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Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 02 Jun 2015, 20:14

>>>soft pack Li-Ion

Or polymer? 7S
Or LiFePO4? 8S

All available as soft packs. Either way it doesn't much matter as you can use whatever you want.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 02 Jun 2015, 20:36

Burgerman wrote:>>>soft pack Li-Ion

Or polymer? 7S
Or LiFePO4? 8S

All available as soft packs. Either way it doesn't much matter as you can use whatever you want.


Sorry, they're polymer.

The label on the battery says 24v, 94 Ah.

The link below shows the form-factor of the battery shell.

http://www.wheelchair88.com/wp-content/ ... 00XL-1.jpg
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 02 Jun 2015, 20:54

Ooh. Lovely. Those go off better than fireworks if faulty, overcharged, charged while unbalanced, punctured or damaged, or if they swell with age. And they have a very short cycle life.

Heres one going off for no particular reason. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9mcNvOGKtI Turn volume low.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 02 Jun 2015, 21:08

Burgerman wrote:Ooh. Lovely. Those go off better than fireworks if faulty, overcharged, charged while unbalanced, punctured or damaged, or if they swell with age. And they have a very short cycle life.

Heres one going off for no particular reason. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9mcNvOGKtI Turn volume low.


Nice. I may start keeping the chair in the garage rather than the bedroom in future.

On a serious note. How does one go about finding out if the cells are unbalanced? Do you mean unbalanced within a single battery shell or across the three shells (or both)?

The chair arrived fully charged when I bought it in December, with two batteries onboard. I recently bought a third one, which is also fully charged. Should I run the chair with all three batteries onboard until they are fully depleted before charging? Or do I need to get myself a good volt/ammeter and do the balancing properly?
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 02 Jun 2015, 21:31

I use a super accurate hobby charger that charges each cell of my LiPo batteries to exactly 4.200 volts.

Those batteries rather worryingly will have a BMS on the battery that is supposed to do the same thing and a dumb charger...

Seriously the safest place for those batteries IS the garage.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby violasrbest » 05 Jun 2015, 08:28

I'm in the UK, but Wheelchair88 seem to be the only distributor of the genuine item, so I have to pay for freight in, and hope that I don't need to send it back to Malaysia! There seem to be several very satisfied customers in the UK, who all purchased from Wheelcahir88.

Thanks

Richard
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby bwest21 » 09 Sep 2015, 17:00

I am brand new to this site and looking for a chair for my husband. I think we've narrowed it down to the 1000XL. I've read many of your reviews and they sound encouraging. I have not been able to receive responses to email I've sent to this company. I don't see a "What's in the box" area and although this might sound odd, does a battery come with the chair?. Is it necessary to purchase the charging cable? Where does the battery live? I'm not sure if it's under the seat or elsewhere? Some of these questions are what I've repeatedly sent via email to Wheelchair88 and gotten no response. Any help you can give me would help us make a decision. Does anyone out there use the travel bag?

Also, I noticed a US service location which was encouraging although it is not in my state. When I looked up the address it took me to an optical frame company at that address. This concerns me a bit and I'm just trying to make sure this is a reputable company.
Thanks for any help you all can give me.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 09 Sep 2015, 21:17

Hi Barb21,

Welcome to the site!

The chair comes with one battery, which is (according to Wheelchair88's marketing info) good for about 6-7 miles of range. I bought an extra one with the chair and then another a few weeks later, so I've got the full complement of three. The claimed range is 21 miles and I got a real world 18-19 out of in on one extended trip with a few hills and some slightly rough ground, so their estimate seems about right.

The batteries live under the seat, in three dedicated (read, you can only use these specific batteries, not generic ones) slots. The batteries slide in from the back and are held in place by a sturdy fabric restraining strap. Interestingly, the third battery I bought shortly after the chair had a plastic clip mechanism that snapped into place in the battery bay, a feature the two batteries that came with the chair lack. I'm guessing this was a design change that didn't make it into existing stock, but it's a good one.

The chair comes with a standard charger, which should charge the batteries overnight (I can't personally attest to this, since I've never used it). I bought the fast charger (which is fairly bulky compared to the standard one), which charges all three batteries in about 5 hours (it'll charge a single one in 2-3). Either charger will fit in the under-seat storage bag, so you can carry it wherever you go.

You only need the charging cable if you intend to charge the batteries when they're out of the chair. If you're happy to charge them in-situ, then the charger itself is all you need.

