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Is there a best chair?

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Is there a best chair?

Postby Louisq » 10 Feb 2015, 09:23

Just what comes closest to the dream chair built and shown here? Is any chair available in the USA setup in such a way that decent wheels and better motors can be added with out an engineering firm and cadre of welders to retrofit? A top 5 perhaps?
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby Burgerman » 10 Feb 2015, 09:56

All commercial chairs are very much the same. All are built with the same industry supply of controllers, batteries, motors, wiring looms and even seating components or actuators etc.

The only real differences between them all is options on seating, rear, front, mid drive, or caster sizes. And speeds. Manufacturers basically make a frame, and bolt all of these standardised parts onto it. As such most of it is hype and marketing. And building chairs to best fit the codes (in the US) and so on.

So its really hard to answer that question.
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 10 Feb 2015, 22:52

Burgerman wrote:So its really hard to answer that question.


Add to this the fact that chairs with very similar configurations and functionality come with vastly different price tags. For example, the Quickie S-636 costs $4,000, while the Frontier V4 is nearly $20,000. Is the V4 five times better than the S636? Seems to me that having two or three S-636s would offer a lot more flexibility and redundancy than a single V4. And I haven't gone into the rarified territory of chairs that cost $30k, $40k or more. Aside from their rehab capabilities do these really offer ten times the value of an S-636? By what measure (particularly given BM's point that most chairs are made with the same stock components)?

The final kicker is that mainstream power chair technology is 25 years or more out of date, so trying to pick the best chair is like trying to pick the best car...from 1990.
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby FatRakoon » 20 May 2015, 01:43

I am alsop wondering the same thing, however I have found that the motors are foten different, some are very powerful and some not so much, and the same with the batteries, there are a great range of batteries too!

My 3 mobility scooters are all completely different makes and models, but use the same rating batteries ( 2 x 12v 34Ah ) which is fairly low compared to some I have seen.
I do not know what power the motor is on any of them, but they seem to be mostly ok.

I live in a very hily area of Wales and I have had to replace the bushes on all 3 of my buggies in under 9 months ( they were second hand though ) and so my next purchase has to be a brand new one with the most powerful batteries and motor I can find.

I also live a fair distance out of town too, and so I will need one that not only handles hills, but can handle them for a few miles too!
Im still looking...
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby Burgerman » 20 May 2015, 02:03

Its why I built this.

http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/BM-MK3- ... rchair.htm

Because 6 or 8 mph is TOO SLOW.
Because 70Ah lead batteries, and 15 miles range (in reality 7 to 10 with hills/fat user) is NOT ADEQUATE.
Because skinny tyres sink on soft stuff and give a hard ride...
Because tubed tyres puncture...
Because flat free tyres are harsh and uncomfortable.
Because replacing lead brick anchors (batteries) every 9 months is crazy.
Because 16 hours to a complete charge is unreasonable.
Etc, etc, etc,...

There's nothing out there to buy.
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby Sully » 31 Jul 2015, 17:26

2015 headed for 2016 and the best all these companies have to offer is garbage. Isn't this a sad state of affairs? :oops:
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby Burgerman » 05 Aug 2015, 18:40

Well yes, but why?
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby Sully » 07 Aug 2015, 17:18

My opinion is because of the WCJ--Mark's of the world, who have the limelight and the ear of a manufacturer and Legislators who say; "what we have today, is all just fine". Us, "We" are just voices crying out in the wilderness, no one hears us.

You have a much larger following than I suspect you might guess. But you are in GB. I also suspect you may have some influence you don't even suspect over there. By trying to help yourself, you inadvertently help others, you have pointed out the deficiencies in power chairs. If I were a younger man I might try to make a fuss over here. I have been in politics in a small way but I think I could have gotten into the swing of things enough to get some attention. That is what it takes. And if anyone is an activist and reads this, you have to depend on your own wits and not expect any real assistance from other wheelers. It is the same in every country in the world, that is just the way it is.

