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When on my computer or watching a movie, should I turn off my powerchair?

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  • When on my computer or watching a movie, should I turn off my powerchair?

    I am just getting used to my powerchair. There are so many things to consider, I have not learned proper use yet.

    If I am at my computer or watching a video that lasts for a couple of hours, should I shut the powerchair off or leave it powered? I am interested in keeping the chair powered longest between needed recharges. Same, if I have a guest, should I turn off the chair while they are here, or shut off the chair's power to maintain good battery health? Thanks! Shab

  • #2
    What kind of chair do you have?

    I turn off my Permobil C500 whenever I am stationary for more than 5 minutes. I also shut it off near small children or within 2 feet of somebody to avoid injuring them.

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    • #3
      I use a power chair day in and day out, but I don't use it to traverse long distances over college campuses or from public transportation to work and back. I get up in the chair in the morning and am in the chair until about 8:00 PM. I never turn the chair off unless I am in a situation where I think someone (usually a child) might take a fancy to the joystick. I get pretty good battery life, just leaving the chair on all day and plugging it in to charge over night.

      All the best,
      GJ

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      • #4
        Generally, we recommend turning off the chair if you will be sitting in one position for some time (like at a theater or in a restaurant) or if you will be in a crowd. For the latter, you have to be careful with the chair turned on that someone doesn't bump the controls and throw your chair out of control, and for the former, you can inadvertently hit the controls when gesturing, etc. and injure yourself or someone else.

        (KLD)
        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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        • #5
          I am so very happy, I have been laughing and smiling ever since I got the chair running. The thought of going to a theater or restaurant is something I haven't thought much about, or being in a crowd. I am sure you and others have given me things to think about that will help me be safe when around others. I am a little ashamed that so many of the ideas coming from this forum have never crossed my mind. I will surely be a little paranoid when around little children or in a congested area now, so I won't be responsible for hurting anyone. I am very grateful. Still, the possibility of being in such situations is really exciting for an old man who has been shut in and alone for a very long time. Thanks! Shab

          Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
          Generally, we recommend turning off the chair if you will be sitting in one position for some time (like at a theater or in a restaurant) or if you will be in a crowd. For the latter, you have to be careful with the chair turned on that someone doesn't bump the controls and throw your chair out of control, and for the former, you can inadvertently hit the controls when gesturing, etc. and injure yourself or someone else.

          (KLD)

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          • #6
            I have a Quantum 6000z. It is actually about 3 years old and has little overlooked maintenance, but I already just love it. I am fortunate to not be completely unable to walk. It is just I cannot walk far enough to get to public transportation and cannot afford the daily expense of a taxi. I have been dreaming of getting out for years, now, and haven't been out yet. Materials for a ramp are on their way, so I am getting pretty excited.

            Having such a luxury has not entered my mind too much, but the desire for freedom and the ability to engage others in conversation has made me envious of just about everyone. Just answering these posts is quite fun for me. I do not want to hurt anyone so I am paying attention to all the things you guys talk about that I should be careful. You and others have been so kind to help wise me up. It is much appreciated. Shab

            Originally posted by Uncle Peter View Post
            What kind of chair do you have?

            I turn off my Permobil C500 whenever I am stationary for more than 5 minutes. I also shut it off near small children or within 2 feet of somebody to avoid injuring them.
            Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 06-18-2016, 11:04 AM.

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            • #7
              Best of luck with the power chair, it sounds as if it is going to revolutionise your life!

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              • #8
                My chair's programming is set to turn the chair off after 10 minutes of idleness.
                Tom

                "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

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                • #9
                  I am certain. I am so happy that I laugh without reason still, since it started to function. I am so glad I found this forum. Everyone is so kind and generous with help. I have learned more in the few replies than in the company manuals. They were almost too comprehensive. To find any answer required reading page after page of information that was not yet in my thoughts.

                  I had an unfortunate incident before contacting the forum that is almost unexplainable after experiencing this forum. I don't really like to talk about the fact that I am kind of poor. Poor in terms of money, but not in what I value most in life. So when I purchased my chair, it was extremely expensive for me, while only a fraction of what it would cost new.

                  I purchased it through Craigslist, and it was first offered for $500. Unwilling to accept a chair through the government, because of my financial situation, the purchase seemed above my ability. I had read that batteries were very expensive, and all chairs I found around $500 either had dead batteries or other problems that may be very expensive.

                  When the current owner realized that leaving it set for about a year was the cause of the dead batteries, he agreed to reduce his price to $150, so when I purchased and then purchased batteries, I got my chair with new batteries for a little over $500.

                  Still, when I attempted to operate the chair, it would not power up or even toot the horn. I searched the Internet for a diagnosis and solution that might be within my capabilities, but even mention of the circuit breaker left me thinking I must have a much older than current models, because it appeared the reset button was located in the battery bay behind the rear battery, but in my case was missing.

                  When I contacted the Pride Mobility company, they would not even answer my question of the location of the reset button on my chair. I tried to ask my question, but the operator talked over my question and refused to hear what I wanted. I tried several times, looking for perhaps a technician (it seemed logical, because I was communicating with the manufacturer), but she continually kept talking over my question and never even heard the simple question I need the answer. When I would stop trying, she would say that I must contact the service people in my area.

