20 October 2010

The "D" in DME

So, about the head array control on my power chair. Because I know you were dying to hear.

The initial speed and acceleration settings were way too energetic for negotiating tight spaces. Or even for negotiating pretty roomy but not entirely wide-open spaces. This is a switch control, remember. It's either on or it's off. Go or don't. I've spent the last couple of days trying really hard not to ram into things. With only moderate success.

The chair I used when I was trying to decide if I wanted to install the head array was much easier to control, so I knew it was possible. On Monday I called Mike the Wheelchair Guy about adjusting the settings. This morning he came and did it. I now have a Granny Gear for getting in and out of the van, or creeping down the hall and turning through the door to the bathroom. Without damage to walls or woodwork. Much better.

The new control uses a micro-switch to turn on, toggle between forward/back, select the speed range, and control seat functions.  The switch emits a rather loud chirp whenever I tap it. That's obtrusive but tolerable, since hitting the switch inadvertently and turning the chair on without realizing it would be bad. If I press the switch and hold it, I can turn the chair off. This causes the switch to scream loudly for 5 seconds.

Five seconds is a lot longer than you'd think, when you're making a really irritating noise and there's no way to shut it off.

I asked Mike the Wheelchair Guy if there was a way to make this stop. He said he didn't think so, but he'd check with the manufacturer. Still, if it turns out to be the worst thing about this new setup, I'm OK with that.

In the course of crashing about over the last few days, I managed to get my new drink holder hung up on the edge of the door when I was getting out of the van. Scarecrow got me loose, but in doing so broke the cupholder. (In situations like this, Scarecrow is not likely to take a tentative approach. As my dad is fond of saying, "Don't force it. Get a bigger hammer.") This made us both very sad.

Scarecrow told TinMan what had happened, admitting that he had subjected the cupholder to serious abuse. TinMan allowed as how that might be the case, but maintained that the D in DME ought to stand for Durable.

He is at work on cupholder v.3.


  1. Oh no, not the cup holder! Well, guess TinMan can perfect the leveling aspect of it - can't remember if he got that worked out.

    Glad that Mike toned down the speed. The head array still sounds daunting. Good luck on getting the sound to go away!

  2. It sounds like you're good to go go go!!
    Wah! about the cup holder. Scarecrow is right, the D should stand for durable, not damageable. Was it just sticking our too far, or does it not fold in far enough? (Was that the same question?)

    Anyway, I'm glad that the learning curve is not too steep on this technology!

  3. Yikes! The cup holder - say it is not so.
    More R&D for TinMan I suppose.

    Good that the speed works for you better although I am a go fast and furious type ha ha. I crash my scooter because of this trait.

    The button push beeping now that would be a serious annoyance.

    Sounds like you will soon be the Master of modern mobility gadgetry.