Mark has the one up on everyone and he has no intention of going out on a limb or pushing modernization of Power Chairs, even if only barely into the 21st century. I did like Mark at one time, but he disappointed and frustrated me, he is simply a shill for Pride.
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 07 Aug 2015, 18:36

Sully wrote:My opinion is because of the WCJ--Mark's of the world, who have the limelight and the ear of a manufacturer and Legislators who say; "what we have today, is all just fine". Us, "We" are just voices crying out in the wilderness, no one hears us... I did like Mark at one time, but he disappointed and frustrated me, he is simply a shill for Pride.


What puzzles me about Mark is that, on one hand, he seems to grasp the fact that innovation in the power chair industry is virtually nonexistent; yet on the other he pretends that the cosmetic fripperies that get added to "new model" chairs every year is actually substantive innovation. Look at his response to my question about "Real Innovation":

http://www.wheelchairjunkie.com/forums/ ... #Post67227

According to Mark, innovation has been stifled due to:

- Manufacturers' Lack of Consistent End-User Focus as the Gold Standard
- Providers Basing Business Models only on Acquisition Costs
- Complex Rehab Manufacturers Can't Take Risks with Consumers' Lives
- Insurer Funding and Consumer Purchasing Power Inhibits Innovation
- Consumers Complain but Don't Advocate

It's a bit of a mixed bag, a combination of genuine insights into the inertia, bureaucracy and collusion at the heart of the mobility industry, sprinkled with a liberal dose of victim blaming. But what comes through is a reasonably clear understanding that the state of the industry is not good. He even says explicitly, "I don't know a single person who's serious about complex rehab technology -- in the industry or as a consumer -- who thinks it's as advanced as it could or should be to best empower users' lives."

But, if you read the post he made on the New Mobility site (which prompted my question in the first place), there's this gem:

"As a reader of this column, you might recall my writing last year that there were some innovative rumblings in the power chair marketplace. What none of us knew at the time was that those rumblings would hit the market in 2015 like a 8.0 magnitude earthquake of innovation. They would shake up the world of power chairs as we know them, featuring technologies that aren’t just captivating, but life-changing." http://www.newmobility.com/2015/06/new- ... er-chairs/

Exciting!!! I can't wait! Let's look at these 'life-changing' innovations, shall we?

- "Omni-directional" casters
- Smartphone connectivity
- Sliding seats, elevating seats, stand up seats, flip-up arms
- 5.5mph, 10.6 mile range

Annnd, that's it. Some casters, some seat tweaks, and an app. Big hairy deal. "Life-changing" my ass.

The only conclusion I can draw from all this is that "Mark" is actually twins. One twin understands the power chair industry is shit. The other just says "New! Shiny!" over and over, like a hyper-caffeinated six year old on Christmas Day. Every morning, they flip a coin to decide which one gets to leave the house.
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby Burgerman » 07 Aug 2015, 18:40

he has no intention of going out on a limb or pushing modernization of Power Chairs


Well he really thinks that the iLevel is exactly that, some huge high tech advancement for us. Hence the claims that we would see some huge improved technology next year. This is now that year. iLevel was it. This is the real innovation he was talking about. And some may well like it.

It amounts to relaxing the max speed restriction on a seat lift to 3mph, and stiffening the front caster arm suspension so it doesn't flop forwards. But its hardly new. I disabled the inhibits on many peoples seating, so all of those can drive at 6mph with the seat up if they want!

That was the true innovation he claimed was coming in 2015. Which was supposedly far more important than decent programming tool accessibility, brushless motors, lithium batteries, tubeless tyres, low pressure high floatation tyres, better lighter materials, proper android phone integration, fast charge capability, etc etc etc.
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby Sully » 08 Aug 2015, 20:14

Mark got his degree and now he thinks everyone else is beneath his superior mind. I am not going to belittle his education, just his attitude.

If you read what he has written it is a poorly hidden secret that money governs everything, and no matter what "they" the manufacturers using the regulators and the Health Insurance companies will have the say in what kind of Chair models and technology will be installed in them. As I aluded to in the past has any one in the States seen any thing provided by SS/Medicare other that a six wheel platform. The wheels may be placed a little forward or back.

The seat positioning is going to be or supposed to be the complainer silencer in this issue. Finding a chair that consistantly can jump curbs (kerbings) to help get you off a busy thorough fare or won't bridge in a sharp cut out will continue to be an issue.