                  I did that, and got about the same result. If I wanted an answer to any question, I would have to make an appointment at a minimum cost of $80 and have them come to my home. Then if there was any work to be performed or parts to purchase, I would have to pay for that above the service charge.

                  They did not seem to care that I couldn't afford the trip, unless it was sure to profit me for the $80. Unlike most people who seem to get their chair with insurance paid programs, I had to purchase mine out of a very small social security.

                  Fortunately, unable to take their advice, I found the forum. Here, everyone is very kind and helpful with no greed motivations, only help. After joining and posting my first question, I already, by accident, found the location of the reset button. The result was a fully functioning chair. Since then, I can see that someone on the forum will most probably answer any questions I might have, which will help in finding solutions for my needs before I have to expend difficult to come up with money. I will be able to save what I need and know approximately how long I will have to wait to make any future necessary repairs.

                  Most of you probably have had to endure more serious physical helps, but probably did not have to experience the difficulty getting the mechanical helps. I am very glad for that, but it has not been that way for me.

                  I consider my chair a major luxury and am extatic in being able to have one. For about 12 years, I have lived shut in, seeing and talking to no one but the person who takes me shopping for food, once a month. Now, I will be able to go for small orders that become needed in between, such as milk etc. Right now, while writing and thinking of these things, I am chuckling and smiling from ear to ear, because as soon as I can construct a ramp, I will have the freedom to make these trips.

                  And to be able to socialize a bit is unbelievable. My only voice in the room, all these years has come from my computer, watching videos and hearing the voices of others. Those of you who have helped me should know that just having you to talk with is a treasure. I believe GOD notices such kindness and will add to your lives accordingly. At least, I hope so.

                  As I learn, I will keep an eye on the questions asked by others, looking for ways to contribute in like manner. I am so very grateful that it is important for me to give back. Just thinking of that possibility reminds me of a film called, I believe, "Pay It Forward". If you have seen the movie, you will easily understand how I feel.

                  I am sorry that I am so wordy, but you should know what a benefit was attained because of your kind replies. And mostly I wanted you to know why you made me so gloriously happy. You are such a difference from the makers of my powerchair; the difference is unbelievable.

                  Shab

                  Originally posted by Timaru View Post
                  Best of luck with the power chair, it sounds as if it is going to revolutionise your life!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dear Timaru, I have been able to walk all my life, 73 years. For about 10 years I haven't been able to walk the distance to the bus and I no longer drive, so when I get my ramp installed, I suspect that it will be a life changer for me. I am like a little kid in anticipation. It has been so many years since anything has had this affect that I have difficulty remembering. So many people have had the ability to walk taken from their lives for many years, I almost feel guilty having my chair and enjoying its possibilities so much being without for such a short time. I practice running around my tight quarters every day and am getting used to even the delay. I don't like the delay, though. Since I have to save for the ramp, I am unsure how long before I can get out of my studio/home, so I still haven't felt the freedom I so long for. I do love this forum. If I write too much, mention it. I don't want to bore anyone too much. Shab

                    Originally posted by Timaru View Post
                    Best of luck with the power chair, it sounds as if it is going to revolutionise your life!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My Quantum has auto-off after about five minutes. I turn it off definitely when out with my dog (she tends to get on my lap and stand on the controls), around children or anyone I think may reach for that joystick.

                      Word of wise though ... I don't know much about these chairs but mine seems to release some power without my control and the right side backs up a good 15cms or more ... so it makes me nervous to have someone behind me or near a curb edge. I can't find any rhyme nor reason why it does that.

                      Please don't feel guilty! You use what you need to get around! You came here for info on power chairs and there are lots of users here! Just switched part-time to one after 30yrs of pushing a manual .. kinda wish I had one back in school. Would have made the ramps and trying to carry my books a heck of a lot easier!

                      I had to buy my chair as well (having a manual and power at the same type is considered luxury by insurance (I worked and have insurance as well as live in Canada). It was $400 and I traveled from Windsor to Toronto in my friend's ramp van to acquire it.

                      I can't fix the darn thing, whereas I was great with my old chair - like a bicycle. So your posts are helping me as well. Can't wait until you have your ramp!
                      Last edited by lynnifer; 06-30-2016, 05:18 PM.
                      Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

                      T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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                      • #12
                        My Invacare Torque has four speed/gear settings. The First is for indoor driving. Third and Fourth are higher torque and speed outdoor settings. My Second gear is set to zero power speed, torque. When I'm sitting somewhere that I don't want to accidentally ram into anything or anyone, I put it in that setting which makes things safe but also allows me to change my tilt and/or recline. It comes in very handy when at the doctor or dentist as well.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dear lynnifer, thanks for your reply. Have you posted the 15cm problem? I am not sure I understand, but since one wheel probably runs from one battery and the other wheel from the other, it sounds kind of like the two are not in sync. It is so expensive to get an answer to a question, I think you should post the issue here on the forum. If the problem is not unique, someone will probably share a probable solution.

                          I am wondering if there may be a controller program adjustment to fix the problem, however, like I said that would be expensive.

