Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

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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
Robert Pollock
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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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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby thblues » 27 Apr 2016, 15:51

sad_vampire wrote: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.


Thank you very for taking the time to reply. I realize that backing the chair against a wall or any solid object would prevent the chair from sliding backwards, but sometimes that is not possible. However what you say about the tires being designed to have good gripping is very helpful. With that question out of the way, I have one more if you don't mind. My size allows me the option of either chair. My question is if someone could fit in either chair, is their any reason to buy the 1000 over the 999? Speed, battery life ect. does not matter. I wondered since the 1000 has larger rear tires, it might be more stable when one tries to get out of the chair, any opinion?
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby sad_vampire » 27 Apr 2016, 19:52

The PW-1000XL will take a heavier person & is probably a bit more comfortable, although I find the seat hard so use an additional cushion. Overall I find that the PW-1000XL feels more stable because it feels like you're sitting in it rather than on it, & it flexes much less than the PW999. The PW-1000XL is easier to unfold & fold up than the PW999.

Not sure where you are, if in the UK then CareCo now sell both these chairs & they have three showrooms where you could see them.

Wheelchair88 sent me an e-mail yesterday saying that they'll be at NAIDEX, so I looked that show up & it ends tomorrow & is at the NEC Hall 7/B21.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby thblues » 28 Apr 2016, 19:00

Thanks again your input is invaluable to me. I live in the US in the state of Oklahoma. I did visit you country back in like 1979, beautiful place. Believe it or not it is next to impossible to see either of these chairs prior to purchase. Since you have a 1000 and a friend of yours has a 999, I could not have found anyone better to communicate with. I sort of felt that the 1000 was a more solid chair, and even though I don't need it because of my size, I believe because of the larger rear tires it would be more stable if a person pushed against it when rising, would you agree?
I thought you might find this link interesting: http://www.melebu.com/

Steve
thblues@swbell.net
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby sad_vampire » 29 Apr 2016, 04:15

I'd agree that the PW-1000XL is the more stable of the two, but both are pretty stable anyway for travel chairs.

Your link to melebu shows chairs with 200w motors, the PW-1000XL has 250w motors, it makes a difference, my local town's high street (Guildford) has a rather steep slope & I rely on that extra bit of power to effortlessly climb the street, although the batteries take the hit & the motors would get pretty warm if I went up it in one go.

Another thing about my local high street, it has setts as a road surface, I'd recommend avoiding those in any of these travel wheelchairs, you'd be better off with a proper powerchair if you want to glide over those setts without jarring your spine.

Yesterday I spent time at the British Museum with my friend, him in the 999, me in the 1000, both were more than capable & left everyone else in a wheelchair looking silly. We had style & manoeverability on our side.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 29 Apr 2016, 09:25

Your link to melebu shows chairs with 200w motors, the PW-1000XL has 250w motors, it makes a difference, my local town's high street (Guildford) has a rather steep slope & I rely on that extra bit of power to effortlessly climb the street, although the batteries take the hit & the motors would get pretty warm if I went up it in one go.


Watts has nothing to do with how much torque or speed a motor has. Its just a measure of how much average power it can make before overheating.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby sad_vampire » 29 Apr 2016, 11:06

If I was looking for a lightweight travel chair & I lived in the US, I'd be looking at one of the EZ Lite range rather than the Foldawheels simply because of the battery chemistry.

http://www.ezlitecruiser.com/products/e ... 4207296836

vs

http://www.ezlitecruiser.com/products/e ... =461906753
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 29 Apr 2016, 11:11

If I was looking for a lightweight travel chair & I lived in the US, I'd be looking at one of the EZ Lite range rather than the Foldawheels simply because of the battery chemistry.


Must be missing it! :oops:
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby LROBBINS » 29 Apr 2016, 12:38

The EZLite is LiFePO4, the Foldawheel is Li ion pouch cells.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 29 Apr 2016, 13:06

I see. Trying to work from a laptop balanced on its edge turned on my side here!

So one = fires and 4 to 500 cycles, the other safe and 2000 cycles. No competition there!
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Blunders » 20 Jul 2016, 16:00

Aware this is an older thread but I found it while searching for Foldawheel info, we're thinking of getting one for my wife to use on holiday.
For anyone in the UK, it may be useful to know that http://www.careco.co.uk sell the Foldwheel and Foldawheel Plus, which seem to be the PW-999UL and PW-1000XL as far as I can tell. We're planning a visit to their Birmingham showroom some time soon to hopefully get a look at the chairs and probably buy one if we like the look of them.
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