As for motors that are adequate for daily long term use or batteries like LiFePO4 he said it about as plain as it can be said. Cheap and immediate dollar savings not a thought of lonjevity, and distance of travel. Cheap base price, as possible and the add on specialty items will get all the attention.

The he turns the tables and says no one is willing to advocate for wheelers! I thought he was an advocate ! He said he was ! Turns out he is a politician without a plan, just a boss and a job which had nothing to do with wheelers advocacy.

When are these important meetings he speaks of? We find out usually later on, not in time to apply for traveling expenses of such a thing exists. For me to pack up and get to DC is a major project as I am sure it is for many others as well. Yes I have in the past, and while a major project We were both younger. Age is beating us down. The Washington DC area and its surrounds are tough for us older folks without special considerations. I myself am not as quick as I once was, getting a little slower on the uptake.

Whe I first saw Mark's site and some of the things he said at that time he was trying to do I thought I had found Nirvana. What a jerk I was ! And do not ever speak your mind entirely, be guarded, and don't oppose the HOLY one. You'll get banished.

Just understand folks we are Pawns with no voice. Accept what the exaulted one says is good for you and progress ! There is enough truth in his epistle to allow you to see that it is all money. I and many like me have paid into Medicare since day one of its inception, close to 50 years of pre payment and now the premium costs of Part B and I am fortunate to afford one of the better gap plans. "I got skin in this game" And I am being screwed without even a benefit of a kiss. Just like many of y'all reading this.
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby Burgerman » 08 Aug 2015, 20:57

You must also understand that almost all powerchair users are not interested in powerchairs one bit. Its a seat to eat from, and something that reclines to watch TV indoors or tilts to help them not get pressure sores.

These are the majority. They are either old, have little interest in dog walking, pressure washing the driveway, cleaning a house, flying model planes on a huge airfield, going out in the evening to shows, bars. They sit at home or in a care home 90 percent of the time.

The 10 percent that it would make a difference to, have absolutely no idea about what you are telling them. And they simply accept the limits they have, and change behaviour, even subconsciously, to make it work for them

So mark looks at his sales, his customer and OT feedback, non of whom have any clue, and sees everything is adequate and happy. Then we come along and spoil his day.
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby ex-Gooserider » 11 Aug 2015, 05:18

Mark IS an advocate - For his PAYCHECK.... His bosses tell him what is innovation and he toes the line and enthuses about it... When he isn't being told what to say, he will occasionally go 'off message' and come out with some of those accurate statements about the lack of innovation in the industry we have noted....

Now I call that being a shill, and you can see what happened when I followed my personal rule about not saying something behind a person's back that I'm not willing to say to his face....

(PS - BM, can we get a 'Banned by Junky' tag for our names added to the site? I figure it is something we can take "Pride" in, ass it shows technical clue....)

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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby Burgerman » 11 Aug 2015, 08:58

Mmmm. Don't know how to do that!
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby ex-Gooserider » 18 Aug 2015, 06:14

Burgerman wrote:Mmmm. Don't know how to do that!


https://www.phpbb.com/customise/

Not sure what version you are on, so couldn't dig further.... But essentially a lot of phpBB boards allow users to have 'titles' just like your posts have 'Board Admin' after your username...

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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby Sully » 19 Aug 2015, 19:16

I have Admin authority on a PHPBB boating web site, this titling is done by either moderators or administrators, even automatically if enabled, after so many posts have been submitted by the member. But all your posts are counted as submitted under your screen name, titling or not. I imagine if John were to scrounge around the software he may find such a titling ability in his programming. :P
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby Burgerman » 19 Aug 2015, 19:28

I have been looking for years. Don't see any way. But it would only give the other site some credibility it doesn't deserve anyway...
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Re: Is there a best chair?

Postby grantmeonewish » 08 Aug 2016, 12:39

Take johns advice it is well thought out and accurate and help full I have p222 710 and v6 all terrain by frontier and each one has its own personality find one to suit running and shopping and having fun and good to turn in home take off the doors if u have to to stay at home cheers from Noosa Grant
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