                          As far as shutting my chair off, I was wondering if when idle the chair draws very much power. I must be frugal and do things right to extend the life of my batteries. I hope to get a couple of years of use. My low fixed income does not rise with costs, so each year I have to conserve more than the last. For instance, my home/studio taxes rose about $800 in the past couple of years and my income stayed the same. To pay my taxes, I had to stop all discretionary expenses.

                          If I hadn't gotten my chair at such a great price, I would never have used the money for that. I am not sure if I will make my real estate tax by next due. At the moment freedom is more important.

                          Males on my dad's side of the family passed at around 47 years until my dad, and he lived to 53, so I had no idea I would live this long at 73. I need things that were not even thought about in my family.

                          I sure wish I could help you with your problem. These chairs are very powerful.

                          My greatest problems are always the lag time that was built into the reaction time of each action. I really wish my chair had positive motion. I mean, if I move the joystick to the right, I wish it would immediately move right. Same for any other change of direction. Depending on how I am trying to move in my cramped quarters, I find myself banging into things often by over steering the chair.

                          If it turned when I first moved the joystick, I am positive I would not have that problem any more. Also, I am sure I would not hit the door frame either. It is very frustrating, to have to spend $130 to just get a couple of settings changed. It couldn't take more than 5 minutes to make the changes, and for me the cost is prohibitive. Even so, once saving for my real estate taxes has caught up, I will start saving for that. Or, after the ramp is purchased and installed. It is so hard to set the priority.

                          I am so thrilled to have my chair, but having it and not having a ramp to get me out is like being thirsty with water just out of reach. Oh well, I can't complain. I have long life, which is much better than not.

                          If ever I get ahead a bit, I will look for and buy a controller programmer and loan it to anyone in my area who needs it. It kind of sounds to me like that might help with your problem too, so if it happens before you get your chair fixed, I will send it to you. If you are not handy, perhaps a friend will help you. My imagination says that a little turn of a screw or the reset of a timing feature would put your motors in sink. That would probably take all of about 5 seconds and may solve your problem. $130 for that is criminal. Shab

                          Originally posted by lynnifer View Post
                          My Quantum has auto-off after about five minutes. I turn it off definitely when out with my dog (she tends to get on my lap and stand on the controls), around children or anyone I think may reach for that joystick.

                          Word of wise though ... I don't know much about these chairs but mine seems to release some power without my control and the right side backs up a good 15cms or more ... so it makes me nervous to have someone behind me or near a curb edge. I can't find any rhyme nor reason why it does that.

                          Please don't feel guilty! You use what you need to get around! You came here for info on power chairs and there are lots of users here! Just switched part-time to one after 30yrs of pushing a manual .. kinda wish I had one back in school. Would have made the ramps and trying to carry my books a heck of a lot easier!

                          I had to buy my chair as well (having a manual and power at the same type is considered luxury by insurance (I worked and have insurance as well as live in Canada). It was $400 and I traveled from Windsor to Toronto in my friend's ramp van to acquire it.

                          I can't fix the darn thing, whereas I was great with my old chair - like a bicycle. So your posts are helping me as well. Can't wait until you have your ramp!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Scott, nice to hear from you. I purchased my chair used and the settings are as for the previous owner. My first gear + an unwanted lag time is so slow that I am not sure it isn't the age and wear and tear of the chair that is the cause. It is pretty much useless for my needs. The second gear, is also very slow to react, so although it is better for indoor use, especially because I have close quarters, the delay still makes me over react when changing directions. Additionally, to get in front of my computer I have to, the equivalent of, parallel park, so the delay causes me to catch anything close.

                            When I want to rotate in place, there is a position where the chair does not want to move to either side. If I push the joystick a little forward or back, the chair starts rotating, but it is hard to have the chair rotate in place. In tight spaces it would be nice if the chair would rotate without any forward or rear motion. It may be normal, but I am not sure. I hope it is normal, then I don't have to worry about it becoming a soon needed repair.

                            When rotating is needed, I usually have to change to gear setting 3 or 4. That seems to make the rotate work better, but it also makes the chair move a bit too fast, if I am not right at the rotate position. I then jump forward or back and bump stuff. I am pretty sure I will get used to that in time.

                            I haven't had a chance to get outdoors yet; I am looking forward to that. I am thinking side-walk drive will probably be a 3 setting, I don't know. As far as hurting others accidentally, I plan to become ingrained with the idea of shutting my chairs power down each time I stop forward motion when around anyone else. I worry about that, because in moving in my tight quarters, when I catch a wheel on a table leg that has heavy stuff on top, my chair moves the table very easily. I don't want that power ever to hit another. Enjoyed the chat and info, my friend. Shab

                            Originally posted by Scott C4/5 View Post
                            My Invacare Torque has four speed/gear settings. The First is for indoor driving. Third and Fourth are higher torque and speed outdoor settings. My Second gear is set to zero power speed, torque. When I'm sitting somewhere that I don't want to accidentally ram into anything or anyone, I put it in that setting which makes things safe but also allows me to change my tilt and/or recline. It comes in very handy when at the doctor or dentist as well.

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