I haven't had the need to use the US service center in Brea, CA yet, but I share your concern that the address appears to belong to another business. Also, while all the other service centers listed on the Wheelchair88 website have a phone number connected with them, the US center doesn't. I think I'll shoot them an email asking for the number and see who answers when I call. I've found the manufacturer's email address (inquiry@junidea.com) to be far more responsive than Wheelchair88's web form. I think Wheelchair88 are just a distribution subsidiary of JUNIdea, anyway.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby bwest21 » 19 Sep 2015, 16:55

Thank you very much Gimpy, this helps a lot. I would appreciate learning what you find out about the Brea location when you do. I'm thinking that although we don't go much, once he has the mobility issue solved we might and maybe we should just take the plunge and order then third battery from the start. Maybe then they will all have the superior "clip" mechanism you mention. Thanks again for your help.

Barb
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby sad_vampire » 19 Sep 2015, 22:12

I also have a PW-1000XL, & I'm using it a lot. I have two batteries but I'm considering adding a BM style powerpack that will fit in the bag under the seat for those extra long days around London, Paris, Turin, when I get carried away. Paris streets eat the batteries because the pavements slope towards the roads & there's a road junction to cross every hundred metres or so, & there are some hills.

Currently at a ski resort called Auron, the PW-1000XL has no problem here.

Nice tomorrow, Turin on Monday.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby sad_vampire » 29 Sep 2015, 02:00

motorcycle jack wrote:Gimpy -
A couple of things you mentioned - first, the clip is aluminum not plastic. I carry a pair of lock jaw pliers, clamp on the clip and pull. The added leverage works enough to unhook the clip.

John


There's a trick to opening the clip, if you hold the top of the backrest & push it backwards & downwards a little then the clip releases easily when you pull it open, or at least it does on mine.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby sad_vampire » 29 Sep 2015, 02:08

MenCallMeGimpy wrote:
motorcycle jack wrote:Gimpy -

John


One question: have you found that the folding stiffness eases up over time? To be honest, I've only folded and unfolded it a couple of times so far, so it's still "factory fresh," but I'd like to be able to set the thing up unassisted.


I've been tightening up all the bolts after using the chair around Paris, Nice & Turin, the "quality" paving was starting to loosen some of them. I noticed that the folding had stiffened up considerably to the point where I could no longer open the chair so went looking at what I'd tightened too much. The allen bolts either side of where the seat base attaches to the seat back seem to control how easy it is to open the chair.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby flagman1776 » 29 Sep 2015, 21:12

On bolts with nuts, I like to use "aircraft type" nylock nuts which hold their tension & can be left with enough play to use as a hinge. With tapped holes, I can remove the bolt & use blue lock-tite. It can be let dry & still re-adjusted with normal hand tools... again will allow enough play to hinge.
Do not do what I once did... DON"T USE RED!
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 05 Oct 2015, 14:58

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Red 272 Locktite

Postby flagman1776 » 08 Oct 2015, 04:01

i have posted in the past... It's funny now... my boss sent me to "fix' a 20 foot 2 piece VHF antenna that the customer had shaken loose on his boat. I used 272 loctite red thread locker on the brass base (1" straight threads x 1.25" long) where the antenna screwed on. subsequently that antenna failed (a fshing buddy described the guy's using his heavily powered boat to jump off wave tops.) My foreman wentto replace the antenna & couldn't get it loose. I could not apply heat without damaging the fiberglass. I freed it... barely... with a pipe wrench and a 10 foot cheater bar (2" galvanized water pipe slipped over the handle) while standing on the dock...
I cleaned the 272 off with acetone & the base was reuseable... the shop couldn't very well return the antenna to the supplier with pipe wrench marks through the plating & deep into the brass.
I learned a valueable lesson... if somebody has already destroyed a bunch of equipement... he's likely to continue... Also I never used 272 again on anything that might need to come apart.
In the end I solved the antenna problem by snaking coaxe up an already tight tuna tower leg & mounting a 3 foot short antenna up there. It had nearly the same height & there fore range (line of sight... each foot of height was a mile of range). But it made the tower cluttered.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 09 Oct 2015, 19:55

Update on my experience with the Wheelchair88 US "Service Center" in Brea, California.

I've started having a problem with the chair becoming increasingly reluctant to turn off. It turns on fine, the speed control buttons work normally, it steers just as well as ever and is, in every other way, just as good as the day I got it. It just won't turn off. Or rather, it will, but only after pressing the power button anywhere up to 30 times. I now don't bother and instead wait for the controller to time out (after 15 minutes) and turn the chair off automatically. This is annoying, however, and is using up battery power for nothing.

