hold of for most people. So you will likely be stuck with the OEM level programming it comes with. The dealer will not be able to use anything but an end user/dealer programmer which may help here very slightly but will not really fix the problems.

See programming but I don't know how easy it will be to get hold of a programmer that can fix this chair! Its electronics look bespoke, rather than one of the big three or four control system manufacturers such as Dynamic or Penny & Giles or Curtis etc, that the other powerchair manufacturers usually fit.  (Even if rebranded.) So if it was me, I would find out how easy it was to get access to a OEM level programmer before spending my hard earned on this. This really matters to me.

I WOULD NOT BUY ANY POWERCHAIR WHERE A LOW LEVEL OEM/ENGINEERING LEVEL PROGRAMMER WAS NOT EASILY AVAILABLE - one way or another! See forum.

Although most people don't seem to care here, if only because, they just do not understand the difference, due to never having had the chance to find out!

The anti tip wheels and bars at the rear are far too long (they will hit everything around me indoors) and will prevent your head being the first thing to touch a wall when you reverse. Therefore making the chair longer than it needs to be.  And is an issue when trying to drive off a curb too. Too low here, leaving you hung with no drive wheel in contact with the ground. See Forum for more details about this by users!

It has a good central space saving footplate (no corners!) rather than the awful swing away ones fitted to most powerchairs that hit every doorframe...

Normal rehab seating cushions can be used. It can drive short distances at lower speeds with just one battery pack fitted. Although I wouldn't recommend this unless you like buying new batteries regularly for a bunch of technical reasons.

And like most rear drive chairs, the rear wheels are too far back compared to the seat giving a nose heavy "long" configuration. This which saps power, hinders manoeuvrability etc. And makes it feel like a truck indoors. But all modern rear drive powerchairs have this forward C of G issue because the manufacturers are afraid of the chairs tipping back on slopes and ramps.  Never bothers sports manual wheelchair suppliers though? Or me. I modified my own chair to be as tippy as a sports manual wheelchair.  This way it feels lively, wheelies at will, and steers better and saves much battery power.

And its very wide for no obvious reason. Its a full 26.5 inches wide! That's over a full inch wider than my own chair (which has 12 inches width of fat rubber tyres included! as well as much bigger batteries). EVERY INCH COUNTS when indoors. So you will need lots of indoor space. 25 inches is a good target for any powerchair intended for indoor use.

As with all powerchairs avoid Recaro or any automotive style seating unless you are extraordinarily small and light as it moves the chairs C of G higher and further forwards making handling and steering / stability worse.

 
 

ITS BESPOKE TYRES are an odd size, and are rapidly getting a reputation as fragile and puncture prone. Like most powerchair tyres they are small in width, and have small sidewalls so don't offer much floatation and sink on soft surfaces. They don't do much for ride comfort either.  The fragility is common to all pneumatic powerchair TUBED tyres though.

That's why I use tubeless ones on my own powerchairs along with some off road "gunk" that stops deflation before you know it should have deflated! So check the sizes (and prices) and make sure there are alternative tyres available and that you are not relying on the powerchair manufacturer for replacement rubber!  Because I see none anywhere. They are again bespoke solutions I think at high cost rather than standard tyre sizes.

As usual powerchair manufacturers are still giving us tubes tyres! Tubes pop or burst like a balloon or expand around a nail for e.g.. Not good if you cant walk. And /or solid or foam filled tyres are horrible, hard, heavy and eat batteries.

Battery charger is both automatic charger and maintainer (includes a float charge after charging for long term connection and storage of batteries.) Much like most modern multi stage logic controlled powerchair chargers. (Although some don't "maintain" or float long term after charging). A fast charger should be included as well but like all over the counter powerchairs its not included. So we are expected to wait forever while batteries charge.

Range 45 km / 30 miles A very, very dubious claim with its 2 tiny 24v 22Ah batteries!  I would put a weeks wages on it having much less range than my own "normal" brushed motor powerchair has.)  They do three versions 4, 6 and 7.5mph. The 7.5 (8) mph one will be the worst one here by a large margin no matter what their claims. 

The slowest 4mph one MAY have enough range to be usable all day. But speed is very expensive in terms of power. It takes MUCH MORE power (or battery energy) to double the speed. So the fastest version at 7.5 mph cant possibly have the same range as the 4mph one!  I wouldn't buy a fast one if you weigh more than a 12 year old girl...  Because its torque level and ramp climbing ability and range will be diminished. Although not tested in this case. 

Length - 111 cm that's much longer than my own powerchair which is not good indoors or trying to manoeuvre in toilets or pubs etc. Or for getting in or out of my van.

Width - 68 cm that's wider my own powerchair. And a problem. Much like the comments above. How can they manage to make it bigger in every direction than my own powerchair whilst only fitting batteries just over half of the size?  And my chair has a full FOOT of tyre rubber width too...  I don't think PowerChair manufacturers are trying very hard.

So it is a little wider and longer than it really needed to be. That is its Longer and Wider than my own powerchairs which is crazy since they also have those huge fat easy riding comfortable (outdoors) tyres with some off road beach/sand capability too. And 70Ah batteries (almost 2x bigger!)   It should / could be much narrower!  And shorter. Every inch or part of an inch matters indoors and in confined spaces like vans / loos restaurants, public transport etc. 

Max loading 140kg, 

Total weight 96.7kg

Tyres (Tires) These are great sizes for indoors as well as reasonably good outdoors on a rear drive powerchair on smooth or reasonable surfaces.  These work great indoors and out on smooth pavements and carpets alike but unfortunately much of the world isn't smooth and this can be a problem with almost every modern powerchair.

The front casters are sensible diameter which means they are quite big so they are reasonably capable outdoors compared to other chairs with smaller casters.  See tyres and Solid or Pneumatic? to know what you really need!

Although 10 inch casters are better outdoors though (3.00 x 4 tyres) and the extra width is better on uneven surfaces or sand/snow.

In a rear drive powerchair like this Alber Adventure, these 2 larger caster front wheels seldom cause any problem indoors compared to a 6 wheeler or centre wheel drive chair as Its easy to predict or even see where they are or will swivel or move to as you manoeuvre in a tight spot.

Mid drive, front drive, 6 wheel platform powerchairs all need too many extra wheels sticking out in all the corners, and behind you.  So these types of chairs usually use much smaller caster wheels to try and keep them "small" enough indoors so that the casters don't go hitting everything all around you.  Leaving them at a disadvantage outdoors in the real world or in snow etc  (Powerchairs and snow)

All powerchair suspension, is pretty useless. We don't travel fast enough for it to work. And it does not have enough movement. Run over a rock. You feel it right?  With or without this suspension. Well that's because the suspension cant work properly at such low speed. Compared to say a big soft fat balloon style tyre that deform around any rock / object, where you just don't feel it.  See  much of the world isn't smooth And why I chose to throw away the suspension on my powerchairs and fit these...

Burgerman        

 

 

 

 

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