Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

FeatherLite Hand Controls

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    FeatherLite Hand Controls

    Does anyone have any experience with the FeatherLite hand controls? I have used the MPS mechanical hand controls for years and am considering switching to the FeatherLite. For those of you that have used them, do you think they are worth the extra cost? What do you like about them? What don't you like about them? The mechanical controls are so simple, and I worry that once you start using the electronics you are liable to have more issues. Can you still use them if there is a problem with the vehicle electronic signals? They would be installed on a Toyota Sienna mini van.

    #2
    glively, see the thread below. There have been extensive discussions on Featherlite several times, but this is one I remember.

    To save a click, though, I have Featherlite in my Toyota Sienna and like them a lot. They work well and are easy to use. The big question is if anyone else drives your van. If it is just you and you don't find that the bars attached to the pedals get in the way, then the simplicity of mechanical controls is probably best. I have Featherlite in both my van and my wife's Subaru Outback because we switch cars as necessary and she used to bang her knee on the mechanical hand control bar going to the gas. The Featherlite's have not been perfect though. We've never had a problem on my wife's Subaru, but after only 3 years on my van the control module died and we had to replace it at a cost of ~$400. I was just driving down the road, my hand controls just stopped responding, and a bunch of check engine likes came on. I realized my van had gone into limp mode, so I was able to pull to the side of the highway. After turning the car off and on again, the hand controls worked, but all the check engine lights were still on and I couldn't use cruise control or any of the traffic/accident sensors. Once the hand-control module was replaced, everything went back to normal.

    Bottom line: if you share a car with an able-bodied person then Featherlite is great and I recommend it. If it is just you, I'd stick to the mechanical controls for simplicity sake.

    https://www.carecure.net/forum/sci-c...trol-questions

    Comment


      #3
      I was considering the FeatherLites when I bought my 2019 Pacifica but stuck with the mechanical after considering it was just one more thing to go wrong electronically. Glad i stayed with the mechanicals. I seem to remember there were a few glitches with them if there was a malfunction. If you can use the mechanicals with little problem; stick with them.

      Comment


        #4
        I switched from MPD push/right angle to Featherlite Push/Rock. I love them. I figure if my car throttle/electronics have issues, I'm probably stuck whether it's the hand controls, or not. I've been using them for about a year now. Safer for my wife and older kids to drive the vehicle too, since they're locked out unless I tap my sequence into the button. My MPD right angle bar fell off in my hand, while driving one day, so no system is fool-proof, but I like this one.

        Safety and reliability are paramount in designing and testing gear like this for the market. I don't think they'd be so popular (the vast majority my installer says they have done in the past few years) if they had a consistent reliability issues.

        My favorite thing is the ability to dial in the throttle throw tension and the throttle response. I've got mine set really soft, finger tip pressure to use, with full throttle response only coming in at 75%+ throttle position. It's soooooo smooth and easy to use. No more hand and arm pain for me, and the driving experience is much smoother on and off the gas. Particularly over uneven surfaces.
        "I have great faith in fools; ‘self-confidence’, my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

        "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

        Comment


          #5
          If you can, keep it simple.
          My mechanical hand controls came with the car, a 2008 Mazda6. The most discrete fit that I have seen. The only grief is the return spring is a little on the heavy side - I have a lighter spring to replace it.
          The car can be driven by those with functioning legs also, no problem.
          A friend has a 2015(?) Mazda6 with Featherlite controls. The Featherlite unit recently cost NZ$1000 to be repaired, plus the time and inconveniance.
          Some would say that seven years was a good run before having to shell out a grand - that is a reasonable observation.
          To that I would reply; 14 years with less expensive, less sophisticated mechanical hand controls without any issues. All fastenings are still secure; the unit will likely outlast me. 👍

          Comment


            #6
            FBW (Fly By Wire) throttles are pretty much standard on all cars these days and have been for a long time.
            The throttle/pedal sensors are 6 wire/two channel, and fairly bulletproof, using Halls Sensor technology.
            I made my own controls back in 2006 when I bought my first new car, a VW GTI w/DSG sequential 6 speed gearbox.
            I replaced that car in 2016 with a leftover 2015 GTI/DSG, and moved the controls over. (and getting Volkswagen's $1000 credit for crip mobility for a second time!)
            The electronic controls I made are very simple to implement. The control arm now only needs to move in one axis as it only depresses the brake.
            A bicycle brake lever and cabling operates the throttle sender module; it only needs 15mm (~.6") of movement from idle to full throttle and retains all the reliability of the original foot throttles.
            A simple DPDT toggle switch low on the dashboard selects hand or foot function and, left in hand position, provides a fairly good anti-theft device.

            EDIT: regarding Featherlight's implementation, it's a little gimmicky and introduces unneeded and possibly less reliable complication when all that's required is a simple 6 pin toggle switch to choose between foot/hand control of throttle. KISS! (keep it simple stupid)
            Click image for larger version  Name:	8D24A342-CBC8-4424-BF6E-9595EC6DDB6B.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	217.7 KB ID:	2922745
            Last edited by pfcs49; 3 Oct 2022, 2:38 PM.
            69yo male T12 complete since 1995
            NW NJ

            Comment


            • slow_runner
              slow_runner commented
              Editing a comment
              I have been impressed by the design and execution of your hand controls from when I first saw them Phil.
              Smooth.

            #7
            69yo male T12 complete since 1995
            NW NJ

            Comment

            Working...
            X