So I contacted JUNIdea at their info email address, asking for the phone number of their Brea Service Center (the only one of their service centers that doesn't have an phone number associated with it on the Wheelchair88 website). They responded very quickly with the number - (949) 656-1056 - and said "Sally" would help me.

I called Sally and she was very helpful. She quickly made it clear that the Center is more of a "Customer Service" operation than a repair depot, but she does keep a stock of spares on hand. After we spoke for a few minutes, she said she thought the problem was with the rubber pad that sits on top of the power and speed control buttons. Apparently, one other customer had this problem and an new pad solved it. She told me she thought she had a few replacement pads in stock, but if not, she'd get one sent to me from Malaysia. It's been about four days since we spoke, so I expect to receive the replacement soon. Hopefully, it'll resolve the issue.

My takeaway is that there isn't much in the way of hands-on repair expertise for these chairs outside of the Malaysian factory. Wheelchair88's customer service is very responsive, however, and they genuinely seem to want to help. Any potential buyers should be aware, however, that you won't be getting a visit from a friendly repairman if your chair breaks down. Wheelchair88 will send you the parts, which you can use yourself or hire someone to install. That's better than shipping your whole chair to Malaysia, but it's still something to consider.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 09 Oct 2015, 22:01

Take apart. Give rubber part a wipe to make sure its grease free. Its supposed to conduct. And clean the traces it contacts with a green scotchbright cloth carefully. Reassemble and it should be as good as new.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 10 Oct 2015, 00:27

Burgerman wrote:Take apart. Give rubber part a wipe to make sure its grease free. Its supposed to conduct. And clean the traces it contacts with a green scotchbright cloth carefully. Reassemble and it should be as good as new.


Thanks, John. I'll give that a shot this weekend and report back.

What really puzzles me is that the chair powers up immediately and uses the same button to power down. I'd have thought if it can do one, it should be able to do the other.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 27 Oct 2015, 02:55

UPDATE:

I received the new control pad cover a week ago, but only got around to replacing the old one this past weekend.

I carefully levered the old pad off, using a plastic spudger I normally use for repairing mobile phones, computers, etc. The pad came away fairly easily, but left some adhesive residue behind on the control panel circuit board. Most of this was on non-conductive parts of the board, but some was stuck to a couple of the exposed solder points near the on/off button. I carefully cleaned the adhesive away and then attached the new pad. Interestingly, the adhesive area on the new pad is shaped to steer well clear of any working parts of the board, so that only rubber touches those areas.

What I think happened is that, when the chair was sitting in my van in the California heat, the adhesive may have melted and flowed slightly over the contact points on the control board. Either that, or it became sufficiently viscous that my button presses caused it to spread out, partially bridging the contacts.

In any event, once I installed the new pad, the chair is working perfectly again.

I was very impressed with Wheelchair88's customer service in this regard. Sally knew what she was talking about and got the part to me quickly.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Robert Pollock » 27 Oct 2015, 10:40

Hello all,

Great finding this forum. I live in London, UK and I am thinking of buying a Foldawheel PW-999UL. I see that it has had very positive reviews, however:

1 - The posts about false copies on Amaxon worry me, if I am going to spend £2,000 GBP I want to be sure I am not swindled.
2 - The post about the battery on that model plane blowing up worries me.
3 - Being in London, if anything went wrong with it I need to be sure that I can locate help.

I would appreciate your input very much.

Regards
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 27 Oct 2015, 11:02

The batteries are the same as your laptop. They can blow up or burn, but generally they dont. They are quite small so its not as dangerous as you think. As for chinese clones, no idea.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 27 Oct 2015, 18:45

Robert Pollock wrote:Hello all,

Great finding this forum. I live in London, UK and I am thinking of buying a Foldawheel PW-999UL. I see that it has had very positive reviews, however:

1 - The posts about false copies on Amaxon worry me, if I am going to spend £2,000 GBP I want to be sure I am not swindled.
2 - The post about the battery on that model plane blowing up worries me.
3 - Being in London, if anything went wrong with it I need to be sure that I can locate help.

I would appreciate your input very much.

Regards
Robert Pollock


1. If you buy from wheelchair88.com you'll get the genuine article. The chair is made by JUN Idea in Malaysia and they have been very responsive to my pre- and post-purchase questions.
2. John is right about the batteries essentially being laptop batteries and, therefore, at risk of fire/explosion. But, of course, millions of people carry laptops on planes, in cars and everywhere else without mishap every day. The batteries are also the same type as found in mobile phones and a lot of people seem very comfortable placing those devices in trouser pockets, very close to body parts that don't react well to fire. So, yes, there is a risk, but statistically it's fairly small. When I travel on a plane, I take two batteries in my carry-on luggage and just use one in the chair for getting around the airport. When I arrive at my destination, I reinstall the two batteries (it takes about five minutes).
3. The "service centers" Wheelchair88 list on their website seem to be little more than a customer service rep and a stock of replacement parts. There's no repair facility at the one in the US (and I suspect the same is true of the other locations). That said, my experience with Sally, the US customer rep, was excellent. She knew her stuff and sent me the correct part within a few days. I imagine most problems with the chair would be resolved the same way. While this may be an issue for people not comfortable with repairing things, the chair is really very simply made. The major electronic components are the joystick box (can be removed in 30 seconds without tools by anyone with reasonable finger/wrist strength); the controller (located beneath the seat, accessible from the back of the chair, held on by four bolts; the batteries (clipped into dedicated bays beneath the chair. connected to the controller and each other with easy-release connectors); and the motors (located inboard of the rear wheels, easily removable with the appropriate wrench - though this probably requires a bit more arm/hand strength.) The rest of the chair is just wheels, tires, frame and seat. If you aren't comfortable repairing the chair yourself, any competent chair repair shop should be able to do the job.

I hope this helps. My big worry when buying the chair was needing to ship it back to Malaysia every time something broke, but this doesn't seem like it would ever really need to happen. It's much cheaper and easier for Wheelchair88 to just send out replacement parts. Of course, this might not suit someone who prefers the security of a dedicated repair and maintenance network, such as those provided by the major chair manufacturers, so your mileage may vary.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 27 Oct 2015, 20:53

Serendipitously, i just noticed this article:

http://gizmodo.com/faa-is-doing-nothing ... 1738751945

Seems the batteries in our wheelchairs, laptops and phones aren't necessarily the ones we should be worrying about. ;)
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 27 Oct 2015, 23:59

http://gizmodo.com/boeing-787-dreamline ... 1665607348

These are lithium ion, not polymer (boom!) or safe LiFePO4 as I use, so they can burn like your Laptop. Worse there's a cheap generic BMS in there in charge of catching fire, no wait, I mean causing the batteries to catch fire, no wait, I mean to ruin the cells faster, no wait I mean... Oh I give up. What did they expect. I wouldn't put that in a powerchair never mind a passenger jet.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 12 Nov 2015, 13:51

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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Sportingmac » 31 Mar 2016, 11:04

FYI. Just had a chat with Shirley (Wheelchair88 Marketing lead) and she informs me that they do sell through Amazon in UK - VAT free if a Blue Badge number is supplied at time of order. (details available on Amazon links) Prices shown are VAT free prices btw.

You might want to check with Shirley directly if the same applies in the US and elswhere.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Irving » 31 Mar 2016, 14:45

Sportingmac wrote:FYI. Just had a chat with Shirley (Wheelchair88 Marketing lead) and she informs me that they do sell through Amazon in UK - VAT free if a Blue Badge number is supplied at time of order. (details available on Amazon links) Prices shown are VAT free prices btw.

You might want to check with Shirley directly if the same applies in the US and elswhere.


Blue Badge doesn't entitle VAT exemption tho similar criteria apply to get one as for VAT Exemption. You need recognised disability and proof of benefit level (e.g. DWP letter) for both.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby thblues » 22 Apr 2016, 16:23

I to am considering a PW1000 chair. I was wondering if anyone can answer this question? I have two conventional motorized wheelchairs, both weighting 250+. When I lift myself out of these chair to a standing position, I use both of my arms and to get to an upright position the back of my legs will push against the chair, this allows me to become upright. My concern is the back of my legs pushing against the chair will cause the chair to slide backwards. I understand that the rear wheels on motorized chairs lock when you remove you hand from the controller, so I know the wheels don't turn. But because this chair weights only 55 lbs, can it slide backwards easily if it is being pushed. If anyone seeing this post has a PW999 and can comment that would be great as well.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 22 Apr 2016, 19:29

Reverse to a bed or wall first?
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby sad_vampire » 22 Apr 2016, 20:07

I have a PW-1000XL & a friend has the PW999, & I've never had the chairs move backwards whilst getting out of the chair, but that's perhaps down to method, riasing the footrest on the PW-1000XL & pushing the footrest back on the PW999 so your feet are closer to the chair when you try to stand.

Both chairs have very grippy tyres on the rear wheels & the brakes completely lock those wheels, but on a sufficiently slippery surface (wet tiles?) I'd think they would eventually lose traction the same as other wheelchair tyres do.

Burgerman's idea of reversing the chair against something before getting out should work, especially on the PW-1000XL that I don't bother using anti tips with because it's so stable.
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